Couple of big things happening both behind & in front of the screen so wanted to bring everyone up-to-date:
Arrangements are proceeding for PlanB to subject China to yet another over due revolution. The plan is to spend 3 weeks in China in mid 2012, with the band coming together in Beijing on Tues 17 July for 2 days of rehearsals on the Wed & Thurs before the formal start to the “Almost 3 Weeks in July” Tour. Whilst we have people within the Chinese music industry working to arrange performances, the setup appears to be very similar to Vietnam in that organisation takes place with a very short lead time to the dates in question. Clearly if we leave things until everything is locked in, air flight costs will become prohibitive. We are (to a degree) gonna have to take a leap of faith on this one, knowing that in my opinion, we definitely have a stronger ‘in-country’ crew working for us and that there is a very strong likelihood of at least 1 festival in addition to smaller gigs. The other major bonus is the opportunity to film on the Great Wall, in the hutongs of Beijing and in places like the Forbidden City & Tian-anmen Square….not to mention the infamous bar of ill repute “Maggies” on which the song is based. Whilst I have already received confirmation from a number of band members that they are definitely along for the ride (where ever that may take us) we do need to start looking at cheap & available airfares as well as booking initial accommodation, so would really appreciate indicators of availability asap. Naturally I am very much hoping you will all be available. As you are aware, Walter has already indicated that he will be unable to join the band on this tour and we currently have a number of feelers out for a drummer (including Xiao Fang, the female drummer from Suoyi’s previous all girl band “COBRA” who were a ‘little bit famous’ in China). She has already indicated availability to record vocals on “Images” as a duet with Comrade Monten and she is also competent in a number of traditional chinese instruments. It would be great if we could take a keyboard player and I would be very interested if anyone has a name in mind. At this stage, I have made initial contact with the keyboard player from Del Webb after the split which saw the formation of Plan B. Kim Webster has expressed some interest and may also be contributing keyboards to some of the songs on the up coming PlanB creation.
Whilst I have confidence that we will be able to secure sufficient gigs to gain substantial exposure for the band, I have no idea of the amount we can expect from gigs. I also know that the contact we have will do everything possible including calling in any favours, in order to make this a successful tour. We really need to look at the whole trip again as a sort of ‘working holiday’ where I expect there will be substantial opportunities for sight seeing as well as the performances and filming. For me , the ability to capture footage of the band in China; to build up a potential vault of clips and general promo material is invaluable. With ‘live’ performances to boot, I think the tour is a great opportunity for the band to build substantially on the hard work we have all done to date.
I have started searching the net for at least some initial relatively cheap accommodation (when we arrive & rehearse prior to any gigs) and believe I have come up with something slightly similar to a combination of the Okay Guesthouse in Cambodia and the Duc Vung Hotel in Saigon. Prices are in general slightly higher but this may not be the case across the board. This particular hostel in within walking distance of the Forbidden City in central Beijing, has free internet and includes a fress evening meal on one day of the week where we get the opportunity to cook chinese dumplings. Have included the link below for you to check it out. As I mentioned above, the other reason I am saying this is that we need to start to book some initial accomm as the enquiry I made for another similar hostel which I though was incredible value, had been booked out completely for july ..which is the beginning of the major school break.
Patrick has done an incredible job in a very short space of time to completely revamp the band’s website. If you havent already done so, it is worth a visit or ten. Some current articles on the site are still evolving and there are ongoing enhancements under consideration. Any comments, suggestions etc are encouraged. All 4 video clips are on the site and I am trying to finalise a relatively brief summary of the 2nd tour.
Recordings & Videos
The decision was taken to release ‘Falling in Love’ prior to ‘So Saigon’ following some very favourable reaction received by Brett when he paid a visit to Denise Guest at 5 PBA-FM. We are currently looking at trying to increase the number of radio stations that will play the new single which will hit the interwebs in the next week or so. Once you see it posted by PlanB, please “like” and share the vid with all of your friends and relatives, whether via FB or at work or email. The more hits we get the better it looks. In Adelaide, once the iTunes thing is sorted, Brett is going to hit the local radio stations. So if you’re based there, listen out for promos and (of course) the song. If there’s a request show you know of and listen to occasionally, request “Falling in Love” by PlanB.
If you’re not in Adelaide and listen to a regional or community radio station that supports indie’s (eg outside Austereo and ARN), contact Brett for a promo pack.
Call Me re-mix
All the raw tracks are now done and waiting for a final ‘mix’ before being able to be officially released under the PlanB umbrella. Patrick is looking for opportunities to rad-test some new camera equipment and is considering a week end trip to Adelaide to film ‘Rock with Korshun’ doing their thang with some cameo appearances by Brett playing himself.
Film Clips in China
We will be looking at shooting at least 3 clips in China (possibly more) with the Great Wall being an obvious location. As mentioned above, in addition to Tian-an-men square, the forbidden city and the various hutongs (back alleys) of Beijing, I am trying to contact the current management for Maggies Bar to see if there is any chance of actually shooting footage inside or having the band perform in the bar …sometime prior to midnight …when all the Mongolian ladies start to arrive.
Plan B (the song)
Original Dexys Midnight runners trombone player, Jim Paterson, is returning to the UK from New York today following a week of recording with the band G I Blythe, which includes other personnel from Dexys & the Bureau. I will follow up with him in the next week regarding the trombone solo for ‘Plan B.’
You all probably realize that these efforts (recording, production etc.) don’t come cheap and I really want to thank all of you on the 2011 tour once again for your selfless contribution of time to get this happening. The follow up stuff like the engineering of course has to be funded as well, and Patrick, Brett and I are currently funding it from our own pockets. If any of you are interested in jumping on board with a contribution, please let me know. We’ll record whatever you contribute in case this thing actually takes off and earns some money.