Top Fuel @ Underlouunge last night rates, without a doubt, up there with some of the best nights I have ever had. All elements from clothes to company to tequilas had come together for a night of 'oneness', a night of fun times, a night that 803 was finally out as a team for the first time in a long time. Such unity, it feels so good.
I had found out my name was on the door, so I was expecting to get in at a discounted price, which is what usually happens when my name is on the door at Underlounge....so was surprised and thrilled to find out I was totally VIP and didn't have to pay a cent. There was a bit of confusion at the start as to who I was, and they were asking me for ID (I love Q10) but they spoke to the head of security there, who also happens to be my landlord, and it got sorted quickly and was followed by a stream of gomenasai's (I am so sorry) and a wave of apologetic bowing from every single person I passed as I walked into the club (the entrance is quite long here). Akira had come in with me and we both turned to each other with huge grins and said "We'll never see that again!"
Akira got me a much needed soul calming drink (onto the cassis n tonics now) and I ran into James from Bike Club who said he had been introduced to the DJ who mentioned he was expecting to meet me too. I was so like "Ah! Wow! Get me another drink!"
It didn't take me long to find Ko Kimura, and I walked over and (in Japanese) introduced myself and we exchanged business cards and then continued talking in Japanese. I asked him when he was playing and thanked him for agreeing to the interview. I offered to buy him a drink but he said he was okay and then I mentioned I had had a great time at the last Top Fuel party back in May. He was so beautifully humble, and almost shy. He just kept shaking his head, and my hand and thanking me instead. No arrogance, no intimidation, no ego which is a lot more than I can say for most DJs I have met or know elsewhere in the world, who when compared to this calibre of DJ and music have really done f&%k all and haven't done anything to justify their attitude.
Anyway I went back to the VIP room, joined by the rest of 803 and friends, to finish up drinking and wait for Ko to start spinning. I met another promoter, Bobby Brown (he isnt black so dont even ask) and his wife, who is not named Whitney, but rather Saeko and happens to be a shoe designer and about to start up her own handbag company. Needless to say, I got her number. They were a lovely couple and it was fun to hang with them. B obby told me Ko had played for him at his club in Nagano a few times and that he really was the lovely guy he had appeared to be in the 5 minutes I had spoken to him for.
Ko hit the decks around 1, which is when we all hit the dance floor. Ko didnt stop until after 4, and neither did we. How can I describe it for those of you who may not be into this type of thing. It was trouble enough to drag your feet off the floor long to go to the toilet. This DJ is phenomenal, and the show he puts on is a rarity in Japan. This was the 3rd time I had been privvy to see him play, and I put it like that, because it really is something special. Never before have I seen someone work the crowd from the first track dropped into such a happy energetic frenzy with an intensity that never lowers for a second (if anything it just keeps rising) until the needle comes off the last beat. For those of us on the other side of the decks, you are completely transfixed and compelled to do nothing else but get amongst it and dance (and drink and drink and drink if you were part of our company last night). You don't want to do anything else.
Troy, Cliffy n me were jumping all over the place with our arms around each other, yelling and hollering and screaming. Mieko was going crazy, Warren was all over it too, Asami didnt pace herself too well and claimed fatigue and bailed early, while Akira...well I, not sure where he was most of the night, but I assume was on the floor too.
Ko Kimura himself was bouncing around just as much as we were, which is pracitcally unseen from Japanese djs, particularly this much so. This is another reason why I like to watch him because he honestly looks like he is digging it as much as we are. He looks so excited and thrilled, almost as though he is hearing some of his favourite tracks for the first time in a long time. He looks genuinely happy, if not a even little surprised, that we are enjoying ourselves this much. Almost like he can't believe it.
You could say we were well, well loaded. Troy was sloshing his beers everywhere, Cliff was here there and everywhere, and Mieko and I couldnt stop laughing. Troy kept pushing me to the front of the dance floor but I was a little bit embarrassed cause I didn't want Ko Kimura thinking "oh she thinks she is top shit cause she has met me" (little does he know I think I'm top shit on my own standing). But Troy got up there and insisted I did too and it was fantastic. Troy was constantly hi-5ing Ko and telling him how much he rocked. Ko was freely returning the hi-5s and handshakes. It took me an age to make eye contact with the DJ while I was dancing, especially when I was at the front, but he kept looking over and giving me waves and smiles which totally caught me by surprise, and has me thinking maybe this guy really is as nice as everyone says he is. There doesn't appear to be an ego lurking anywhere. Even Mieko noticed. Maybe he really is totally satisfied by the fact that we were enjoying his performance so much.
By the end of the night, Troy was up on the back stage shaking his booty, I was still at the front with Cliffy n Mieko, and James, Akira and Warren were doing their bit in the crowd too. It was a spectacular show, with Ko playing for jyst over 3 hours. It certainly didnt feel like it. Nobody wanted it to end.
Afterwards, I asked him if he was busy and if he wanted to join us for a drink. I almost fell over (from shock not from too much alcohol, that happened later) when he seemed like he would, but then he asked me when I was coming to Tokyo. I said next week, so let's leave it til then. I shook his hand, thanked him profusely, pulled Troy up and off the stage, then up and off the floor, got Cliffy mobile again and we all headed to that cheap-ass izakaya for final drinks that we didn't even finish. Fnished up a great night by dinking Mieko back to my house on my bike and the two of us gaily laughing our asses off about nothing and then flaking out at mine with the boys.
I wrote Ko and his manager an email tonight to thank them for last night and set up the interview next week. I wrote it all in Japanese hiragana and katakana. I was mightily impressed.
After a an awesome weekend, I gotta get back to reality and knuckle down tomorrow. I got 2 days until LP is due (of which I did absolutely nothing this weekend) and then I have the interview to finish off on Tuesday night before I head to Tokyo on Wednesday...I'm pretty miffed that I will miss the next Top Fuel party on August 13 cause I will be in Thailand.
The man himself...Ko Kimura. He rocks - yeah he does!
And he was fully grooving on the dance floor before his set - and to TOP it all off, he is totally hot.