Monday, November 27, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Playing Catch-up...

For a city as hi-tech as Tokyo it's surprisingly hard to find a reliable internet connection... the hotel room cables don't work on my laptop and there's very few wireless networks floating around. You kind of have to grab it when you can, like last night when Paul slept or right now when he's out shopping...

So. Where were we? Yesterday was the last gig of the mini-tour and we played a crazy downstairs venue that must have been 5 or 6 stories below ground level... it was a really early start as there was a club night afterwards. Today is a national holiday - if I'm right it's a National Pride day - so they were all having big parties into the night. We were finished by 8pm and out of the venue by half past, narrowly avoiding the uber fans outside but inadvertedly missing our stage manager Ace in the process... I never got to say thanks to him which was a terrible shame as he was such a great guy.

All afternoon we had been utterly bushwacked, and while gigs can usually be relied on to wake you up this one failed in that respect. My legs were shaking so violently on stage that I had to use the bass cabs to hold me up... I didn't even have the energy to dance during the second half and when it was finished I almost fell down the stairs in search of alcohol. All that aside, the gig was a good one - great crowd, nice set-up and I don't think I fucked anything up, although Simon did manage to accidentally rip out my video cable in the middle of 65 Doesn't Understand You, but that happens occasionally.

The night was a struggle I have to admit. Mr Kono and Takeshi from Zinkyo records took us out to a traditional Japanese restaurant (shoes off and everything!) and I kind of wigged out again... but as always a great meal and hearty round of drinks managed to stave off the collapse for another couple of hours. Takeshi took us on a guided tour of his club, rehearsal studio and office and then joined us in the hotel for another few hours as we drank and chatted the night away.

Slept in this morning, which was much needed, and then embarked on our day off with gusto. We first called in at HMV and Tower Records so the boys could sign some things and thank the purchasers for their support... it was all very odd, big cardboard standees of their faces resting next to the promo items for Tom Waits' new album, when did this happen to my friends? The Black Spider, our tour manager, has been immortalised recently by having a Mogwai track named him and that was on the next shelf over from 65. It all seems so... bizarre.

And then we shopped. Shopped with all that we could muster. Presents, treats, junk, curios... it all fell into hands after a while. I spent much of the day looking for something inherently Japanese but the Tokyo shops kind of resemble the London shops, or New York shops. I found some exciting stuff, though, when we made it into the Harajuku district and then later an extremely cool market area - all under the expert directions of Mr Kono.

We also made it to the Shubuya Shrine where two former Emperors are entombed - that was amazing, but again very odd as you leave the absolute pandamonium of the Tokyo streets and step into a tranquil and near empty section of the city. We saw a traditional wedding, made donantions and received wisdom... and then went back into the world where Harajuku girls walk around dressed as schoolgirls or babies offering comfort to lonely men.

Tonight we're doing a nice meal out to commemorate the trip, and then it's an 11 hour flight tomorrow morning. I think I'm prepared for the trip - the idea of it isn't freaking me out or anything - but I'd be lying if I said I was looking forward to it. Now I have a basic knowledge of the city I would love to come back with Isobel or friends and explore and discover it properly... I think it's fair to say that I have fallen in love with this country, but I have yet to consumate that love. I NEED MORE TIME!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Third and final night..

Well, we're done... that's the last 65 show in Japan and probably the last for the year. After my initially optimistic post earlier today I slipped into extreme fatigue mode and spent the whole afternoon and evening shaking and feeling ill. Dinner at another excellent Japanese restaurant and a few beers helped, mind... our guide for the evening was Takeshi from Zinkyo Records who guided us through the meal, a short visit to his club (where we watched a really rather good Japanese nu-metal band) and then back to the hotel for drinks and a little bit of ferverent conversation.

Takeshi is 31 and had his first taste of Jack Daniels tonight. We toasted the occasion appropriatey...

I's 4am, Paul is sleeping... I have to go to bed.

Post 100!

