Acid Mothers Temple: Tour Diary

Legendary Japanese group hit the UK
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More than forty years on from the Summer of Love, some groups are still trying to smash down the doors of perception.

Formed in Japan, Acid Mothers Temple are responsible for stretching the psych rock template until it breaks. Songs - if you belittle their sound nuggets enough to give them such a restrictive name - often last for more than forty minutes, with their aural trips transcending genre, style, form.

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. recently released their new album 'The Ripper at the Heaven's Gates of Dark' which was a typically lysergic voyage into the epic realms of inner space.

An utter mind fuck from start to finish, the album prompted a rare British tour from the Japanese collective. Packing their bags, Acid Mothers Temple guru (the term seems only appropriate) Makoto Kawabata jotted down some notes and the entire band shared photography duties...

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Nov. 4th (Fri) CAMBRIDGE (UK) @ The Portland
Today we landed in UK by Euro Tunnel, the inside looks like "space ship", isn't it? I was impressed a door of the bathroom in the hotel also serves as a door of toilet too! I was always dissatisfied with Western bathroom, 'cos why toilet and bath are in same room, even they have so large space to make separate!? It's separated in Japan even much narrow than Western bathroom. Tonight's venue The Portland was small, it was so good atmosphere like a cool old English pub! We autographed our tour poster to make money! hahaha! The sound engineer guy was great! He didn't speak so much though, the sound was perfect for us, he knew what we wanted even we didn't say! Then we felt the history of British Rock from him!

5th (Sat) BIRMINGHAM (UK) @ Hare & Hounds
I bought a guitar at the pawnshop. Then we went to the record store, and bought some records. We like record shopping very much! I like the poster of tonight's show. I set fire on my guitar on the ending of our set. Fire excited people! After the show, I drank with Andy and Kerrie. We've worked together since our first UK tour in 2001. We can't imagine it took already 10 years, we remember about first tour very much like last year.That tour was one of the best period in my life.

6th (Sun) NOTTINGHAM (UK) @ Bodega
The cosmic joker Tsuyama Atsushi is also the levitating saint!? We bought some CDs!! We really love spending money!! We met one small girl who was the youngest AMT fan when we played at this venue in 2001. Her father took her to our soundcheck, then we played one song for her, 'cos she couldn't come our such late night show. We talked about her before record shopping. Wow! We met her father at the record store! It was a miracle! He said she is 20 years old and a student of the university now! We hope she still remembers about us even if only a little.

7th (mon) MANCHESTER (UK) @ Ruby Lounge
From early morning, we watched "Morning Masala" on B4U (Bollywood For You) channel! We enjoyed a lot, I love Bollywood films! At the back stage in the venue, I found they have the laundry service for 5 pounds! What a kindly venue is! I set fire on my guitar again! Manchester is burning!

8th (Tue) HEBDEN BRIDGE (UK) @ Trades Club
We could stay at Kermit the Frog's flat in Hebden Bridge! Can you believe? But it was true!! The venue Trades Club is looks very nice, it's looks like a back lot! Also tonight's audience were many drunk old cool people!! We felt the history of British Rock from them!! We sold the limited tour t-shirts. It was really good sales every night! We would like to sell it to everyone who wanted to get it, but we are not sure we can bring to the end of the tour.

9th (Wed) GLASGOW (UK) @ Nice N Sleazy
I saw a baby with Zappa T-shirt! What a Rock baby is!!
Always we've cooked our breakfast and lunch boxes by ourselves. All members of AMT are quite good cookers! I had been a chef at a Turkish, Indian, Spanish and Chinese Yam Cha when I was younger. I cooked one of my standard easy dish this morning. Steamed rice, miso soup, ninjin-shirishiri (baked julienne carrot with egg and consomme and pepper) that was a typical Okinawan home cuisine. Anyway I don't like bread, ham and I hate oatmeal! I found a big overnight bag in the back stage. I saw fair hair run over the bag! I was sure it was a corpse! It might be a prologue of the mysterious murder like Twin Peaks! I was a inquiry agent like Mr.Holmes before musician! I should start to conduct an investigation! I found a hot sauce "Pain 100%", I love hot sauce very much, always i'm searching more hotter sauce in the world on the tour!! I tasted it, hum. It's quite good! But it didn't make me pain sadly...

