I’m feeling a little delicate. Ahead of me are 4 flights back home from my tour of Asia and behind me are 13 days, 6 gigs, 4 countries, 11 flights and many, far too many, late nights.
In my suitcase below me in the guts of the plane is a midi keyboard I packed with which to write some new tracks while on tour….unused. 2 books to read while ‘relaxing’ in Bali…unread. Swimming shorts…unworn. Camera….unused. As Jonathan, my tour manager and agent in asia, and I have got far too used to saying..’It’s rock’n'roll baby!’
So, in a desperate attempt to dredge the muddy puddle of my memory I’m writing this blog.
I’ve been on many tours before but this one has been unique for a couple of reasons. Firstly I’ve never partied as hard as I have over the last 13 days and secondly it’s been a kind of revelationary experience music wise. More about that later.
I’ve written about Drop Bar in Hong Kong before and that was where I was heading first. I really can’t explain why the place just clicks for me – it may be the family atmosphere or the fact they ply me with enough Grey Goose to take out a 747 but the 6hrs I played there were some of the most enjoyable hours of my dj career. I woke up the next morning in a paradoxical state where, on the one hand I wanted to jump from my balcony to ease the pain but on the other I felt revitalised as a dj. Tune of the night = Nu Yorican Soul ‘It’s Alright I Feel It’. I poured myself onto a plane headed for Jakarta and hoped for the best.
This was to be the launch night for Dragonfly In The House, the cd I’d mixed for Defected’s Indonesian residency. Knowing there were interviews and a lot of hype surrounding the gig I had to shape up fast. 1 Vodka Redbull later and I was feeling almost abnormal again.
5 hours and 15 more vodkas later I was playing the last few tunes to another great crowd. Someone had the bright idea of going for some after club food so off I waddled (with the music to Steptoe & Son as the soundtrack) until the sun came up. Tune of the night = Prince ‘Kiss’ Rene Amesz Bootleg
Surabaya, an industrial town south of Jakarta was next on the hit list and we arrived in time for a couple of hours sleep and a liver transplant.
By this time I was fully reminded of asian hospitality so I braced myself for another hard night of partying…..as Jonathan led me into the club he quipped…’rock’n'roll bro, rock’n'roll.’ and at 4am we fell through the doors of another after hours establishment – what could be the harm in that?? Tune of the night = Frankie Goes To Hollywood – ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ Timo Garcia & Leo Zero Mix.
Now just to be clear the previous 3 gigs were one after another so the next 3 days down in Bali were meant to consist entirely of R&R as I was holed up in a beautiful 2 bedroom villa (http://akaravilla.com/) to suffer cold turkey and sweat out the poison. The problem was that the rehab was also peppered with visits to bars and clubs, late nights and almost no sunlight.
72 hours later I was sat on a 6 hour flight up to Shanghai with my head in my hands once more.
Joel, the owner of Drop HK and Shanghai met me at my hotel and we made our way to a wonderful Chinese restaurant for dinner.
As I pondered over whether to have sparkling water with lime juice or a non alcoholic cocktail, Joel suggested a bottle of Bollinger might suit the occasion better – ‘What can be the harm in that?’ I mused.
The club has only been open a couple of weeks and it’s a sparkling hi-tech heaven aimed at Shanghai’s movers and shakers. I wondered whether Joel would be able to transport the atmosphere he has in Hong Kong to this very different city and 6 hours later I was smiling to myself knowing that he’d succeeded. Afterparty? errrr ok then. Tune of the night = Marvin Gaye ‘Sexual Healing’ Ospina & Oscar P Mix.
Jonathan was there to catch me when I landed in Kuala Lumpur for Defected In The House @ Sultan. Sultan is in the basement of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and therefore, conveniently, 22 floors below my room. The promoter Gregoire was in good spirits and informed me that he’d booked me especially as it was his birthday. In my years of clubland experience I knew this meant the night could only go one way and as I played my last record at 4am (Fred Wesley ‘House Party’) I found myself agreeing to my room being the venue for the rest of the night. ‘Well, there’s no harm in that’ I said as 25 faces looked at me eagerly.
Once I’d paid the mammoth mini bar bill the next morning we jumped in a car and sped off to the airport to catch our flight back down to Bali for the last gig of the tour.
I reacquainted myself with my villa, scrambled through my suitcase in the search of my last remaining clean clothes and made my way out gingerly to Hu-U Bar. Now, this is a really nice venue with a monster sound system and a huge garden area filled with hammocks, gazebos and a kitchen serving exquisite fusion cuisine. As I walked in it was touching to be met by a number of people I’d seen previously in different cities during the tour and others from as far away as Oslo. I stood in the booth took a deep breath and started rearranging the mess that was my cd wallet as a bottle of Vodka and a carafe of orange juice was placed down next to me – I took another deep breath and began to pour.
Tune of the night = Mariah Carey ‘Dream Lover’ Morales Club Mix
So, there you have it. A great couple of weeks in the life of The Funki Chile. As I fly off into the darkness this is the music to the closing credits. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti1gbVE0cWw
Thanks to Jonathan (The rock to my roll), Joel, Cathy, Simon and Liz @ Drop, Gregoire @ Sultan, Christian and Dita @ Dragonfly, Boy & Redy @ The House Surabaya, Regina and Aryo @ Divine Villas, Dimas @ Hu-U Bar and obviously thanks to Alex, Layla and Sophie @ Defected for putting it all together.