25th Wednesday August
Page One is in Osaka, and it is one of the famous live house in Osaka for Blues music. This was the second time for me to play there in as many years. Last year, I had a great reception at Page One and made a lot of friends there. The ower of Page One is a Blues singer and loves the Blues and is a very very nice guy. I was really looking forward to playing at Page One. I knew quite a few friends would turn up for my show and Senoh san's band will be playing the same bill. I was really looking forward to play there. There problem is, we have to get there first.
Wednesday morning, the alarm clock went off at 9:00 a.m. It seemed I hard harldy closed my eyes the night before and I had to get up again. When I got up, I was still feeling the after effects of yesterday's travel and playing at Auguri Cafe. We quickly cleaned up, got dressed and got ready for the journey from the Mount Fuji area to Osaka. It was a long long way. Geographically, it would be something like travelling from Hong Kong to Beijing. Wednesday morning was pelting with rain, a strom was coming to Tokyo. Masa Oya san and his wife Minako san picked us up at JVC Studio at 9:30 a.m. and drove us to the bus station where we were to catch a bus to Tokyo to catch the Bullet Train to Osaka. Time was tight. If everthing went well, we would have 15 mintues to spare at the station for the Bullet Train before it took off for Osaka. Everything depended on the bus taking us to Tokyo to arrive on time. But the bus was late. Once again we shifted everything on to the bus and all we could do was to hope for the best. By the time we arrived at the platform, the Bullet Train we wanted to catch had left and the next one was in 45 minutes time. The Bullet Train we missed was the express train. With the next train, we were looking at a three and a half hour journey.
Our Bullet Train arrived at the station and we shifted our gear on board and finally settled down. We were exhausted once again. Soon after we settled down, the ticke conductor came to inspect our tickets and told us we were in the wrong compartment, our compartment was some 6 carriages ahead. Once again, we shifted our gear. When we finally got settled down in the right compartment, we fell asleep almost immeidately. It is never very restful sleeping during travel. We arrived at Shin Osaka Station around 4:00 p.m. by which time we had been on the travel for almost 6 hours. Masato san picked us up at Shin Osaka station with his van and drove us to our hotel in the heart of Osaka. It took about one hour to get there. We deposited our luggage in our hotel rooms, cleaned up quickly and grabbed what we need for the show and jumped right back to Masato's van and went straight to Page One for sound check. By the time we got to Page One, we had spent something like 7 hours travelling. We were just worn out. After the sound check, we quickly went out to get something to eat and went back. It was time to start our show. We were to open the night and Senoh san's band was to play after us. This was the most difficult show of the whole tour, we were physically exhausted but this was also the show we got over our fatigue. Somehow, our bodies got used the fatigue and we started our set amind a warm reception and got into the music at once. We played for over an hour and time just flew by. This was the best show I played with my band in Japan. We throughly enjoyed the music, the place and the atmosphere.
Before Senoh san started his show proper, he invited me to do a duet with. It was thrilling to play with such a great Blues master. Masato san also joined us one one song.
After the show, a young and good-looking girl came up to me and talked to me in Cantonese. She told me that it was so rare to see musicians from Hogn Kong playing in Japan. I asked her how long she had been living in Japan and she told me she is Japanese. I just could not believe it, she spoke perfect Japaese. She told me she learnt Cantonese in Hong Kong when she stayed there for a few years. Now she is back living in Osaka. Incredible.
What was more incredible was she produced a picture of me she took when she was in Hong Kong in 1994. It was taken at a concert when I was invited by Danny Summer to play as a guest in concert at The New Elizabeth Stadium. I thought I was in a dream. The picture was over 10 years old. I was doing 'Dust My Broom' on stage and you could see our music conductor Mr. Dominic Chow in the background. Looking at the picuture, it seemed that a life time ago.
Another pleasant surprise was our good friends at 48th Street Mikey and Samantha came all the way from Hong Kong to Osaka to lend us support. We were overjoyed seeing them walked into Page One. I could hardly believe my eyes. For the next few days, we travelled together, went to shows together, went for dinner and got drunk in the evenings.
For Mikey and Samantha's pictures in Osaka , click here
When I got back to the hotel, I just fell into bed and passed out. The toughest part of the tour was over. I still have three more shows to play. And I could feel we were really going to have the time of our lives from now on.
To the next show : Club Jungle