Osaka Club Quattro

[b]Japan[/b]'s gloomy skies don't seem so grey anymore...

The Wannadies have an armoury of melodies fit to crack the dourest of faces. Their lineage might be drawn from the Pixies side of guitar bands but their musical interpretation is far more sunny and euphoric, whatever the lyrical bent.

Nevertheless, when The Wannadies convert a tight huddle of rainy-season refugees into a pogoing mass of adoring, pop junkies, it is splendid to behold.

At the front, Pdr Wiksten is more muppet than man with his oversized, clam-like mouth and that carpet flop of curls. He bounces and grins with all the dynamism of an insomniac energised by the Swedish sun.

When the mob shouts, "I love you," he responds with, "I love you more!" It sounds like a band has never been so happy to see an audience.

Riotous accolades for 'Might Be Stars', the chorus of 'You and Me Song', 'Hit' and other luminous favourites threaten to crack the floorboards. 'Big Fan' and 'String Song' from their last album 'Yeah' emerge grander on stage. And as a homage to a stylistic progenitor, their choice of The Go-Betweens' 'Lee Remick' is spot on.

The pace is rapid and the pop unceasing. The moment the alacrity does ease for 'Don't Like You (What The Hell Are We Supposed To Do)', Wiksten apologises but probably succeeds in preventing hyperventilation taking hold of the first six rows.

The Wannadies will never unsettle heads of government nor redefine a generation but they will obliterate the dark corners of bedrooms everywhere.

Tonight, nothing goes awry. Everyone is sparkling. The sweaty youths rub their faces where they ache from smiling. Japan's gloomy skies don't seem so grey anymore.

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