I first found Simon Steadman when I learned one of my favorite musicians of the past 30-some years had helped to produce an album for a band called Steadman. I had to go give the group a listen, which was easy enough, since they have a very open share policy and plenty of free downloads. I was hooked. Despite the free music offers, or because of them, I had to buy their CDs.
Simon has moved on from Steadman and is now fronting, and writing for, a band called London To Tokyo. I followed along to check them out, despite that their name reflects not only Simon’s English heritage but also Japanese techno. I’m not a big fan of techno. To be honest, I try hard to avoid it. However, there are exceptions to every rule.
Some things are just better mixed: nationalities, dog breeds, novel genres, and music genres, to name a few.
What do you know? I’m hooked on their EP, techno included. London To Tokyo is a delightful mix of pop, rock, alternative, and techo. Their style varies even between songs and yet stays connected. With Simon writing the lyrics, it’s a given the songs will be upbeat and optimistic, meaningful, and searching all at once. I’m not a music expert enough to write a detailed technical review (despite having 3 guitars, a drum set, and a piano in the house and having dabbled with all 3 instruments), so this is from the POV of a music-obsessed fan.
I love great guitar technique. I love a trained and talented voice. I love lyrics that say something, and especially those that promote optimism. The drums have to add to the band, not be just a beat in the background. The music has to flow and mesh (no discordance, thank you). It has to make me want to keep listening without tiring of it.
London To Tokyo has all of that. They also have friendly, fan-appreciative members who take the time to interact. That’s always a huge plus. They come across as people you’d want to know as people, not only as musicians. For me, since I’m a people person and attitude matters greatly, that’s another huge plus. I’ve been known to refuse to listen to music or buy books from artists who don’t appeal to me as people. After all, it’s the humanity behind art that makes it what it is.
Don’t take my word, though. Find 6 full songs to check out on their website: www.londontotokyo.net and find their links to Facebook and Myspace. Friend them or Like them and download their EP free! Share it with friends (their request). And then come back here and let me know what you think.
Oh, and a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Simon! Go over to his Facebook page and tell him I sent you. ;-)