at Kanade in 2017

Bix & Marki Spring 2017 Tour Report

This Spring Tour started on the 11th of March. We left Tokyo at 2 pm for Matsumoto (Nagano) with new suitcases on good wheels, packed with CDs, sound equipment, instruments and clothes. From there to Gifu, Kansai, Kyushu, Shikoku and Shizuoka, planning to come back to Tokyo on the 1st of April.

Saturday 11 March 2017  Au Crieur de vin 
Nagano-ken Matsumoto-shi Fukasi 1-2-11 Syowa bld 1F 
Tel 02 63 37 19 66
Au Crieur de Vin en mars 2017
We enjoyed again the fresh mountain air, the delicious cooking, and the warm welcoming atmosphere of Au Crieur. In the breaks, we played baby-foot with clients, waiters and the owner. It reminded Bix of her childhood. Au Crieur had recently got it sent from France by boat. You need to put 1 Franc into it to get the balls. Beautiful evening of our first day on the Tour.
Au Crieur de Vin en mars 2017

Sunday 12 March 2017  Trois rojiura
Nagano-ken Matsumoto-shi Cyuou 2-10-10   Tel 0263-41-0385
Trois en mars 2017
The owner had just come back from France where he had studied various new recipes and wine. Everybody listened carefully to our music while eating and drinking his good cuisine. The gourmet people, the place and the cooking goes well with our music. Wonderful second evening of the Tour..

Monday 13 March 2017  atelier feliz
Gifu-ken Motosu-shi Bussyouji 423-2   Tel 058-322-3558
Feliz en mars 2017
We were very happy to see Ikuko again. She studies French, is a member of the Gifrance Association and will soon go to stay for a few weeks with our friends Julie and Issei in France, near Perpignan. She had studied our songs, sang with us and told us that she could easily remember the words with the music. Thank you so much Feliz for filming us !

Wednesday 15 March 2017  FSN bar (chez Philippe)
Kyoto-shi Nakagyo-ku East of Kawaramachi-Rokkaku
Rokkaku terrace bld 3F   Tel 090 5064 0642
FSN en dec 2017
It was raining and it was cold… Before playing, Philippe put on Fado music (traditional songs from Portugal) and it made a nice opening mood… Suddenly four childhood friends of Marki's came. They hadn't seen each other for years. A great evening in this artistic setting (all made by Philippe) of this French bar in the center of Kyoto.

Thursday 16 March 2017  Unshu-do
Osaka-shi Kita-ku Sugawara-cho 7-2   Tel 06-6361-3903
Unshudo en mars 2017
We love this old wooden house and the warm sound it gives out. Yet another childhood friend of Marki's brought 9 people of his company to see us, after work. The musicians of the other group were very nice as well.

Friday 17 March 2017  On the Meimontaiyo Ferryboat
sur le bateau en mars 2017
We played in the lobby and listeners gathered little by little around us, people we wouldn't have met otherwise. A girl of 16 asked us if we could come and play in her mother's coffee shop. Of course yes ! We gave her our card. Thank you to the ferry boat company to give us the chance to play and to travel to Kyushu !

Saturday 18 March 2017  Kyu-Mitsui-Minato Club
Fukuoka-ken Oomuta-shi Nishi minato-machi 2-6 1F
Tel 0944-51-3710
Office TK :
Mitsui-Minato Club en mars 2017
Oomuta was one of the biggest coal mining areas between the 1930s and 1990s. We played next to the old mines in the fashionable, Meiji-European-style house of the Mitsui board of directors. The evening and the setting were beautiful. In between our songs, we played a love song for a newly married couple in their 50s. The next day we went to visit the mines, accompanied by an older man who had worked there as a miner.
Mine au Mikawa 2017 Mine
We heard the story of the lives of the miners, how hard it was. The mine museum is created by the miners themselves, with almost no financial support.

Sunday 19 March 2017  Cafe de OLiVE
Fukuoka-ken Oomuta-shi Shinsakae-machi 1-1 1F  Tel 0944-54-8950
Olive en mars 2017
We played for sweet toddlers and their Mums, in this warm-hearted coffee-shop, a meeting point for younger couples who live in Oomuta (some of them came back to Oomuta after years in big cities). Oomuta inhabitants want to make the city revive. We also met a painter making a beautiful wall painting in the street.
Peinture à Oomuta en mars 2017
She had come from Kumamoto, had looked for a wall to decorate, found out who was the owner of the abandoned house, contacted him and got the permission to paint the wall.

