Band Blog

Japan Tour Managers Blog – Part 4

Soundcheck in Kobe


Racked Out!

After piling on to the Shinkansen at Osaka we were at Okayama incredibly quickly – but by this time we had got the train exit strategy down pat. I am sure one of these days we will turn round and realise we have left some vital equipment on a bullet train that is heading out of the station but touch wood it hasn’t yet. In fact, like an idiot, I left my Blackberry on the train which terminated in Tokyo at the end of the tour. The train cleaners – legions of small women clad in pink who I have been rather rudely referring to as “Oompa Loompas” – luckily found it and it was returned to me minutes later with Nori’s help. No further Wonka-related jibes from me I think.

Anyway, the guys from support band Comatose met us off the train and helped with the gear, and we walked to the nearby Tower Records for an instore, which was great. Not many people seemed to have seen the video for “Can’t Kick The Habit” which is a bit frustrating as it was a major effort pulling it all together. After the instore, we split into 2 groups – Meat, and Veggie – and went off in search of lunch. As I am a fully developed carnivore, I took command of the Meat team as Yo and the Comatose boys seemed to have lost all track of time and we were in danger of missing soundcheck. We ended up ina 20th Floor Chinese buffet with great views across Okayama to the Asahi river and mountains beyond. It’s a big industrial city with around 2.5 million people there, and home to some great fans of the band.

Soundcheck passed off smoothly – Desperado is a great club with a big stage and good PA – and we then killed a couple of hours hunting down some espresso before getting back to the club to watch Comatose’s set. This band supported us in 2007 at Image in Okayama and were good but a little rough around the edges. They have a new bass player and they have really come a long way – they were absolutely great. I predict big things for them. Good songs, great vocals from Yo – in fact all the guys played brilliantly. Many beers were had afterwards.

For me, this was the “gig of the tour”. Farrah played brilliantly and the crowd were fantastic, bopping around and singing along. It was non-stop energy including a version of “Tongue Tied” so fast that it was almost speed metal – overall, it’s one of the best Farrah shows I’ve ever seen. There are reports that I was seen pogoing briefly, which may explain the small tsunami near Okinawa later that evening. Afterwards we headed off – together with all the bands who had played and the wonderful girls who had been selling merchandise on the night – to a restaurant very near the hotel where I had some amazing Buta No Kakuni – simmered pork, and fried chicken, before calling it a night. Thanks Okayama and particularly to the Comatose boys for a brilliant night – we will be back.