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

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

July 2004 Archives

Peter's japan photos

Posted by Peter

Hey all! I've been a bad Reducer! It's taken me forever to get my photos from the tour up on the web site, but they're all there now, for your viewing pleasure! (Go to the "photo gallery" section of this site.) There's a lot of great pics, but the ones that really knock me out are the shots that I took from various stages during our shows over there - if you thought that we were exaggerating the response that we received over there, just have a look at those photos! That'll give you an idea of what we were dealing with! It was nuts, and those shots give a good indication of just how crazy it was, every show we played! (Man, I want to go back!) Once again, I recommend the "slideshow" format, since there are a lot of photos to get through. Hope that you all enjoy them! (Sorry that it took me so long!)

Check in here once in a while, since I know that other stuff will be surfacing - Steve & Hugh both took some photos, and maybe they'll make an appearance. Also, I know that Richard is going through his vast stock of video footage, and will be posting the occasional video online. (I hope everyone was able to view the "Get Out of Denver" video from the first Shelter show.) I've had a preview of the next potential posting - us doing "Capital Radio" with guest vocals from our pal Shintaro at the final show in Tokyo - maybe the third or fourth encore that night! It's great!

Looking through this batch of photos brings back such great memories, and reminds me of all the great new friendships that we were able to establish in Japan. We can never say enough about how great our hosts were - Jimbo, Fifi and Fink were with us every step of the way, and Firestarter's mysterious bassist Sammi was also a wonderful guy! (What is it with mysterious bassists?) On our final night in Tokyo he presented me with Japanese baseball cards, souvenier baseball stufff, and an impossible to find LP of demos that he did with Fink in the Raydios - a band they had between Teengenerate and Firestarter. Priceless! Thanks to all the guys in Firestarter - friends for life! But, also I realize that we met and got to know so many other great people in the short while that we were in Japan - it's just amazing! I miss them all!

Also - we'll have a limited supply of the Japanese tour t-shirts available soon! We should have them in a couple of weeks, and once they're gone, that's it, so if you want one.....stay tuned!

That's all for now.

Posted by Peter on July 19, 2004 at 02:08 AM EDT | Comments (3)

Dead Air Radio - July 14th with Peter

Posted by McD

Peter did his first Dead Air radio show last night since his return from Japan. Check it out here (40MB filesize).

Posted by McD on July 15, 2004 at 01:28 PM EDT | Comments (0)

Shelter Video

Posted by rpb

The Reducers at  Shelter, Tokyo, Japan - June 25, 2004 - Get Out Of Denver (small)Get Out Of Denver Video


BIG, BIG, full screen version.
20mb!! Good for super-speedy, office type internet connections.

Medium size version.
12mb. Good for speedy, home type internet connections.

Tiny little version.
5mb in size. Also good for home internet connections, but it will still take a while if you use a dial-up modem.

As an internet user it's your right to wait as long as you'd like for any size file, so if you've got the time and want to see the big video in all of its supreme shakiness, please click! Then wait.

Posted by rpb on July 13, 2004 at 12:27 PM EDT | Comments (1)


Posted by rpb

At Peter's request I'm attaching two of my (increasingly blurry) photos from Sailfest yesterday. It might be time for a new camera. Just wait until you see Peter's great, fully focused photos from the tour...

Steve is gravity-challenged in this shot from Sailfest and that's why I like it.

The Reducers at SailFest 2004 - Click to enlarge photo

The Reducers at SailFest 2004 - Click to enlarge photo

Posted by rpb on July 12, 2004 at 12:38 PM EDT | Comments (0)

Monday, July 12 (post-Sailfest)

Posted by Peter

Whew! - A wild weekend in New London. The Reducers played on Saturday night and it all went great! We played two sets, with the spectacular Grucci fireworks in between. (I'll put up set lists tonight maybe.) The response was great, the weather was perfect and the band played really well - it was great to be playing through our own amps again! All the equipment that we used on our Japanese tour was fine, but not what we're used to. I love my Hiwatt amp, and aftrer 20 years playing through it, I know how to get a good sound! (It only took me about twelve years.) Speaking of Japan, we put the banner that Coggi made for us up behind us on stage on Saturday and people seemed to get a huge kick out of it. We were all still running on the adreneline that built up playing with Firestarter and the other great groups we played with in Tokyo and Osaka. (I wore my Firestarter t shirt!) Now we take some time off, after a very busy few weeks.

