Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Shuji Inaba

Event

22 May 2005  •  The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead

Artists

What we wrote at the time

 

Inaba is a dark and politically charged folk-singer and guitarist hailing from Shimane prefecture, a mountainous and rural region that borders Hiroshima in the South West corner of Japan.  His stark and powerful lyrics are delivered in his native tongue, but even without any understanding of the language, they carry an emotional punch that needs no translation.  Vaulting from almost inaudible whispers to guttural gulps and gasps, it can be a voice helpless in the face of emotion; anger, sadness and frequently regret pepper his serrated melodies.  But it’s not a morose music; in it you’ll find hope amongst the dark imagery. His acoustic guitar follows a similar dynamic thrust to his vocals, with introspective silences shattered by savage jabs at the strings, whirlwind strums erupting before dying back down into tender and spartanly placed chords.  It’s a confrontational and somehow shamanic stance, but one that, if live recordings are anything to go by is utterly compelling and mesmerizing in the flesh.

  • Audio

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

  • Video

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0