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Hello Dear Friends, long time no write.
These words come to you from the hi-tech capitol of the world, Tokyo,
Japan, where the broadband network has a bug that blocks downloads
and my global cell phone can’t find a provider! On the plus side
however, there are two Starbucks to my certain knowledge and a little
more reconnaissance may uncover yet more.
How is everyone? What have I missed since we were last together? If you’re
reading this I imagine you must be aware of the forth-coming tour dates,
and on that subject I’ve had more than a few emails asking about
dates, particularly in the US. It seems that you’ve been doing
your homework and found that we’re playing dates that aren’t
yet on the website. That’s probably because those dates are in
the process of being confirmed. It’s likely though that what you’ve
heard is correct and postings will be made on the tour-dates page in
due course. So, going back in time a little, you probably read Ian’s
posting about Dubai and I’ll just add that it was an interesting
visit, even with the bomb scare that drove us all from the rehearsal
before the show.
A few weeks later we returned to a favorite place of mine, Russia, preceded
by Lithuania and Ukraine. Don’t get me wrong, the latter are pleasant
enough places to visit, but boys have things that suffer from the cold
and I have to report that mine froze off.
We made an interesting journey from Moscow to St. Petersburg by overnight
train, and here’s a low resolution photo of my low resolution sleeping
No, wait, that’s my Mum. Here’s the photo of my compartment….
Note the ample storage space on the left (the compartment, not my Mum),
perfect for Keyboard and ancillary equipment.
A night or two in St. Petersburg were enjoyed before heading home briefly
to open the mail, get a few days sunshine in Malta and ultimately my
favorite thing of all, laundry…..ugh.
Ian and Co. went off to South America for some orchestral elbow rubbing,
and I grabbed some time in the studio in my continuing efforts to record
some original instrumental compositions with a view to putting them on
a CD and playing them to you. A few days and several crates of the finest
German export (Becks Beer) later I emerged unshaven and ghostly white
with four tracks completed. Someone asked what genre my collection falls
under, and my answer was simple: Contemporary progressive retro electronic
orchestral pop doodle rock fusion with an element of elevator ambience.
I thought that rolled off the tongue quite nicely.
By now it was time to repack suitcases and head out to Australia, which
I did via California. I had a splendid few days with my friends and (you
knew this was coming) got an hour or so in the air over beautiful Monterrey
Bay in Northern Cal. My friend Pamela and I accompanied by new bud and
aircraft owner General John Lotz fired up a Cessna 172S for a fairly
rainy buzz around Carmel Valley and the surrounding area. As an Englishman
with a European Pilot License I was warned of all kinds of visa requirements
and special body-cavity searches in order to fly in the US. Happily none
of the above applied and we had a glorious 1.3 even if my passengers
didn’t see much through the drizzle.
Pictured; final approach. Work intensive and very satisfying.
Moving forward a few more days and it was time to face the awful reality
of a 14 hour flight to Syndey, Australia. I survived it of course, but
mainly due to the fact that I left San Francisco in the dark and it stayed
dark until we touched down in Sydney. Amazingly and without chemical
assistance I managed to sleep for around 10 hours. Quite usual for me
under normal circumstances but not always possible in a howling tube
in the air.
By the time we landed I didn’t have a clue what time or what day
it was, so as always in times of confusion far from home I headed for
the nearest Srarbucks.
I was met with all my luggage and equipment by my friend Toni who helped
me load it all into the back of her brand new Saab. She’ll think
twice about that in future, I’ll bet. Off we went to the Blue Mountains
on a staying awake exercise which was successful right up to dinner time.
Up to Brisbane the next day for the first show and back to Sydney the
morning after. We had 4 shows in a row in the big city and that meant
there was at least some free time in the day, and you guessed it…………
Another jolly, only this time in a Piper PA28 Warrior. You can just
make out (past the appalling baldness) the distant but unmistakeable
of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge, truly magnificent at 1500
ft amsl. Again, no interrogation or Interpol check-ups in order to
fly in Oz thanks to Sue, and Andrew Gresswell of Aerospace Aviation.
The Sydney shows were fun and hopefully the audiences there were happy
with our set-list variations over the 4 nights. Another plane ride to
Adelaide followed a visit to Melbourne, the last 2 shows in Australia.
We left it a long time to come back but come back
we did, and it was nice to see everyone again. Hopefully we’ll
see you again before too long.
That brings us up to about today, Thursday the 12th May 2005 CE.
We have the second of two shows here in Tokyo tonight. Last night’s
show went well on a nice stage with nice people backstage and off stage.
Tomorrow brings a 13+ hour flight home to our little island off Old Europe
where I’m certain we’ll be met by rain and grey skies, although
I heard something about spring being in the air.
Our next outing is a fairly local one – the aforementioned Old
(Olde) Europe. After all the long-hauls and time changes of this trip
it should be a walk in the cake and I for one am looking forward to seeing
friends old and new.
So if we’re coming to your town in the next few weeks, do me a
favour and have a word about the weather, will you?
Andrew Tired - But - Tanned.