Richard came up from NYC for the show, and I hope that he'll be putting some of the photos that he took up on this site so everyone can see them. Also, I got my photos back from our time in Japan and I'll be sharing those any day now. They're great, and the shots I took of the audiences are amazing! (Tachi seems to be in every one of them!) Look for them soon!

As they say, the beat goes on!

Posted by Peter on July 12, 2004 at 09:56 AM EDT | Comments (3)

Dead Air Radio follow-up

Posted by McD

Hugh played a lot of great music on his radio show Wednesday night. If you missed it live you can listen to an archive of it here (40MB filesize). Grab it, stick it in iTunes, load it on your iPod and give it a listen.

Posted by McD on July 09, 2004 at 08:10 PM EDT | Comments (5)

Dead Air Radio tonight

Posted by McD

Just a reminder to everyone that Hugh is going to be on WCNI from 6-9pm EDT tonight, July 7th (that's 7-10am Thursday July 8th in Japan). He'll be playing a bunch of music that he brought back with him from Japan, and I'll sure that many of the bands they played with on the tour will be heard on tonight's show. If you live within broadcast distance of the station tune in with your radio and leave the limited number of Internet connections available for people who can't pick up the station over the airwaves.

Posted by McD on July 07, 2004 at 03:54 PM EDT | Comments (1)

New London - July 7 - Wednesday

Posted by Peter

Just a quick note to let anyone reading this know that Michael has put up a whole mess of the photos that Richard took during the duration of our little tour. They're located at the posting labeled "photo gallery" and you can view them in groups of about a dozen, up to as many as twenty something! Since there are so many, I recommend using the "slideshow" function which puts up the photos one after another for about 3 seconds each.

Hopefully we can begin to caption them all, but even without that, you'll start to recognize the regular cast of charactors - our excellent hosts Jimbo, Fifi, Fink, and new friends Shintaro, Masa, and Tachi, etcetera, etcetera... And you can track the progress of Richard's beauty of a shiner (sometimes even 3 seconds can last too long)!

Stay tuned....my batch of photos, which will include numerous shots of the crowds, taken from the various stages we played, should be up on this site before too long.

We hope to see you all at Sailfest this Saturday evening!

Posted by Peter on July 07, 2004 at 09:25 AM EDT | Comments (0)

Audio Files from First Shelter Gig

Posted by rpb

I thought I'd share a little bit of audio from the tour, and I'm going to try to post different mp3 tracks from each show as the weeks progress.

These two songs were recorded on June 25, 2004 at Shelter in Tokyo.

Life In The Neighborhood

Get Out Of Denver


Posted by rpb on July 06, 2004 at 11:23 PM EDT | Comments (0)

Out of hibernation

Posted by Hugh

Sorry to take so long to make an entry. I slept for about twenty-four hours straight, and even then I was still a bit spaced out. Now I'm back among the living and trying to take stock of what we've just been through.

It all seems kind of dreamlike, except that I have evidence that I was really there - autographed copies of Firestrater/Teengenerate CDs, as well as sweaty clothes that smell like beer and cigarette smoke... and crystal clear memories of the beautiful Japanese countryside, the electrified cities, friendly Japanese faces, conversations with Japanese friends, and this ringing in my ears from the GREAT Rock and Roll I witnessed firsthand at Shelter, Pipe69, and Statto. This experience is burned permanently in my memory as one of the high points of my whole life. Thanks again to the people and circumstances that made it all possible.

Today I'm going to try to make a demo of a new song I'm working on, called "Rockin' on Tokyo Bay." Will post the demo if it comes out OK.

I'll also try to listen to all the CDs and 45s I brought home to prepare for tomorrow night's radio show which will feature many of the bands we played with, plus bands we talked about, bands that were recommended to us, and music that was in the air while we were in Japan. Hope you can tune in.

Looking forward to Sailfest gig on Saturday, so that we can display those cool banners that Coji made. What a knockout!

