A first-hand journal of The Reducers' Japan Tour 2004.

The Reducers at the El 'N Gee Club, New London, CT

Osaka - Party Town

Posted by Hugh

After a peaceful night (for some) in Kyoto, I explored the Imperial Palace garden (now a public park), watched some factory teams play baseball, and found a hidden lagoon in one corner of the park.

We hit the road again at 10:00 am, with only a few members of the entourage feeling a bit hungover. In the early afternoon we were treated to a tour of a famous Buddhist Temple called the Kiyomizu-Dera. A chance to be inspired by the architectural and natural beauty of Japan, and more photo opportunities as well.

When we got to Osaka around 3:30, we were immersed in party central - St. Mark's Place to the tenth power - mobs of young people (college kids, school kids, freaks, rockers, every ethnicity, everyone on display) everywhere, more clothing shops than I've ever seen in one place, discos, clubs, fast food, cafes, record stores (Time Bomb Records - record collector's dream - wish I had more time and money to spend there), loud music, mostly techno, blasting from every storefront, everything drenched in neon. What a scene.

Our club, Pipe 69, was a little smaller than Shelter, but with a similar vibe. Our hotel was right around the corner.

The gig:

Almost capacity crowd again, maybe 150 people? Hot, in spite of the AC, smoky with not much ventilation. First band, Frantic Stuffs, loud and fast, just the way we like it. Guitar player had a Flying V. Second band was the Money Spyders, eccentric sixties sound with organ and heavy bass. They covered, Don`t You Just Know It, and California Sun. Room getting hotter.

Firestarter once again blazing through their set, adoring crowd went wild. Steve leaned over to me and shouted - These guys are a great band! Coming from Steve that means a lot coz he hates everything. Lots of young people in the audience. I get the sense that Firestarter are spearheading a renewed interest in Rock and Roll even among the techno generation. Impressive as hell!

Once again we tried to step up to the challenge. At least 100 degress F. on stage. Drenched in sweat after the first song. Exhausted by the third song. Running on fumes for the rest of the set, spurred on by the incredible energy of the crowd. Raucous, sometimes out of tune, sometimes sloppy playing, but the crowd still with us. First encore, didn't know if I could continue. Another song, staggering like a drunken man. Second encore, short of breath, but they still want more, demand more, I'm starting to see stars - we head for the dressing room, can't catch my breath, dehydrated big time. Thanks to Richard, I revive after fifteen minutes or so. What a night! Rest of the band heads out to a post gig party - I crash.

In the morning, Richard and I explored the neighborhood looking for this internet cafe (where I'm writing from right now) and discovered we were also in the middle of Osaka's red light district - ay ay ay. More Later.


Posted by Hugh on June 27, 2004 at 10:33 PM EDT

Comments

Sure do wish I was there. I am so looking forward to the SailFest gig. Any chance Firestarter has plans to come to the US?

Posted by: McD at June 27, 2004 at 10:56 PM EDT

Sounds like an incredible blast - what a great surprise turn of events, this whole adventure! Who woulda thunk it!! Punk Rock Kings! Punk Rock Kings! Treasure it all...

Gatorade, Hugh! Or the local facsimile! Take care of yourself, but whoop it up, too!! Love from Marty

Posted by: martha at June 28, 2004 at 01:30 AM EDT

Bewteen you, Peter and Richard, these journals are becoming great reading. I get to learn a little about the cities, culture and feedback on the clubs.
Hell you guys ought to open a travel agency when you get back..
Just kidding.
It's good to be on the trip with you guys even if we can't be there...
Keep rockin and you should be in kickass form for the Sailfest.
Later,
Kevin

Posted by: Kevin Gallerani at June 28, 2004 at 06:51 AM EDT

Hello Reducers,
This is so exciting,
I keep checking (uhm, even at work) for updates. The only thing that is missing is the sonic hole in my ears and beaten feet. I really do wish I was there.
You describe the shows just like I remember them way not so far ago! I just never thought you guys would be exhausted, I'd never even considered it!
We should all get sailfest packed!!! If the good citizens of Japan can do it for the Reducers, certainly we can, too!
Thanks for keeping us posted!

Rodi

Posted by: Rodi at June 28, 2004 at 07:01 PM EDT


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