The district where the Thumbs Up club sits in Yokohama is a crazy kind of entertainment area with lots of shops and restaurants and places of carnal delights for both men and women. We’re here to play though. Thumbs Up is one of the more popular clubs for foreign musicians’ cuz’ most times a foreign group tours, they come to this club. I’ve played here several times with Bluestone Co. and now this is my fifth time returning here. Always a good and rambunctious audience. Here the proper and polite veneer that is most always present with Japanese behavior is left at the door and if enough spirits are imbibed then a bacchanalian event will ensue; Let The Wild Rumpus Begin!
We have three opening bands on tonight’s bill, an acoustic duo of females playing blues standards and some originals (Shoka chan), then half that opening duo, Shoka, who has her own band gets on stage, Shoka Blues Project, and she is a good player. She has really good rhythm and she sings really well too. In fact 2/3’rds of the band is female – bass and guitar. They played blues standards and her own originals too. Then came ‘Made In Asia’, another two-thirds female band, bass and drums. Guitarist Duran has got this really versatile style and is able to play shuffles and blazing speed riffs. They also incorporate a keyboard bass in their songs and they’ve got this infectious energy. The drummer is a pounder for such a diminutive girl. Shiho chan, she’s my thing to watch. Really big fun checking them out.
We get up and so far this is our largest crowd of the tour, about 70 have showed up. Not a bad turn-out. We tear into our show and I’m in good form with my Japanese tonight, being a bit camp and over dramatic and the audience is entertained. I smile a lot. I have a bit of a problem with my playing, just one of those nights where I make a bunch of simple mistakes and as they start adding up I’m getting frustrated with myself. Gotta chillax! We get through the night and talk to the people for a while then I drag my tired body back to the hotel. No going out after the gig tonight. The stress has taken its toll on me and I retreat for a horizontal position of rest. There’s always tomorrow and I want to be ready for it. We do an interview for a Vintage Japanese Guitar Magazine and a video shoot of a live performance for an on-line magazine; Digimart. Tomorrow is a brand new day.