Sans Filtre

Sans Filtre Sans Filtre - Masaaki Sakai

Sans Filtre is the band fronted by Masaaki Sakai, and featuring 2 other band members from the 1960s band, The Spiders.

Sans Filtre concert in London

Unfortunately, contrary to the information posted here a while ago, it's now looking increasingly unlikely that Sans Filtre will play a concert in London. All the planning has gone very quiet, and as much as I would like it to take place, there's no indications that it will.
Of course, if things change, I'll post the information here. So just to stay informed of any change, I'd still recommend registering your email address in the ChangeDetection box at the bottom of the page, and you'll be automatically notified when there's any change to this page.


Masaaki Sakai is still popular as a singer. In late 1999, Masaaki Sakai formed a new group "Sans Filtre" ("tobacco with no filter" in French) with Hiroshi Kamayatsu (also known as Monsieur Kamayatsu - still working as a musician) and Takayuki Inoue (now a famous film composer - he composed the music for an epic cop series called "Taiyo-ni Hoero", Barking at the Sun" - every Japanese knows the series and the music), who both used to be members of The Spiders in the 1960s along with Masaaki Sakai. The Spiders were a Japanese rock group influenced by British beat bands like the Beatles.

Sans Filtre was on Kohaku Utagassen on 31 December 1999. They did very well by being selected for this programme (it's like the Grammy Awards in Japan), because Sans Filtre had only been formed a few months and they didn't even have any of their own songs. In their first live appearance in November 1999, they only played revival songs and covers of non-Japanese songs, but they had a very successful performance, and after they were selected to Kohaku Utagassen, they made CD of original new songs. This programme was shown by TV stations in Los Angeles and afterwards, the viewers in Los Angeles indicated that Sans Filtre was the most popular artist in this programme.

Sans Filtre released their first CD "Yei Yei" on 23 February 2000. For more information, see the discography information for Sans Filtre on the Monkey Cast - Masaaki Sakai web page.

His new band, Sans Filtre, did a live performance in Tokyo on 9 June 2000. This was be their 3rd live performance. In addition to all the Spiders fans, a lot of young people like them.
Here's some information from someone who went to Sans Filtre's Tokyo concert on Friday 9 June:
"The stage was fab and exciting. They did many R&R and R&B covers . It was close to their '60s live. So the stage is attractive.
Sakai-san is a real comical charactor, he talked about there being many fans of Monkey in the UK, and joked that Shiro Kishibe was described as being a ping pong player. All the audience laughed - He's never been a ping pong player. And Sakai-san said "We want to have live in London!".
At the show Sakai san talked to the audience that "Now there are many fans of Monkey in UK, and some of them have web pages about the show".
Sans Filtre's original songs are new ones, not songs by The Spiders, but they are very close to The Spiders originals. Actually the lyrics were patch works of old songs. They said that now they are not part of The Spiders at all, so they don't play any of The Spiders' original songs. But when they perform in the UK they will play some Spiders originals for UK fans. Japanese fans (including me) envy it!
I'll write about the lyrics of Sans Filtre later, but actually it has no serious meaning . Just a good groove.

Monsieur Kamayatsu's hair is really a wig! He's famous for taking his t-shirt and wig off on stage!
In the photo of Sans Filtre on the ARTISTdirect Network web site, Monsieur Kamayatsu is the guy at the front of the photo with the big hair...

On 24 February 2001, Sans Filtre appeared in a live talk at a club in Tokyo, where they talked about The Spiders etc.

In March and April 2001, Sans Filtre toured Japan.
They played Tokyo on 3 March 2001, Nagoya on 24 March 2001, and Osaka on 1 April 2001.

Sans Filtre's Tokyo concert: 3 March 2001

On Saturday 3 March 2001, Julia Drake-Brockman went to the Sans Filtre concert in Tokyo.

Here's Julia's account of the concert:
"The concert was hilarious. Masaaki is a real entertainer. He spent half the 3-hour show (5pm-8pm Aoyama Theatre) talking! I was sitting there thinking 'glad I understand Japanese...'

I'll try and recall what happened...

The band was quite big...about 10 people I think...there was a small brass section - some wild guys on trumpet, trombone and sax - and drums, keyboard and bass. The other two guys in Sans Filtre, Monsieur Kamayatsu and Inoue Jun are really quite talented. Inoue is a great guitarist and Kamayatsu, also on the guitar wasn't bad either. Masaaki sang and played the tambourine!

