Tour Diary: Fair Do’s Take Japan By Storm

In January 2019, Manchester tech-punks Fair Do’s toured Japan with good friend (and Manchester Punk Festival organiser) Ian ‘Tree’ Robinson. Tree agreed to write this tour diary exclusively for Shout Louder.

Tree’s Disclaimer: Fair Do’s have asked me to say that these are all my views and not from the mouth of anyone else!

Day 1: “My bass is more important than your merch”

Taxi picked us up at 04:45 to go to the airport. Leaving Bernie [my gorgeous girl] when she’s recovering from surgery is pretty heartbreaking. I kinda wish the tour was happening in a few more weeks. I’ve been so excited for the trip that I’ve just had to put everything to one side; before I know it I’ll be chilling with her at home.

I decided to starve myself of sleep as I’m not a big fan of flying. I prefer just to sleep through it. I find the whole process pretty suffocating and claustrophobic, I’m the kinda person that could’ve got through their entire life without flying and I wouldn’t have felt like I was missing out. English as fuck that, isn’t it?

Danny was getting panicked phone calls from Josh in the taxi about how his case is overweight by 0.5kg. Josh made it clear how important his bass was, I think he thought we’d just suggest leaving it so we could take merch instead (?). Sounds like a spliff would help the situation but we all know that’s out for a couple of weeks.

Fair Do's Airport Excitement
Fair Do’s stoked to be at Manchester airport at 04:30 (l-r: Josh, Danny, Tree, Dave). Photo: Sarah Williams

As soon as we took off from the runway, I could smell the nicest perfume I’ve ever smelt. It’s the kinda smell you get a whiff of and want to marry whoever is wearing it.

I booked the flights for four of us. As a tall guy, I always book extra legroom (let’s just skip over how monumentally unfair it is that I have to pay for that), but no option for extra legroom came up. Someone told me that long haul flights on more expensive airlines are more comfortable, have more legroom and are generally just a better flight experience. They are a liar.

Whenever I’ve used a budget airline and haven’t booked leg room, they let you sit in one of the seats with extra space, if any are empty. I went to sit in one of the nine empty seats that had a comfortable amount of leg room. A member of the crew realised it wasn’t the seat I paid for and came over and told me I needed to sit in my allocated seat. I explained my situation, but she said that if I sat there I would have to pay the additional cost of 140 US dollars (bear in mind the flights have cost over £700). To not have locked knees, cramp and what feels like a weight on my back, they want me to pay that much money. I asked for the manager, he said the same. Fuck you, you bloodsucking pieces of shit.  No one was sat there, what’s the problem?

They say in their little video before you set off, “Please let the cabin crew know how they can make your journey more comfortable.” Yeah, course. I can’t recline my chair because my legs are too long and don’t fit under the seat in front. The ‘headrests’ should be called shoulder rests. What sort of midget shithouse world do we live in here?

My knees and back are aching so much that my appetite for the in-flight ‘food’ has gone. It’s probably for the best. I glanced at what someone was eating and it looked like brown chicken, haven’t worked out what all the other mush is, but I doubt I’d feed it to Bernie.

So yeah, no sleep and no food and a lot of pain.

Thanks, Etihad. Man City wankers.

Fair Do's Tour Poster.jpg

Short stop in Dubai, scranned some food and listened to some commercial dance tunes to get me in the mood. Now it’s a ten hour flight to Tokyo. Legroom is a bit better but still not great. Can’t wait until the flights fuck right off out of my life.

If one more cunt mashes in to my knee when they are going down the aisle, I swear down I’m gonna smash the place up.

Went for a piss and had to stand in a static limbo position during, real test of aim that. Towards the end of the journey, the guy behind Josh and to my left started chundering in a bag. Strong start to the week, all in all.

After we got picked up by our driver and main man Waki he took us to Yousuke’s gaff where we were staying. We then went to his favourite local restaurant around the corner. We got pretty steaming on cheap pints and sake.

Watching six northerners trying to eat noodles and chips with chopsticks is hilarious. It got so pissed up back at the flat, Oasis tunes, polaroids, inappropriate touching, the lot. Let’s see what day one of gigs brings tomorrow!

