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Japan Live 1974 - 1977


Richard Barbier's tapes of early shows

1st June 1974 - First Japan gig - Mick's brother's wedding

  • Mick Karn: "June 1st was the 22nd anniversary of Japan's first ever concert, which happened to be at my brother's wedding. It must have sounded dreadful but, up to that point we had been writing music based around songs that David had written. We were only 14, and I was the vocalist but it was only moments before the curtain went up that I froze and said, David, I can't do this - you should do it as they're your songs and you know the vocals off by heart. I was so nervous, I couldn't even remember half of the lyrics. He reluctantly became the vocalist there and then." (from "Tooth or dare" by Gibson Keddie, Bassist & Bass Techniques, Oct 96)
  • Mick includes more details about this first show in his book "Japan & Self Existence", saying that they performed covers of songs by Bowie ('The Jean Genie'), The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed, as well as original material. According to Mick the name Japan was agreed just before the group were due to start performing. Other titles mentioned by Mick: 'The Man Who Sold The World', 'Queen Bitch', 'I'm So Free', 'Sweet Jane' and 'Tongues of China' (a Japan song).
  • The Japan set at this time included 20 songs

April 1975 - The Bunch of Grapes, London

  • Richard Barbieri had joined the group by this stage but was not yet playing live with them, so at this show Japan was a trio (Mick Karn - 'Japan & Self Existence')
  • The Bunch of Grapes is the one in West London, not the current pub near London Bridge. 

14th February 1976 - Goldsmith's College, London

  • The first gig as a five piece after Rob Dean and Richard Barbieri had joined the group - supporting The Fabulous Poodles (mentioned in Bamboo Issue 9). They used the name "Hype".

1976 - Loughborough University

  • Supporting Muscle

1976 - Lewisham Borough Social Club, London

1976 - Goldsmith's Youth Centre, Brockley, London

  • Japan were billed as 'Future Rock' at this show, and there is a photo in Mick's book.

1976 - The Hope & Anchor, London

Set list (courtesy Richard Barbieri):  Lovers On Main Street, Applause Applause, Still No Motion, You're A Woman, Steppin' Out, Nobody's Fool, Knock On Wood, Suburban Love, Review. 

February 1977 - The Rock Garden, London

  • Supporting Georgie Fame for 3 nights including the 24th (mentioned in Mick's book).

Early 1977 - PN Club, Munich, Germany

  • A club residency in the early part of 1977. Rob Dean mentioned this in the magazine "Bamboo" (Issue 9). They played there for two weeks and, like The Beatles in Hamburg, had to play a lot of cover versions in the set. According to Nick Huckle "The cover versions they did in those very early 1976/77 dates included a cover of Stevie Wonder's Superstition and, I'm almost certain, Sly and the Family Stone's  Its a Family Affair."
  • Set list (courtesy of Richard Barbieri) -  Review, Nobody's Fool,  Incidentally, Steppin' Out, Inhibition,  The Unconventional, Still No Motion, Suburban Love, Initmate Lovers. 

3/5/77 - The Nashville, London

10/5/77 - Railway Hotel, Putney

Putney gig listing

In late May 77 the band signed to Hansa - no evidence of any more shows until August.

6/8/77 - The Swan, Hammersmith, London

12/8/77 - Music Machine, London

Supporting Rokoto

August 1977 - Anglsea

Supporting Giggles

22/8/77 - The Village Inn, Wembley, London

Wembley concert advert

29/8/77 - The Rock Garden, London

Rock Garden

Supported by The Lurkers

1/9/77 - The Greyhound, London


17/9/77 - The Marquee, London

With Grand Hotel (thankyou to Michael from adam-ant.net for the information)

Marquee poster

October 1977 - UK tour supporting Jim Capaldi and The Contenders

  • Tour started October 13th 1977 and included dates all over the UK. The set consisted of the entire "Adolescent Sex" album, minus "Communinist China" (which was written during the recording of the album), "Stateline" and "Diamonds".   
  • 15/10/77 - Sheffield University
  • 20/10/77 - Birmingham Barbarellas 
  • 22/10/77 - Hastings Pier

Early tape inlays from Richard Barbieri's collection

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