April 30th 2013
Not a huge amount to write about for this insert as its a lengthy travel day to Hong Kong via a five hour lay-off in Kuala Lumpur once again and after the last few days travelling and playing in the heat, plus the 'do' everybody had last night, we are all genuinely tired to fuck. Still, our humour remains intact as we troll through check-in/security/ boarding gate/plane and Big Martin's massive foot still manages to save us on baggage weight by propping up the stowed baggage on the check-in scales.
Not much else to report for this day other than we land in Hong Kong late enough to warrant just crawling into our hotel rooms and collapsing for the evening. There is mould on the ceiling and a view to quite literally die for.
A massive hotel breakfast awaits and there is plenty of time to watch the local horror channel showing plenty of Japanese and Korean movies and peruse at least a portion of the city, which is vast and overcrowded and hot as hell.
When the time comes to depart for the venue, we're left waiting for taxis for what seems like an age just as a storm breaks upon the city (which fortuitously cools the humidity down), and when we eventually arrive at the exhibition centre in which the gig is based, it is to the news that the drum kit is too small (not enough toms), there is only the one keyboard and my leather stage top has inadvertently been left back in Indonesia. What an absolute fucker! Still, sound check goes well despite the fact that Paul has remained at the hotel, as he is feeling hard the bottom flu.
We return through the rush hour traffic to hastily make-up, leaving no time for eating as, no sooner have we arrived, we have to depart again for the show that boasts no support acts at all. Despite the lateness of our arrival and the problems with gear and leaking botties everyone is in high spirits and we hit the stage half an hour late to an audience, though merely 400 people strong... Baring in mind the show in mainland China was cancelled due to being banned by the Chinese government (and I dare say most people can't afford the flights to Hong Kong, especially so late in the day), the crowd more than makes up for the lack of numbers by being the most feisty yet. Every song is greeted by an explosion of noise and the pit is huge, especially during the Mach one encore.
Despite all the technical flaws entering into this show, the gig is awesome as usual and we leave the stage an hour and a half later, truly elated. So much so that another impromptu signing session is held once we're semi-cleaned up, out on the venue floor to around a hundred hardcore fans that all seem to be wearing the one t-shirt we we selling.
The night ends with a bottle of red shared in the van on the way back to the hotel, though there is no restaurant for us tonight as the promoter has flown the coop. Bah! I hate going to bed hungry, so I feast on my stowed crumbled aeroplane snacks and get back to watching the horror channel on the telly.
Next morning a few of us wake early and after yet another coronary thrombosis for breakfast, we head towards the music stores, taking in the bustling sights of the city. We manage to walk a good few miles and on our return to the electronics district of Mong Kok, we opt to travel by the underground, which is an easy, not too complicated experience by all accounts.
The city is so busy and so noisy, and it's akin to shopping with your wife walking around with Big M who is hankering after a new laptop at Hong Kong's legendary reduced prices.
He gets one, as does James'(one of the new touch screen ones), we make it back to the hotel through the pressing throng of natives and tourists, then it's another quick movie on the television before being bustled off to the airport and another four hour wait, perusing the stores (why do airports always insist on including shops selling the most expensive shit that no-one bloody wants or can afford?) before boarding our flight to Taiwan.
Drummer Martin is ill today, so it seems that the dreaded lurgy is making it's insidious rounds of the band, as Paul still has a dodgy stomach too.
The flight to Taipei is relatively short at two hours and once we clear
immigration we are greeted by our good friend Juicy, who, if you remember, was one half of the promotion team in Singapore. Now we know we're going to be treated well!
Bingo!!! The Park City Hotel is amazing once you negotiate the elevators with minds of their own up the sixth floor where the lobby, the restaurant and rooftop garden lie. The floors continue above here, in fact my room is on the fifteenth floor. And what a room...
Ultra-modern with a distinct smell of new cars, everything is controlled by a multitude of buttons, from light dimmers to the temperature. The bathroom has a window into the rest of the room and on inspection it seems that the loo has a variety of extra functions, like a bidet, a butt massager, varying temperatures for the water jets and power control. Awesome! It'd be silly not to try it out now wouldn't it?
I also actually don't discover that I have a shower for the best part of 36 hours as I leave the door to the bathroom open, and being perfectly flush to the wall where the shower was hiding, I opt for a few long soaks in the bath. It is only on the second night that, having awakened from a weird dream, I hit the wrong switch.... whereupon a light comes on behind the aforementioned door, like a weird secret room of mystery (I was very tired!)
Baring in mind I have also a balcony overlooking the sprawling city complete with a wooden bench and table, it really feels that this is a room that just keeps on giving!
Anyhoo, the rest of this night is spent eating out at a local eatery where a huge selection of Taiwanese cuisine is brought out for our (vulgar) delectation and it is with yet another overfed mass belly that we retire to our rooms to fall asleep watching movies on the huge TVs.
