Psych-Rock / Rock / Surf

Taverne Tour Day 2: TEKE::TEKE & the Surf Rock Demon Wave

by Stephan Boissonneault

I finally saw the wild psychedelic Japanese surf rock hydra, TEKE::TEKE live during Taverne Tour. Since moving to Montreal three years ago, all the true heads told me to check out TEKE:TEKE. So after missing them live a handful of times and listening to the latest fire release, Hagata, I knew the sold-out show was going to be a memorable one. 

From the very moment they stepped on the stage (a bit late mind you, but hey that’s show business) I knew we were all in for a treat. The first aspect I noticed was how impeccably dressed they all were; the guitarists rocking what looked like vintage kimonos, the flutist in a traditional-looking silver dress and headband, and the lead singer, Maya Kuroki, dressed to the nines in colossal thick-framed glasses, dangling orb earrings, and a striking floral dress. TEKE:TEKE looks the part and for the next hour or so, they’re taking us on a journey of Japanese ghost stories that sound like the backdrop to a raucous Tarantino film. Like the sonic equivalent of a strange tsunami, each song grows and grows into a spiraling vortex of surfy rock n’ roll, and the band is unbelievably tight, trading out weird time signatures like nothing. The projection backdrops of the Japanese red sun, topographic mountains, cartoon birds, oni, and Kanji add to the spectacle of it all.

I can’t believe this band is only seven years old because they play like they have been doing so for decades. The encore of The Clash’s “Bankrobber,” sung in Japanese was also a bonus. If you like live music, it’s almost a disservice to not see TEKE::TEKE live. They’re a triumph. 

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