Strangely we’ve posted virtually nothing on here about one of our most epic ever tours, our recent second tour of China. It was a great trip, superbly organised by our agent Annie and her assistant Mu-Mu, taking in cities from ultra-modern Shanghai all the way up to Mudanjiang near the North Korean border via plane, coach and overnight train. We played at a succession of big theatres ranging from the ultra-modern to crumbling Communist, getting fantastic crowds of 500-1000 enthusiastic locals at every port of call. This being our second trip we were more comfortable in our surroundings, a bit braver in reaching out into the local culture and cuisine, and had more fun as a result. So as partial redress, here are some photos charting the trip from Michael’s point of view (or at least that of his smart phone!).
Arrival and Nic’s excited. Chinese signs means he can show off the Chinese letter reading skills he was working so hard on in Adelaide.
Our first stop Suzhou turns out to be a rather lovely, even touristy town.
China is massive, and so are their posters. Wish we could have publicity like this on our European dates!
The Chinese give us the most beautiful bouquets at the end of every show – particularly useful for scenting the stale, smokey air of the average Chinese hotel room.
The Magnets stacked up on the sleeper train to Mudanjiang in the north. Probably the closest we’ll ever get to North Korea and Vladivostok.
With ticket sales a bit marginal, we hit Mudanjiang University to pick up some new fans. It worked! The show was pretty much sold out.
One a stroll through Mudanjiang Michael spied these old gents playing something that looks very much like croquet.
A jog up to the top of the local beauty spot took us up to this fine viewing platform.
Part of a massive relief depicting (I think) victory over the Japanese and/or the Republicans.
This dude guarded our hotel in Mudanjiang with style.
We rocked up at an after hours club gig to find ourselves up in lights. Very cool...
…but not as cool as the security.
There’s a Frog.
And there’s another. Must be something symbolic.
See what I mean?
You kind of need audio with this picture. There’s 100s of firecrackers going off to announce a wedding at our hotel. Unfortunately for our sleep this was happening every half an hour from 6.30am, a schedule duplicated at the hotel next door. Apparently it was a particularly fortuitous day to get married! We wish them all well…
a random selfie with Andy and Cal
Just another of the lovely, imposing theatres we played in China. I can’t even remember which one!
Some of the theatres looked pretty cool from the outside too.
Out for a jog in Huzhou with Steve, we escaped the city smog up the hill to this fine temple.
Hunting noodles with the boys in the old town of Huzhou.
Still out in the old town…but finding pretty modern touches.
But there’s plenty for the traditionalist!
Now that’s the kind of thing you go to China to see!
When in China…you’ve got to try chicken’s feet. Looks so wrong but tastes like roast chicken (of course). Well you’d eat a leg wouldn’t you (unless you are veggie)? It’s just the next bit! They do waggle rather like alien fingers when you eat them though…blurrgh.
Eastern China is a huge building site. There’s developments on a huge scale going up like this everywhere. No housing shortage there!
I spotted this chap outside a Shanghai karaoke bar. Think we should give him a guest spot.
57 varieties of Tofu at a local market in Shanghai..
…and plenty of live fish.
Skyscrapers obviously – Shanghai’s got some of the very tallest.
Saying thank you and goodbye to our lovely promoter Annie at the Shanghai Concert Hall…
…and to her fab assistant Mu-Mu.