So there I was. Done and dusted. On my way back to London having played my final show of 4 months out in Europe. Germany Italy and France ventured and generally a feeling of gained when suddenly. Like a Colombo parting line 2018 asks me to do it one more time (play a gig that is).
So here is what I assume will be my final show of 2018. In the lovely town of Charlieu in France.
OK so this whole thing has come as a total shock. And over the days since the announcement of her passing I’ve forgotten and remembered time and time again. Truth is Chisuzu was the mother of the music venue Toppers but also of a significant branch of the music world in Chiba and beyond.
An accomplished Drummer and all round lover of music in all it’s forms Chisuzu and her Husband Naoshi worked hard and with great respect and patience for the local musicians in order to bring people together and create. I once went for a meal with them where I remember them talking with great passion about their love for the music of many British acts especially Roy Harper. It was clear to me that they had studied these artist with great detail and for them as husband and wife it had become a common bond.
For me personally meeting and working with both of them was a god send. I toured Japan 7 times playing concerts and it was really the selflessness of Chisuzu and Naoshi that helped to make it worthwhile. I felt they really respected me and that is SO so valuable when you are living a transient and often unsure existence.
Chisuzu often encouraged other local musicians to talk to me about collaboration. And this often manifested itself in Toppers and Anga where Chisuzu and Naoshi were consistent in organising events. Through Toppers I had the fortune of working with Bassist Steve Marcotte, Tenor Sax player – Graham Taylor, Sitar player – Shinya Sakura, Drummer – Michael Slaught, Guitarist – Tsutomu Miya and Keyboardist Fiji Hayashi.
Chisuzu remained one of the bright lights in what can feel like a dark and often indifferent world on the road. As I have been working on new material for some time now Chisuzu was one of those people that I was excited to be able to present my new work too as I feel she would always welcome new material and would match the excitement I would feel in presenting it.
As I type even this post it still doesn’t feel as though she has gone. My memories of her are so clear and not being in Japan to feel the difference in person can lead to a surreal sense of disconnect.
My thoughts go out to Naoshi and the family as well as the extended Toppers folk.
Rest in Peace Chisuzu. You will be greatly missed.
Haco is a composer, vocalist, electroacoustic performer, sound artist, and a founding member of After Dinner (1981-1991) and Hoahio. She has created numerous recordings both as a producer and engineer based in Kobe. In her live performances, she uses voice and self- programmed electronics as an organic method. With her “howling pot” performances, which make creative use of feedback, and “Stereo Bugscope,” which captured oscillating sounds emitted by the circuitry of an electronic device, she had developed a new genre of art.
Haco will be bringing new songs from her seventh album Qoosui (Someone Good/Room 40). She uses voice and self-programmed electronics as an ‘organic method’ in her performance, accompanied by video images shot and edited with Mariko Tajiri. Qoosui has won critical acclaim from music and art magazines and has been played on numerous radio programs in Europe, North and South America, Oceania, and Japan.
I have had the pleasure to work with Impact (based down in West London) for a number of years including many wonderful shows they have staged. The video below gives an example of where I was able to bring my knowledge of live looping into the world of visual technology which allowed the service users to create their own audio and visual experience.
But this week there will be a chance for me to venture to one of my favourite venues with a band that has come from working with these driven and talented individuals.
Over 2014 and 15 we put together a band called the ‘good ol boys’ as a part of a wild west set play we were working on. This grew into a band called ‘The Impact’. We went on to write and record our own album ‘In Our World’ which was released last year.
Since the release of the album the band have been keen to play more gigs and further a field. So I contacted my friends at the wonderful venue Club 85 and they have booked the band in for this Friday (2nd March -2018).
Entry will be £5 and the band will perform for 45 mins aswell as other acts.
Come down and support this great and unique project.
I am looking back over what has been a year of extreme turbulence on a personal level.
I will play what could be my final show tomorrow at my home venue Club 85 tomorrow and then return to the cave from whence I came.
Again I have had so much help and support from strangers and friends from the road.
I expect 2018 will be a year of 2 halves as I am planning to play very little for the 1st 6 months or so and then to get the ball rolling with more new material down the line.
As for new recordings I have not a sure fire perspective on when recording will begin. But I am very happy with the new songs I have been playing out over 2017 having added and dropped alot of material from the live set over the last 5 years.
A Brief update for now but hopefully more news will come through in good time.