Twelve hours later, well, closer to fifteen, I'm somewhere in Nakano for another performance.
Nabeyoko typically is not one of the more challanging ones, though it does tend to be very hot. As per usual, most of our members sat around and enjoyed the festival during the afternoon, but I decided to skip that part this time due to a combination of being really really tired, wanting to spend slightly more relaxed time with my daughter, and giving my liver a break. There's only so many times you can turn down free beer in a given afternoon.
So, we start getting ready around six in the evening. There are no changing rooms for the men, so we have to make do with a back street, same old same old. Nothing unusual to report there.
We begin at one end of the street and parade to the front of the shop we changed behind—the owner used to perform with us on drums, and he is instrumental in getting us involved each year. There we performed a set piece before continuing up the road, turning round, coming back a way, and performing a second set piece. Easy.
The second set piece it was decided would be performed at 90 degrees to our usual style, so we were facing down the road rather than off to one side. What this meant was that we now had a relatively narrow, but very deep space to perform in. Not a problem, providing everybody has some sense of spacial awareness and can visualise the world in three dimensions. Or in other words, a problem. But we grinned our way through it, even when a local store owner, presumably, started banging a giant aluminium can with a ladle, which was a lot more distracting than it sounds. Staff told him to go away in no uncertain terms, but he was back a few minutes later doing the exact same thing again. I'm not vindictive by nature, so let it be known that I harbour no animosity, and wish no vengence upon him—an eternity of wailing and gnashing of teeth, for example—at all, whatsoever.
Something had, however, been bothering me the whole evening. In fact, it had been bothering me the previous evening too, and the previous week. The "Enbun Charge" salt tablets I'd found most effective in preventing dehydration did not seem to be having the usual desired effeect I'd come to rely on, and it had been having an adverse effect on my performance skills. A closer inspection of the package was simultaneously a relief and a horror. I'd bought the wrong ones. These were "Enbun Plus", a competing product in a superficially very similar package. That'll teach me to just grab them off the shelf without looking properly. The rest can go in the bin then, and I'll make sure I'm stocked up on the real deal in time for Koenji in three weeks time.
I'll be sitting out Shimokitazawa on 20th due to family commitments.