Monday 20 March 2017 Brasserie Vendange
Kagoshima-shi Higashi Sengoku-cho 2-38 Fukuzonoen bld 1F  
Tel 099 226 2729
Live at Brasserie Vendange in 2017
Bix gave a little French course before the concert and the concert was very well organized by M. Ozono, with wine and French food while listening to our music. Some children wanted to try to play the instruments, which was great. M. Ozono made a demonstration of Venenciador (the art of pouring Sherry into a glass), with his son, while Marki played Spanish guitar. Fantastic.
Venenciador au Vendange 2017

We got a day off the next day and we went to visit the Chiran Tokko Heiwa Kaikan. (between April and August 1945 half of the 1000 young boys who were sent to pilot themselves into the ships of the enemy started their flight from there).
in Chiran, Kagoshima 2017
There is a sanctuary next to it. It was very sad and impressive. We went there by bus, and then continued to Ibusuki.
in Ibusuki, Kagoshima 2017
We took a hot sand bath at the beach and a bath in the hot spring.
A deeply emotional day.

Wednesday 22 March 2017  Café Brassens
Saga-shi Gofuku Motomachi 2-24 north side of 656 Hiroba  
Tel 0952 97 9378
Live at Cafe Brassens in 2017
Bix gave a French lesson before the concert. Thanks to the consistent artistic activities of café Brassens, many of the people who came to the concert were themselves artists, painters, photographers, a doll-maker, and the winner of the classical flute Japanese contest for junior high school students was also there. Café Brassens is a wonderful literary and artistic café.

Thursday 23 March 2017  Kuroneko-ya Coffee shop
Fukuoka-shi Cyuou-ku daimyou 1-5-5 Gekkou Bld   Tel 092-725-5050
Live at Kuroneko-ya in Spring 2017
We arrived at noon and went to have a delicious curry at Kuronekoya, then tried to find a cable for the mini-mixer we use for sound amplification, which we found at last. In the evening, we played for a dancing audience ! The floor and counter is made of a special wood that makes the sound velvet like.

We had got a message from Wam am café, that our live due in the afternoon of the 24th was canceled due to a fire in the café. We went there when we arrived in Oita, and it was very sad. Everything was gone. There had apparently been a shortcircuit of electric cables. We think of the owners very much. Life can change so suddenly.

Friday 24 March 2017   78 Nana hachi
Ooita-shi Cyuou-ku Ni-cyome 6-4   Tel 090-4518-0116
Live at Nanahachi Ooita in Spring 2017
The organizer of our concert last year had opened his own bar in the center of Oita. It is hard to start a new business, but his idea was clear, a space for music and art. A group of young jazz musicians played the opening act of our concert. It was refreshing to hear standard jazz tunes ! Katsura Yamauchi, a saxophonist and an artist whom we organized a concert for in Brussels years ago, came too. We spoke about the importance of having your own philosophy of life. Music takes time, money, and there is no actual space for it.

Saturday 25 March 2017   Roy's
Ehime-ken Oozu-shi Higashi oozu 1340-1   Tel 0893-25-6005
Live at Roy's in Spring 2017
We took a ferry-boat to cross over to Shikoku for 3 hours, a taxi to the station, a local train, a minibus and arrived at Roy's, a lovely place with old antiques, furniture, armchairs, posters of jazz men, photographs... It was like stepping into another world. Lots of people came. Bix connected the objets she saw with our music. A wonderful evening with wonderful people. We are grateful to the owner that he also introduced us to 2 other places in Shikoku.

Sunday 26 March 2017   KANADE
Ehime-ken Kita-gun Uchiko-cho Uchiko 1914   Tel 0893-44-7527
We took a small rest with a cup of green tea and a piece of japanese cake, when we arrived at Takahashi Tei, the beautiful old wooden house where we were going to stay overnight.
Takahashitei in uchiko, Spring 2017
Takahashi-tei was Mr.Ryutaro Takahasi's house. He contributed to introduce beer, football and baseball to Japan. it is now a great accommodation house in traditional Japanese style.

We were invited to come to the annual Easter Party of a sweet little school. The children and their Mums were not so used to speaking with a foreigner.
English class in uchiko, Spring 2017
We told them about other languages, sang one of our songs for them, played and sang together another song in English. They also touched our instruments, the guitar, the flute, the kalimbas...