Photo: Josh Sumner

Day 2: “Are you still banging on about leg room?”

Woke up today feeling pretty fresh, surprisingly. Yousuke got leathered and screamed songs at us last night about black coffee and cafe au lait. He was the best host, really made us feel at home. We had breakfast in a chain coffee shop that sold jam butties. I opted for a tea with frothy milk and chocolate cake because I’m a new level of solid.

We then spent some time preparing the insane volume of merch, after which I grilled John and Holly on the history of their tattoo shop (shameless plug for Cat’s Cradle Tattoo Studio in Rawtenstall). Sounds like they’ve got a good thing going there.

We went for tea at CoCo Curry House and it was absolutely peng. Holly keeps making mam jokes at me and Dave is a bit nervous about his peanut allergy so I comforted him by assuring him that we’ll blast him with the epi-pen if needed however as we are true mates, we’ll use his anaphylactic shock as a way of checking out what he’s packing, by whipping his keks down and jamming the pen in his arse. Fair’s fair.

Merch Crew
Merch crew: Tree & Holly

First gig tonight is at Hatsudai Wall in an area of Tokyo called Shinjuku. It’s a cool looking basement venue up a back street. For the first time I’ve ever seen, Fair Do’s have a wide selection of merch, like a real band. Holly and I are on merch duty but there’s no point pretending she’s not in charge; I know my place this time.

It was only FD playing as one band pulled out, maybe even two. The crowd here are so enthusiastic. They seemed genuinely pleased to see us, even me and Holly. I don’t think there’ll be many times we’ll sign autographs as the merch crew. RNR Tours are three (maybe four) guys but so far we’ve only met two of them, Yousuke and Ryouhei, two of the nicest guys! Organised, thorough, welcoming, they do a proper job. It’s easy to see why so many bands leave here feeling like superstars and desperate to come back.

Fair Do’s @ Hatsudai Wall. Photo: Yousuke Fujita

John put his stick through his snare a couple of songs before the end and Danny has a bit of a cold but they still nailed it, you could see how excited they were to be playing their first gig here, it was nice to see. Had a little proud moment watching them get so fired up. The spirit measurements in drinks are pretty ridiculous and fairly cheap so I was bolloxed by the end, kept hugging every cunt. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings.

Josh / Fair Do’s @ Hatsudai Wall. Photo: Yousuke Fujita

Day 3: “Kanpai” (Cheers)

Back to the coffee shop in the morning to try and feel human again. Dave just revealed he once stole an acoustic guitar from high school. If you know Dave, that is mind-blowing information. Josh is in a right mood with me and Danny because our snoring kept him awake; I feel a bit bad but what can I do. I felt less bad when we got back to the flat and Josh was snoring himself, jumped up little cunt.

Today has been pretty lazy. Think we were all still catching up from the flights (and booze). The venue tonight is Zone B in Waseda, it’s another basement. Sucks that the merch area is on a different floor, so I might not see too much of the gig, but I’m going to try catch odd songs of each band.

Danny, Dave, Holly & John. Photo: Josh Sumner

The first band on are HONGKONGETEMONKEY. Quite clearly big fans of Oasis. I can’t work out if they were booked because we were coming, but it wasn’t what I was expecting to hear.

Second on is PATROLTIME, three-piece shouty hardcore. Really enjoyed it! Next up is My Shoes My Cap: bits of ska, straight up punk rock and a general feel-good sound. Not a clue what they were singing about but they looked happy.

Fourth on is a band called Dead Ex who come recommended by Pook The Red Light. Decent tunes, proper Moving North style. Fair Do’s headlined the gig and got a great reaction from the crowd. Only a short set tonight, but a mint gig all in all. They love a fist in the air here!

Back to the flat for cheap whiskey and shit chatting. Tomorrow we get to see Waterweed which is probably the main thing we are excited about this week!

Dave & Josh

Day 4: “Stop kicking off with Dave will you, Danny.”

Today is Waterweed day! It’s a national holiday in Japan. Had our staple coffee shop breakfast because peanut butter is better than life. Danny keeps going sick at every cunt because he’s not well in the head. I’m sure I just heard him threaten Dave.

