Bassta! Pex

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Abe Sada tour diary

well, this will most likely be digested version, as Im typing this just before dinner and am hungry again...

Left in-laws place, bound for Koenji to join the rest of the band in the hotel. Checked in, had a welcoming drink of Nihon Shu, went downstairs to the coffee shop and waited for Cat, Karlos and Mal. When they arrived I took them for good old Freshness Burger. I had a fish one, plus beer. The one thing we will all do next few days is start drinking around lunch time. The weather was super nice and we just couldnt resist.

WE checked a couple of record shops and slowly got ready to go to first gig. Arrived at Em Seven in Koiwa in time for sound check. The amps we hired were waiting for us. WE did the check super fast and went for some okonomiyaki at the same place I went last year with other guys. Was pleasantly surprised to see both cool looking waitresses there. I oredered drinks and meals for us, it was absolutely awesome. All 3 of us got a bit tipsy and went back to the venue for more drinks.

First band Earthbound has Minoru from Tiala on drums, plus 2 other drummers, bassist and didgeridoo player. It was a mix of free jazz, noise and tribal music. Good stuff. Then there was a guy on some weird beat machine, he was hilarious in a good way. He managed to hold it even when the equipment failed.

Abe Sada was next, we set on the floor in 4 corners. It went pretty good, with people going around and checking what each member does. Some guys was sleeping next to my amp, the noise didnt bother him at all.

In the meantime some Iron Chef was preparing fresh sushi, so it was ready by the time we finished and it was superb. The last band was a guy and a girl on electronics and another girl on drums, which she couldnt play well, but when she started screaming...oh, boy! It pierced right through my earplugs.

After we got paid we left quickly and went back to the hotel, dropped our stuff and went out for midnight snack. I took the band to the small place where we ate jumbo gyoza and we had 6 serves for 4 of us! Thats the sipirt Abe Sada! After that we went to local venue Penguin HOuse where we all played before. The owner and staff recognized us, we had some very strong shochu, times 2 and left. Fell asleep as soon as I got to the hotel...


Woke up, the band was asleep, I went to Shinjuku for record shopping. Found million things, but just didnt want to buy too much and take it all with me to Osaka and back later.

Had a nap in the arvo, met the band in the hotel and we took a cab to UFO Club, which is 20 minutes on foot from the hotel. Had a soundcheck and went to awesome local izakaya where I eat every time I go to UFO CLub, which is 4 times in last 2 years. Bumped into our friend Harada, then another friend Sawada came and the feast began.

Back in the venue, first band Homm3 were 3 chicks doing indie rock thing, but real cool. At moments it reminded me on Gang of 4/Joy Division. Fuck, I honestly cant remember if there was another band or if Abe Sada played next, but when we did it sounded superb - I love this venue and the soundguy never fails! The band after us was shocking RHCP clones. And then they had the last band playing. When I saw them at soundcheck it sounded pretty cool punkish stuff, just drums and guitar/vocal, who looked like Hawaiian rockabilly. WEll, when he took the stage he looked totally different - the guy was stark naked!

After we finished we said our goodbyes and went some manga shopping, then for midnight snack/more drinks. Then to bed to get ready for Osaka trip tomorrow.


WE left Tokyo at 12noon on bullet train and fuck thats fast! Started drinking on the train, but moderately. Arrived 3 pm, Go-san, our promoter, was waiting. He took us to the venue, we bought some beers on the way. The club called Elevate is tiny, but so are pretty much all other venues in Japan, unless your name is U2 or Mr Children.

So, the usual, soundcheck, drink, eat food, drink, talk to people, drink, play, drink... Tonites gig was pretty cool, although I only like one band on the bill.

We left for Go-san house, and after we walked for what seems like 3 hours we finally found a place where we can eat some ramen, and we were all starving! So ramen and sake that was and it saved my life. I fell asleep as soon as we got to Gos place, the rest of the party joined later. It was 4 of us sleeping on futtons in tiny room and, call me a fucken conformist but I just couldnt relax in such situation.


I woke up at 6am (not that Ive been sleeping a lot when we stayed in the hotel), couldnt go back to sleep, was dying of thirst (and didnt feel like tap water)... so I decided to pack my bags and find a hotel.

