[Blast From The Past] Laughin’ Nose – classic punks and the right way to handle your heritage
As the name, Blast From The Past suggests, this series will feature some great and/or interesting material from the last several decades of the Japanese music industry, including everything from timeless classics to (sometimes rightfully) forgotten acts. So, let’s get started with some good, old-school punk rock!
Many long-running bands have old, bootleg full concert videos floating around, traded by fans or popping up on youtube. When the later happens, bands (and their managements) have two typical reactions: they either get pissed and try to get the videos deleted or they just do not care about it. Laughin’ Nose, one of Japan’s longest running punk rock bands have a completely different and honestly extremely cool and refreshing attitude towards these old, forgotten-by-most concert videos: they upload them all to youtube themselves. Their channel, LaughinTube has well over a dozen of these old concert videos and not only bootleg ones, but also out-of-print official releases. Of course some of these are all grainy and noisy, as they come from old videotapes, but still better than pretty much any of the bootleg concert uploads you can find from other old Japanese punk bands. So, instead of fighting against or just tolerating these old recordings, they built up an excellent archive for fans to delve into, providing them with about a full day worth of classic material.
And about the band? They formed back in 1981 in Osaka, in the golden age of Japanese punk rock and they’ve been active ever since, with only a short stop between 1991 and 1995. They had a lot of member changes over the years, but two original members, vocalist Charmy and bassists Pon are still in the band. And most importantly: the music? Think of the most typical and old-school, raw, yet melodic punk rock you can imagine and you know exactly what to expect. They never did anything revolutionary, they were never inventive or experimental, they were just always 100% true to their roots and they still manage to churn out great punk tunes nowadays, even 35 years after they started.
It was actually pretty difficult to choose just one video, but this, even though far from being the earliest, is probably the one that sums up the best what Laughin’ Nose is all about. This one was filmed by a pro crew back in 2001 at Shibuya O-East for a VHS release, so the quality is quite OK. But if you want more, some of my other picks would be:
Come Come Come Tour from 2003 – It is over 2 hours long and it was an official DVD.
Live at Huck Finn in 1996 – Filmed at Nagoya’s legendary underground venue, the video quality is bootleg level, however the sound is fine and it is by far the roughest of all the videos! Pure fuckin’ punk energy!
Live at Hibiya Kokaido in 1986 – The earliest one. This was also an official release, so it is professionally filmed, but obviously comes from some old VHS copy.
But actually the best thing to do is to go directly to their youtube channel and look around, especially as beside the concerts it also has a bunch of old tv performances and pretty much all the music videos they ever made.
Laughin’ Nose: Live @ Shibuya O-East, 2001