Indie, Idol & Infamous – London – Concert Review

Here is the first ever concert review on the site and it is for ORION LIVE’S “Indie, Idol & Infamous” show at THE WATER RATS in King’s Cross, London on April 20th 2019

ORION LIVE was formed in 2017 by Dave Batey and Christopher Morris and they have brought acts such as TOUCH MY SECRET & NECRONOMIDOL to the UK in the past couple of years.

“Indie, Idol & Infamous” sees the return to the UK of DOUBLE AND (Saki, previously of GUSO DROP) as well as the UK debuts of GARUDA, who is Yuffie Sakimura of MELONBATAKE A GO GO’s solo project and 14TH GENERATION TOILET HANAKO-SAN.

The fun began before doors opened when HANAKO-SAN entered the bar area where the attendees were eagerly anticipating the upcoming event and proceeded to spike people’s drinks with condiments and explore the area, to the bemusement of the non- attendees.

HANAKO-SAN also played peek-a-boo with the attendees through the window of the door to the live room.

There was a rather lengthy delay in the doors opening for VIP attendees due to technical issues, which got the attendees quite restless.

After a delay of around 30 minutes, the doors for VIP attendees opened for the performers meet and greet, and the first person you could say hello to was RUKATAMA, a member of MELONBATAKE A GO GO who was there to assist GARUDA.

The first official person you could meet was GARUDA who recognised me from social media after we had an exchange about sheep, you were given a poster for the girls to sign and a tote bag with the tour logo and dates on it.

Next up was HANAKO-SAN, who was less mischievous than earlier on. She was very talkative and drew her trademark toilet roll and strawberry on the poster.

Finally it was DOUBLE AND, who recognised me from when she performed in the UK with NECRONOMIDOL last year and was happy to see me, as we have previously done an e-mail interview together.

Once VIP was over, doors for general entry opened and there was a further wait of about 15-20 mins, which made a few audience members more restless.

Then GARUDA entered the stage, wearing her trademark mask and carrying her nail studded baseball bat, she also had black wings on her back as she was styling herself as a “dark Tinkerbell”.

With an ear-piercing scream she exploded into her set, with some early audience abuse occurring as she slapped some audience members quite hard in the face.

It was an intense performance from Yuffie, who MC’d in English which was impressive.

After her set, HANAKO-SAN began to set up for her performance, with loud cheers from the audience, set-up included laying a plastic sheet on the floor for HANAKO-SAN to perform her infamous set-piece.

If you thought GARUDA was intense, HANAKO-SAN was another level, very intense and loud screaming and head-banging from the pint-sized youkai.

At the end of the performance, HANAKO-SAN came out into the audience, standing on a stool with a bucket of food and drinks, she proceeded to throw chicken into the audience (not raw for the record), strong smelling fish and spitting tomato juice at the audience, finally emptying the remains of the bottle over the head of a nearby audience member.

After a break to clean up, DOUBLE AND rounded off the night with a very energetic set, which featured a lot of new and unreleased songs, before ending with her popular track “Chippoke Hero”

Buppan time took a very long time, HANAKO-SAN being especially popular, which reportedly finished at 12:45am (as I left before it was over)

I got a cheki with HANAKO-SAN, she was very intrigued by my toilet roll badge, made by a fellow audience member, who i pointed out to the spirit.

Overall , the night was fantastic, definitely a 10/10 night.

You can catch the remainder of the tour in Manchester on April 22nd and Birmingham on April 23rd

You can keep up with the tour by following @OrionLive_UK

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NECRONOMIDOL – The European Inquisition 2019

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2019 sees dark Japanese Idol group NECRONOMIDOL venture to Europe for the European Inquisition Tour.

The tour runs July 11th through 28th and will include stops in London for the HYPER JAPAN Festival and a headline show at The Underworld, where the group performed in 2018.

The tour also runs through Germany and Sweden before the group make a special stop at  Čachtice Castle in Slovakia for a photo shoot to be used in a secret project which will be revealed later this year.

