By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul
Rocking Osaka girl group Scandal burn down BCC Hall to close out tour
THREE YEARS on from their first appearance in Thailand, Japanese all-female rock band Scandal still packed a punch when they closed out their “Yellow Tour” at Central Lat Phrao’s BCC Hall last Saturday.
The mostly male audience couldn’t seem to get enough of singer-guitarists Haruna Ono and Mami Sasazaki, bassist-lead singer Tomomi Ogawa and drummer-keyboardist Rina Suzuki.
The set got off to a roaring start with the energetic garage-rock instrumental “Room No 7”, which opens the Osaka band’s latest album, also titled “Yellow”.
“Stamp!” was another immediate winner with its rocking rhythm carrying Haruna’s mellow vocals. Then it was back to the pre-label beginning of their career for “Space Ranger” and “Kagerou”, both of which topped the indie charts.
“Hello Thailand, we are Scandal!” Haruna shouted as they paused for breath. “We are very happy to be here again!”
The second barrage also came from the new album, including the party anthem “Sunday Drive”, more garage rock on “Konya wa Pizza Party”, with Tomomi showing off her pipes, and the aggressive “Heaven na Kibun” and “Suki-Suki”. The slightly more subdued “Love Me Do” and “Chiisana Honou” followed.
Haruna and Mami next battled through a screeching guitar duel on “Take Me Out”, a single due out in Japan on July 27, and then came “Image” from the album “Hello World”, with its catchy chorus and punk riffs, and more party vibes on “Sister”.
“Scandal Baby”, one of the hit tracks from the first album “Best Scandal”, ended with Haruna attempting a little Thai. “We love you all very much!” she said, before the band launched into “Departure”, which opens with music-box chimes and had the crowd waving phones with screens showing the “Yellow” cover.
The encore comprised an English version of “Your Song” and “Taiyo Scandalous”, both of them well worth dancing along to.
The day before the show the ladies fielded a few questions at a press conference. Asked how they’d be preparing for the concert, Rina revealed that they’d be having a massage. “Before we came here we talked about finding a chance to try a Thai massage.”
And, yes, they were asked to name their favourite Thai dishes. “Tom yum kung and phad thai,” Mami dutifully answered. “Green curry,” Tomomi recommended.
Rina mentioned that the band will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with a show in Osaka in August. How have they lasted so long? “I think it’s because we’re all such close friends and we respect each other,” she said.
Encouraged to lend some advice to fans who have ambitious dreams of their own, Haruna said she’d dreamed of being a musician ever since she was little. “Of course we all encounter obstacles, but you should never give up.”