Lillies and Remains

Leaf Cafe
20th May 2010
Written by Elizabeth Flanagan
Photography by Lorna Ransome

Poles Apart




A Life As Something Transient

Leaf Café in Liverpool may seem just like an ordinary café (specialising in tea- always a winner), however, on the 20th May 2010, something quite special happened. Lillies and Remains played part of their first UK tour to a room filled with people from all walks of life. Adults slumped in mahogany coloured leather sofas, eating chicken salads whilst tapping their feet to the sound check of the Japanese band who arrived not long before.

Lillies and Remains are a four piece from Tokyo, post-punk guys with hair styled over their faces in some form of mysterious shroud. As they take their stage, with only a house lamp at the side of guitarist Kazuya for decoration. Standing in their positions, reminiscent of the UK’s Franz Ferdinand, the swinging bass line that Minoru sweeps out bludgeons across the room. Diners looking up from their plates, vocalist Kent almost utters his words to them, calling them deeper, their interest raising more and more with the spectacle before them. Minoru and drummer Kosuke are in such beautiful synch that at some points they seem to merge together, forming one instrument. And that’s just the first song…

A single spotlight beams down across the whole of the band, a beat that jumps through your veins with each pulse of the bass rings out. Kent’s undercurrent vocals seem almost hidden beneath the melodies, whilst Kosuke sets all standards at a high with his drumming. Lillies and Remains are in (so far) two songs, epitomising the idea of talent, and offering just a teaser of such a thing that is so rarely found in Japanese bands that come to the UK. Usually there is one highly talented artist in with lesser talented people…. But four perfectly balanced, equal vocals, bass, guitar and drums? An elixir for the ears.

Kent’s soft entrancing vocals ricochet like whispers against a cave wall when muttered over the rest of the band’s heavy metal thrashing. Pounding their New-Wave post-punk offerings. Their up-tempo bounces confuse as they continue a good old mind-spanking. Although only three songs have been played, the juxtaposition of each song is a true boisterous biography of the band’s successes to date.

Lillies and Remains are the form of band that would be the perfect band to be placed in an arena, with and ingenious and fertile style- there really is something for everyone. (Even for those people who just like to stare at Japanese men…) The ability of this band is surely something that could potentially be destructive.

“Last Song” is breathed into the mic as Minoru drags a bass line out that is rarely seen anymore. As punk never died, Lillies and Remains are adamant to stick to their roots. A band who is absolute in what tastes they have in music, their energy is so focussed into their own work, that you often see vocalist Kent with his eyes closed, so too for Kosuke, Kazuya with his head to the ground and Minoru… well, Minoru is still transforming his body as though in a trance.

Who said men can’t dance? These guys seem to just SWAY and look good. They walk to their own beat, and by the end of their show, the audience were placing their own feet into the footprints the band had left in the sand. They leave on a high, the best melodies heard all night were saved for last, an inescapable kick to the face as Minoru and Kent sing in textbook accord, the band’s crescendos rising to heights that should be downright illegal they’re that good.

In complete harmony with each other, the band have mastered the message of their music to such a level that its difficult to understand why Lillies and Remains have never stormed our Indies scene before. Vocalist Kent has described the band as being ‘Pop-Rock’ in their home country, yet in the UK, they are clearly our version of ‘Indie’

Lillies and Remains’ stage presence is one that cannot be faulted. They give their all to their performance, to their moment, to themselves and the audience. After all, the audience only enjoys a performance when the band does. Being in unadulterated synch as one, Lillies and Remains are on such a level they could storm the UK with very little effort if the world were ideal.

Cool band. Cool Place.