Tickets for London, Birmingham, Inverness,Rotterdam, Finland and Sweden are available now, go to necronomidol.com/european-tour-2019 for all information.

 

Make sure you don’t miss NECRONOMIDOL in Europe this Summer !

(All Images used with the permission of NECRONOMIDOL management)

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Rainash – Close My Sight – Track Review

One of my J-Rock discoveries in late 2017 was the band RAINASH, who previously featured in an interview article last year, the two members of the group, vocalist Emmy and guitarist Tomo are constantly in the studio creating music it seems as all their updates are about creating new songs.

The latest release from the group is the track “Close My Sight” which was released on April 14th.

This is a dark and emotional track, a type of music that RAINASH seem to be able to pull off extremely well, for me “Close My Sight” reminds me of their earlier track “Flames For Me”, a track from their 2016 self titled EP.

I’ve always been very impressed with Emmy’s vocal abilities, as she is able to convey a wide range of emotions in her vocal delivery.

Guitarist Tomo compliments Emmy extremely well on this track with a fantastic musical track here.

RAINASH are an extremely consistent band who release great song after great song, and “Close My Sight”continues this tradition

“Close My Sight” is available on Spotify and iTunes at the following links

SPOTIFY : https://open.spotify.com/album/6VIdyzLXsvloFzeinMKQKl?si=w2ot1rZOStepgktENl7M_g

ITUNES : https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/close-my-sight/1458807566?i=1458807568

You can follow RAINASH on Twitter at @InfoRainash

 

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Meet Rainash

I recently sent the Japanese rock band RAINASH some questions to answer for our blog.

RAINASH are a two member band

Vocalist Emmy

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and Guitarist Tomo

RAINASH tomo

 

I split the questions into 3 categories, questions for both members to answer together, and individual questions for Emmy and Tomo.

Please enjoy learning about RAINASH

 

Q : How did you meet each other ? 

A : We met on an internet website for seeking band members

Q: How was RAINASH formed ?

A : Likewise, we wanted to form the band

(Note from Adam ; I believe they are referring to the website in the previous question)

Q : What is your favourite thing about each other ? 

A : Tomo makes music i wanna make (Emmy)

Emmy writes lyrics, expression that suits the music (Tomo) 

Q : What is your favourite RAINASH song ? 

A : We put our hearts and souls into writing songs, so now our favourite is “MALLOW”

 

QUESTIONS FOR TOMO

Q : How long have you been playing Guitar ? 

A : I have been playing guitar for 16 years

Q : Do you record both guitar and bass guitar for your songs ? 

A : Yes, I play and record both

Q : Who are your influences for playing guitar ? 

A : I’m influenced by L’Arc-en-Ciel, Evanescence, Breaking Benjamin and more, Mainly noughties rock bands

 

QUESTIONS FOR EMMY

 

Q : How long have you been singing for ? 

A : I have been singing for 11 years

Q : Who are your influences for singing ? 

A : They are Do As Infinity and The Brilliant Green

Q : It is known that you are a fan of Gundam anime, are there any other anime shows you like ? 

A : I like Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Psycho-Pass

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There are various things, so i introduce on Facebook later.

 

A big thank you to Emmy and Tomo for taking the time to answer my questions

You can keep track of RAINASH by liking their Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/RAINASHofficial/

Emmy and Tomo also have their own pages which they update

EMMY : https://www.facebook.com/emmy23nov/

TOMO : https://www.facebook.com/tomo710gt/

RAINASH’S Twitter is here : https://twitter.com/InfoRainash

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Love Japan Magazine

Hello everyone

Adam here

I interviewed Emily from Love Japan Magazine, what follows is that interview :

(All photography in this piece was shot by Emily Valentine, Love Japan Magazine Editor)

Q :What was the inspiration and origin of Love Japan Magazine ?