10th (Thu) BELFAST (UK) @ Auntie Annies
I like progressive rock. When we drove "roundabout", I listened to Yes's famous song "Roundabout" by my iPod. We took ferry to Belfast. I drank beer for getting sea leg. This is my way! The venne Auntie Annies prepared "star" for a part of Koji's drum-kit. So he played "star" as a cymbal, the sound was of course very spiritual and spacey! Look, Koji's such happy-looking smile! My guitar was hung this night 'cos there were some very hot audience which brought out the masochist in me!!

11th (Fri) DUBLIN (Ireland) @ Crawdaddy
Too many kinds of 20 pounds bills in UK. These are impossible to exchange in Japan of course except for pound sterling from Bank of England. Maybe we can issue a new bills by Acid Mothers Temple bank? Hahaha! We cook noodles and spaghettis by the electric jug kettle for making tea in any hotels in UK & Ireland. I woke up around 4:00 am every morning, then i'm so hungry. OK, I cook Japanese style baked noodle by this useful machine! Put instant noodles to the kettle, and turn on! Of course noodles need "boil" though, the electric jug kettle turn off when completed boiled water. But I found the kettle didn't turn off even completed if the cap of the kettle was opened! So I can cook noodles by this useful machine even there is no kitchen!
Also I can cook a half-boiled egg easily too. I cooked spaghetti by this electric jug kettle as lunch. This is "Spaghetti Muscolo (mussel) con uovo sod (hard-boiled egg)", it's so easy cooking with canned mussel though, it's so tasty! This night, I couldn't take any photos, 'cos I blacked out from too much drinking. Sorry.

12th (Sat) CORK (Ireland) @ Crane Lane Theatre
I cooked "Spaghetti Polpo (Octopus)" as breakfast also by such useful electric jug kettle! It's very tasty! All other members also cooked breakfast and lunch boxes in every morning too. 'Cos we're really poor tour band, not rock star unfortunately.
We enjoy "Murphy's"! why not? The venue Crawdaddy is cool place, the stage has "red curtain" like Black Lodge in Twin Peaks! I may see Killer Bob and take my space today? My guitar was hung again. 'cos i might be invaded by Killer Bob? Maybe No. Sadly I didn't hear his words "fire walk with me" on the stage. If Bob exchanged me, i'm sure he set fire on my guitar! Where is the entrance of Black Lodge in Ireland?

13th (Sun) Day off
We left Cork at 5:00am for catch the morning ferry. We needed to put petrol though, all gas stations were closed, it was too early for Irish people? A kindly man taught us one gas station would be opened at 7:00am., so finally we could put gas. But we lost about 1 hour and half for this stupid reason. We caught a ferry just a few min. before the departure time. Koji who played rugby in high school bought the Wales' rugger shirt. He is happy 'cos he is a big fan of Wales for long time. Today, it's a day off. We have nothing to do. We went to a big supermarket though, it was closed just when we arrived at their entrance. it was only 4:30 pm! what!? They said it was sunday. What? All supermarkets are opened at least 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm, some are opened for 24 hours in Japan. What a lazy business is! We saw a sexy Santa Claus. Who wants to see his sexy fishnet tights? We found only one shop was still opened, it was the Chinese fast food shop. We bought dishes, mine "sweet and sour pork" was horrible bad. I put my favorite Habanero hot sauce that I brought from Japan very much. Then finally this horrible thing could be a kind of food.

14th (Mon) BRIDGEND (UK) @ Hobos
I boiled Japanese noodle "Udon" by the great electric jug kettle. Don't close the cap! My breakfast was "curry Udon". I made the soup by Japanese curry blocks and Dashi (Japanese bouillon) both I brought from Japan. We walked around city central Bridgend, went to the market, pawn shops. Ex.rugger Koji bought a vinyl "Wicked Rugby Songs" with very nice artwork. Tonight, we played with a very special guest Nik Turner! Space rock jam. We played very loud on so small stage. But he said no problem, 'cos he had played with Lemmy! Indeed!