I spent a bit of time trying to convince John and Danny to give me a Bobby Dazzlers reunion but they are having none of it. Shit wankers! Set off on our way to an eight-band gig; been looking forward to this one since the tour got announced. We’ve got an interview lined up with the RNR crew when we arrive, everyone will have to talk in John’s “I’m talking to a foreigner” voice.

John, Holly and a massive fucking fish, apparently. Photo: Josh Sumner.

Tonight’s venue is 7th Avenue in Yokohama, Kanagawa. It’s such a cool place. I embraced Waterweed like they were my long lost children, it’s amazing how welcome and at home we feel so far away.

The first band on are one of a few where I’ve seen have their name in Japanese, I think it translates to I Hope. Not really sure how to describe them, maybe alt rock.  I missed the second band Zenith Angle, as we went for a scran. Soz! Arrived back during Radio Bug. Fast pop punk, definite early Fat Wreck fans.

FrisBee Dog came on next and got the crowd moving a bit, a mad mix of pop punk and ska with a bit of screaming over it. They seem to like mixed lineups on their gigs here.

Stone Leek played next and they were proper mint, best I’ve seen so far. Shred as fuck! I listened to them before we came and liked it, so was looking forward to watching them; they didn’t disappoint.

Yokohama 7th Ave Yousuke 3.jpg
John @ Yokohama 7th Avenue. Photo: Yousuke Fujita

After them was a band called Green Eyed Monster. Easily the most Japanese thing I’ve ever heard. Proper fast, happy, enthusiastic pop-punk. I read that they did a UK tour last year and played at The Eagle in Manchester as well as Old Town House in Warrington.

Waterweed came on and the place erupted. It was everything we knew it would be. They are so fucking good. I genuinely feel privileged to have watched them on their own turf. I’ll remember that set for a long time. I actually thought they were headlining, but turns out not. Their full set is on my Facebook if anyone wants to watch it.

Yokohama 7th Ave Yousuke 5.jpg
Danny @ Yokohama 7th Avenue. Photo: Yousuke Fujita.

By the time Fair Do’s started, I was wobbly pissed, sinking drinks like I’m getting put down by a vet in the morning.

The crowd were so up for it. Wow do they seem genuinely grateful to be at the gig, it’s adorable, belting out lyrics at the top of their lungs, circle pits, screaming for an encore, tonight was 10 out of 10. Tonight was the first time I’ve seen two bands so aggressively try and give each other merch for free – Waterweed and Fair Do’s – it was pretty funny. No one wanted each other’s money!

Tree Waterweed Interview Fair Do's Yosuke.jpg
Waki, Tree, Tomohiro (WW), Danny and Shigeo (WW). Photo: Yousuke Fujita

After the gig, Waki from RNR asked me, Danny and Waterweed to do an interview about Fair Do’s, Waterweed and Manchester Punk Festival. We were a bit soppy and emotional during it, to be honest, and couldn’t prevent ourselves from telling him just how happy and special he’d made a crew of fat northerners feel. Hearing how much MPF meant to Waterweed too was just incredible, an amazing band telling you how much you’ve made an impact on them is hard to put into words.

We had an inevitable Oasis singalong on the drive home, stuffed our faces with 7-11 ready meals and now we are drinking whiskey and licking each other’s arses.

We are three days in and I’ve run out of superlatives to describe how this tour has made us all feel. RNR are just the best and Japan itself feels like a bit of a dream. Clearly, I’m leathered, good night!

Yokohama w Waterweed, Stone Leek, Green Eyed Monster.jpg
Fair Do’s, Waterweed, Stone Leek & Green Eyed Monster @ Yokohama 7th Ave

Day 5: Shredfest JP featuring The Bash Brothers

After a pretty pissed late night, we woke up without much time to spare. There was a bit of snow too! Today is the longest of the drives but it’s still only a few hours away. Everyone is lacking in sleep but still smiling.

We stopped at a service station on the way and what a great shout it was. Dogs everywhere. Proper little fluffy fat fuckers, my jaw is hurting from how wide my smile is. Can’t wait to get back to Bern!!

