In many cities of the world you will find Chinatown. As a result of the great Chinese diaspora which boomed in the mid 19th century, and again during the ‘cultural’ revolution, little Chinas grew up in all the far flung corners of the world . The first one outside Asia was in Honalulu . The oldest in Europe was in Liverpool. These little microcosms would contain many of the same elements the world over… the Cantonese restaurant, the Sichuan restaurant, the temple, the electronics shop, the pudding shop and also a community centre which would cover a wide spectrum of events which concerned the Chinese community as a whole… MahJong, karaoke, opera groups, kung fu, and (perhaps) a little money laundering too.
Such a place is an absolutely natural venue for a group like Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra to play. And play they did, in a community centre called Fa Yin. Using elements from JingJu and Beijing Opera, and even daring to play Japanese tunes to the local Chinese mafia – bosses who attended the show. The orchestra also inaugurated the enthralling giant fan dance which was performed with vigour, humour and not a little skill, by Milu Ling and the eccentric Baldimore Brackett. There was too the ‘ once – seen – never – forgotten’ version of the theme from the Godfather, performed on darabuka by Makmed the Miller. Genki !