Fat Chance produces its first DVD, titled “Evicted.” This in tribute to the beautiful Club Taru, the band’s home for the last five years, which will soon fall victim to the wrecking ball. The DVD captures the mood of the club as well as some of the band’s best musical moments. Order your copy today for a mere one thousand yen (plus shipping). Or ten US dollars, whichever is easier.
Fat Chance invited to play with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. Well, almost -- we played after them actually, and not inside the hall, but outside it. The idea was to blow audience’s mind with some down and dirty blues as they came filing out from the orchestra’s inaugural season concert. It must have worked, judging from the large number of happily confused faces in the crowd.
Fat Chance plays a two-day summer festival at another mountain village, this one called Kitakata. The first day the band shook the rafters of a warehouse in an old sake brewery, the next morning they rocked the platform of an abandoned railway station. Deep blues in the early morning mist -- nothing like it!
Fat Chance invited to play a “Summer Jazz & Blues Festival” at a mountain village called Himoemata in central Japan. Set in a natural amphitheater with seats carved out of the mountainside, the stage is usually used for outdoor kabuki performances for which the town is famous. The band cranked it up to loud, which brought out pretty much everyone in the whole town. Great fun.
Big news -- Slim Chance wins the Gibson International Blues Challenge/Japan. Invited at the last moment, and not sure exactly what the challenge was, the boys played a few of their favorite tunes (Back to the Cave, Suitcase Blues, Too Many Drivers and Goin’ Away Baby) -- and walked away with first prize. Which was a beautiful new Gibson Les Paul Studio guitar, a couple pair of Edwin Jeans, and a shot at the World Finals in Memphis later that year. Asked for comment, all the boys could come up with was “Didn’t expect that!”
Dwight is featured in the ID spot for XTV, one of the lesser Tokyo channels, attempting to generate sound bites about what clubs the boys play at around town. For better or worse, you can’t really hear what he’s saying from all the background music and happy narration. The commercial has run for months, but the only people to recognize him have been family and close friends. So much for free publicity.
Dave becomes the Champion of the 1997 All-Japan Harmonica Competition with the boys’ jaw-dropping performance of Dave’s original composition “If I See Her Again,” a swing ballad and harmonica tour-de-force. From the first notes of the moody intro, the audience was spellbound. By the soaring ending, even the judges were in tears. In their comments while making the award, they said “THIS is how the harmonica is supposed to be played.” Dave only got a measly few thousand yen for his prize.