Takuji Aoyagi is a misleadingly simple guitarist. He purposely writes melodies with lots of repetitive noes and phrases, and while he sings in a pleasant tenor and knows how to rock out and even get funky, his trio, Little Creatures, do very little of what you would call sololing, though, in principle, they’re an instrumental band. Deceptively skilled musicians, they build on these repetitive patterns to create moods that they then manipulate at will.
Under an occasionally blazing sun, they cut a striking figure on the Field of Heaven stage, and while no one really danced, the solid rhythms of bassist Masato Suzuki and drummer Tsutomu Kurihara worked their magic on Aoyagi’s patterns. Sometimes, when they hit a climax the crowd would gasp. Not exactly jamming, Little Creatures nevertheless kept us guessing, and always seemed to have the right answer in the end. (text: Philip Brasor; photos: Mark Thompson)