........Then 2 nights at a venue called the Alternative Café, by day a guitar shop and by night a music venue.
Taka the owner of the business and himself a renowned professional guitarist took great delight in showing us the amazing second hand guitars he had for sale including a ‘Hamburg guitar ‘ that George Harrison used for the post John Lennon Beatles album. Also rare ‘Morris’ guitars which always seem much more popular in France than England
The knowledge and thoughtfulness of the Japanese people who I met at the gigs who have collected my albums over the years was both surprising and heart warming. They really knew their stuff and showed a remarkable amount of insight into my lyrics that use references often profoundly European and often esoteric.
In my humble opinion that is pretty impressive from people from a different continent.
I went to a really well stocked and well organised record shop ‘Disk Union’ not far from Tokyo station and bought some Japanese artists CDs recommended to me by Seiichi whose taste I trust. Whether I will have the same level of understanding is open to debate. The Japanese artists were Hi –Fi Anatonia , The Moon Riders and Sugarbabe. Review to follow!
Japan food wise is just about my ‘heaven’, lots of raw fish, vegetables, ramen noodles and miso soup.
On the final day I was treated by the designer of the trips ‘flyer’ to a traditional Japanese meal which had plate after plate of delicious delicacies. See photos!
I must also mention Myumi Otsaka who also looked after me on the first 2 days she was, and is fab. Also the funny and the very talented songwriter Asako who supported me on my last show. Not forgetting the guitarist of Tomoka on the second night. Tomoka not only sang with me but played a set before hand on the first 2 nights and has real charisma as a performer.
In short as is probably obvious I am a complete Japanese convert and love all who smile in her!
My abiding thought on the plane from Paris to Manchester where I am finishing writing this is if I had played/visited Japan in my twenties when ‘Jolie’ came out would I have ever come back? My life might have taken on a very different course.
Extra bonus! The music channel on the flight from Japan to Paris included the new fantastic ‘Christophe’ album Les Vestiges du chaos (2016, Universal) which I really like and have never been able to listen to uninterrupted! Now there is an artist with class!
One point that has struck me. Japanese tourists always have the reputation for taking an inordinate amount of photographs. I now understand why as I did it myself. Here is a picture of a Japanese post box and vending machine