6/20 Star Pines Cafe Kichijoji- Miwazow Matsuri Brass Special! Special Guests FU-CHING-GIDO
What an extremely intense but wonderful few days it's been. Playing as members of Kogure Miwazow's band for her birthday matsuri gig at Star Pines Cafe in Kichijoji is fast becoming a yearly tradition, and it's really an honour, getting to play some different music from the norm, with interesting line-ups, in a grand, celebratory atmosphere. And this year Fu-ching and I were doubly honoured when Miwazow-san asked us to perform a FU-CHING-GIDO set, as special guests. We accepted without hesitation, as we would love to bring our music to the event. Then it dawned on us what a mammoth task it was that we'd taken on!
Playing Ohkuma-san's wonderful arrangements takes a huge amount of stamina, wits and power and can be deeply exhausting in itself. Add to that a 30 minute set of the insanely intense, multi-tasking tightrope walk that is FU-CHING-GIDO, sandwiched into the middle of the evening, and we began to sense the potential for total collapse!
Stamina-wise, the rehearsal schedule wasn't on our side either. 8 hours of rehearsal on the day before, followed by 4 hours of soundcheck/rehearsal on the day had us already pretty fazed by the time Miwazow struck up the band with her wonderful chindon, and we descended down through the audience playing the "100 year Circus" theme and took to the stage. But then something remarkable happened. The warm spirit of the audience gave us so much energy and carried us like a wave. Miwazow's choice of music was really interesting and great too, mixing up Klezmer, Swedish marches, Bhangra, Gypsy, Tango and Prog Rock! Unforgettable highlights for me (Gid) were an amazingly inspired stripped-down chindon street band version of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" (Miwazow's prog rock chanchiki, WOW!!). And a massively joyful rendition of Frank Zappa's "Peaches en Regalia".
And as for the FU-CHING-GIDO set? It must have been a combination of factors- great sound onstage and out front, a really hot and direct audience reaction, and our exhaustion all combined to make it certainly our greatest performance to date. Somewhere in the middle of that maelstrom of summer heat, lack of sleep, tiredness of body and mind, we didn't have the chance to get nervous like we usually do, and it felt as though we found a new depth of intensity and power, but somehow with a very calm focus. That was really a very special experience. We want to thank the audience for giving us that extra energy, and for Kogure Miwazow for so kindly asking us to participate.
Our next gig is on June 20th at Yatsui Festival 2015, where we'll be playing at 7th FLOOR, Shibuya at 19:30. Maybe we should aim to be totally drained and exhausted for that one too!
Hope to see you there,
FU-CHING-GIDO ふーちんギド NEXT GIG
7th Floor, Shibuya, 19:30 start!