I am the tallest person in Osaka - a literal and figurative head and shoulders above everyone else. I've got used to people staring at me now, although it is a bit strange to find yourself walking next to a handful of schoolgirls who keep glancing my way and giggling... it happens a couple of times a day, but not once have I felt that I'm being mocked. Maybe I should be.

Osaka is what I imagined Japan to be like. A huge, sprawling cityscape with neon as far as the eye can see, a wealth of consumer options and more people than I'd be able to count even if they stood still. Paul and I crashed for an hour or so when we arrived and then, under great physical duress, forced ourselves to get up and go exploring. I think I may have moved too quickly... going from exhausted slumber to the center of Osaka in five minutes was overwhelming and I kind of wigged out. I was determined to do some shopping and find some presents, but I found myself just standing in shoe shops blinking and not knowing where I was. Luckily we bumped into Carl, Pauls friend from university, so he had someone to talk to while I staggered around and mumbled in tongues. It was even weirder when we realised we were being stalked by an uber 65 fan...

The show was excellent - I totally owned the visuals this time round. Paul and I realigned the Midi triggers and everything fell into place, I even nailed New Song No.1 which is rarely exactly right. The crowd responded really really well, especially when we dropped all the lights out during Robs drum solo in Arabic and just had the flashing video screen. The roar from the crowd at that moment made pretty much everything we've done up to this point worthwhile... it was extremely satisfying, and much appreciated!

After the struggle to get past the autograph hunters at the end we made our way to the famous Rock-Rock bar where we hung out with a whole bunch of people including Ace, our resident tech manager who is the very definition of the word ROCK. Things turned messy, as they always do, and when I realised Ozzy was competing with a professional air guitarist to the strains of Motorhead I decided to head home. On the way Joe and I managed to get lost on the side streets... but we found our way eventually thanks to a very helpful golden Buddha.

Slept. Woke. Taxi. Bullet train. Tokyo again. Feel brilliant. Huzzah.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Speedy sleeplessness

Greetings from the Bullet Train! As I write this we are speeding at 130mph through the Japanese countryside... well, I say countryside but it's more aptly described as occasional punctuations of mountains in-between settlements. The two cities of Tokyo and Osaka sprawl out to almost meet each other, and if the Japanese could find a way to build on the mountain, then they would.

The gig last night was difficult. Power transformers surged on our equipment, the 65 super-brain computer refused to boot and I had problems with the timing of the videos. The visuals are triggered at the beginning of each track by a Midi hookup to 65 but over time they appear to have slipped. Drove Through Ghosts was a good 10 seconds out of synch, as was the always problematic 65 Doesn't Understand You. I can pull these problems back and get them back in synch with relative ease, but the fact that it is happening at all is very worrying. When we get to Osaka Paul and I will need to go through all the triggers and realign them. Fun.

The gig, actually, already seems like a distant memory... we had about an hour of downtime as the kit was packed up and we were speeded, stinking and sweating as we were, to a 14th floor Japanese restaurant for dinner with the promotions company. With a view over nighttime Tokyo we dined on shrimp dumplings, skewered chicken, fresh tofu, deep fried prawns, insane fried rice, incredible sushi, anchovy salad and pitches and pitches of domestic beer. It was probably the finest meal I have eaten since Robs birthday in Italy earlier this year, and it was a pleasure to finally have proper Japanese cuisine.

The classic line of "a quick beer before bed" ended up, predictably, with us staying in a local bullet riddled bar until 3am, and then continuing the party in kimonos in the hotel room with the remnants of the Jack Daniels rider. We met the local rich bling kids in the lift, all diamond encrusted teeth and Scarface paraphenalia. "Japanese weedu" they yelled to us as we staggered out at our floor "best in the world!" Bed at 5. Up at 9. Train. Incredible.

Japan is rushing past me at high speeds. Shanty towns, expensive cityscapes, industrial complexes, power stations, mountain dwellings, wide rivers... this country is amazing, and the width and breadth of diversity in the landscape is breathtaking. The mountains tower over everything, hazy and distant and appearing out of the mist like a looming bully. Everyone else is asleep. They've seen it all before... not me.

