The guy seated next to me on the train has two phones.

One he’s using to read manga, the other he’s flicking through a video game. Headphones in his ears, mask on – he’s in his own world behind the glass screens.

A young girl opposite has fallen asleep with her phone in her hand, its pink and sparkling with diamonds, as are her nails.

She hasn’t dropped it yet.

The middle aged lady to my left is having a winter clothes shopping spree at speed on her phone.

An announcement comes on the tannoy reminding passengers to refrain from speaking to avoid disturbing others.

“Please set your mobile phone to quiet mode and refrain from conversation“

Two boys in their late teens sit directly opposite me and have a conversation in person and it feels rebellious.

I’m heading into town for a gig, it’s a basement rock club called ‘Sunrize’ near to Akihabara Electric Town. Some mates from my language course form the rhythm section of a band called ‘Tibetan Sky’. It feels good to get out and explore a bit tonight.

Upon arrival the FOH staff ask which band I’ve come to see and put a little tick by Tibetan Sky, “Sumimasen” I say, as I brush past two punks with outstanding mohawks in the tiny hallway. The stage has a screen pulled down while they do the change over, but I can make out the Marshall stack, the Sennheiser e609 in front of the cab, the T shirts on the merch stand, and I feel at home.

A wave of nostalgia washes over me, this is where it all began. I love these places. I’m 9,000 miles from home but feel I belong here, the layout of the room, the staff, the instruments and backline, the anticipation of the performance we’re about to witness – it’s all exactly the same as the UK toilet circuit I frequented throughout my teens, 20s and a bit in my 30s. The only difference is this cleanliness! it smells fresh in here and your feet don’t stick to the floors. In rooms like these dreams are made, broken and re-arranged.

Turn up, plug in and turn it up. Bring it on.

Dan x

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