Release Date: Sep 12, 2018
The Lagerphones are back in town! Ahead of their tour, we catch up with the 6 members to hear about 6 coffee establishments they’ll be playing at. Coffee Kanpai!
September 14 (Fri), 18:00
As the oldest member of The Lagerphones (the other members remind me occasionally), I’ve stayed in my fair share of hostels and I’d say that most of those stays have been extremely underwhelming. Citan (and it’s sister hostel Nui) however, are something completely different. They’re not just the nicest hostels I’ve ever stayed in, they’re right up there with the best accommodation of any kind. The staff there are absolute legends, the beds are comfortable, showers are great – everything you could want for a stay whilst exploring Tokyo.
Added to all of this though is the fact that they also have coffee by one of Tokyo’s best coffee roasters – Onibus Coffee. We stayed at Citan our entire trip the last time we were in Tokyo and getting up every morning (sometimes it was no longer morning when we got up) and having an amazing espresso and a delicious pastry was incredible. We’re kicking off our tour this year at Citan and we all know it’s going to be a huge party like it always is when we’re there. So if you want a great place to stay, or a cool place to have a drink, or if you just want a really darn fine cup of coffee, come and hang out with us at Citan where you can do all three. -Jon Hunt, clarinet
DAVIDE COFFEE STOP, IRIYA
September 16 (Sun), 18:30
If there is an award for Coolest Guy In The World I am nominating Davide. Café décor on the whole these days seems to be more toward the minimal end – whitewashed and sleek with the occasional mini terrarium. Davide Coffee Stop offers a beautiful contrast to this trend with vinyl records, musical instruments and playful artefacts spilling out everywhere among the colourful interior. The place feels as though the owner has travelled the world, the planet around us and the cosmos within us (which Davide certainly has) and invites us, somehow, to do the same. Davide Coffee Stop is a warm and peaceful, easy-going and joyful place….and we haven’t even talked coffee yet.
Effortlessly brewing a perfect espresso every time, whether you’re a milk, fake-milk or straight up coffee drinker, Davide delivers coffee that bites, flavours so rich they almost sting the sleepy palate. Also on offer are simple, filling meals along with classic sweet pastries, that make this Stop the only one you’ll need for sustenance. Maybe I just like it because The Lagerphones have played great fun shows there, or because it reminds me of my favourite Melbourne café (the now sadly closed La Paloma) but I doubt it – I think it has more to do with great company, great coffee and a great vibe every time. -Nick Martyn, Drums
September 19 (Wed), 18:00
Senkiya is a tranquil place that I have fond memories of. We played there last year to an intimate audience, including some “mecha kawai” kids. In the middle of our first set, we played ‘Watashi wa genki’ and one of the kids came out the front and shouted the words as loud as he could for the whole song, it was amazing!
The coffee roster was right next to where we played, the smell of it wafted in while we were on stage. The temptation was too much and I had one, and it was oishi! There was something quite magic about the atmosphere there. Lots of greenery, beautiful decor and a great community of people all helping eachother out. Senkiya is a very special place, I highly recomend a visit! -Ben Harrison, Vocals/Trumper
LITTLE NAP COFFEE ROASTERS, YOYOGI UEHARA
September 20 (Thu), 18:00
Little Nap Coffee Roasters is a slick, multi-storey coffee shop – roaster and cafe space on the first floor, record shop and kitchen on the second floor, and intimate live event space on the third floor. We love every floor. You may have heard of their offshoot coffee stand “Little Nap Coffee Stand”, located just next to Yoyogi park, that is known for busting out an incredible amount of high end coffees to the locals.
As you walk into the beautiful space which is Little Nap Coffee Roasters, you’ll most likely detect the unique and enticing smell of freshly roasted coffee (we can’t wait to see the new roaster!) and you’ll be greeted by one of the many kind staff members. Hamada-san (owner, and great friend of The Lagerphones) plays the perfect music for coffee time. We look forward to be back playing there again! -Marty Holoubek, Bass
COFFEE LAWN, YOTSUYA
September 28 (Fri), 19:00
Coffee Lawn is an architectural gem decorated stylishly in bright red and brown. There is a steep spiral staircase to the second floor with more seating amenities from which you can admire the room below. It is close to the leafy green Yotsuya station, not far from the main Shinjuku lines. I always wanted to explore Yotsuya, having always admired an Aaron Choulai composition named after it on his trio album Ranu.
The Lagerphones have played a couple of very special gigs there and made wonderful friends among audience members and staff. Last time we had the inimitable Arai Youko (Chatei Hatou staff member, fellow coffee lover) play with us, as well as an elderly man who sang Chinese poetry so profoundly, and one of the staff members, who memorably sang ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ with us and inflamed everybody’s hearts nearby. We are always looked after so well by Machiko-san, the daughter of owner, Hiroaki Ogura. Machiko-san is an amazing cook, and a wonderful person to have in the extended Lagerphones family. I always ask to play there each year because it has such a nice atmosphere and because of the people there, and, of course, for their delicious coffee and their unique take on the tamago-sando. -James Macaulay, Trombone
TOKYO COFFEE FESTIVAL, AOYAMA
September 29+30, 11:45AM
The Tokyo Coffee Festival sprawls out in front of you as you enter the United Nations University, bustling and bright with the sunlight streaming off the mirrored windows of the university. With your coffee tokens in hand you can sample beans from countless stalls, with coffee of all varieties, smells and origins, often accompanied with some kind of delicious bit of something to eat. I can’t imagine how people can drink that much coffee without having a heart attack but I’m a bit out of practice; there’s no sign of mania anywhere.
We’ve had the pleasure of playing at the festival the last two years and have found the audiences and atmosphere to be fantastic, and have sent many festivalgoers home with our CD’s and fliers. We’ve always had the pleasure of eating a delicious lunch from one of the many food vendors and there’s beer available if you need something to take the edge of all the coffee… Not to mention all of the fabulously dressed locals, often resplendent with their dogs, often dressed up as well! See you there this year! -Louis King, Banjo
Visit the Facebook event page for The Lagerphones 2018 tour details
Text by Vaughan (@vja)
Photography by Seiko Ishikawa and Karen Hosaka