One more thank you to Jimbo and Fifi, and the rest of the crew. You are the BEST! Friends for life!

Posted by Hugh on July 06, 2004 at 08:30 AM EDT | Comments (2)

New London, July 6 early am

Posted by Peter

Okay....our most excellent fantasy dream life is now over, and it's time for me to shake the jet lag and starry eyes and get back to "real life" as I know it - in a few hours I'll be back flipping burgers on the grill at the Dutch. But, please believe me when I say that I will never forget what we just experienced in the past two weeks, nor will I ever forget the kindness of our host's over there! The people we have met in Japan have been the most gracious guides, and enthusiastic fans, and wonderful friends that we could ever imagine! And, as I cook burgers, and change kegs, and mop floors at the the Dutch in the upcoming weeks, the memories of our trip to Japan will make everything easier! Maybe it's the lack of sleep, but I feel like I'm floating on air! (Or maybe it's just the change from Sapporo to Budweiser!) I am still very glad in my heart! (Oops...yeah, it's probably the Bud!)

The real reason that I'm writing this at such an ill advised time is to assure everyone who's checking in that we're not through chronicling this trip! Many more photos and memories will be forthcoming, although it won't be from such exotic places as has been the case for the past two weeks. Richard is no doubt assembling video and photo montages as we speak! And, I'm sure we'll all check in with some newly remembered highlights. Even Mr. Pleasure!!

Stay tuned! And I hope we'll see you all at Sailfest this Saturday.

Posted by Peter on July 06, 2004 at 02:33 AM EDT | Comments (1)

Back To Brooklyn

Posted by rpb

Well it took 13 hours in a tin can flying through the sky (as Tommy might say), but we finally made it back to JFK. Martha met us in a spiffy van, helped to pack us in and gave me a ride to my apartment. Of course I managed to steer us in the wrong direction from JFK, but hopefully everyone enjoyed the extended, if unintentional tour of glorious Flatbush Avenue. Heck, we even spotted an enticing little restaurant along the way...


Anyhow, The Reducers should be back in New London in a few hours after a safe (but oh, so lengthy) plane trip. We're all a little tired but still thrilled with the experience. I think we'll all continue to write notes over the next few weeks and try to go into more detail about some of the more interesting adventures, so stay tuned.

Posted by rpb on July 04, 2004 at 08:08 PM EDT | Comments (4)

Tokyo - July 4 - Sunday noon

Posted by Peter

Okay...it's time for our excellent adventure in Japan to end unfortunately. A long airplane ride is what lies ahead of us. Our time here has been unbelievable, and last night's gig was no exception. The Shelter was filled to the absolute maximum - literally wall to wall people. (The photos will prove this!) A great final night here. Firestarter played ferociously, and the opening band, Pay Channel were equally excellent. Crowd was with every band every moment of the night, and after we were done our set, and FOUR encores(!) the after show party continued for hours! We have so many new friends here, and it was hard not to try and thank each one of the individually. Two girls cried at the mention of our leaving today, and I am not making this up! We were blown completely away by the affection and respect that we have been treated with! It is time to leave for the airport, and so this will be our final message from Japan.

The Reducers love Japan, and have great new friends here!

Posted by Peter on July 03, 2004 at 10:44 PM EDT | Comments (1)

Shelter Club/ 7/3/04 Set List

Posted by rpb

Here's the blow by blow account of last night's performance.

Out Of Step
Black Plastic Shoes
She's Having A Meltdown
San Antone
Subject To Change
Fashion Of The Times
Going Going Gone
Can't Hardly Wait
Information Overload
Life In The Neighborhood
She's A Wind Up
Let's Go
Some Other Time
Stay With Me
I Call That Living
Scared Of Cops
Company Man
That'll Be Just Fine
No Ambition
Pub Rocking
So Civilized

Encore 1:
Ready Steady Go
In The City
Hurt By Love
Going Back Home

Encore 2:
Hippy Hippy Shake (w/Fifi)

Encore 3:
Rockaway Beach

Encore 4:
Capital Radio (w/Shintaro)
She Does It Right/Route 66

Just a quick note before I gather up my bags for the return flight. There are so many great memories from last night and the past week (I will never forget Tom teaching the words "Tall Boy" to one of last night's party guests) and I hope we've been able to share some of these moments via this web blog. I'll get more photos to online as soon as I return to Flatbush Avenue, and with luck we can continue to share and recount the minute details of this amazing trip.

