==STICK MEN – OWARI, A STORY
In the middle of 2019, Leonardo Pavkovic of MoonJune Records was planning a whirlwind Asian tour of Stick Men for early 2020.
The band included the legendary King Crimson veteran battery of Tony Levin (Chapman stick) and Pat Mastelotto (drums, acoustic and electronic percussion), plus the composer and touch guitarist, Markus Reuter.
Adding additional excitement and buzz to the tour was the inclusion of special guest, UK drums/ piano/keyboards player Gary Husband (Allan Holdsworth, John McLaughlin, Jack Bruce), joining the band for the abbreviated, but highly anticipated Far East tour.
The tour entourage arrived in Nagoya on February 26th, slated for a day of relaxing after the long flights. Then there was a short rehearsal and discussion about the music to be performed, at the table in the hotel’s reception hall, prior to the first performance at Blue Note Nagoya, on the 28th. But on the afternoon of the first show, when they arrived at the venue for load-in, rehearsal and soundcheck, Leonardo received a call from a Billboard Live Osaka representative. It was with extreme disappointment that he was informing the band of the news that the show in Nagoya would turn out to be their only performance: Japan’s national government had declared a state of emergency, and all public venues were to be closed indefinitely, starting from the following day (February 29th). Once again it was time to reroute flights and majorly adjust.
So far, the story behind this Stick Men album, aptly named OWARI (which translates from Japanese to English as “The End”).
This is a precious testimony. “OWARI” isn’t ‘the end’ per se, but marks a new beginning for the band, closing the first 11-year-long chapter and starting a new, even more adventurous one.