We’re now on the fifth day of our stay in Japan, and tonight will perform our fourth concert of this part of the tour. After great stays in China and Taiwan, it is lovely to be back in Japan. So far we’ve sung in Toyooka, Tokyo and Toyota, but this evening we spoil this alliterative list by singing in Kawasaki. There are lots of great things about touring in Japan – the attentive audiences, the beautiful concert halls, the food, and the remarkable transport network, and especially the trains. Coming from Europe, we are used to the train timetable giving a rough idea of when you might get a train. Here the trains run not just to the minute, but often to the second. They are also incredibly quick. It took about 90 minutes to travel nearly 200 miles from Tokyo to Osaka yesterday. On this trip we’ve also used the new express trains in China.
One of yesterday’s concert goers brought along a brochure from the KS Japan Tour in 1992, and, much to the delight of my dear colleagues, it has a photo of me in my classic 1980s glasses. This picture, which predates my KS career, was the one I sent to our General Manager, Gillian Newson, when I was appointed in 1989. Since joining the KS in 1990 I haven’t used glasses on stage, and not much off it, until I succumbed to reading glasses about 5 years ago. However age has overtaken me, and I now have varifocals, which I wear all the time. I wasn’t wearing them for concerts until a couple of months ago, but sadly they have become a necessity. Check out the photo on Facebook!
Late last night Julian and I did a Facebook Live Chat, which was great fun. As we spoke, we were able to read the comments and questions, which came from all over the world. At one point we received an early Sunday morning message from someone in Los Angeles, and the next message was from New Zealand, where it was 2am on Monday! The tech thing has been one of the great changes since I joined the KS in 1990. I mentioned the Japan 1992 tour above, and during that trip my Mum celebrated her 60th birthday. My 5 minute phone call to wish her a happy birthday cost about £50. On this trip we all have small internet boxes which give us connectivity everywhere. In addition we’ve taken the tech to the concert platform this trip, using iPads instead of sheet music for the concerts. Check out Tim’s excellent article for more details on the website for more information.
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