And my shiner? Ooooph, it's still there but its color has progressed from a cringe-worthy mucky black hue to a mild wavy purple that looks like half finished makeup job off of an early record by The Cure. Time to put on the shades.

Goin' back home...

Posted by rpb on July 03, 2004 at 08:54 PM EDT | Comments (1)

Bleary eyed Sunday

Posted by Hugh

5 hours sleep - gotta pack and hit the road in a couple of hours - utterly exhausted...

Lots of superlatives last night - subalashi! CHO KAKOY! (Fantistic, Really Cool). I think the place must have been sold out because you couldn't move an inch without stepping on someone's toes - literally shoulder to shoulder. First band was Pay Channel from Kanazawa about 6 hours drive away (past Kyoto). Great songs, cool guitars, very friendly guys, from a small town, just like us. I tried to hang in the audience for Firestarter but got too battered by frantic pogo dancing after half the set and had to retreat to the dressing room. Once again Firestarter rocked hard and fast, but we got cheated out of an encore, ostensibly because Fifi broke two strings.

We played a solid ninety minute set, including I don't know how many encores. They kept asking us back and we kept going. Highlights - a chaotic version of Hippy Shake with Fifi on guitar, and Peter on lead vocal. Steve and I figured out a little late in the game that Firestarter plays Hippy Shake in A, while we play it in E. A glorious cacaphony. Capital Radio with Shintaro on vocals again. This time we got it right. Ready Steady Go, In the City, Rockaway Beach...we pulled out all the stops....the crowd was insatiable, but we finally called it a night when I broke strings on both guitars.

The after party went from 10:00 till past 2:30 and was still going on when we took our cabs back to the hotel. Countless autographs and Photo ops. Many shouts of Kampai. I was told it was the biggest after party in memory.

(My apologies to Kazu for spelling his name with a "u" instead of an "a" in a previous entry. He explained that when spelled with a "u" it's pronounced KOOZOO and means "trash." Oops!)

This Wednesday I'm going to do a special on Japanese Rock and Roll on the Dead Air Show (6-pm to 9pm on WCNI of course)- accessible with Quicktime software through a link on the Reducers webpage.. We may have some Japanese listeners tuning in on the web, Thursday morning between 7 am and 10 am. Hands across the water.

Thanks to everyone here for giving us the time of our lives. Words cannot sufficiently express how grateful I am, how grateful we all are, for having this chance. Fifi, Fink, Jimbo and Sami - You ROCK! Tachi, Cogi, Cohe, and Tomi (Sp?) You ROCK! This experience has been a stupefyingly postive one from start to finish. Looking forward to seeing Japanese bands playing in our area sometime soon. I like Bill Dumas' idea of chartering a 747 for our next Japan tour - let the fans meet each other!

Masao, who interviewed me on line for Doll Magazine, has proposed releasing a single on his record label, with the Reducers covering a Firestarter song and Firestarter covering a Reducers song. Cool idea!

While this is the end of our tour, I sense that it might be the beginning of something cool...Who knows?


Posted by Hugh on July 03, 2004 at 08:38 PM EDT | Comments (2)

Statto 7/1/04 Set List

Posted by rpb

Here's the best reconstruction of the set list - the audience tape we recorded will be able to confirm the accuracy at a later date:

Life In The Neighborhood
San Antone
Don't Make Me Mad
On The Road Again
Out Of Step
That'll Be Just Fine
Information Overload
Some Other Time
Get Away
Scared Of Cops
Shake Some Action
Let's Go
Bums I Used To Know
Kids Game
I Call That Living
Medim Cool
Pub Rocking

Encore 1
Can't Hardly Wait
She Does It Right/Route 66

Encore 2
Rockaway Beach

Posted by rpb on July 02, 2004 at 10:28 PM EDT | Comments (0)

Tokyo - July, 3 - Saturday

Posted by Peter

Okay, our time here is winding down. We have one more show to play tonight - a return to the Shelter club , and a last chance to share the stage with our new friends Firestarter. Everyone seems particularly excited by the prospect of tonight's show, and we need to play our best! Many of the people who have come to the recent shows will be there again tonight - we're beginning to know most of the more enthusiastic fans. It should be a blast, and I imagine the after gig party will be particularly joyous.

