Video of band performing on a train goes viral, prompts debate on public performances.

Taking the last train of an evening, before the trains stop for the night, is an absolutely necessary Japanese experience, a chance to see all walks of Japanese life, with some of them sleeping standing up. Hardened, and probably exhausted, last-train commuters are used to seeing fellow passengers who are more than a little worse-for-wear for alcohol, or strange men in neon costumes, or other odd scenes, so when a brass band started blasting out music on a train on the Keihin-Tohoku line outside of Tokyo last week, fellow passengers didn’t bat an eyelid. A group of trombonists hailing from Hannover, in Germany, who were touring Japan, held an impromptu performance on a late-night train near Tokyo, and were caught on camera by Twitter user @AyaGuchi98.

Those riding in the same carriage as the Trombone Unit, as the band are called, didn’t seem at all phased by the gig going on in their midst. The distinct lack of interest on the faces on those around the band had other Twitter users laughing.

While most respondents praised the band’s trombone skills, some weren’t so sure that passengers would appreciate the parp of a trombone in their face as they make their way home after a long day.

“The passengers around them not moving is hilarious!”
“Did they get the venue wrong or something?”
“It looks like they’re just annoying people.”
“That’s pretty loud.”
“It looks like the kind of cool thing that happens on the subway in the U.S., I wish I’d been there!”
“There are probably some people who don’t like that kind of thing, but I do.”
“The sound’s really good, but wouldn’t it just be a nuisance?”
“Isn’t that the end of the carriage where the priority seats are?”
“Why are people complaining? That’s so cool. What a dull country this is!”
“At least they’re not asking for tips, like buskers in Europe do.”
“It’s alright if they got permission, but…”

The video of the performance, and the accompanying debate, even made it onto Japanese news, in a segment titled “Train Interior Performances – Fun? Nuisance?”.

What’s your take? Harmless fun, or public nuisance? Whether you appreciate their music or not, if the worst thing that happens to you on your train journey is being forced to listen to a live performance by professionals, then you’re still doing better than some other travellers with horror stories to tell.

Source: Twitter/TromboneUnit via Hachimakiko
Featured image: Twitter/@AyaGuchi98