Alex’s Tour Update 2

[writing post soundcheck in Osaka Rain Dogs]

So as attempts to play Catherine Holly in soundcheck fail miserably, mostly on my part, we abandon plans of playing it anytime soon. The show in Nagoya was opened by PsysEx who plays wonderful glitchy electronica with minimal visuals and it’s all pretty great. For the first time on the tour we are playing before Miaou. The set goes well. I say some things on stage. People laugh as intended. We talk to some people after who were pretty pleased to see us play.

Miaou headline for the first time and play really well. After we head out for food in a Jazz cafe where there is much laughter before driving to the Osaka Plaza Hotel… I’ll not explain the next bit but I felt really awkward about lots of things; some of us have little sleep and we all feel suitably awkward the next day.

The drive to Rain Dogs is short. I travel in the car with Jonny for the first time… and spend much of the drive playing DS with Yoichiro. Jonny, Miaou and I head out to a traditional Japanese restaurant for food… Keith and Michael are making their own way to soundcheck. Keith arrives on time… Michael gets lost for 2 hours in a rainy Osaka. Miaou soundcheck. The venue has two levels; we are playing on the floor with people looking down on us from above. We are essentially playing off amps with just a little PA to pad the room out and the sound is really great… Michael eventually arrives wet and tired… after soundcheck Jonny and I go wandering in Osaka and buy an extension cable as we need to borrow one every evening. We find a bakery and buy lots of nice bread and quiche. On the way back to the venue we bump into Keith and his friend Misa. I suggest we head into the arcades and have our pictures taken in a photo booth. So much fun! The sad faces in the first photo are because we lost the best picture ever when the machine crashed… Jonny Rambo! Anyway, just look at the pictures.

[At this point the first band take the stage and I go to watch]
[Back again to this post. It’s now 12.30 am and we are driving to Tokushima after stopping for food just across the big bridge we crossed to get onto the island.]

The gig tonight was a lot of fun. The band that opened played lovely melancholic music on electric piano and accordion. Yasushi Yoshida followed and played a wonderful set. I’m poor at describing music though so I’ll not try. It was slow instrumental post rock… Niall bought both the cds. Miaou played next and were a lot more energetic than they have been on previous nights. Yoichiro’s guitar sounded really fantastic through the Ampeg amp he was using this evening. We follow, a little behind schedule, with a shorter set that previous nights. Some Electric is dropped in favour of extending the end of ‘Snow’ a little. It works. ぼちぼち gets a few laughs again… I dunno what to say tomorrow night.

By the time we come to load the vehicles for the drive to Tokushima, the weather is really pissing down. I load the gear in a t-shirt much to everyones amusement. Once it’s finished I swap my to for my (still dry) jumper. We say goodbye to Misa and her friend and Niall and Annette head off in the direction of their hotel in Osaka. We jump in the vehicles and start driving.

I’m now back to where I was when I started writing this post. Tokushima is a little closer, Michael, Hiromi and Mayumi are asleep and Tatsuki is doing a great job driving us to bed in the rain.

We have loads more photos that we need to get up on Flickr, hopefully, internet connection permitting, I will do this soon. In the meantime, I’m off to sort through the photos.


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