As Mr. Pleasure has reported, we had a great time at the baseball game last night. Something so familiar, and yet so different! Sake and sushi....it ain't Shea Stadium! We sat in the bleechers, with most of the more vocal supporters. And how about this - to save on expenses, we brought a dozen tall Sapporo beers in with us! Once again...it ain't Shea.

Jimbo then accompanied us back to our neighborhood, stopping at one point in the eye-popping Shibuya, which on a busy Friday night was an unbelievable sight! We ended our evening together at a small bar where the woman "master" sat and talked with us, gave Richard a complimentary Suntory scotch, and generally made certain that her guests were taken care of. (Very different to the ways of the master at the Dutch Tavern!) We laughed, chatted, and enjoyed a few beers before Jimbo walked us back to our hotel and then departed on his scooter to navigate his own way home. Another great day in a trip which is already starting to turn into a wonderful, dreamlike memory.

We're going out to do some shopping. It's a beautiful day outside. (Despite this being the "rainy season," it has been sunny almost every day.) Today it doesn't feel too muggy either.

Tonight we rock...tomorrow we fly home.

Posted by Peter on July 02, 2004 at 10:15 PM EDT | Comments (2)

Kaika here!

Posted by Steve

So contrary to popular belief, I did make it to Japan, I've had a most wonderful time. We're now 9 days in and these guys are starting to drive me crazy (not really).

Everyone here has been incredibly warm and friendly and even now it's still hard to believe that we're here.

Possibly the most appreciative and enthusiastic audiences ever - it's a real privilege to play for these fans. It's pretty incredible to have people halfway across the globe singing the words to our songs. The fan reaction has been much more intense than we ever could have expected. Sincere thanks to our Japanese hosts and fans. You made our time here truly special.

While gift shopping the other day, I stumbled upon a little something for myself. I was able to trade-up the the Epiphone Les Paul that I brought into Japan for a Gibson model. Language barrier aside, the music store guys were truly great to work with, and they hammered out a great deal for this western visitor.

It's a land of mystery (especially the plumbing) and it's sometimes tough when you can't read menus, road signs, newspapers, etc... The TV's have been useless except for American feeds of baseball games.

Speaking of baseball, we went to a professional Japanese baseball game last night and the Yokohama Bay Stars (our faves) easily handled the Chunichi Dragons. Man, you should hear these people cheer. It was a real rockin environment. Interestingly enough, they divide fans by team allegiance to opposite sides of the stadium. It was like an American baseball game but instead of hot dogs they were selling sushi and sake and bourbon. What a trip!

It's all been great but it's getting to be that time where we're all looking forward to heading home to familiar surroundings. I look forward to seeing you all and thanks for your interest and support.

Posted by Steve on July 02, 2004 at 09:37 PM EDT | Comments (5)

Last Full Day

Posted by Hugh

Not too much to add. Got some interesting records and plan to get more today. Took time off yesterday to relax, listen to my new CDs, change strings, work on new song, and eat at a charming French restaurant around the corner from our hotel.

Very psyched for the gig tonight. Not looking forward to the 12 hour flight back tomorrow, but very excited to be heading home after this extraordinary experience.

Looking forward to trying to get Firestarter and Rockbottom to tour in the U.S. sometime in the next year... A little disappointed that we never got to jam with any of them, but maybe next time. You never know...

Posted by Hugh on July 02, 2004 at 09:08 PM EDT | Comments (0)

Just one more to go...

Posted by rpb

I'll keep this short. I didn't really have much to say yesterday - thought the photos and videos might do more justice to the scene over here.

It's just impossible to believe that this adventure is winding down. Tonight is the last gig of the trip and then it's back to USA.