I took the train to Shin-Osaka station, which is where I had to catch the shinkansen back to my in-laws, so I thought it would be good idea to find a place there. It was pouring with rain, I was tired, starving and upset at myself that I left a secure place, roaming around for a hotel without being familiar with the place at all. But, he who dares, Rodney, he who dares... I found a convenient store, bought an umbrella, crossed the road and BANG there was a hotel. WEnt in, the price was right and I booked myself for 2 nights. Couldnt check in for a couple of hours, but I left my stuff in there and went exploring Osaka.

After check in I had a cat nap and went to the venue. It was in "American Village", which is an area full of cool shops and people trying to look cool. The venue was small, 2nd floor underground, pretty claustrophobic, so I had to get some courage from alcohol. And again it failed to dissapoint!

Bands were cool, Go-sans Psychedelic Desert were different than Ive seen them in Perth, but second band Sari, consisting on woman on vocals and man on bass and zillion pedals blew me away. Unreal! I nearly cried, it was deeply touching stuff.

Then I bought myself a potent cocktail consisting of vodka, gin, rum, tequila, contreau and coke, and I asked the barman to make it double. It was a fuel for Abe Sada engine and we took off! Around 10 minutes before we were due to finsih I was dying to go to the toilet, so I spotted Go-san in the audience, gave him my bass to play and left to pee. When I got back I realised Cat gave her bass to Gos friend Cuckoo, it was so funny.

Anyway, another two cocktails later I was fucked and it was time to go back to the Hotel by myself. How did I find the tran station? How did I know which train to catcth and which stop to get off? How did I find a way to the hotel? My friends, I dont know... But when I got there I managed to ask receptionist where to get ramen near by, I talked to Mrs on the phone, I went for ramen, I could order it in Japanese, as well as side dishes and drinks, I ate it and it was superb!


I woke up at 6am, not hungover, but so thirsty. I went to the vending machine on my floor and bought 3 POcari Sweat drinks, drank it and fell asleep.

Todays gig was in Kyoto, I left there around 1pm, roamed the streets, had lunch, found venue. I even had a nap in the venue before the rest of the band came. NOw, this venue was tiny. But I loved it. To cut the usual crap short, yes we had a soundcheck, yes we had drinks, yes we ate, we even went to Imperial Palace.

Back at the venue we drank more, met cool people, the barmaid was running some chicken bbq, which was delicious. MY internet friend Hitomi Shimuz came. You may know her as one half of Syzygys - seminal Japanese quirky pop band that has 2 albums out on Tzadik. She also does music for PS2 games and has written soundtrack for Waterboys. I was so happy to finally meet her after being in touch with her for 3 years and she is the nicest person in the world!

The other people at the gig were great too, the bands were OK. WE played second last. I should tell this would be a different gig when after 5 minutes people started cheering and screaming. As the gig progressed so didi the positive tension and last 10 minutes it was bass swap time. I gave it to this stoned tiny little woman standing next to me, Karlos gave his to a guy who was following around at last 3 gigs, Cat gave it to Cuckoo and Mal gave it to the woman who played in one of the bands on the night. One guys got up on stage and started dancing manically and the venue manager started lighting up firecrackers, so it was a huge fuckin party and a great way to wrap up the tour.

Sadly, we had to leavy, went for another bowl of ramen near hotel, checked out the next day, went back to my in-laws, slept for long time, went to Yokohama city and bought heaps of jazz records, packed my bags and ready to go back to Perth...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Abe Sada, Japan Tour 2009

22, 23, 24 May 2009

so, here we go with another tour of Japan to promote 2 CDs released here late last year...

we took off from Perth airport 1am on Friday morning, flew to Singapore, then to Tokyo, all the way with Singapore airlines, which is heaps better than Qantas, as we all should know. great food, awesome service, excellent choice of entertainment - I saw "Gran Torino", which was great, and Japanese Oscar-winning "Departures", which was fuckin' awesome!!! Found the DVD in Yokohama yesterday, but, alas, no English subtitles.

First gig is on Monday 25 May, so I'm staying at in-laws and sampling lots of local food/drinks. Last night went out with a bunch of Japanese friends. Man, can they drink! I was drinking heaps, but behaving myself, as I needed to be sober enough to catch the last train.