I unfortunately could really get used to this.
May 2nd 2013
First off we visit a Taiwanese temple where we watch the blessings bestowed upon the Gods and everyday folk seeking their favour, bodies being smoked by incense whilst throwing plastic blocks to warrant a favourable yes or a no from them. This place is truly stunning in it's architecture and for half an hour we wander around taking in the mystic sights and scents.
The next port of call, having procured some tasty snacks from a very
traditional 7/11, is a jade market which is essentially a street full of shops a brim with antiques, statues and exquisite hand crafted jewellery. Having perused masks and strange Asian deities, I opt for two heavy brass paperwork crabs (as you do!) having been quoted a ludicrous price for a metal Samurai mask, and Lindsay is given the gift of a pearl necklace by Juicy (!)
There is just enough time before heading back for an early dinner to hook up with the guys from Chthonic (a really cool black metal Taiwanese band on Spinefarm records, that are definitely worth checking out if you haven't already) to make our way to the Grand Hotel, a massive temple-like structure that is ornately decorated and carved, and apparently very very haunted, the function rooms so badly that they are taped and cornered off.
From it's hilltop vantage point, we are able to look over the city and there, glinting in the sallow afternoon sun stands the massive Taipei 101 tower, the second largest free standing building in the world, (beaten only by the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai - I looked it up) standing like some vast oriental Manga sentinel against the skyline.
Inside, the hotel is equally grandiose, with a vast lobby stretching away to a marble edged stairway, all massive red pillars and gilded edges. We spend around an hour here looking at the in-house shops full of really expensive artefacts and art, and wandering about the balconies and corridors marvelling at the splendour of it all.
There is time enough to prepare for dinner and then cars await to drive us through the city to an all-you-can-boil buffet consisting of massive amounts of seafood and meat, Haagen Daaz ice cream and Taiwanese beer on tap. Fantastic! I must have put on at least a stone on in body weight since Argentina and tonight just adds to the gluttonous Manatee suit I'm wearing.
Freddy and chums from Chthonic arrive and converse as we gorge for several well-spent hours and when we finally say enough is enough, we're treated to the most annoying musical dustcart as we wait the cars back to the hotel. The slightly demented tune played on loop for at least twenty minutes straight, prompting an angry Lindsay to suddenly, and quite vocally lose her rag. Now Asti reminds her of the tune every time she thinks she's forgotten it by playing the recording it on his speaker phone.
Tonight is arguably a well deserved early night, tucked up in bed watching movies and catching up stuff on the Internet.
Without doubt the best day off thus far!
The next day starts really early, as I've planned to meet Lindsay and young Daniel for breakfast and a spot of shared laundry before they have to leave with the crew for the venue. There is also the very sad news that Jeff Hanneman of Slayer has died at the very early age of forty nine, which is very disheartening as he was one of my favourite guitarists growing up and a superb musician and lyricist (Angel Of Death for one).
On the plus side today my stage top has been discovered in Indonesia (thankfully it isn't walking about by itself there), so fingers crossed that it will be sent by Fedex onto the first venue we play in Australia.
The rest of the band aren't expected downstairs until two o'clock, so the rest of the morning is spent experimenting with the mechanical wonder that is the toilet (!), catching up on this blog, emailing my business contacts and keeping abreast of friends, plus of course there is the laundry to check up on and episodes of Banshee to watch on the box.
When we eventually arrive at the venue, which is a twenty minute drive from the hotel, it is to find that the sound check has been pushed back due to the usual small issues concerning equipment, which gives us plenty of time to wander about the place (again the venue is situated lots of floors up in a high rise) and devour an assortment of snacks and tasty beverages whilst looking out upon the city.
Having successfully completed sound check by playing through four songs, we return to the hotel to get ready for the show in the comfort of our hotel rooms. Dusk descends across my balcony revealing the jewelled bustle of the outstretched metropolis below, and soon it is time, as the shadows lengthen, to pile into the mini-bus bound for destiny.
The show is brilliant, with exceptional lighting from all manners of
directional laser beams and strobes,and the crowd is even louder than the
previous show, if that is humanly possible. This fires us on through a good hour and forty minute set that spans our whole career, with the audience providing a raucous canvass on which to paint our sonic wares (?!).
Afterwards there is a signing once again for most of those attending, and it is with some deliberation that we get everyone done and the band and crew back to the hotel to wash before hitting the same restaurant we did the first night, with an equally fattening meal full of fried oysters in pepper, shredded beef and various dead fishes to follow.
A perfect end to a perfect day and after a few beers out on my balcony
discussing the finer points of our time in Taiwan, it's time to slip into yet another comfortable coma as tomorrow we leave this beautiful country (and my wondrous lavatory) to journey onwards to Seoul in South Korea, to bring our blackened brand of razor-sharp lustmord metal to the masses.
See thee sometime next week, attentive fiends...
Best, Dani Filth
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