Yesterday was a terrific day off. Hugh and I took a trip to the Record Collectors district with Koji (Rockbottom bassist and super cool tall guy) and managed to find a few great items. I just wanted to get some picture sleeve 45's of Japanese artists, but also managed to sneak in a pretty cool double gatefold 10" called "Christmas Live at The Patti" - a very early relic of the pub-rock era. Never saw it before and now it's mine.

So many details about the evening but I went to give Hugh a crack. Peter will be sure to list the details of our evening at the baseball game and our "Fast Drink" adventure.

Posted by rpb on July 02, 2004 at 08:56 PM EDT | Comments (0)

Tokyo - July 2, - nearly noon

Posted by Peter

Hey all - It's great to read all the responses to our postings, and to know that folks at home are following along with our crazy adventures here. Please continue to keep in touch - it means a lot to us!

Once again, the day starts with last night's Yanks-Sox game on the tele, broadcast live. They're deep into extra innings at this point, dead-locked at 3-3. Kinda nuts to be able to watch baseball over here, but very cool - a bit of normalcy in our otherwise bizarro-world!

Today sounds like it could be a good one. Record shopping is definitely on the agenda, and Steve may do some guitar trading. Then...a baseball game in nearby Yokahama! The Bay Stars play the Dragons...not exactly Yankees and Sox, but I bet it's going to be a blast! Our wonderful host Jimbo will guide and accompany us to the game, which is apparantly about 40 minutes by train. Jimbo has overseen all the logistics of our stay here - a none to easy task - and has done a fantastic job! If he cannot be there to personally show us when and where to go, someone will take his place. For instance, our record shopping jaunt will be guided by Coggi - the bassist from Rockbottom. He should arrive soon, although the after gig celebration went a little later than usual last night, so maybe everyone's off to a slow start.

The weather is beautiful, although pretty humid, our hotel is very comfortable, the people we've met are wonderful, and the food is delicious, if confusing. As we say in my country....what's not to like? (Oh yes,..beer vending machines - so civilized! Although I may have partaken in a few too many Asahis last night!)

The gig last night was another great time. Inevitably it did not match the joyous frenzy of the Fiddler gig, but it ended up nearly as wild. Once again, I snapped some photos of the crowd from the stage which I hope will give evryone an idea of what our vantage point was. Rockin' Enocky was cool, although our mysterious bassist may beg to differ! The Refugees were young, enthusiastic and cool. Great haircuts! Cute drummer! We played well and have another good gig under our belt. The Statto club was cool, and we rocked it!

Okay...this baseball game is getting pretty exciting - Jeter just ended up deep in the stands after making a great catch for the third out. Think I'll watch it a little more closely.

Over & out!

Posted by Peter on July 01, 2004 at 11:03 PM EDT | Comments (7)

Photo gallery is online!

Posted by McD

The Reducers Japan Tour 2004 Photo GalleryWell, it took longer than I hoped but the photos that I received from Richard this morning are now online. You can check them out here: http://www.thereducers.com/gallery/.

I installed some software (Gallery) on the web server to make it easier to upload the photos, create the thumbnails, and manage them after they're uploaded. One of the interesting features of this software is that if you use the [register] link (upper right corner) it will let you rank each photo and post a comment for each photo. Not sure if that has any value but feel free to give it a try.

When you go to the URL above you will see 4 different albums, each from a different day of their trip. Click on a photo to open that album. You'll then see thumbnails for each photo. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger version. If you want to you can click on the larger version to see the photo in it's original full size.

Still a lot of work to do (captions, descriptions of the albums, etc) but I figured I should post this as soon as I had it working correctly. Please leave comments if you have any questions about how it works, problems, or just comments about what you think about the software or the photos.

Posted by McD on July 01, 2004 at 10:48 PM EDT | Comments (5)

The Morning After

Posted by Hugh

I should probably go back to bed, but the hotel's computer is free, so I'll try a quick entry. It's 9:30 (got to bed around 2:30), and the reason I'm not in bed is that I wanted to say goodbye to my good friend Hisashi, who came all the way down from Sendai to see the show last night.

Speaking of friends, it's getting so that I'm starting to recognize a lot of people at the shows who have been at previous shows - and they're all in bands! There's a great sense of camaraderie that makes us all feel pretty comfortable. And in a way, that's how I'd describe this gig. We felt comfortable enough to try out some of our newer songs, and to sneak in a few that had been relegated to the B List.

