WE SHALL WELEASE FWIPP
In an alternative version of Monty Python's Life of Brian, following requests for the release of "Wudolf the Wed nosed Weindeer" and "Woger, the serial Wapist and Wobber", we can now have the announcement that "WE SHALL WELEASE FWIPP!" (and for those who have no idea what I am talking about, you have only missed out on one of life's greatest treasures - I mean, forget King Crimson, this is Monty Python...)
Yesterday, for the first time, I was allowed to use the public lifts, rather than the service lifts, to go out jogging. And when we arrived in Nagoya, we walked the streets, visited the castle and bought bubble tea... The small pleasures.
Our newly found freedom was somewhat tempered by the dramatic news, announced on the same day, that Japan has now closed its borders. It is a sobering thought that our tour would have been impossible if it had begun just ten days earlier, as one of the team was still failing PCR tests from an earlier bout of Covid, although long since recovered. And it would have been impossible had it begun ten days later, as Japan has now banned international arrivals. It would seem that the good fairy who accompanied us through the USA is still with us.
Either that or I should join the long queues you see in the streets of people buying tickets for the lottery.
When we planned both tours, we had no idea that we would be fore-runners in "touring during the pandemic". In fact, it was widely believed that the pandemic was on the wane. I suspect we find ourselves in this position because we did not have the option of postponement until next year, which many others have chosen. And because we have a team who have been willing to wrestle with the endless protocols now required. This is not just an extraordinary band - it has assembled an extraordinary crew. More on this another time.
At the sound check for the second show in Tokyo, we did another photocall. The first, I think, since the one in 2018 which I posted recently. Claudia Hahn took most of the pictures. Here are a selection of my own.