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24 September 2014

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Leicestershire's Unsigned

You are in: Leicester > Entertainment > Music > Leicestershire's Unsigned > Tokyo Beatbox

Tokyo Beatbox

Tokyo Beatbox in Leicester Square

Tokyo Beatbox

Four guys from South Leicestershire who have mixed views on cheese and pork pie along with more riffs than you can shake a stick at. Read on to find out about Tokyo Beatbox.

Who are Tokyo Beatbox?

We comprise of singer Chris 'Chopper' Harris, guitarist Simon Ward, bassist Gaz Watts and drummer Andy 'Stixey' Trappitt.

Andy:  A group of four former school friends (formerly at school, not formerly friends) who want to make it big in Japan!

Gaz from the band plays Bass

Gaz plays his Bass

When did you begin performing?

Summer 2005

Who or what are your greatest influences?

Musical: Beach Boys, Hank Marvin, Manic Street Preachers

Non-musical: Brian Clough, Joe Orton, Eric Sykes

"My dodgy dancing and star jumping in particular have caused problems"

Gaz Watts

Describe your sound?

Andy: More riffs than you can shake a stick at packed into three minutes of indie-pop perfection.

What do you make of the music scene in Leicester?

Ill organised - polite - friendly

Who are your favourite local artists at the moment and why?

Stixey: We played with The Voom Blooms recently and they were pretty good. I saw Don's Mobile Barbers at Summer Sundae and I liked what they were doing, but Actionforce are our favourite local band.

Gaz: I like Firebrand and The Traces

Stixey plays the drums

Stixey and his Drums

Do you have day jobs?

Andy: Yes, to finance our rock n roll lifestyles between us we have a Journalist, an accountant, a Local Government worker and a part-time lecturer.

Best gig so far?

Andy: Rhythm Factory 30/05/2007 (night before my birthday) supporting Pete Doherty. We found out on our way to the gig we were supporting Pete which was a complete surprise. The atmosphere at the venue before the gig was great- very friendly, but nervous anticipation from all the bands. We had an enjoyable set- great audience & good performance and Pete was fantastic and the fact that he left it (quite literally) to the eleventh-hour to come on added to the tension/excitement.

Worst gig?

Andy: Winter 2005- Playing on a Monday night at a venue in Leicester.
No one came because it was snowing and icy and there had been a travel warning not to make any unnecessary journeys. We played with a solo acoustic artist on the verge of a mental breakdown and some obnoxious teenagers.

Where did you go to school and what was the best thing about it?

We all went to Robert Smyth School in Market Harborough.

Gaz: The best thing about it was reaching the Sixth Form & being able to DJ at lunch times in the common room - I drove a lot of people away - my appeal was ... selective. I also remember going into town with Simon and religiously buying 'Melody maker', God rest its soul.

Chopper sings for Tokyo Beatbox

Chopper sings for Tokyo Beatbox

What's been your most embarrassing music themed moment?

Gaz: We tend to make fools of ourselves onstage as a matter of course. My dodgy dancing/star jumping in particular has caused problems.

Favourite track you've written?

Andy: I love the little ditties we make up while we're messing around at rehearsals that are solely for our own amusement. Examples of such are 'What's The Beef?' and 'Get Me a Beer' which we'll never record or play live- but play occasionally nonetheless.

Gaz: Yeah, Andy's a real experi-mentalist. I love 'Aftermath' and 'For What It's Worth'.

Where and when was your first gig?

The Attik, (sadly no longer with us) Leicester, June '05.

What was you first memory?

Gaz: The Spurs V Coventry FA Cup Final 1987.

Red Leicester Cheese or Pork Pie?

Andy: There's a fifty-fifty split. Simon and I are in the Red Leicester camp whilst Gaz and Chris sit on the Pork Pie side.

Most romantic gesture you've ever made?

Gaz: It has to be Christmas Eve: we put on a free gig at Firebug & it was a really warm, communal occasion. We provided mince pies, had a mid-set raffle, gave away a guitar and hosted the first-ever 'punk karaoke'. The crowd was largely made up of people who had nowhere else to go at
Christmas so to my mind there was a schmaltzy, Hollywood feel to the night. That's as romantic as we get.

Simon plays the guitar

Simon plays his guitar

Biggest regret?

Missed opportunities / complacency.

Is being based in Leicestershire a help or a hindrance?

Gaz: Part of me would hate to be from a city with a 'scene', like, say Manchester or Sheffield. But part of me does yearn to be somewhere that people will just come along & check out a band they've never heard of. At times, in Leicester, getting a good crowd along can be like pulling teeth. I do think that there are some great venues emerging now though (like Firebug & Sumo) and there is a growing appetite for new bands.

Listen to three tracks by Tokyo Beatbox...

last updated: 03/07/07

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