03/23/2008

JJ in Tokyo review(英文です)

 これは、JJのソロライブにわざわざ海外からからやってきた、台湾在住のイギリス人、元ユーロスター(ヨーロッパの新幹線)の運転手、JJ曰く酒飲んで新幹線を運転してたアブナイヤロー(真偽の程は不明)のLaurence Howardさんがイギリスがベースのファンサイトに書かれたレビューです。そのサイトに飛べないということなので、問い合わせたところ、転載の許可を頂きました。

 さて、ご覧になるとわかると思いますが、ハンパない長さなので、とりあえず原文のみ先にお送りいたします。みなさん、とりあえずがんばって読んでください。なお、長いので翻訳は部分的なものになるかもしれません。ご了承ください。

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Having been forced into being homesick last month as the band were playing Buxton, I was off work AND had money in the bank, but could not fly there and back in time, I saved my pennies and did the typical Laurence lastminutedotcom to Tokyo Flight booked two days before the gig and nowhere to stay in Tokyo on arrival. I had not been able to book a gig ticket in advance as...surprise...surprise, the link was in Japanese. I sent an email for help to Yuka, who jointly runs the SIS site in Japan. He must be able to help as I didnt have the address for the venue, a ticket site or where to book a hotel. By Saturday morning I still hadn`t heard from him. so I decided to go anyway. I arrived in Tokyo at 18:30 Saturday evening, had my retinas scanned and fingerprints taken ( that took me back a bit ) and headed for the information desk> Here I was shocked that Tokyo airport is an hour and a half from Tokyo. I booked my seat on a bus and booked a hotel in Shinagawa. I checked in at 20:00 and got ready to go out. Next on the list.....wheres this venue? At Customer help a young girl tried very hard to trace the venue location but to no avail. "Do you have internet?" I asked "yes" she replied, after her finding more loft conversion sites than you will ever need i gave her the rats lair site and navigated to the lofts home page. I got her to write down the address for my taxi driver as she showed me I was on the wrong side of Tokyo. I went out to the taxi, and as i walked up to it....the doors opened all on their own I got in and the door closed behind me.
The driver who was sixty if he was a day reminded me of an aircraft carrier captain in an old movie, I passed the paper to him.....he took it in his white gloved hand....oh...errr. We set off and made the club at 22:30, perfect I thought...doors open at 23:00 just enough time to get something to eat..Hmmmmmmm.....small problem is I dont eat fish as some of you know.....Mc Fuxing Donalds it is then. Dinner disposed of (in the bin mostly) I went to "The Loft", there were people lined up and a scruffy homeless type had a box...homemade....lucky number it said ....i waited til everyone had taken a piece of paper out of the box and when they had all gone he blocked my path down the steps.......he spoke no English....and I no Japanese.....an interesting coversation ending with the quote..."sold out"....then some man appearded...the first one worked for the club and the second said the same....he spoke some English...thank God...." sold out.....group 59 very popular"...group 59
I told him of why I was there and he said wrong loft club...there are more than 1. My heart sank, here I was stuck in the middle of the red light district of Tokyo......lost.."dont worry I take you there"......not 3 mins down the road past some very pretty young ladies The loft appeared. I went in to find they were running late doors 23:30. Could i buy a ticket...not yet. Do you have ID? no....no ticket without id...what a system, I passed a man on the stairs....Yuka ? I asked inquiringly, "you know HER"?....only by SIS site....oh he said and went on his way. On arriving back at street level leaving Taiwan without a jacket ( it was 25oC there when I left ) began to seem a bad idea as the temperature plummeted. I was met by a group of Japanese women who asked where is JJ? I do not know I said...they welcomed me to Japan and said see you later. At that moment a very good looking Japanese woman appeared alongside me,,,,,Laurence she said......it was the elusive Yuka....." I knew it would be you, your mad" ! said a very familiar voice, "only Laurence I know". JJ was on his way for a coffee with Yuka, who had told him that some Englishman had emailled her called Laurence. "Did you find the place ok."..errr..no....."got a ticket?"...er...no....they say they wont let me in without id......."no problem" said JJ "I will put you on the guest list". The girls then realised who was present and it was like bees round a honey pot for 10 mins while the ever pleasent JJ had his picture taken with numerous women and signed autographs. "See ya later" and he was off. I met the promoter who was the first man I spoke to.....then went back to the club......guest list...I said.....please....this way....I was shown the bar and that was good enough for me. I made my way over to the live area and settled into a corner. The venue was a very small cellar like place....capacity is apparently 70 max...the stage was about 12`....the lighting dark and moody, helped by a low ceiling. The main seated area...plastic patio chairs numbered around 15, the rest was standing on a small raised area down one side and standing at the back of that.A local guitarist came on first and sang 6 songs. At 00:30 the lights were turned up and JJ came on to good polite applause. JJ sat on his stool said some greating in Japanese and started to play some classical style guitar, very interesting to watch and so different to what we are used to with his bass. He stopped......there was a silence....."Im just warming up " he said.......clapping once more....another go at impressing the locals with his language skills and everyone started laughing.....what did he say i asked the promoter.....he said the only japanese i know is a phrase which translated to having his manhood orally stimulated. The gig then got started with European Female..... " I wrote this next song as a blues style song and the stranglers changed it into something else" he said " but im gonna play this the way it was written" This was Skin Deep. Next on the set list was Never to Look Back.....during this he turned round and looked over his shoulder...nothing but wall......"Go Dave" he said, bringing more chuckles from an appreciative crowd. Next song Jellyfish followed by why he was in Japan..."to be beaten up" he laughed, and im not alone here.....my friend (whose name escapes me...sorry ) is also here in the same Dojo.....and that madman over there (pointing)...hes Laurence and hes got nothing better to do than travel round the world to see me....and if you have ever been on a Shinkansen....Eurostar he could have been your driver.... this was something that started in Holland last year for some bizzare reason, and continued in Belgium. "Dont worry he doesn`t bite". "Is anybody married?...Hes not.....to much time following the band.....hes divorced" gesturing to me smiling In the end came next followed by We were Lovers. A quick top up of "Kirin my favorite beer" and he was into Unbroken and Where I live. "And now a man whos going to fill some very big shoes.....Doc Martins actually" and a local came on with a harmonica. " I used to dedicate this to George Bush" he said as I hate You kicked off. The man was a good substitute for baz but didnt look quite right. JJ then told the story of Daganham Dave before playing the song......at the instrumental bit he turned round and said your quiet Dave and tried to DO..do..do the keyboards which had many people chuckling including himself. And then off to great whoops and cheers....He came back...."And now for a song I wrote when I was 14, my first ever song" It was of course Go Buddy Go. " Time for one more?"...and the gesture back was no. "sorry but im back next week and I will try to play something different for you " The crowd gave more applause and he walked out. "SEE YOU NEXT WEEK" he said as he shook my hand and laughed. It is always great to see the band or members thereof in a relaxed happy to be playing environment, and this was just one of those nights.

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