I was utterly delighted to welcome CLINTON USM – Taro Takei and Masato Saito – into the Phoenix FM studios for possibly their first ever radio session.
Taro and Masato are a Carter USM tribute band, taking on the Jimbob and Fruitbat roles respectively, and faithfully recreating the noisy punk rock guitars and programmed keyboards and drums of the original outfit. They have been quietly plying their trade in Tokorozawa and Iruma, two towns on the north west fringes of the Tokyo suburbs, since 2001. In 2009, thanks to the wonders of the internet, they were discovered by Carter fans in the UK; Carter played a sold-out show at the Brixton Academy in November and John Bownas, the organiser of the aftershow gig, brought Taro and Masato over to play that particular gig at Jamm in Brixton, much to the delight of 500 Carter fans who weren’t prepared to go home early.
The formula was repeated in 2011, with Carter once again playing to a sold-out Brixton Academy and Clinton USM joining various bands (including multiple Phoenix sessionist Deferred Sucess) at the aftershow. The difference is this time that the following day, John kindly drove the band down to Brentwood to spend an hour or so knocking out a few tunes with the added help from Dave Shalloe who brought down the portable Creative recording studio and did an excellent job once again in setting up and recording the tunes, thus kicking off the seventh year of Creative Sessions in the process.
You can see and hear the fruits of their labours below:
We don’t often feature bands that are pure cover acts on Phoenix FM – in fact I can’t remember ever doing it – but Clinton USM are different class. You can find out more about the band (especially if you can read Japanese) at their website and find out more about the Creative Sessions here.