It’s not often that you get two bands from the same small corner of Scotland appearing in Japan at the same time, but that’s what’s happening next week when Ayrshire bands Trashcan Sinatras and Biffy Clyro show up. Nothing but coincidence apparently, and in other respects the bands are quite different.
The Trashcans, with their literate, sophisticated adult pop are one of the “could-have-beens” of the 1980s and early ’90s, attracting big label attention for a few years, before being dropped because they didn’t fit easily into any marketing niches. Since then, the five-piece have been plowing their own furrow, developing their soulful songcraft slightly to the left of the limelight. Their 2008 album, “In the Music,” boasted Carly Simon on backing vocals, and shows the band at a comfortable period in their life, with soul and traditional Scottish musical influences in evidence. Japan has always been a friendly port in a stormy career, leading to frequent tours here. The band has also developed a healthy sideline writing music for Japanese artists to hang their lyrics on.
While the Trashcans are distinguished also-rans, rock trio Biffy Clyro is still very much in contention. Sometimes compared to Foo Fighters for the tight way they weld melody to a harder rock sound, the band, built around guitarist, lead vocalist and main songwriter Simon Neil, are characterized by a febrile flexibility that juggles bold tempo changes, gentle introspection and roaring guitar.
Last year’s studio album “Only Revolutions,” graced by several instantly memorable numbers, suggests that all the disparate ingredients that have always been in Biffy’s musical mix have finally jelled, promising great things ahead. For this reason, the two shows here seem like an attempt to touch base with Japanese fans as part of a greater worldwide strategy.
Trashcan Sinatras play Tokyo’s Club Quattro on March 1, 3 and 4. They play Osaka’s Club Quattro on March 2. Jangly J-poppers Sunny Day Service will join them on all dates except for March 3, which is billed as an accoustic show. For more information, visit trashcansinatras.com Biffy Clyro play Osaka’s Club Quattro on Feb. 28. The band play Daikanyama Unit in Tokyo on March 1. For more information, visit www.biffyclyro.com