buddadevadatta cvrBuddhaDevadatta - Buddhadatta (self releasd)

Picture it: Rundle Mall, Adelaide, the height of Festival and Fringe, and your scurrying obedient scribe is trying to hustle through the attention-getting non-event nonsense “street shows”, the magic acts, all treating us to the incredibly naff idea that “an event means LOUD IMPERATIVE music”, on my way to the bottleshop and thence to the bus to arrive at a nine-year-old’s netball final.

Out of nowhere appear three Japanese musicians, one with a basket on his head clutching a sort of semi-acoustic six-stringed thing, another bloke with a curly mohawk hunched over what looks to be a child’s drum kit, and a woman with long red dreads, wearing a beaming smile and holding a bright red, headless bass.

She's ripping out the most glorious, sometimes complex but addictive rhythms while the drummer gets one of the most Nuggets-ish sounds from his kit. The basket-head is the singer, and his voice is ... irradiating and its own croaking, droning dream. The songs are naturally in Japanese so I have no clue what they're on about.

And, judging by the sign at their feet, they are Buddhadatta, punk Buddhists. 

Look, take that whatever way you like. They're closer to the classic earlier punk than most bands - what sounds like a background in glam and early '70s rock-pop, shot through with a hefty dose of ‘70s/’80s bass-driven outfits.

In 2023, their sound is closer to pop than punk but frankly, I don't give a bazooka. I hurry in and grab a cheap bottle, get some change and shove it into Buddhadatta's carry case, and make off with a CD. 

I love the CD. 

But, no. I'm not going to review it in detail because, frankly, you must see this band while you can. Get the CD from them. Stuffed if I can find one online. Probably in Japanese! Or stream it via the link at rthe end of the review. Either way, get hold of these folks.

I asked the band's singer/guitarist, Mitsu, the chap who wears a basket, a few questions.

Mitsu: The origin of the band name is Buddha and Devadatta.  Buddhadadatta for short. Not a writer.  Buddha (Goudamas Siddhartha) was the first person to attain enlightenment.  Devadatta is a childhood friend of the Buddha who was jealous of the Buddha's superior abilities. 

Buddhism was transmitted as a study from India to China to Japan. Later, people who practiced learning appeared and were revered by people and became a religion.

I am studying Buddhism, but I am not a Japanese monk. A half monk is called a komuso.  Komuso wears a basket and blows a flute (shakuhachi).  That's me, Voglibonze. I have been going to venues since I was little because of my older sister's influence! In the 1980's. 

Punk rock and new wave were popular in Japan. It affected me a lot. I wanted to create a punk band like no other, so I created this style by mixing punk with Japanese Buddhism, Mongolian throat singing, and Indian tanpura machine. From 2017 to 2020, I came to Australia by myself to busk every year. 

Takami and Seiko resonated with my music and lifestyle. And Buddhadatta was born.  

Australian Tour
31- The Eastern, Ballarat (SOLD OUT)
1 - Trash Cult, Bendigo (afternoon and evening)
2 - The Gem Bar, Collingwood, VIC w/ Down Under
14 - Link and Pin (Woy Woy), w/ April with Restless Leg +  Zipper Clone
15 – The Townie, Newtown, NSW w/ The Whole Wide World


Steam the album


Buddhaddatta on YouTube