At 2:00, Kuzu (aka CHI) guided us to the club, which he said was in the country - I think he meant suburbs. We sound-checked, met my friend, Hisashi and one of his English students, Yuki, went out for curry, and got back to the club by 7:00.

For the first part of the night the vibe was somewhat subdued. Rockin' Enocky The One Man Band was quite entertaining - rockabilly and country western songs played on Telecaster, Hi-hat, Trixon Bass Drum and the occasional crash cymbal - songs like Crazy Arms, Let's Go, Let`s Go, Whole Lotta Shakin' among others sung with a Japanese accent, and played with wild abandon - almost like the Japanese answer to the Paul Brockett Show/Furors. The audience was appreciative and there was some back and forth in Japanese that I didn't quite get, but he's obviously a fixture on their scene.

The Refugees were more of a straight ahead punk/power pop band - young kids, with great attitude and some cool songs, plus a very capable girl drummer.

By now the small room, a little smaller than Shelter, was filling up with people and smoke.

(A quick aside about Japanese Rock clubs - consistently great equipment [Marshalls, Roland Jazz Chorus amps, decent drum kits], incredibly efficient use of space, cooperative and knowledgeable sound engineers, great music in between sets [Tonight Eddie Cochran and Captain Beefheart], cool lights, very clean - it's like they've turned this whole thing into a science.)

Right before the gig we met this American expat, named Detroit Jack. He came to the show and videotaped most of it. The only reason he came was because he knew Fifi and Fink, but he didn't know what to expect from us. By the end of the night I believe we had a convert. He said, "You guys were smokin!"

The stage was kind of like the one at the Bank Street Cafe, so we didn't have much space. The set went pretty well for the most part, the audience was quite supportive - polite on the newer numbers, more animated on the older ones. There was one crazy pogo dancer who threatened to clear the room with his aggressive antics - I almost took a microphone in the teeth - but he eventually settled down.

The best part of the night for me was toward the end. I don't remember the order of things exactly, we might have already been into the encores, but the audience started getting wilder and wilder for the pub rock numbers - like Dr. Feelgood. When we played Shake Some Action, it was one massive sing along. Very cool. The two highlights though were Can't Hardly Wait - I didn't know the Replacements were so huge here - frantic pogoing, fists punching air, raucous singing. And we ended the night with Rockaway Beach - again massive singalong, dancing. (We're going to rehearse Ready Steady Go and In the City for the final gig - by Shintaro's request, I believe.)

At the end of the night, the merchandise table was extremely busy. I autographed about seven or eight CDs and records, sat in on a dozen photo ops, and hung out with different groups of fans. God this is so weird! I can't get used to this.

The after party involved going to a restaurant (again sitting on the floor shoeless) being served massive amounts of food and beer, hanging out with a dozen or so fans and band members. It was a great scene that went on from 10:30 to about 12:30 - all part of the rock and roll culture here.

Today we might go see a baseball game in Yokohama.

Posted by Hugh on July 01, 2004 at 09:13 PM EDT | Comments (1)

Fiddler Video

Posted by rpb

The Reducers at  The Fiddler, Tokyo, Japan - June 29, 2004I took some "me time" last night and took a look at some of the video and photos from the past few nights. I managed to get some of the Fiddler show into the laptop that we brought on the trip (thanks McD!!!) and put together a very quick compilation of a few moments from that crazy show. Check it out here:


You'll need Apple Quicktime installed to watch. (3.7MB)

I also sent a mess of pictures to McD (our techno-hero halfway across the ocean) and with a little luck he'll be able to post them on the web site so that you have some images to go along with our blog posts.

We're off in a few minutes to Statto in Musashi-Sakai, just 30 minutes out of Shinjuku station. Our friend Kazu, AKA CHI (the caps are imperative) is going to guide us from the New Tokyo Hotel to the club and make sure that we arrive intact.

OK, Kaika's on my back to get off of the computer and out to the club.

We've been told that "Kaika" translates to "pleasure" in Japanese.

Posted by rpb on July 01, 2004 at 12:52 AM EDT | Comments (3)

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