We stopped at Maizuru Castle in Kofu. It feels like we are seeing the more authentic and traditional part of Japan here. Tokyo is cool as fuck but it’s a big city innit so we were looking forward to getting in to the suburbs a bit more.

The castle was the base for a crew of Samurais that would overlook the Kofu area and protect it. Basically a rock ‘ard neighbourhood watch. Clocked a dog being pushed around in a pram, my kinda place this! Stopped off for some sushi after the castle, Jesus can Yousuke put some food away for such a little guy!

Fair Do’s @ Maizuru Castle. Photo: Holly Dixon

Tonight’s venue is Bodega East in Kofu. Cool small venue attached to a practice room. Free 9% booze, think about how it’s gonna end…

Waki interviewed the promoter on stage before the bands started; I was having a giggle trying to imagine how that would go down in Manchester. Imagine Sarah Shout Louder interviewing me on stage at Gullivers in front of an audience, I’d even heckle myself.

Kofu Bodega East. Photo: Josh Sumner

The first band Get Over had to pull out unfortunately due to family issues. Hope it was nothing too serious! Hopeless Dew was a decent next start. Feel good pop punk. Got some mates with them, giving it some at the front. Before Me were the second band of the evening, a mix of hardcore/pop punk/skate punk. I enjoyed their set. Everyone seemed to be buzzing off the mid-song ‘banter’ but I’ve not got a clue what was going on. Probably how people feel whenever I speak.

Neutral was up next, recommended by Mr Dazzler, got the crowd going wild. Melodic skate-punk, clearly influenced by the ’90s American skate scene. They were good! Stone Leek is on again next, definitely one to check out if you like melodic hardcore/skate/tech-punk. I’ll let them off for their lack of shirts bigger than large. Had a circle pit around me during their set, the KNRD crew would be proud!

Circle-pit around Tree. Photo: Josh Sumner

There are two guys here that look like brothers, but I don’t actually know if they are related. They didn’t miss a song by a band all night. Synchronised jumps, circle pits, mid-set protein shakes. I think I judged them at first because they looked like hardcore bros but they were cool as fuck. Got everyone in the mood, kept the crowd energetic.

NAFT played next and they were mega. Shred as fuck, bought a CD straight away which is a good compliment I guess. The penultimate band on were Shames and I lost my fucking shit, they were banging. I’m telling you now they are coming to Manchester soon whether they like it or not.

Shames @ Kofu Bodega East. Photo: Josh Sumner

Fair Do’s took to the stage and everyone was so fired up; the band and the crowd just lost it. I didn’t think we’d be able to top Friday’s gig but the vibe was so friendly and happy. It wasn’t a city centre gig, so seemed a bit more like a big group of friends we were hanging around with. We sold a shit ton of merch after, myself and Holly trying to hold it together whilst being so pissed must have been a sight to behold!

Josh & Danny. Photo: Yousuke Fujita

Day 6: Sold The Fuck Out

Tonight’s gig is back in Tokyo and Waki’s just told us it’s sold out. Fucking mega that! Quick breakfast, quick dog hunt and off we go!

The venue is called Bass On Top and it’s part of a bunch of practice room studios. It’s gonna be a hot squeeze! We are in the heart of Tokyo. We dropped our shit at the venue and had a quick wander round just before the first band. We are seeing the Tokyo that you see on TV now: heads everywhere, a lot of nodding and apologies from me because I’m just constantly in the fucking way. Nearly stood on so many tiny humans.

Josh went for a KFC because he’s a cretin. I’m refusing to eat food that I can just get at home, well, apart from a daily portion of chips obviously. I’m not an idiot. Man needs potato.

Photo: Josh Sumner

We were pretty gutted to realise we’ve missed the first band, Valve Drive. The start time got lost in translation. It’s our fault and an honest mistake but still annoyed with ourselves.

Our friend Yuto made the two-hour journey to come to the gig. He’s the guy made famous in Manchester when he travelled 20 hours to MPF 2017 on his own, couldn’t speak much English at that time either. He was written about in Colin’s Punk Rock World (more than once) because he made such an effort for us and is a proper lovely guy. He plays in Gibberish and runs Torch Of Hope Records if you wanna check them out.

