What a trip this is.
Landed in Jakarta 3rd afternoon. Heard it was rainy in these parts, but perhaps they were taking it a bit too far – it was actually raining inside our Air Asia Boeing from KL to Jakarta (last leg). Greeted at airport by the very friendly Mike from Java Jazz, holding a big ‘TAAQ’ sign. Helped through paperwork; all the baggage shows up – it’s a great day already!
The Sultan Hotel used to be the Hilton (that rhymes – if you’re Mark Knopfler) and it’s swankus maximus, so all’s well again! The JJF folks are amazing, really friendly, really efficient, and really hard working. Have lunch at the Peacock Café here, and we are immediately hit with the realization that we’re not getting back without carrying a few extra pounds. If there was ever a buffet to die for, This Is It.
Spend the rest of the day bumping into (name dropping coming up!) Dave Weckl, Mike Stern etc, while 40,000 odd folks queue up to get tickets for the festival. Yes, 40,000.
4th morn, meet Prasanna on his way in – we’re supposed to jam tonight at our first pre-festival warm-up gig here, at the Airman Planet Lounge. Do a small ‘Glaswegian’ practice (if you followed our UK tour, you know what that means) in Prasanna’s room – fix up to play new track Grab Me and the staple Brigade St. Nice vibe! Nice PRS axe too.
Gig starts 10:30 pm, no soundcheck; launch into Sunset Man, Look at Me, etc. Good vibes from the crowd so far… Prasanna comes in on the last two tracks and puts his distinctive stamp on them, all right. Finish up with a fully jammed out Brigade St and our first gig at Java Jazz is done… two more to go, sowatchthisspaceetc!