15th (Tue) BRISTOL (UK) @ Thekla
We stayed at the friend of the organizer's house. Of course I invaded and slept at my most comfortable place kitchen again. When I woke up, I cooked Japanese curry and steamed rice both. This taste remained me Japan. But we can go back home soon, it's the end of this European & UK tour for 5 weeks. Tonight's venue Thekla is so cool, it's the boat. I set fire on my guitar again. 'cos Audience in Bristol were so hot so crazy!

16th (wed) OXFORD (UK) @ Jericho
I cook steamed rice by Koji's electric travel cooker. This is so useful for the tour. We're very D.I.Y. band, so we cook by ourselves always. I think we can issue a book "Acid Mothers Temple's cooking recipe for the all of poor tour musicians". This morning's breakfast was the typical Japanese style, baked mackerel (it was canned though "better than nothing"!), steamed rice, miso soup, "Noritama" that is the very well known "furikake (seasoned dried food for sprinkling on rice)". Koji got such big Fish & Chips that was his dream. Enjoy! Tonight's audience were looks students and old hippies, form a beautiful contrast! We are so glad many kinds of people enjoy our music!

17th (Thu) LONDON (UK) @ Corsica Studios
Finally we arrived at London. we're very sorry almost merchandises were gone, already T-shirts were sold out too. I bought South-American chili pepper "Aji" that Koji recommended me. He had been to South-America many times for buying prostitutes! Tsuyama played the organ and check e-mail by his laptop also drinking wine same time. He loves Keith Emerson since when he was a joiner high school boy also at that time he saw the legendary ELP's concert at Koshien stadium in 1972. (At that concert, lots of audience came up on the stage, then the organizer cut electronics and the concert was over even it was drum solo part.)

I prepared 2 guitars on this tour though, tonight I borrowed one from my friend Suzuki Junzo. I love this venue Corsica Studio very much. We have played here many times. We feel "home". We saw "All staff MUST wear ear plugs!" poster on the wall. It made us laugh so much! By the way nobody wear ear plugs at the shows in Japan, musicians, audience both even Japanese venue play much louder by such big sound system in even small venues. I think Japanese people have strong ears than Western people, same as eyes (we don't need sunglasses) also skins. I haven't wearied ear plugs in my life though, I have no problem and haven't had ringing after the show. London was burning! So i set fire on my guitar and smash! x 2!!

18th (Fri) BRIGHTON (UK) @ Hectors House
I cooked Japanese baked noodle "Yakisoba" by such amazing electric jug kettle. My breakfast was Yakisoba, steamed rice from yesterday with "Noritama", miso soup. I have seen this view from the entrance of the hotel even I stayed here first time. It was "deja vu". I went to Brighton Pier alone. Other members went to record stores though, I was interested in this baroque pier much more than record stores even I like record shopping. I found a poster of Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash's double header concert just next to a poster Romeo and Juliet. Oh man. Tonight's, very psychedelic light show are played at Hectors House. I found so nice graffiti on the wall of toilet. Tonight's audience were also so hot and crazy though, I couldn't set fire on the guitar nor smash 'cos all of my guitars were smashed last night, so i borrowed Junzo's guitar. Oh man. It was not Rock and Roll way.

19th (Sat) LONDON (UK) @ Cafe Oto
I cooked steamed rice and very special "squid ink curry" by Koji's electric travel cooker. The taste is really rich, so good even looks bad! We arrived at our final destination of this tour Cafe Oto in London. We had to say "good-bye" to our great tour manager also driver Csabi. He had to drive back to Germany with all equipments. Thanks Csabi! We're so grateful with you! Cafe Oto has Japanese spirit "Shochu" that is very familiar alcohol for us. I enjoyed "Oyuwari" that was Shochu with hot water. Tonight, we play the special extra show, my solo, Tsuyama's solo and Acid Mothers Temple acoustic set. It's the first time to play acoustic set in overseas. It was very packed even after lifting of press ban just 2 nights ago. Finally our European & UK tour "2011: A Space Ritual Tour" was done. Thanks for everyone whom we met! We love you all! see you in 2012! Waiting for us with listening to our new album "The Ripper At The Heaven's Gates Of Dark" until next time! Adios!

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