Danny & Yuto. Photo: Josh Sumner

Stone Leek on next, third gig together so far. Lovely guys! They smashed it like they have done every night!

Stone Leek @ Bass On Top. Photo: Josh Sumner.

Fair Do’s finished up the day then we had to quickly bring merch in to sell. I felt like me setting up the merch with Holly was part of the show; we had an audience watching us whilst we set it up then everyone came at us at once, it was bizarre.

The band have done well on merch every night really, the Japanese crowd like having a souvenir of the gig and they are very keen to meet the touring bands. It’s nice to see. We always get told by bands who play in Manchester that merch never does that well there. I expect because everyone spends their money on chang. Shirt or line? D’you know what I mean?

Fair Do's Nakano Bass On Top Youksuke 3
Fair Do’s @ Bass On Top. Photo: Yousuke Fujita

We went to a restaurant in the heart of Tokyo after. I’m grateful and excited to be here, but that was my least enjoyable part of the trip. I feel silly saying it, but food has always been a battle for me. I was a fat kid growing up because I just never went out and binged on food. Once I got to college I was basically an undiagnosed anorexic. I never realised that until years later, but I would go for days on a piece of bread or summat. I love Asian food – my favourite food is Chinese for example – but I need to know what I’m ordering because, even though my eating habits have improved and I’m more varied in my diet than when I was growing up, I’m still probably considered fussy.

I’ve eaten some lovely food here but the restaurant we were in just wasn’t really for me. Raw fish and more niche food, I’d call it. I hate that I don’t just eat anything, but I try my best and give most things a go. I just guess I’m a more common English guy when it comes to some things.

Photo: Josh Sumner

Our host was just trying to be helpful and look after us and I’m mega grateful for that, I just ended up paying a lot for a bit of rice and little nibbles of stuff. Being on a tight budget doesn’t help. I didn’t wanna moan and look like hard work so I just tried to deal with it but it put me in a bit of a mood, to be honest. Maybe I’m tired and a bit drained by now. I just don’t like being put in those positions, makes me feel cornered.

I’m pretty achy and people will laugh but I’ve hit my head at full pelt multiple times each day. Even though I do that at home, I’ve obviously done it more here and my head is bruised as fuck, it’s a bit frustrating. I’ve been having dizzy spells recently, wasn’t well before I came so it’s not exactly helped. Been doing my best to keep it to myself in all honesty but it is what it is. I’m having the best time but yeah, odd bits have been difficult.

Photo: Josh Sumner

We met up with Stone Leek at a bar/cafe kinda place. Nice to hang out with them properly. I cheered myself up and sank some drinks.

Think Josh needs to go to bed as he just asked the waitress to stab him to death.


Photo: Josh Sumner

Day 7: Happy Birthday to me!

Up and out for a brew as usual. Few hangovers knocking about in here. Danny bought some food from the 7-11 and got a sachet that squirts out mustard and ketchup at the same time and it’s blown John’s mind. Loves a bit of sauce. I’ll be amazed if he doesn’t bring a suitcase full of them back.

Tonight is the final gig which is pretty sad. Arrived at the venue and everyone is fired up to see Fair Do’s. Lots of hugging and bowing going on.

Photo: Josh Sumner

The venue is Club Roots in Koenji. Another basement. It’s so sick. Feel like I’m in a film, walking through the market part of town to find the entrance. At the start of the gig before opening, all the bands stand on the floor and get introduced over the microphone. Everyone claps and welcomes each other. Again, could you imagine doing that in Manchester? I’d get bottled.

First up is a local act called Ahoui’s Life. Standard light-hearted punk rock. Already a good crowd here, which is mint. We’ve opted to go for a wander and get some food; will miss a couple of bands.

Photo: Josh Sumner

I bought a grape drink from a vending machine, thinking it was a fizzy drink. It was fizzy jelly in a can. Sent my head west. Thought there was a fucking slug coming out of the can at me. Shat my pants.

