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15 June 2013

The Ballad of Tokyo Zombie (2013)

I'm off to the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain next weekend. You will remember that I went to the last one and came back with a million photos. By all accounts it's going to be packed; Tickets to the event have all sold out. I feel a bit like Willy Wonka... Yep... I've got the golden ticket!

The Ukulele Festival of Great Britain will be held in Cheltenham 21-23 June 2013

I've been joking on Google+ that I might do a song at the open mic on the Sunday, but in all reality, I'm pretty certain that I'll just leave it to the pros. ;-)

If I do end up doing a song, it will be my recent tribute to Tokyo Zombie. If you remember, I was challenged by Tokyo Daz to write a song about the film which resulted in a somber "studio" recording called the Ballad of Tokyo Zombie. It has become a bit of a favourite of mine to strum about the house. Actually, I think it sounds better pared back as a bare-bones ukulele number. Less is definitely more when it comes to zombies, ukuleles and pretty much everything really.

I was looking for a map of Tokyo to stick up on this post and I stumbled across this... a map for the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Toyama. How apt! I like that all of the escape routes are clearly highlighted. Let's overlook the fact that Toyama is about 250 miles away from Tokyo... That's close enough for the purposes of this post.

Knowing that I'm not going to play The Ballad of Tokyo Zombie live in Cheltenham, I've done the next best thing and recorded it live in my kitchen for you. You get the whole tune in all its coarse unpolished glory. My sore throat just about holds out all the way to the end and I even get the lyrics right. Regular viewers of my videos will know that this level of professionalism is unheard of!

"Please do it at home" - I really don't know which Tokyo Metro posters are real and which ones are clever photoshops. This is exactly the sort of Japanese craziness that you know I love.

If you are going to be at the Festival of GB and you happen to spot me, feel free to tap me on my shoulder. I will be the one in a kimino.

I haven't decided yet which ukes I'll take down with me to Cheltenham. There's still time to sway me if you want to see any of the instruments I've talked about on this blog. Strongest contenders for an outing are either the Kingcaster, Sharkfin or Tokyo Ukulele. Maybe I'll take all three!

Here are my heroes Hague and Afro. For reasons that I can't remember, I added beards.

Sorry for the wait. I'd almost forgotten that there was meant to be a video at the end of this post. Here it is. Enjoy...

Before I go, I just want to call out another video of a very talented ukateer by the name of Danilo Vignola. He was recently interviewed by El Pancho. In the interview Danilo reveals that Pancho and I are one of his influences! Ha ha - I wish! Thanks Danilo... you say the nicest things! :-D

Okay, just one more video courtesy of Tokyo Daz. If like me you are looking for new ways to improve your ukulele technique... look no further...

This is the last addition, I promise. I was talking to Ukulele Russ this week and discovered that he'll be opening for Primus around about the same time as I'll be in Cheltenham. I hadn't heard anything by Primus, but having seen the following video I think I might just be their biggest fan! Check this out! Simply brilliant! Good luck Russ. That's one after-gig party I'd love to attend! Ha ha. Maybe next time...


  1. How about a song about Toyama,like
    'Oh,what a feeling...Toyama!" ?-)
    Those diseases must make people's appetites go through the roof as I see that they have highlighted the entrance of two Subway stores near the institute.-)
    And the road the Subway stores are on could be lyrics to another song -
    "Waseda Dori,morning glory..."

    And where's this "Tokyo Daz" moniker come from ?
    Brizdazz means "Brisbane Daz" as in Brisbane,Queensland,Australia,where zombies do walk the streets -

    Although,to be fair,they aren't really zombies,they are just the Brisbane Bronco supporters wandering the streets looking for brains (Cronulla supporters)to consume.-)

  2. That's a great map isn't it TD! Did you notice the Anahatiman Jinja next to the Police Box? I didn't realise that they had any jinjas in Japan. ;-)

    "And where's this "Tokyo Daz" moniker come from ?"

    Can't think how that sneaked in there TD. Must be a typo ;-)

  3. Can only another Jinja call another Jinja,Jinja ?-)


  4. Actually,I just noticed what looks like a smashed egg under the guy in the "Please do it at Home" poster.
    Maybe he was practicing the uke like in your informative 'How to Play the Ukulele' video above,hence the
    "Please do it at Home" suggestion.-)