The place we partied was a tiny Japanese style restaurant/bar, with great food and even better background music. I gave my latest CD to a couple of friends and sure enough, a couple of hours and 10 drinks later I though I could hear something familiar - the bar staff played it through PA! To say it was surreal to hear my own music played at some bar far away fromhome to a bunch of total strangers would be an understatement. But it felt damn good!

Today is a chill out day, it rains outside and I prefer to stay at home and get ready for next 5 days of hard touring schedule, hard eating and even harder drinking routine...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Birthday Party/Gig


A special gig, as it was my birthday party as well. My family and me started celebrating at around 4pm, with lots of fine food and drinks. At 8pm we went to Club Zica (Wire), had a quick soundcheck and continued drinking. I invited some 20 family members and friends. Some of them I haven't seen for years. There were another 5-10 people there as well. I was talking to guests, my brother was playing some CDs in the background (lots of Bamodi, Tiala and Bariken).

I started playing at around 10.30pm. Did a couple of tracks, was happy with it. Wanted to finish it, but they wanted more, so I gave them more. Then had another couple of drinks and took the cab home...

Monday, October 20, 2008

The last Belgrade gig (for now)


It was time for last show in Belgrade and I was glad I booked it at Akademija club – a venue I spent half of my youth watching some cool bands. The venue is situated in the basement of the Academy of Fine Arts in the heart of Belgrade. Nowadays they split it in two venues and I got to play the smaller one. It looks really cool, with it's walls and floors built centuries ago, giving it a bit of a spooky feel – the right mood for Gutter Guitar.

By the time I started the venue was reasonably packed. I played two pieces, some 25 minutes in total. During the second one a guy came up tome from the crowd and asked if I mind him joining on drums. I didn't mind at all, expecting him to jump on a kit and do some crazy fucked up free jazz drumming. Instead he just kicked the beat on a bass drum for a couple of minutes and that was it. Hopefully I'll be back next year for some more shows.Now it's time to go back to Japan, then to Perth...

Your mission here is finished, turn the amp off and buzz away...

Monday, October 6, 2008


I went to Zagreb with my younger cousin Marko. The last time I was there was some 17 years ago, when I went to see Miracle Workers. WE had great fun, but the war started the very next day (nothing to do with me being there, hehe).

My friend Zeljka picked us from the train station, we left our stuff at her place and hit the town. A couple of hours later we met Goran, who was our host for next couple of days. Goran was in seminal Croation punk band Babies (now sadly defunct). They left two great albums behind, the second one was produced nad mixed by Tim Kerr. Goran now plays in equally awesome garage punk trio Wwelcommin' Committee In Flames.

First night we checked a coupleof venues in the city and had some drinks. We were exhausted from the trip and had an early night. The next day we did some sightseeings and tried some local food, very nice. At 6pm Zeljka took me to some University Radio Station where they interviewed me and I had a chance to play live on air. No guitar though, so I only used the lead, but it sounded pretty good. To me, at least.

Then we went to SPUNK where I had a show booked. That night they had a DJ who played strictly punk rock, so I thought my gig might not go that well. And I was right. I took the stage around 11pm and five minutes into my set I could fel the bad vibes from the crowd (the place was packed). The set was pretty noisy, I must admit, and 15 minutes later I decided to bring it to an end. To my initial surprise there was a very loud applause, but soon I realised the crowd was clapping so loud because they were happy that I have finished!

Now, I'm not concerned about the crowd reaction anywhere and I knew they were there to get smashed and listen to some punk rock, but I cannot say I was too excited. Luckily, there were lots of cool people there and with most of them I've been in touch for years, so at least I had a chance to have a drink with my friends and forget about shitty response. Needless to say I didn't sell any CDs.

The next day we hang around with Goran for a meal and one more drink and we took the train back. The next show is in Belgrade on my birthday, 8 October. Hope it goes better than Zagreb...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Serbia Pt. 1


The day of my first solo show in Europe has arrived, but before that I went to a couple of radio stations to plug the gig and that went pretty good. Around 1pm my brother arrived with Singing Loins – a damn fine English combo who had 4 shos booked in Serbia. We had lunch together and then went to the city. Singing Loins were scheduled to play in Novi Sad (third biggest city in Serbia, 80ks north of Belgrade) and my brother had to take them over there, while I had to take care of my show in Belgrade.

