Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee celebrations are never complete without a rock star wielding an axe to inaugurate proceedings. For the Golden Jubilee in 2002 it was Queen's Brian May atop Buckingham Palace. And for The British Embassy in Japan's Diamond Jubilee party this month, the sword fell on the broad shoulders of Anglophile Tomoyasu Hotei. Not without good cause either.

On his 50th birthday earlier this year, Hotei announced that he was about to embark on a challenge to start a new life in London. In August of this year, he will up sticks with his wife and daughter to live permanently in the source of his inspiration with only one show on his agenda at Camden's Roundhouse on Dec. 18. But this isn't another valiant Japanese search for the Holy Grail of international stardom. Hotei says this move is purely personal.

"When I was young, I wanted to be a big star," he says kicking back at his office in Tokyo's Azabu-Juban district. He achieved that dream via his former band Boøwy, the prototype for modern Japanese rock music that dominated the charts in the mid-1980s. "But now I feel like I just want to enjoy myself, relax, meet friends and try new skills. Even in a pub!"