The great thing about the Plastic Factory for me, is that it has this absolutely perfect mix of Japanese people and foreigners from the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, Germany, Switzerland – Heinz’s nationality – and just about anywhere else you can imagine. But, yes, an expat venue that attracts local Japanese people as well.
I missed the open mic by a week, unfortunately, but it was an honor to be able to make it to the 10-year anniversary. To share a little bit of the feel, I did some videos of the pole dancers….
And from the Plastic Factory, off I went down the street to the Nanbanya jam
I had to work the next day, though, so there was no way I could stay very late at the fabulous Plastic Factory party. And yet, I knew that my walk back to the hotel would pass me by the entrance to the Nanbanya bar that is only about five minutes’ walk from the Plastic Factory.
I discovered Nanbanya two years ago and was unable to make it there last year. But I’m really glad I did this year. It was Saturday night jam night, but I arrived late enough that the music was not really in full swing anymore. The crowd had died out to a night comfortable 15 or so people maximum, and a handful of musicians. People were chatting, going to the stage area to play a bit, returning to chat, returning to play… it was a much more laid back experience musically, i.e., more acoustic than the usual more rock and blues kind of full band thing.
But at one point I had my guitar, vocals, a lead player, bass player and drummer playing along with me. It was bliss. I got to do a few songs with two different guys playing lead along with me, too. I love Nanbanya, because the people are very cool, there are some great musicians, the bar itself is underground, long, low, comfy, and the stage area is well lit, a good sound system, and lots of instruments available.
After leaving the party at the Plastic Factory in full raucous swing, it was great to cool down at the Nanbanya and relax and play some music before returning to the hotel and readying myself for the last, nearly tragic, day of work in Suzuka. (A French driver, Jules Bianchi, was seriously injure in a crash.)