I went to the bar to get my complimentary drink - sake on the rocks or a shot of mystery booze. The bar tender didn’t want to be bothered by people with drink coupons and he was abrupt when I asked him to show me the bottle of mystery booze. It had the words Coca Leaf printed in metallic green on it. The shot was served in a gourd-like glass. Some of the Coca Leaf got trapped in the bottom of the glass and ended up going down my chin rather than into my mouth. It was sweet and tasted like vodka with lime. Maybe the Kee Club was trying to get rid of old, obscure bottles of booze and giving free shots was the best way to do it.
Slowly, more people arrived and filled the club. The crowd at the exclusive Kee Club was a mixed bunch - there were older men in suits drinking champagne and smoking cigars, young ladies dressed in elegant evening gowns and the ordinary folk who'd been allowed through the gates for the show. Malte and Liina had to give up their seats for a middle-aged man and his 20 year-old girl friend who must have been club members. By about 11:00pm plenty of people were around the stage but no band. I wanted to get the 12:30am ferry as I had work the next day but the 2:30am boat was looking more likely.
The band were freakin' fantastic! Takumi Kaneko, the keyboard player, mixed up fist-pumping-electric riffs with dexterous jazz melodies, while Tsuyoshi Kosuga, the guitar/bass player, served up fat bass lines and funky guitar rhythms - the table top before him was jammed with guitar effects and loop machines which he twiddled with intermittently to create the sound he wanted. Shigekazu Otake held them together with his free-wheeling drums which gave them all space to cook - building momentum and release throughout their set. Later I read that the band had met at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, described on Wikipedia as "the world's foremost institute for the study of jazz..."
I left the club when the gig ended - I wanted to get some fresh air. Down D'aguilar Street past the 7-11 I saw a drunk guy stumbling with a plastic cup half full with beer. I walked through the empty streets of Central and the empty corridors of IFC. I crossed the bridge to the ferry pier and relished having the whole place to myself. - Sue