Saturday, September 08, 2007

Japan to Japan

I saw my first live band in 1982 at the Edinburgh Playhouse – Japan. Some of the lyrics have dated badly, especially in my current context of living in Hong Kong (from the faintly embarrassing “Cantonese boy/Bang your tin drum” to the unnecessarily mystical: “We walk backwards/Say nothing”), but it’s hard to describe the excitement I remember feeling on going to see them at the age of 14 – the hush and then the roar as the lights went down as the band came on stage; the vision of David Sylvian, who was clearly some sort of god, singing on stage, with Ryuchi Sakamoto dancing on tiptoe beside him; the drum solo in “Visions of China”. Sylvian is playing in Hong Kong in a few weeks’ time and I was quite chastened to realise it would be 25 years since I last saw him live.

My excitement about music hasn’t really diminished in that time. My boyfriend at university said to me “One day you’ll meet someone who is as passionate about music as you are”. Even though I sometimes wonder what 20 year olds think of people like me abrogating “their” music (much the same attitude, I would think, as I would have taken as a 20 year old towards people in their late thirties trying to pretend they knew about music – see below under The Klaxons – They’re Shite), I still buy CDs, and listen to the radio when I’m in the UK, and the way I felt when Maximo Park came on to the stage at Summersonic didn’t feel any less intense to me than 25 years ago.

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