Monthly Archives: May 2013

Road trip

Road trip

The festival gig at Shimokitazawa Sound Cruising left us filled with confidence for the rest of the tour. Our next stop was at the venue Marz in Shinjuku, Tokyo where New Action had set up shop for the evening. We shared the stage with two awesome local bands, New House and Phono Tones, and good DJs and a VJ. In between sets, a group of friends served cheap japanese curry. The atmosphere was great! In addition, the sound crew was probably the most helpful we have ever had anywhere. With conditions like that, it was no wonder that we performed our best gig yet. The drummer of our new favourite band, Sawagi turned up with their manager. Great guys!

Three gigs down, four to go. Having done the Marz show, it was time to leave Tokyo for a road trip to Nagoya and Osaka, two of the largest cities in Japan. We left on Tuesday morning, driven by our label boss Fuji, a great host and a very funny guy. Arriving in Nagoya, we saw Japanese rain for the first time, and with the slight hangover from yesterday our mood started to sink a little. Thanks to Fujis awesome personality, however, the dip was very brief, and we were soon happy and ready to go on stage. The venue of the day, Partyz had a western comic book/hamburger theme, and was really cozy. Following advice from an american wine salesman we found our way to a macrobiotic restaurant for our first meal designed to be vegetarian. It was very unusual but also tasty! Again, we headlined the evening, following two local bands, Two Four and buburams. The show was record long by our standards, closing in on 60 minutes and it went surprisingly well. We ended the night with a great udon dinner (a thick, japanese noodle) with the other bands before heading to bed.

Marz Partyz

Leaving Nagoya in the morning, we were all feeling the effects of travelling and playing almost non-stop. Most of us were sleeping in the car and I had a very nice chat with Fuji in japanese. While I studied japanese for about a year, I have forgotten much of it due to lack of practice, so it was nice to be able to brush up my skills.

We arrived in Osaka on wednesday afternoon for a quick sound check at Club Vijon before heading out on the town. We had a very nice guide who showed us around the city, telling us about life in Osaka. At the end of the brief tour, we went to Tower Records, a large record shop to look at… ourselves. As soon as we entered the pop section, the sound system started playing our record. We were shown to a stand were our album was advertised and we signed some posters. A great ego-kick and a strange feeling at the same time. Preparing for the gig at Club Vijon was a hectic experience, with one of the lamps requiring repairing (read gaffer tape) while we were plugging in our instruments to get started. Further, the projector didn’t work until a minute before the start of the show. Hearts pounding faster than our songs, we pulled ourselves together and performed a great set! In Osaka, the atmosphere was a bit more relaxed than in Tokyo and we had a great party after the show, celebrating the birthday of a staff member and dancing to swedish 90s pop, like Wannadies, Cardigans and Popsicle, who are still surprisingly popular in Japan.  At 2 am, we left for Tokyo again, driving through the night.

Tower Records in OsakaSchool girls in Osaka

Konichiwa!

Theo Berndt - On tour

Konichiwa! The tour is on it´s fourth day and we are overwhelmed… The response, the nice people and this fantastic country is blowing us away! Here is a little recap from the last days…

The first thing that happened when we arrived at the airport was that Japanese national TV approached us and wanted to do an interview. We tried to answer as accurately we could despite the lack of sleep :)
We met up with the record company staff that took us to the district Shinjuku in Tokyo where we have stayed for the past few days.
After dropping of our luggage at the hotel we decided to walk around the streets, feel the atmosphere and try some cool Japanese food. (So far, it has proved difficult to find good vegetarian options for Oscar and Fredrik, but we hope that it will be better along the way.) Later in the evening we fell asleep after being awake for more than 24 hours.

The following day, it was already time for the first gig. The morning was spent by programming our new lamps that Fredrik built and to decide the setlist. At 14:00, we got picked up by a car that drove us to Yokohama which is located about an hour outside of Tokyo. A cozy area with many hills and narrow streets. After soundcheck we had some time to go around in the area and Masa (that’s been our tour manager for the first days) took us to a local restaurant that served us “” – traditional Japanese pancakes. Really good!

93c9fa70c56a11e287f422000a1f9afa_7The gig went great and the audience seemed thrilled. Afterwards we took a lot of pictures with our fans and stayed at the venue for the whole night. Great party!

Last nights show at the “Sound Cruising Festival” was slightly closer to our hotel. In the hip district of Shimokitazawa. Since it was a festival gig we had no time for soundcheck our preparations. But everything went well and the show became a success. The venue was packed and the response was awesome!
As we walked around the festival afterwards we encountered several people who had seen the show and wanted to take pictures with us. One girl even started crying when she met us. Surreal!

The evening ended with a magic show with when we watched the Japanese band “Sawagi”. Check them out here.

Today we had a day off and took the opportunity to sleep a little longer. Then we went out to see more of Tokyo. We had heard that it should be a nice park pretty close to where we live and decided to check it out. After about an hour walking among beautiful neighborhoods, we arrived and were greeted by a festival. As it was Sunday, the citizen of Tokyo was there having a good time. Everyone were doing some sort of activity. Spinning yo-yo’s, playing instruments or throwing frisbees. The atmosphere was really nice. We walked on through the park and into the city, amazed by all the peoplo filling the streets. After a bit of hassle with finding our way home via the subway, we are now at our hotel again and started to prepare for tomorrow’s gig.

Stay tuned!

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