SAT. 15th SEPTEMBER 2007 : GREETINGS FROM JAPAN - A BIT OF A REPORT
Here we are again in Japan, and it's hot, it's seriously blinkin' hot. We flew out of Heathrow in the evening of the 13th, arriving in Osaka the following afternoon. It was so humid when we got outside the terminal at Kansai, it was a bit like breathing through a hot wet towel. Thanks to the heavens for air conditioning..
The trip into town from the airport should take about an hour or so, but the Osaka traffic doesn't get any better, so it took more like 90 mins. The Swissotel is truly massive, all 36 floors of it, with a huge lobby and then tiny bedrooms (how does that work?).
As is custom we had our meeting with our production team an hour after arriving, so everyone was feeling suitably vague after the flight and the time difference etc. Technical details discussed, it was off to dinner and the Osaka nightlife. I shall leave that there to protect the innocent and the not so.
The Osaka show day yesterday (Saturday) was once again all relentless heat and humidity, ideal for me and my voice. The Japanese crew were efficiency itself, and we had no problems with all the rented equipment. Today was a bit of a first in as much as we invited some competition winners via the promoter to attend the last 20 minutes of the soundcheck. It was strange for us to be running through the songs as we always do, but this time with 30 or so fans watching us do it. They clapped after one song, which makes sense of course, but nevertheless, felt a bit odd. We kept it as we always do it, complete with all the cock ups, rehearsals and aborted cover versions, said a quick hello to all and went backstage for the final preparations. Some told me after the show that they really enjoyed seeing us in that relaxed mode. Not sure it'll catch on..
The show was hot and sweaty, and the Osaka crowd was awesome. It flew by really quickly, so it was obviously very enjoyable. Luke had some problems with his guitar and radio system, so he seemed to be in and out of the show all night. It turned out to be a dry joint in the guitar, so it couldn't have been avoided, but I did feel sorry for him.
The aftershow was very nice as usual, with gifts and photographs etc, followed by a swift exit for much needed dinner. Everyone was starving, but luckily there was plenty of lovely Japanese food, in the noisiest restaurant I have ever been in. Ran into several fans in the street as we left the restaurant (how do they know where we are?), all were very excited and very nice.
Off to Tokyo tomorrow, the weather is rumoured to be rainy and cool, I'll believe that when I see it..
I'm off to per my eyebrows, more later..
SUN. 16th SEPTEMBER 2007 : JAPAN REPORT NO. 2
Hello again, me here, reporting from super hot Tokyo.
The weather people are obviously as rubbish here as the guys back in the UK, as they said it was going to be raining and cool. Instead we woke up to more heat and super stickiness. The lobby call time wasn't too early today so no one had any trouble reporting (unusual). The Shinkansen (bullet train) was super fast and super prompt as usual, and whisked us to Tokyo in what seemed like seconds. We went straight to Club Citta, our venue for today's show, where the equipment was ready for us to sound check. It's such a great club, everything is well designed, it's just, well... right.
We ran through some covers and some songs we haven't played for ages in the sound check, varying degrees of rustiness were evident here and there, but as is the way of things, the right songs for the set made themselves evident, and it all came right for the show, which was extremely hot and sweaty (again). The crowd was amazing (again), and possibly even more enthusiastic than Osaka (if that were possible).
Not much to report from the after show, save for the fact that it was very pleasant, with the fans being their usual excited selves. Dinner was Korean Barbeque in Kawasaki, in a lovely restaurant, with lovely staff, and of course lovely food. It's such a pleasure to be here again. Two shows down, one to go, it's all a bit of a whistle stop affair this time.
MON. 17th SEPTEMBER 2007 : JAPAN REPORT NO. 3
Yes it's been day 3 and the weather just got hotter and even stickier than the day ages ago when Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun..
Luke Ben and I had to report for promotion duty a full 90 minutes before everyone else, so we were in the venue by 12:30 lunchtime, doing a series of interviews with magazines and TV, followed by the usual lengthy list of IDs ("hello my name is Danny and you're listening to BUM FM etc"). It's nice to get so many people wanting to speak with us when we come to Japan, so despite feeling jetlagged/hung over, we were glad to be there.
The soundcheck was funny today. Once we'd run through the less familiar and the old, the Japanese soundcheck winners arrived and we were kind of stuck for things to do. Rather than go through songs we were going to play that night, and ruin the surprises, we went into an impromptu Bad Company's Greatest Hits session. It was fun to blast through some of the really old Bad Co tunes we haven't played for years. We even put one of them in for the encore...
The show was great, crowd amazing as for the previous two shows. Band had a few moments here and there with the unfamiliar, but it made for a certain degree of nervous excitement, and that usually results in us either being rubbish or truly fabulous. Hand on heart I'd have to say we had a little of both tonight, but I think only we noticed...
Dinner was at the famous restaurant that inspired the massive restaurant carve up in the first Kill Bill film. Fab!
Some fairly professional drinking followed, it being the last night of the trip and all that. I dare say there will be some fairly professional hangovering tomorrow also..