I once heard a musician say his favourite tour items were Jack Daniels and duct tape. Knowing Saiichi, I would suggest his choice would be the musicians he plays with. His fondness for his musicians and respect for their calibre comes through clearly when you speak with him. That ranges from informal comments back stage to when he is interviewed and to when you’re sitting with the band at a pre-gig meal (notably a Thai restaurant in Surrey early in our relationship).
The musicians in Saiichi Sugiyama Band are Mune Sugiyama on drums, Ben Reed on bass, Monica George on vocals, Sam Grimley on keys and guitars, and Saiichi himself on guitars and vocals. Other musicians are added or deputise as needed, but again, they are rather carefully chosen.
The same can be said for the behind the scenes team, but we, unlike the band, don’t make any music. In my case, this is just as well. We do, however, facilitate those who make music to be out there and performing. Right now, that means the tour Saiichi Sugiyama Band embarks on this week. You can view the dates and ticket links here . The first date is Friday 20th October at the Chapel Arts Centre in Bath.
Also in 2017, Saiichi has been playing solo or duo acoustic, notably using solo acoustic songs to add a different dimension to band gigs. The feedback (audience applause as much as anything) has been very positive. The singer-songwriter in Saiichi will be appearing in that guise increasingly in 2018, with a date rather sooner as part of an acoustic Sunday in Woking on 12th November – tickets here.
That’s it for this debut blog post. I have just remembered that Saiichi Sugiyama Band’s appearance at the Great British Rock & Blues Festival in January isn’t on the Tour page of his website and I have to get that corrected. A manager’s job is never done. There is always something else to do.
You can look forward to more such indiscretions and wry reflections in future editions of this blog, including why Pete Townshend isn’t just playing guitar solos in his bedroom to himself; what it is like appearing on the BBC; and an insight into the bands pre-gig personal rituals and those of one or two others.
Saiichi Sugiyama Management