Matilda isn’t waltzing. She’s sprinting toward me outside Shinsaibashi Station in Osaka with the speed of a Jamaican Olympian chewing cheetah gonads. A meter from me she screams “Simon!” and takes a flying leap, so I instinctively reach out and I’m holding this tiny 18-year-old in my arms like she’s a newborn baby.

Matilda’s band, Heisei Josei, are 1-year-old and are one of the most beautiful baby bands in Japan. The thing is, I hardly know Matilda. I’ve only met her once, last July, when I accidentally came across Heisei Josei (Heisei Girls) while waiting for a mate’s band to play at the Osaka live house Fandango. I was gobsmacked by superb melodies dancing on speedy lo-fi rock and the band enjoying unbuttoned revelry. Just imagine the legendary Shonen Knife recording in a toilet cubicle before that bands’ “balls” had dropped and you’ll get the picture.

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