Exposure: Tokyoblu

Exposure: Tokyoblu

Tokyoblu - Call Me

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Hail the Scottish Groove Armada! At least that’s how Edinburgh’s Tokyoblu style themselves, and it’s a comparison which most commentators seem happy to run with. Formed from their identically-named monthly club night – which has been held at the late Venue, the former Ego and now the very much alive and kicking Cabaret Voltaire – the group are a live house, soul and funk outfit whose 2008 has gone particularly well. Tokyoblu’s promoter, DJ and bandleader John Hutchison tells us more.

How did you get together?
The band grew out of the club, and a lot of the people we knew who went there. The club itself has been running for about six years, and we’d always have an element of live percussion, although the band has been a proper going concern for about two and a half years. There are seven of us – although we’re looking to add some horn players now, too – although not everyone’s first love is house music. I like the idea of that, people who play what is essentially house music, but who bring influences in from all over.

What’s been so good about your year?
Well things actually kicked off last year for us, when we got through the T-Break heats and appeared at T in the Park, which was absolutely awesome – probably my favourite ever Tokyoblu gig. This year, we’ve played at Connect, Rock Ness, the V Festival in Stafford… that was one of 2008’s highlights, because we went somewhere that no-one had ever heard of us and absolutely smashed it to bits in front of two and a half thousand people. What else? The Becks Fusions gig in Manchester, we were on with The Presets and Hercules and Love Affair. We’ve had some pretty good gigs this year.

And you released your debut single, too?
Yeah, after promising to for about as long as we’ve been a band! We’ve thrown out so many songs because we haven’t thought they’ve been good enough, until we finally arrived at ‘Groove Tonight’, which has just entered the UK’s Upfront Club Chart at number six, and the DMC club chart at number three. That’s on our own label Tokyoblu Digital, which is all online – I’ve had too many bad experiences with distributors going bust. It’s going well, so we’ll be releasing two more singles the same way before the end of the year, and then the album in the spring.

Tokyoblu play Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Fri 21 Nov.



John Hutchison and Iain Gibson dish out the best in Chicago house, funky electro and disco. Fri 23 Sep: A massive 9th birthday party with the Tokyoblu DJs, Gabriel Kemp (Animal Hospital), Niall & Dennis McKervey, Little Grooves (We Play House), Sounds of Soul (Ladies on Rotation), Soul Jam Hot, Brian & Lee…

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