Tour Recap and Vol 5 in October

"Where the F*%K have you been guy?!!!" Sorry everyone. The week and a half spent on tour felt more like a month. I needed 2 weeks of hibernation from anything NMFT related so I can get back in the swing of things with the right frame of mind. People have been asking me how the Vancouver show went?

A picture's worth a thousand words so here are a couple grand to chew on:

The show did extremely well with a near capacity crowd (Waldorf holds 300, we had 276). Pretty f^cking awesome considering we were pitted against Best Coast @ the Biltmore which was supposed to be the 'it' show of the week. But upon reading this review it looks like we won the arm wrestling match on May 23. :)

Here are reviews of the show by Discorder and Vanmusic with photos from Dean Belder: Praha Charan inou and Zazen".

For me the highlight of the show was catching Mukai enjoying and videotaping Praha Depart's set. Seriously, up until Vancouver, the entire tour the guy never bothered to watch any of the other bands and would just show up on time for his own band to perform. But in Vancouver, we were split up hotel-wise with Zazen and Praha staying at the Waldorf and the rest of us at a Holiday Inn near Broadway & Cambie. Praha and Zazen spent the night drinking together the night before and bonded a bit. Mukai was pleasantly surprised to see that Praha are actually pretty damn good. He was secretly watching the other bands from backstage and he seemed to really enjoy the show. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Overall, volume 4 was easily the most successful tour thusfar with essentially three of the four shows selling out. I just need to focus some more attention on promoting better in Montreal. In particular, Montrealers have advised me to spend more time getting the Francophone community interested in the tour. Will do!

Vol 4 had the most awesome line-up thusfar especially in terms of musical variety. Although out of all the NMFT shows over the past three years Vol 3 at the Rivoli remains the most fun and memorable. It's difficult to say who the most popular band on tour was but it would likely be between Charan Po Rantan and group_inou. There were lots of people who were most impressed by Praha Depart and of course a lot of fans came out specifically for Zazen Boys. I don't think I'll be able to come up with a more peculiar, interesting and talented line-up to beat vol 4 but I can always try.

Which brings us to vol 5. Tentatively, the tour is scheduled for Oct 16-25. I've already booked the Rivoli for Oct 19 & 20. The particpating bands will likely be: 赤い公園, チーナ, 後藤まりこ and... as decided by you, the fans: sgt.

The only problem is Akai Koen have a new manager and he wants the band to perform at Minami Wheel and Mega Rocks which are big Japanese music festivals both occurring in October. So I might not be able to bring Akai Koen.. although I will do my best to work something out which might involve pushing the schedule later. However, Mariko Goto can only come during Oct 15-25. Also, sgt's violinist Narui Mikiko recently had a baby and that may make it too difficult for the band to come in October as well.

So basically, the line-up is still up in the air depending on what happens with Akai Koen. I would love to bring グーミ, hyacca or susquatch to Canada again and there are bands like 385, thai kick murph, tacobonds, about tess, wozniak, johann, スカートの中 that are itching to take part. When I went to Japan in March, my friends Larry and Keleng really liked きのこ帝国. Vish who was in Tokyo for a year but is now back in Toronto also loves きのこ帝国. Geoff, who is practically the vice prez of NMFT isn't fond of kinoko teikoku but I think they're a band that really fits the NMFT aesthetic.

In terms of venues, the tour has sort of outgrown the Rivoli. We've had three sold out shows in a row and have had to turn lots of people away at the door. We could have held vol 4 at Lee's Palace but they would only let us so do one Toronto show (I wanted to do one show at Lee's and one at the Rivoli). I'm somewhat loyal to the Rivoli because three years ago they gave us a chance when booking agents at other venues wouldn't even return my emails. Not to mention the Rivoli is free to book as well as visa exempt. However, I am contemplating doing one show each in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver. Anyhow, for now it's the Rivoli. In Vancouver, both the Biltmore and Waldorf are great venues. Adam says the beer at Biltmore is way better and the SSRI's live right by the Biltmore so we can hold after-parties there! But I was also really happy with Waldorf and they even gave us four free hotel rooms for the bands!

Anyhow, I am back on board and will do a much better job of keeping you up to date now that I've taken a much needed break. There are a pile of emails I haven't replied to yet and I will get on it asap!

Thanks to everyone who came to the shows and helped out with the tour in any way! You guys rock and the NMFT bands love you too!

Let's do this again in October!!