Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Night at the Opera

Well, nearly. Sometimes in Japan life can get a little interesting. Invited to a photoshoot studio for a beer to celebrate a national holiday, I suddenly found myself surrounded by extremely talented musicians who play just for the fun of it. And play they did, kicking off with "New York State of Mind" followed by "Change the World"; one admitting he didn't know the songs, but on drums he was just following the guitar.

And then, of course, it came to my turn. Anyone who knows me recognises my musical gifts as being as impressive as my skiing abilities. Enthusiastic and yet at the same time, rubbish. Selecting "Norwegian Wood" (following a somewhat disastrous "Sound of Silence") the guys rallied around and, being offered a guide vocal, I made my way through probably my favourite Beatles song to a welcome, though undeserved, round of congratulations from the assembly.

And then a lady stood up to sing. Enka is the traditional style of Japanese verse and when performed well can become spell binding. I have no idea of the story but it was captivating for that brief instant. If only my skiing and singing were just that little bit better. But for that moment I was lost with friends in the suburbs of Tokyo. Oh, and golden rule of karaoke, sing the songs you know, not the ones you like.

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