This weeks From the Vaults takes me back to a show in one of my favourite venues. Club 85 – Hitchin.
This was a song that didn’t see a release until 2012 but was performed for years before hand. I started to choose to put a loop jam in the middle of it. This show kinda went into a bit of psychedelic place and the Director of the video Mark Garvey took it there with the visuals too.
This once again resulted in us being able to join forces for a performance of `1-2-Seppuku`.
To say it was the perfect send off from the land of the rising sun would to be honest be a lie.
I was littered with technical issues and found it hard to relax.
Then to top it off this was a rare time in which a member of the audience was noticeably loud. She was gabbering away in Japanese ignorant or just choosing to ignore the fact this was a acoustic show with an otherwise very respectful and attentive audience.
I wanted to tell her to be quiet but did not want to destroy the atmosphere for the show for others.
Alas I think I made the wrong choice as the situation only ended up frustrating me further.
Still it was awesome to see and share the stage with NolenNiu-de-Ossi once more. A truly great undiscovered gem of a band.
During their set later in the night the same lady with her loud mouth proceeded to run it. I could see how much of a distraction this was being to Yasushi and Toruko from the stage.
I took great joy in telling her to shut the fuck up. I don`t think she fully understood me but she got the message from my tone of voice. It was great to see this bring a smile to NolenNiu-de-Ossi and they thanked my after 🙂
And from there that was it. Tour done and job done. From here I took the train back to Tokyo and got ready for my flight to the next destination.
Socrates is simply a crazy place. Always showing perverse and twistid visuals on it`s TV screen coupled with almost every band I`m lined up next being deep into the world of noise and experimentation.
This was my 2nd time frequenting this venue and was no different.
Sandwiched between Goth, improv, industrial and yep J-pop. I felt adiquatly out of place.
The set list reflected the randomness of the vibe with Electro dirge `As Stubborn as a Sandfly` kicking things off. Also later in the show `One Schizophrenic` made it`s debut live performance. To fill the gaps I was able to loop the cymbals and snare from the house drum kit.
It is rare that any songs from the `Scenic` album get any live air time due to the complex nature of the recordings.
Tom Waits once played here!!!! Tom Freaking Waits 🙂
This just shows the prestige and heritage to such a venue. Thought by many to be Japan`s First Live house it was a true pleasure to be involved in such a wonderful event and live space.
Also playing on the bill was the exceptionally talented Jon Levy. His fluid guitar skills and understated vocals warmed the audience with ease. A truly nice guy also and a pleasure to hang out with.
Next up was one of Kansai`s music legends. Kobe based Wataru `Wax` Minamide. Wax has years of experience touring to the far flung corners of Japan. He has toured the UK twice and tonight it was true pleasure to once again share a billing with him.
I can honestly say there is no way I could have seen my way through the Japanese circuit over the past couple of years without the help of Wax. A great musician and a great friend.
Ever since I first played here in 2009 I have always returned with every stop in Japan. It was even my home for a week as I slept on it`s hardened concrete ground to save funds whilst in town.
It was also during that time that I wrote the song `Varit` in the middle of the wee hours.
The night organised was a part of an event with a difference hatched by venue manager Wax. When he had toured the UK with his music he had seen how things were done in the UK and so decided to divert from the Japanese system and make the entry cheaper with the hope of encouraging folks to visit the venue and to make up the difference on drinks.
The quality fo the bands on the night was exceptional and I was drawn especially to the skills of Trumper player for a band called the Gypsies. Her name`s Mio and she was bold enough to join me for 2 songs during my set.
I opened the set with `My Pet Junkie` song `Breathing Without Living`. and managed to break a string almost instantly 😦 However the vibe was a true joy to be a part of and so the momentum was not lost whilst I chatted in broken Japanese/English and changed it.
All in all a great evening to be on the road. So pleased to be in the abyss during times like this 🙂