Monday, November 20, 2006


I'm writing this from the spacious dressing room of the Tokyo Liquid Room where we've just spent the last three hours setting up. If only all gigs were like this... we have a veritable army of people helping us, from light manouvering and PC repairs to my own personal gaggle of assistants moving screens around and wiring up projectors. I spent most of my time walking around with my hands behind my back directing people to do my bidding. Well, kind of... they know what they're doing and so there's very little for me to actually approve, I just waited for them to be finished really.

I'm so hungover. So so so so hungover. Tht was always the plan, mind, as Rob pointed out it's better to have a hangover than jet-lag but I feel I may have goe above and beyond the calling. The Tokyo label took us ut for dinner last night to an incredible Brazilian restaurant with a great salad bar and a large number of waiters circling with skewers of meat. Many many free beers later and we made our way to a tiny little punk-rock bar where we more than over indulged on Stilettos (straight JD nd Amaretto) into the wee hours. We staggered back in the pouring rain, reeling from a combination of exhaustion, alcohol and excitement and kept going in the hotel rooms until about 3am. The last I saw of Ozzy, the guitar tech, was him going down in the glass elevator to try and find some McDonalds.


Well, after 2 hours of watching the tech guys set up the projector and some very big probems with power surges and broken computers we've just done the sound check. The gig tonight is sold out, the venue is awesome, the staff lovely and expectations are high... really looking forward to it! Best of all, though, the car park next to us is one of those crazy car-stacking places that has all their vehicles on rotating levels. This country is wicked!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Made it...

So... we're in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. This is the view from our hotel room. Not bad, eh? I've seen these crossroads in so many movies that it seems utterly bizarre to me that we're now towering above it as we sleep.

The flight was long and arduous, although not as long and arduous as I was prepared for. The strangest thing was flying into the night, watching darkness take hold and trying very hard to sleep even though my body knew it was really about 4pm. The steady flow of Gin and Tonics helped matters, as did the ample movie selection (I plumped for Taladega Nights and Severence, if you're interested) but there's no denying that when we hit the 11th hour it all started getting a little bit too much.

So we've now been up for well over 24 hours, although I appear to have tricked my body into not believing that by taking off my watch and refusing to contemplate UK time. We're off out for dinner at 7 so we're all just hanging onto conciousness until after then...

Tokyo is insane. It's like they just plonked buildings down in every available space and then built up from there. The first 5 floors of this building is a shopping center, then 14 more floors of hotel, then 5 floors of private apartments, then a restaurant... the whole city is piled on top of itself. Shops are within shops, bars are in doorways, TVs on sticks, speakers on crossings... getting down the street is like a scrum but everyone is so damned nice.

There is obviously lots more to report but, frankly, I need to get a shower and lay down for a few minutes before going out. Paul is writing postcards, Joe is asleep, Rob is bored and Simon is jet-lagged... just an hour and a half to go before food and then we can sleep. In the venue at 11 tomorrow to set everything up - the tour crew over here seem really nice so we shouldn't have too many problems...


More photos at Day of the Dave.



Friday, November 17, 2006

General Matters

We're off.
Tomorrow morning. Taxi at 7am. Flight at 1pm. 10 hour flight. Arrive at 9am Sunday. That's already messing with my head.

Japan, baby!

It's a little hard to get my head around, truth be told. I remember I started out with 65 because no-one else was old enough to drive their van... now I'm being flown half way round the world on someone elses dollar to do what I love, with my friends... it seems too good to be true. I'm riding the curtails of their success, no doubt, but I can cope with that - I'm just happy that we get to take the Media Lounge with them.

I'll be updating from there as often as I can, and I'll be posting photos on Day of the Dave as well. There's a chance, although this isn't confirmed, that this blog will be being published on the BBC South Yorkshire Raw Talent page as well. Check for updates.

Our plan B remixes have made their way online. Here they are:

See you in the next world, brother.

Monday, November 13, 2006


5 days until we leave.

