Brit rockers The Amazons have come a long way since handing out CDs they had made of their own songs at tiny venues in their hometown of Reading, England.
All the way to the Far East, in fact, for their first headline tour of South Korea and Japan that hit full swing on Monday at Club Quattro in Tokyo.
The four-piece, spearheaded by flame-haired frontman Matt Thomson, rocked several hundred Japanese fans that turned out for Monday's show in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, despite appalling weather.
Thomson, guitarist Chris Alderton, bassist Elliot Briggs and drummer Joe Emmett stormed straight into opener "Stay With Me" and followed up with hit single "Ultraviolet," one of the show's many highlights.
Extending their songs with lengthy intros and outros, a cover of T. Rex's song "20th Century Boy" got an airing during "Little Something" and the mostly blistering pace of a riff-heavy set did not let up until piano ballad "Palace" in the middle of their encore.
The Amazons' eponymous debut album released last year reached No. 8 in the UK charts. Japan was second on the list in terms of worldwide sales, a fact that pleases but still bewilders the band.
"That is what actually is quite exciting. If we had the answer (for why they have sold so well in Japan) it's a lot less interesting isn't it," says Thomson.
"Especially being like 5,000 miles away from home. We have been to Tokyo before, last year (after a slot at the Fuji Rock Festival at Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture), but it was very brief. It was only eight hours at a bar, then at McDonald's and then bed for two hours."
"(This time) we have had time to walk around Tokyo and my eyes are already the size of planets just looking around."
"There is so much mystery because we don't know anything about the country really. It's a first experience for us and it's almost better that we have no idea why they like us."
Perhaps due to a perceived language barrier, Thomson did not engage in much banter with the fans between songs, but he did let them know how much they enjoyed being here.
"We love coming to this country and can't wait to come back," he said before starting to play Palace.
The feeling was mutual as the crowd responded with raucous cheering that peaked when the band closed the set with fan favorite "Junk Food Forever."