In the evening, we played for people of all ages. Two ladies we had met the day before at in Roy's came this time too, with a friend … We had a great time. A saxophone player played a couple of standard tunes with us, and so did the owner of Kanade, on his guitar.
at Kanade in Spring 2017

The English teacher of the school is also a member of the Uchiko volunteer guide association. Together with the former English teacher of the local High School she guided us the next morning in Uchiko, telling us about the Kabuki theatre, the wax industry, calligraphy and literature.
at Kanade in Spring 2017
It was a great pleasure to exchange ideas with them about cultures and languages.

Monday 27 March 2017   R69K JACK
Ehime-ken Uwajima-shi Cyuou-cho 2-4-8 Akamatsu bld 102   Tel 0895-28-6069
Live at rock Jack in Spring 2017
Uwajima is a port town in the South of Shikoku. We played in a rock bar, with a great rocker audience each one with his own personality, skin-head, hippie clothes etc. The next day we went with the organizer to eat fish in the old fish market. The castle on the hill was beautiful. Playing music and doing events in this town where fewer and fewer people live seemed more important than ever.

Tuesday 28 March 2017  Le Puy
Ehime-ken Imabari-shi Sakaemachi 1-2-3 2F   Tel 0898 33 2623
Live at Le Puy in Spring 2017
We met 3 Swiss people at the station and invited them to our concert in the evening. The place was packed with people and everyone tried to learn French (the Japanese) and Japanese (the Swiss). It was a great musical-cultural evening, also with two local bands playing. We suggested to the owner to make a menu in roman alphabet, and maybe to ask the Tourist Office at the station to make a little more indications in English for tourists who might want to stay over in town. It is actually very difficult to get around because everything is in Japanese, outside the station. Imabari is a popular destination to doing cycling and visiting the castle ..
Live at Le puy 2017 Live at Le puy 2017 Played together with:Bekka(left)    Sanshowuo(right)

Wednesday 29 March 2017   Kuu Shokudou
Ehime-ken Shikoku Cyuou-shi Mishima miyagawa 2-2-33   Tel 0896-24-6269

Live at Kuu in Spring 2017
Painted walls, ceiling, floor... objets, antiques, a mirror instead of a door... the artist owner had transformed her old grand mother's house into a fairy tale house. Cookies, cakes, healthy food... The audience listened carefully to us. All ages, young, older. The owner of Le Puy came with his girlfriend. A dancer invited us to play next time in her studio café in a village close by, the same happened with the owner of a piano bar downtown. We really felt the importance of bringing life to the town.

Thursday 30 March 2017  Alliance Française Tokushima
Tokushima-shi Tokushima-cho 2chome 59 2F   Tel 088-655-8585
Live at Tokushima in 2017
The little salon-café on the ground floor of the Alliance Française was so sweet, with its French flag curtains and pink chairs... Lots of people came, French students and France lovers. The Committee of the Alliance invited us to dinner and we spoke with them and the director, the only French man in the school, about how to develop more interest in the French culture. It was our first time in Tokushima and we will definitely come back !

Friday 31 March 2017  Bistrot Café de Paris
Kobe-shi Cyuou-ku Yamamoto-dori 1-7-21   Tel 078-241-9448
Live at Cafe de Paris in 2017
This beautiful bistrot café is situated near the foreign quarter, a little higher up on the hill. The family running the café was very kind. The audience was wonderful. Our friends came even from Nagoya, thank you to you all ! It was lively and nice. A French artist Ivan Sigg drew us while playing. The couscous was great.

Saturday 1 April 2017  espace éclatant
Shizuoka-shi Takajou 2 chome 10-25 Oniwa apartment   Tel 054-260-4613
Espace Eclatant in 2017
This little French school situated in a sweet street with European style shops, is on the ground floor of a wooden house, nicely decorated. Around 10 French language students listened to us and we talked with them in between and after the songs, especially about music and poetry. A little girl of 5 had lived in Brussels and spoke in French with us. It was the last concert of our Tour ! Very charming indeed.

a cafe de pais a kobe in 2017

20 concerts in 22 days allowed us to fully appreciate the warm welcome of all these places where small cultural and musical events can bring people together. Fortunately we didn't get sick and didn't have any big problems even though the schedule was tight and it was hard to carry luggage, instruments and equipment by hand, in trains, on the streets and from hotel to hotel. Our music seemed to strengthen itself in the harmony of our two voices, enveloping with our rhythms very diverse audiences. We experienced many contrasts of lifestyle and philosophy of life. Playing our music here and there made us feel like a small pipe of energy coming from a place far away sharing a part of a big dream.

17. Spring Tour 2017

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