Had some good scran just around the corner and wandered around dog spotting. John found a pastry shop so is very happy. I’ve still not found a pick ‘n’ mix place, but I’m not giving up. Dave’s Mam and Dad have made a surprise visit to watch the band, which is awesome. Just ran in to them down the road.

Sunny House 202. Photo: Josh Sumner

Arrived back as Sunny House 202 were starting. Singer has a Faintest Idea shirt on. Proper happy high pitched ska/pop-punk. Stone Leek up next and the vodka is flowing. Fuck it, I’m getting tanked up, as this is the last night of bands. Hopefully we’ll have these guys in Manchester in the next year or so. They’ve shredded every night!

Tornado is the next band on; a lot to live up to with a name like that. Fast as fuck skate-punk. The crowd went wild for them, not sure how local they are but they did the job either way. Next on is CXI. Not hugely for me, to be honest, but decent enough. Mid-paced squeaky punk rock. Next band Emit came recommended by Waki and I can see why: melodic hardcore with a mix of screaming and singing; sounds familiar! They were really good! The penultimate band tonight is Wait For Sunlight. American style pop punk. Decent enough at what they do.

Wait for Sunlight. Photo: Josh Sumner

Fair Do’s closed the show and it was probably the best they’ve played this tour. They all proper went for it, the crowd were loving it and it was a great end to what’s been an incredible week and an incredible experience. I live streamed the whole set on Facebook if anyone wants to watch it. Dave’s Mam and Dad were watching at the back and I’m sure they felt very proud watching their son headline a show in Tokyo. They should feel proud too!

Fair Do’s @ Koenji Roots. Photo: Holly Dixon

We hung around for a bit after, sold some merch and chatted to a load of the friends we’ve made this week. Arisa from RIS Records brought us what looks like homemade gifts to say thank you for some free CDs. She was lovely; it’s been great to hang out with her this week and I know the band feel the same. She made us feel very welcome and has been at all but one of the gigs so far. Danny gave her a load more CDs to flog in her distro and she was speechless, adorable!

Tree & Arisa. Photo: Josh Sumner

We also hung out with Yuki a lot this week, I think he may have only missed one gig, too. He’s a real committed skate-punk fan and loves the European and American bands, it’s been great to get to know him this week. It’s clear no one wants to leave here, as tired as we all are, we could spend more time here no problem.

After we loaded out, we went back to the restaurant from the first night with Stone Leek and Yousuke. Stuffed our faces on some great cheap food and got steaming drunk. Fitting to finish off the gig days back in there.

I was gagging for a dessert, so Stone Leek translated for me and ordered one. It came with a sparkler in and some tables started singing ‘happy birthday’ to me! It was pretty funny; my birthday was in November. Back to the flat to sleep before a free day of mooching around Tokyo tomorrow.

Tree Icecream
Happy birthday to Tree!

Day 8: “8am yeah, boys?”

Rough one last night, Jesus. Absolutely mangled. I’m up on about 4 hours sleep after being told firmly by John that it’s 8/8:30 start. I laughed at that because it was nearly 4am when we got our heads down. Danny was very brash about how he’d be up no bother because they are experienced on tour.

It’s 8:50 and surprise surprise, only me and Holly are up. We made it out for a brew and breakfast about 10:00.

Today’s plan is to get about as much as possible. We all wanna see the Gundam statue, particularly as it’s on Fair Do’s’ merch. I’ve promised a mate at home I’ll find some Japanese wrestling merch; Josh fancies the Pokemon shop; Danny is under strict instructions from his daughter, Maddie, to find her some slime and squishy toys as, “Tokyo has all the best,” and Dave is happy to go with the flow. I’m also determined to find a big sweet shop and we all wanna see the huge gaming arcade in Tokyo. Gonna be a busy day.

Fair Do's Gundam Statue
The only reason Fair Do’s went to Japan, apparently. Photo: Tree

Our first experience of the Japanese subway: bit claustrophobic and a bit frantic at times but all good. John is giving it the Roy Keanes but I’m not particularly worried about anything ,as we all basically know what we need to do.