They wore wild outfits. Masaaki was dressed in an Oxford Uni graduation uniform (or so he said). White shoes, white pants, blue and white pinstripe shirt, white vest and a blue blazer with white piping. Does this sound like an Oxford uniform? M. Kamayatsu was dressed in a checked suit planted firmly in punk era with knee-high black leather boots..and an inexcusably bad haircut (Howell now tells me it's a wig...I had no idea!) I couldn't stop laughing at it. Masaaki kept harassing him saying he looked like the one of the old guys from the Bay City Rollers. Inoue was also in check..with black leather pants...a little more subdued...

Started off singing several English songs...I can remember Stand By Me, Route 66, Soul Man..the rest escape me at the moment...Stand By Me was amusing, Inoue was singing but half way through he forgot the Masaaki joined in. At the end of the song, Masaaki had a go at him for about 10 which Inoue answered 'it doesn't matter, they can't understand anyway'...I was almost going to yell out 'I do!'...

They chatted a lot about days in The Spiders, and what each of them had been doing since then. Sang a few Spiders songs (not sure of the titles, sorry!), with Masaaki making us promise that we wouldn't tell anyone outside the theatre. They also all sang songs from their solo days, Masaaki singing Saraba Koibito, once again saying 'OK, now you REALLY can't tell anyone that I sang this - tell them about us singing Spiders' songs if you have to, but not this!! - we are a rock band and Saraba Koibito is unmistakably a ballad'. M. Kamayatsu sang a really beautiful folk song and Inoue impressed us with his guitar solo...

He talked a bit about the tour (which he called the 'World Tour in Japan' - I think perhaps I was the only one who got the joke)...going to Osaka, Nagoya and back to Tokyo on March 20. Told us why the show started at 5pm. First he said that it was because they are all old men now (especially M. Kamayatsu) and need their rest. Then he told us that the real reason was because he didn't want people to have to make the decision of whether they have dinner before or after the show. If it started at 7.30 people would have difficulty deciding, he claimed.

Actually, I was surprised to note that there were quite a few younger people there...but I think that had more to do with the fact that Masaaki is a famous comedian rather than his musical skills...

There was a singing comp...people from the audience had to go on stage and sand the chorus of 'Soul Man'....that was really hilarious (albeit a little difficult to listen to)!

One of the most memorable parts was at the end when a crazed fan (boy in his early 20s, I guess) ran up onto the stage to sing with Masaaki. They let him stay up there for a while, but he was getting a bit aggressive (throwing his arms around Masaaki's shoulders and attempting to grab the mic) so one of the stagehands finally led him away. Masaaki handled it pretty well...he made the funniest comment..'Well, what an eventful show! Sometimes I was glad, sometimes I was sad, and just then I was scared! Who would've thought that people like that would be hanging around this part of town (Aoyama is one of the most expensive parts of Tokyo - if not the most) really have to be careful at night! Please take care when you leave the theatre!'

It was a really good night. Kept me smiling for days. Still smiling now!

As for photos, no! I didn't take any b/c it wasn't allowed!!

And as for meeting Masaaki, no! I didn't get to. Everything was so crazy. For some reason I think I'll have the opportunity one day - a lot of my friends here work in the industry and work with him a you never know!"

Sans Filtre on British TV on Friday 7 September 2001!

At 10.00pm, on Friday 7 September 2001, a one-off special of Eurotrash called "Eurotrash Goes Bananas" was shown on Channel 4. This show was entirely devoted to monkeys (this was originally going to be part of a Channel 4 themed evening to coincide with the release of Planet of The Apes), and was due to be watched by an estimated 4 million people. For this show, they were looking for all things monkey...songs, films, dancers, obsessives etc. Who better to have on than Monkey himself!!

This show featured some clips from Monkey (including a clip from episode 8, "Pigsy Woos A Widow" where Monkey has reverted back to primitive ape form and is jumping around in a cage being taunted by villagers - check out his furry hands!)....

But, the BIG NEWS was that this show included a clip of Masaaki Sakai in concert with his band Sans Filtre, performing "Long Tall Sally"! The show said that he's become "The Japanese equivalent of Jimmy Nail"!?!? They also suggested that Monsieur Kamayatsu's hair resembles Sandy's hair.

If you have any information about Sans Filtre, please let me know using the Monkey Feedback page, and I'll put the information here.

Related web sites:

  • Sans Filtre (English) (Japanese page no longer exists) - The official Sans Filtre web site - you'll find all the latest news on Sans Filtre here.
  • Monkey Cast - Masaaki Sakai - Masaaki Sakai biography.
  • Area SANS FILTRE・スパイダース - Collection of links to Sans Filtre web sites.
  • Sans Filtre 000128 - this Japanese page looks like it's a review / report of a Sans Filtre concert on 28 January 2000, but as I don't read Japanese, I don't understand it. If you can translate the Sans Filtre information into Japanese, please contact me using the Monkey Feedback page.
  • Sans Filtre on ARTISTdirect Network - More information about Sans Filtre.

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