Japan Solo Tour 2015
I was approached by a lovely agent in Southampton and asked if I would be interested in a 30+ gig tour in Japan – well that’s a big yes then! Last time I was in Japan was 2006 with Madness and whilst it was amazing fun, I did not get to see much of Japan as it was a whistle-stop tour.
I arrived in Tokyo after a 12 hour flight and was driven 4 hours into the centre of Japan to the Barakura English Garden which is near Suwa but in the middle of the country up in the mountains.
When I arrived late in the evening, all the staff had waited after work to welcome me and I felt honoured as they all came to greet me like I was royalty 🙂
My gigs were usually in a huge Marque in the gardens and generally fully attended by approx. 150 Japanese tourists consisting of what seemed like many sax players (one guy came back 5 times on the trot to watch me play). After every gig I signed autographs and posed for photos for at least 30 mins, made me feel very honoured.
Only 2 people I met spoke any English and all the signs and menus were in Japanese so I have no idea what I ate generally but all the food was amazing. I was treated to a traditional Japanese dinner where I was the guest of honour at a delicious 12 course meal.
I also played in the gardens during candlelight suppers, a strange experience playing acapella with loads of spotlights on me.
During my 2 week stay I played 33 solo gigs to packed audiences, had dinner with the Ambassador and made many good friends. I have been invited back for 2016 and hopefully can go with my son Mike who plays piano.
The Japanese know how to promote gigs properly, there were posters of me everywhere.
looking forward to next year 🙂