Paper Knife: title unknown (1996?)

 |   |  1 min read

Paper Knife: title unknown (1996?)

At some time in the mid Nineties while in Tokyo I ambled through Yoyogi Park where the Fifites rock'n'roll stylists slick back their hair and dance to old Elvis, and girls and boys alike dress like manga-mad characters.

It is a vibrant and slightly circus-like atmosphere -- and that was where I saw Paper Knife, two young and slightly uncomfortable guys with guitars and a beat box of drum samples.

To the almost complete indifference of everyone -- they were up against girls dressed like psychedelic cats (with whiskers) and boys who looked like they'd caught the Bay City Rollers bus back from Mars -- they played their sweet, short and rather divine Bacharach-Beatles, sometimes samba-influenced, pop.

I was entranced and afterwards bought all three of their cassettes, each of which came in handmade cartoon covers with cute drawings and what I guess were lyrics.

Near my desk I keep a photo of a couple I saw in the vilage of Hoi An in Vietnam in '97. She sang with a passion into a handheld microphone and lead her blind brother (playing a battered electric guitar) around by a lead. They were very poor and made the most achingly beautiful music.

I keep their photo close because it reminds me -- as do Paper Knife -- that sometimes, very often in fact, the best music catches you off-guard and comes from people who have never, and may never, see the inside of a record company or something called a contract.

They just make music. 

For more one-offs, oddities and songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Push Push: Do Ya Love Me? (1991)

Push Push: Do Ya Love Me? (1991)

Much loved for their confident rock-star swagger, astonishing vocals by frontman Mikey Havoc, guitarist Silver's good looks and their Kiwi classic single Trippin', Auckland band Push Push were the... > Read more

Grady Martin and the Slew Foot Five: Bimbo (1954)

Grady Martin and the Slew Foot Five: Bimbo (1954)

Having your own website like this is to some extent a vanity project. And it also allows for some personal indulgences, like posting this throwaway by the great Grady Martin. People of certain... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER CHRIS CREE BROWN settles in for an afternoon of unfamiliar piano pieces

GUEST WRITER CHRIS CREE BROWN settles in for an afternoon of unfamiliar piano pieces

Sunday afternoon. And the prospect of reviewing four new CDs comprising of piano music by Saint-Saens and three other less familiar composers. An exciting prospect, but tempered by the thought... > Read more

Big Daddy Wilson: Thumb a Ride (Ruf)

Big Daddy Wilson: Thumb a Ride (Ruf)

This big bluesman with a sometimes gentle and soulful voice has appeared at Elsewhere previously with his fine Love is the Key which featured Eric Bibb, a singer he is close in spirit to.... > Read more