20th: JAPAN. Tokyo, Liquid Room.
21st: JAPAN. Osaka, Club Quattro
22nd: JAPAN. Tokyo, Unit.

Very excited.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Heroic cross-platform marketing

Series 1, episode 7 of the new hit NBC show Heroes

Claire is an invincible cheerleader who cannot die, her brother has just stolen a tape that proves her aformentioned invincibility and has locked himself in a car so she can't get it back. With her friend Zack she tries to coax him out the car.

Claire: Give it me back.
Brother: No! I'm gonna put this on YouTube and make like a million bucks.
Zack: YouTube is free you idiot!

I don't know if you know much about Heroes, but much of its success has been attributed to the teaser trailer they put on, you've guessed it, YouTube.

Nice to see them returning the favour, and mentioning that it's free as well...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Updated Dead

There's a new updated version of Night of the Living Dead being released... this time in 3D. You can view the trailer here.

Want to know just how updated it is...? Check out the screen grab below and tell me that's not incredible for all the wrong reasons

UPDATED: As Matt pointed out in the comments section, there's also a brilliant disclaimer at the end that I didn't notice on the first view. If ever something screamed 'legal obligation' it's this:

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Caroline Hustings... where are you?????

I have a little service run by a website called Blog Patrol that lets me know how many visitors I have, what countries they come from, what pages refer them, what their IP addresses are, what brand of shoe they're wearing - that sort of innocent thing. Most stuff is pretty innocuous and helps me see how certain links like MySpace, YouTube and 65dos help get me readers.

Every now and then it throws up some interesting facts. The phrase "Swearing in German" is my number one linked from google search, I get more readers from Israel than I do Ireland, a link to my blog appears, inexplicably, when you search for "you tube video feet sniffing sandal" (here's the weird thing, I actually have made a video about feet sniffing and put it on YouTube, but I've never mentioned it here... weird!).

Anyway, I got a link this evening from someone searches Google for "Caroline Hustings" and they went to an old blog I wrote about Friends Reunited in which I talked about a girl who I went to school with called Caroline Hustings. Now, I have no idea if it was the Caroline Husting I went to school with who was Googling herself or a different Caroline Hustings. Most likely is wasn't my Caroline, but what if it was? I never thought about using blogs and the vain act of Googling to try to find people before, so I'd like to try it.

Here is a list of a few people that I'd like to get back in touch with, I've chosen people from school so as to tie this in with Caroline.

David Hughes
Matthew Lilley
Helen Whitrow
Elizabeth (Liz) Morrell
Andrew Bastock

Right, five people - nice and simple. Here are a few keywords to shake the whole thing up a little:

Nottingham Bramcote Hills Comprehensive School Chilwell Beeston Parkview Sixth Form Centre Sherwin Arms Field Moor Lane

If any of these people end up swinging their way here then I'd love for them to leave a comment and say hi. I tried Googling all these people and couldn't find a thing, then I tried Googling the name of every school friend I could remember but still to no avail. In fact the only lead I got was this man: Rizwan Ahmed. He looks alot like my friend Rizwan Ahmed, and his name is the same but his website has no mention at all of every being in the UK and when we were meant to be doing Sociology together he was reputedly a Student Facility Member at a university in New Dehli. Unlikely to be the same guy.

The only person who I successfully found was me. According to Blog Patrol no-one has ever come to this blog by searching for 'Dave Holloway' which I guess is part of the problem of calling yourself Dave Medlo online (another problem is realising it sounds like a surname and thus everyone thinks you've named the business after yourself).

I'm now going to do another search for Caroline Hustings and I'll be damned if I don't get pole position.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Our man in Qatar

This is Mr Heap.

Mr Heap has been a spiritual guide of the Media Lounge for quite some time now. He could always be found gently pulling the strings at the Vibe Bar nights and the Big Chill shows when not busy running the highly important A few months ago Mr Heap took a job at the Al Jazeera English network in Doha, the State of Qatar in the Middle East.

Mr Heap has started a blog called A Man in the Desert and it's a very interesting read, I urge you to check it out. He's far from harm but close to the action.