Dicking around in front of a huge billboard

The headliners for the show were Qui – new band of David Yow (ex-Scratch Acid/Jesus Lizard). Before them we had Gerda Blank – half-New Zealand/half-English band. We caught up with them around 5pm and soon after Qui guys came, so we all had a drink together.

The we went for a soundcheck and dinner after that. Qui guys seemed nice and polite. After dinner they went backstage to chill out and I went to set up my gear. The show was suppose to start at 10pm, but one thing I learned here is that everything is running so fucking late. I was ready at 10pm, but there was no one at the venue except for me and two sound guys. I went outside and saw a bunch of people hanging there, drinking cheap from the supermarket. I recognized one guy and asked him to tell people I'm about to start and if they can be bothered to get inside.

I went in, plugged in and started making noise. I didn't dare look up for at least 5 minutes and was surprised to see a few punters in the venue already. I played for about 15-20 minutes and finished. People clapped after it. Don't know if they liked it or were just happy for me to finish.

Gerda Blank were loud and rocked hard. Two piece (guitar + drums), kinda half indie/ half garagey stuff. Spent next 3 days with them, top guys. Qui were good, but I was too busy taking care of business and catching up with people to pay too much attention. Also, there were only 60 or so people there, so the band seemed to be going through motions a bit.

After the show I helped them load up and take them to the hostel, then I took cab to my parents' place and went straight to bed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Japan Pt.2


Today was my last gig in Tokyo and the only one I played without Chris and Stina, and since Kenta and Scott have left already I had to go to the venue all by myself. I stopped at some flea market on the way, but there was nothing there to write home about, so I went straight to the venue.

The gig was at Nishi Ogikubo at Rinky Dink Studios – basically a rehearsal space with 4 rooms on three floors. The event lasted for two days and there was 100 bands/acts in total.

When I arrived I saw bariken guys who organised my pass and introduced me to the organiser and some other cool people who showed me around. The drinks were AUS$2 and bands already started playing, so there was no time to waste. I got onto the booze (sake and grapefruit juice) and checked some acts. The bands were all different styles – from ska-punk to math-rock to hard core to acoustic to noise... and all of them were fucken great! But when you have 50 bands to check and cheap drinks and cool people to hang around with it becomes a bit hard to see every single band. The rooms varied in size – from tiny to slightly bigger rooms.

My show was at around 4pm. I did a quick set up, checked everything and all was cool. I started playing and the first track went for about 15 minutes. I had another 10 minutes of my set and decided to get the audience to participate. I put my guitar on the floor and said “Let's make noise together”. The punters took turns on guitar while I was on pedals. Everyone had lots of fun and by that time I was slightly pissed and enjoyed even more. At the end we had a laugh, I got some CDs (including the one from a Tzadik band who I saw in one of the rooms earlier) from the punters, and the it was time to check Tiala.

Some of Gutter Guitar's special guests.

Tiala's singer Minoru is the manager of eM SEVEN, and I was looking forward to see them live, but could not expect them to be so incredibly good! The room was packed and 5 seconds into the first song everyone went berserk. The vocalist was all over the venue, the punters were following him in a manic dance and the band just chucked the song after song... Hopefully we'll see a 3-way split between Bamodi, Bariken and Tiala in next few months.

Tiala's singer Minoru after the gig.

And this is what it looked like on video:

It was 6pm, I got drunk and after hanging outside with Bariken guys I opted to head home. I said goodbye and they said they'll organise some gigs for me when I return in October. I jumped on train, and after 3 stops the train went in different direction. Suddenly I ended up on a station I never heard of. I asked some guy in my broken Japanese if I could catch a train to Shinjuku and was told that I can catch a train to Seibu Shinjuku, which was good enough for me, even though I didn't know where the fuck that was.

Once I got there I came out of the station and I was right in the middle of theTokyo madhouse – neon lights and zillions people everywhere! I didn't have a clue where I was and was too drunk/proud to ask anyone for directions, so I started walking down the street, looking for Shinjuku station, but it was nowhere in sight. I was thinking of catching a cab, but was afraid they would just laugh at me and tell me it's just around the corner. Finally I asked some Combini attendant and he gave me good directions. 10 minutes later I was on a train to Yokohama...