Arrived at Diver City where the statue is; it’s right near the station so was only a quick walk. The statue was mad, so fucking big. I’m not even into that kinda stuff, to be honest, but it was impressive to see and the look on Josh’s face when he saw it was worth the travel there alone. We wanted to see it move but it’s only at set times in the day, so it would’ve meant waiting an hour and a half. Bought a few souvenirs like tourist wankers and now we are back on the trains to find this wrestling shop for my mate.


Found the wrestling shop and bought said gifts. Some funny heads in there. Went for some really nice scran nearby and watched some Sumo on the TV, then headed back in to the central area for Josh and Danny. We got to a really cool and almost cartoon-like area of Tokyo to find some squishy shit for Danny’s daughter Maddie. Myself and Danny particularly enjoyed the ball pool of what felt like marshmallow apples.

Tree, Danny & marshmallow apples

We decided to go in a cat cafe which was awesome as you can imagine, but felt like I was in a David Lynch film. Headed off to the Sunshine City Mall to find more toys for Maddie (and Josh). Lots of mad stuff on sale but I’m so out of touch with things like that that I was just tagging along and looking around. Josh got himself some teddies, few people bought presents for the family and then we decided to go check out the SEGA arcade.

I was a bit disappointed with it as I was hoping for more retro games. I didn’t have a clue what any of the newer stuff was so I didn’t bother playing much. Not a Time Crisis or Tekken 1 in sight. I can barely keep up with video games these days it seems. It felt like an episode of Black Mirror, there were so many people mindlessly tanning the buttons with wires coming from everywhere. There were some floors men weren’t allowed on without women and vice versa. I was getting stared at a lot, more so than anywhere else. In the toilets, there was a target in the urinal and a screen at your eye line. You have to piss on the target and a character on the screen fires water at an opponent. It told me I won. Still no pick ‘n’ mix though.

We headed back to the apartment and went out for beers and food. Fairly quiet night by normal standards of the last week. We are all bollocksed and tired. We are all being ratty with each other which is understandable, there’s only so much of each other we can stand. Good fucking night!

Photo: Josh Sumner

Day 9

“Burnside, I’m coming home!”

Had a fat arse lie in this morning which was well needed. We had a quick breakfast and brew then spent the morning playing merch and luggage Tetris. We’ve got no scale to check the weight so we are fucking winging it.

Waki came to pick us up to take us to the airport and drop Holly and John at their hotel; I’m jealous they’ve got a few more days but I’m ready to go home now. Said our goodbyes to Yousuke. What a diamond he is. Absolute party boy. The contrast between him and Waki is hilarious, the Emperor and the fallen Emperor!

Waki, Tree & Yousuke..

From what we’ve seen, Waki is in charge of logistics and driving, he was the one we were in communication with before coming. Yousuke is the hospitality and party man, makes sure you have a good time. I assume they both sit and discuss ideas, etc. They grew up together in the same town and are both younger than us, they started RNR tours 5 years ago. We just found out Waki is a published author, has released a book about a death metal. What a guy! Yousuke also works at a flower market but from what we’ve gathered, most of their time is spent on RNR. They’ve looked after us proper; can’t thank them enough.

Yousuke. Photo: Josh Sumner

I think I’m gonna sign out of the diary now. The next day is just flights and as you saw from day one, that’s just me moaning about being massive. You don’t want that again.

You must be bored of me saying it by now, but this week or so has just been unreal. I’ve been involved with Fair Do’s since 2010, I think. I’ve seen them play awful gigs and I’ve seen them play with some of the best bands in the world. I’ve seen them be on the verge of fist fights, seen them fall out, seen them headline, seen them play first; I’ve been on a bit of a journey with them. I’ve never seen them with bigger smiles on their faces than I have in Japan. They and Holly are some of my best friends, I feel very lucky to have shared this with them. Coming so far from home, being so well received and treated with such high regard and respect. I’m so pleased for them and hope I get to share it with them again in the future. We are coming home with new friends, new bands and I think a new lease of life, that has followed on from the release of that goddamn long-awaited album. Well done boys. Love you!

Not long now, Berns!

Tree x


Want to hear more from Tree, Fair Do’s or Japan?

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