As I entered HiFi I was pleasantly surprised by the layout; the stage was off limits due to the DJ being at the centre of it, and this gave the night an even nicer feel than the weekly nights there. A bit before 1am, the man we were all waiting for came on wearing one of his typically vibrant shirts. One of the best things about seeing Soichi Terada live is you get to see how ecstatic he is performing, which really makes seeing him impossible not to enjoy. He opens his live set to rapturous cheering with ‘Saturday Loves Sunday’, the opening track on his album with a hip-hop beat that wouldn’t sound out of place on a retro Nintendo game. On the stage he’s having the time of his life, waving and clapping the audience when he’s not making the bleeps for his songs. Everyone inside the club is having a ball, and I can’t recall seeing a time when clubbers danced freer, or with more enthusiasm.
He works his way through the album, touching certain bits up to make them more club friendly, and every song gets a fantastic response from the audience. The songs he plays are great because his album is great; Japanese inspired house that you can’t not move your body to. The mood inside is pure elation, and the happiest person there is Mr Terada himself, almost spurring the crowd on with his infectious dancing and beaming smile. Surprisingly, despite the Far East Recordings record only bringing his sound to a western audience in 2015, all the songs played had been released by the early 90’s, which is a testament to their almost timeless nature. It makes sense, too, considering the huge influence the late 80’s/early 90’s deep house revolution in America clearly had on the album. He plays his electric organ over house beats, which gives the music an authentic, organic feel. Towards the end he stands up on a speaker next to the table and starts doing karaoke, which makes the audience go wild. I pause to watch him for a moment, this is much more like a gig than a club night.
After singing, he mimes the female singing in another of his songs with some paper, and proceeds to throw the paper into the audience. Everyone screams ‘SOICHI’, and he politely bows, which only encourages more screaming. When he finishes, members of the crowd run on the stage to take photos with him. Eventually everyone gets kicked off, but he stays for a good 20 minutes getting selfies with all those who want them. And he thanked everyone. One thing I cannot put into words is just how grateful he was. I have never seen anything like it, at a gig or club night. It was so unusual, but so much fun. And I think so is Soichi Terada.