It seems the guide book was spot on. Fukuoakans *do* like to party. Again initial scepticism has turned into delight and joy.
On getting here we thought the place was potentially a bit grotty. Even once we got into the centre of town it just seemed a bit like.. well, like abbeycentre. But we turned a corner and suddenly it was the greatest city we`d ever been in. There`s an amazing building in the middle called ACROS Fukuoka which has many purposes (just by the entrance there`s a “cultural information lounge” and concert hall) but the excitement is to be had outside the building. Here it is. On the stepped part there are hundred of trees, right up to the top, and a waterfall. From the top you can see right across the city and it`s pretty breathtaking. Like everywhere else here it`s surrounded by proper actual mountains and seems to go on forever. I`d never heard of Fukuoka before I heard the AMC were playing a rockshow in it and still it`s far bigger and more exciting than belfast.
The venue, Fukuoka Rooms, was pretty much the coolest one yet (apart from its lacking a lift for carrying the gear up and down..). It was just a big, simple space with a decent bar, decent lights, decent seating and a great stage. Jonny`s guitars have been giving him a hard time of late so we took them to a guitar shop (called something like Super Rock Shop) and had them seen to before soundcheck. The sound was a bit weird but I played guitar for a bit and it was pretty much perfect after that.
We wandered about a good bit, taking photos in Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton (or whoever), Armani and Tiffany`s; and went to check out the Apple Store (which is due to have its ass rocked off later today which should be.. interesting).
Miaou played first and were followed by a pretty quirky twosome- a chap with a laptop making really great clicks and squeaks and a lady playing the piano. I must confess from the soundcheck (and from my description) it sounded utterly horrible but by the end of their set i was really enjoying them.
Thing were running a little late and t-amc ended up dropping Some Electric AGAIN (they haven`t played it since, what, Kyoto? I can hardly even remember Kyoto, damn it!) but went on to play one of the best sets i`ve ever seen, despite (or possibly because of) the, er, well, the beer. Even Alex drank beer, although he claims he didn`t swallow. (By the way, dear Jonny`s mum. Jonny does not have a tattoo really. At least not one i`ve seen. It was only a wee lie so he did not have to get nudey with other men.)
Really though. After the laptop man and his friend had packed up, it looked as if people were leaving. I figured folk were out to see them as they were local and the gig was put on by a local label / promoter. But once Tracer came on AGAIN the whole place magically filled out. And everyone seemed to know all the songs! Even the old ones which aren`t for sale in Japan (i`ve been looking in various record shops and nearly every one has had Islands, or a divider for it). It was crazy.
We keep noticing the ways in which the people or atmosphere are different in each city but one thing`s been pretty constant – the audiences have been really polite. Even when an encore was called for on the first two night, it was called for pretty civilly. But last night the people went beserk. They whooped and cheered every change in every song, before they happened. To me anyway t-amc are a totally different band when people are paying attention and enjoying it. That was pretty much the reason i came out here, and last night again my decision to plunge myself horribly into debt in order to watch the same band ten times was vindicated. The positive feedback from the audience (most of whom Jonny photographed on their way in for some reason) made for one of the best shows they`ve ever played, despite Keith`s, er, idiosyncratic drums here and there in Copnhagen. He was pretty lubricated though.. Again they were coaxed back out to play Nineteen and everyone was just slightly dazed. They even looked like rockstars last night – drinking beers on the stage, nodding to the crowd, and lit up all proper like.
Right that`s enough gushing. Safe to say you missed out though. Cannot wait for the Tokyo shows now. Expectations are pretty high but Toe might not make them look silly after all.
There was a theory that we`d brought “whoop!” to Japan. Noone “whooped” in toyko despite it being a great show (they enjoyed it, and called for an encore, but never “whooped”). So we made a concious decision to “whoop” Miaou (when they deserve it) and it seemed to catch on.
Keith designed a poster for last night after soundcheck and we went and got it photocopied a few times and stuck it up around and outside the venue. We coloured it in with marker pens and Miaou liked it so much we`re doing one for the first Tokyo show even though it`s sold out (yes, SOLD OUT!).
So it`s good here, is what i`m saying, basically.
After the show we went and partied in some bar / restaurant with Miaou for the first time. It was a lot of fun, we were in a were section where you sort of sat on the floor and there was some sort of trench for your feet. Lots of Japanese food and beer got brought to us and i was a figure of fun yet again. Something to do with beards. Pretty much any time any of us attempt to say anything in Japanese it has everyone in hysterics. We aim to please.