Richard’s Far East photoblog 05 March 2012

Seoul / Saturday / 2121

probably my last blog update for this tour - some photos from a beautiful temple nearby. i checked with the hotel concierge who assured me it was ok to take photos, and to post them online, so i trust that's the case. it's been a great tour, and i really hope we can come back this way and tour the region properly. see you then!

Seoul / Saturday / 1815

wow. that was a properly great show - the crowd were absolutely brilliant (thanks!) - it must have been so hot - so much energy and noise, and so many banners, flags and signs. we loved it - thanks for making us so welcome. took some pics so i'm just gonna go ahead and put them up...

i guess our earliest memories of this city are related to the 1988 olympics, and here we are, playing at the stadium.tim's getting pretty good at the drums - there seems to be no end to his skills!

spot yourself 1

spot yourself 2 (plus a great sign)

this is the last time

tom took a photo of me after the show. it's always worrying when he picks up my camera!

Seoul / Saturday / 0006

it's fair to say we get around a bit... another bumpy flight (they've all been pretty unpleasant, to be honest), but we made it back to Seoul (we went to Osaka via this airport at the start of this trip). it seems like a huge city, and we arrived at rush hour. it's mental to think that all the traffic jams we get stuck in around the world probably happen every day. anyway, here are some photos, including one from Tokyo airport, of Harumi's excellent keane-painted nails! it was nice to meet you.

leaving Hong Kong

sculpture on a wall in Singapore

gig in Singapore

can you see yourself?

on the way to Seoul

first sight of Korea


i guess it's good to be prepared... this is in the wardrobe in my room

some fans met us at the airport and gave us name badges - this says my name, and i love it, and i wore it in the press conference earlier. thanks so much to Brime and all the Korean fans. i hope you enjoy the show tomorrow.

Singapore / Thursday / 1448

listening to k'naan on democracy now while having my lunch - really interesting to hear his perspective on events in Somalia...

my salad has flowers in it!

Singapore / Thursday / 1310

you might have noticed an advert for Amnesty International on the front page of the website. As you will know from this blog, i am a supporter of this campaign, so if you have a few minutes, please take the time to have a look, and if you feel motivated, maybe sign up for a newsletter, send a message about a case that interests you, or just learn something new. thanks very much.

meanwhile, here in Singapore it's 32 degrees C... gonna be fun tonight.

Hong Kong, just after the show


took this pic at Seoul airport en route to Osaka... good to see europe isn't always represented as the centre of the map.

Hong Kong / Tuesday / 1800

Andy and i wandered down to the harbour... got interviews so gotta run!

Tokyo / Monday / 1112

a few pics from Tokyo... and one from the train:


Tokyo / Sunday / 2044

we just felt an earthquake here... apparently it was about 200 miles south of Tokyo, out near the Izu Islands. sounds big (7.1 according to the USGS), so i hope everyone there is ok. i'm quite high up in our hotel, and it was swaying around a fair bit - the whole building was squeaking. while we were mixing in LA there were a couple of earthquakes too... guess it's the places we go to.

i really enjoyed the show today, especially after finally getting a good sleep. i hope my brain is in the right time zone now. it wasn't so hot today, but really humid, and it poured with rain just after we finished. the fans were great - there were a lot of people in the stadium, singing pretty loudly during bedshaped. you don't see me was really good, too. summersonic is an amazing festival - 250,000 people over 3 days - that's massive. it's the tenth year of the festival, and they have had some amazing bands, and lots of british headliners, such as blur, radiohead, the verve... there's a huge love of british music here, so it was great to be here.

Shinkansen, Osaka to Tokyo / Saturday / 1300

Jesse, Colin and i flew in on tuesday with the crew, a day earlier than tim and tom - partly to help get over the jet lag (that plan totally failed - been up at 3am every day so far) and partly to have a bit of time off in Osaka, one of my favourite cities. we arrived late in the evening on wednesday, and headed out to find some food, though we hadn't got any cash... can you see where this is going? we found a great little place to have some food, so we sat with a beer, and just thought we should check that they took credit cards. alas not. Jesse volunteered to go and find a cashpoint. about half an hour later i'd finished my meal, Jesse's food was cold, and there was no sign of him. a couple of phone calls later it emerged that british cashcards only work in bank atms (not the ones you get in supermarkets) and bank atms are inaccessible in the evening. in the meantime, i had been chatting to a couple of guys at the next table, who i guess were wondering why i had ordered food and a beer for an invisible friend. turns out one of them, Hiro, was a keane fan, and was coming to see us, and his friend Ken wanted to come to summersonic too... so in the end Ken bailed us out (including buying us another round of drinks) and we wandered back to the hotel where Colin repaid them! thanks guys, and i hope you enjoyed the gig.

we're on the bullet train now, heading to Tokyo. it's so weird that we are back here again so soon. i probably took all the same photos again, but no photo will ever convey the hectic nature of this city. i love it.

it's been really warm here. we all agreed the show was the hottest we've ever played - i was in the sunshine for the whole show, and it was a very hot and humid day... it's the first time i've ever been grateful to only be playing a short set.

looking forward to tomorrow's show, though it's supposed to be even hotter...

i've been wearing a t-shirt that is part of a campaign to free a guy called Hakamada Iwao - he is a Japanese man on death row who has been in prison for over 40 years, and in solitary confinement for 28 years. amnesty international, amongst many others (including several judges), think there is a very strong case that he is innocent. his mental health is reportedly suffering after so long without books, tv, radio or the company of others. for more information, and a way to get involved, please look at the link below. i'm against the death penalty in every case, anywhere, but cases like his are particularly appaling.

heathrow is starting to get too familiar...

JQ / Hiro / Ken / me

osaka, thursday morning, approx 6am

weirdly quiet motorbike / trike

i have no idea what this says, but it was a shop window so i guess it can't be that bad.

on the way to the show

osaka - saturday 5am

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