A : 

 Love Japan Magazine is essentially a platform to share a whole host of Japan related news, reviews, interviews and articles. The idea was sparked by my own personal interest in Japanese culture and as a photographer and writer (my day job) I have a really keen eye for visual content and a passion for publishing. I wanted to create something visually appealing, unique and colourful with lots of fun and informative content.
I’d been blogging about Japan for a couple of years before the mag was launched and met some great people along the way, both in the real world and the virtual world! I decided to launch the magazine in 2015 and it escalated from there. The interest and enthusiasm was wonderful (and unexpected!) and by the second issue I had managed to work with some great Japanese businesses, celebrities, artists, writers, photographers and other creatives.
I worked with graphic designer Emma Prew on the second issue (who also designed our brilliant logo) and she really brought the magazine to life with her creative design. Someone once asked me why our issue 2 cover girl was Chinese (Travel blogger La Carmina) but I think she was the perfect choice – she symbolises that our magazine isn’t only about promoting Japan’s culture, it’s also focused on telling the stories of the interesting people who are influenced by the country’s culture.
La Carmina in Love Japan Magazine Issue 2
Q : Even though you call it a “magazine”, why did you decide to make it an Online Only publication ? 
A : 

The magazine started out as an online and print magazine but as everything was self-funded, it was really too expensive and time consuming to continue creating physical issues. It takes an incredible amount of work to put a magazine together, from sourcing written and visual content, to proofreading, graphic design and marketing. So after 2 issues I decided to move to an online version of the ‘magazine’ (our blog), which is much more manageable. It also means I can offer instant content. In the future I’d love to publish another magazine but it needs a year of careful planning, and perhaps a change of format. We’d also have to offer advertising space to help fund it and possibly run a crowdfunding campaign too. We’ll be heading back to Japan for a month or so next April and are going to some places that are off the beaten tourist path, so I’m looking forward to taking lots of photos and generating some really interesting content.
Fushimi Inari shrine, Kyoto
Q : What has been your favourite thing to cover for Love Japan Magazine ? 
A : 

 We’ve covered so many interesting aspects of Japanese culture both in the magazine and blog so I have lots of favourites. If absolutely had to choose I’d probably say the article about Iga Ueno (otherwise known as ‘Ninja Town’). I visited with my fiance and we both loved it. Everything is themed due to the town’s historical connections with ninja, and we enjoyed a trip on a ninja train, throwing shuriken (ninja stars) and even a fighting demo! I took the photos and Ross wrote the article which you can read in issue 2 of our magazine.
Ninja performance at Iga Ueno
Q : What do you find is the most interesting thing about Japan ? 
A : 

 I’ve been interested in Japanese culture since I was a child. My aunt and uncle lived in Yokohama during the 1980s so I was often treated to traditional Japanese gifts such as yukata or kokeshi dolls. I remember being very jealous of my cousin’s Japanese Barbie McDonalds! It was only as an adult after saving up my hard earned money that I managed to fly out to Japan for the first time. I travelled all over the country with a tea company called Chikitea as their media manager; filming, taking photos and updating their social media. I was introduced to a sort of ‘behind the scenes’ Japan including formal business meetings in Tokyo, scaling mountains to learn about how tea is made and eating traditional food with Japanese families within their homes. We travelled from Tokyo to Kagoshima, with lots of stops along the way.
I was initially drawn to pop culture and kawaii and as I’ve grown up (I’m in my thirties now) I’ve developed an interest in lots of the more traditional aspects. Japan has so much more to offer than anime and cute food! After my first trip to Japan I felt a real affinity with a lot of the traditional aspects of the culture. No society is perfect of course and I don’t see myself as idealising the culture, but rather drawing from the aspects that I feel particularly connected with. Ones that we don’t really have in the UK. Concepts such as wabi sabi and ikigai fascinate me and I integrate these into my life to be more mindful and positive. I first visited Japan at a particularly difficult time in my life and found a real sense of peace while I was there.
Tea shop in Ureshino Onsen
Q : There are quite a few Japanese based blogs such as “Sophie’s Japan Blog” for example, How do you think Love Japan Magazine fits into the Japanese blogging community ? 
A : 

 I love being a part of the UK Japanese blogging community. Like a lot of bloggers we all know each other (mainly through social media) even if we’ve never physically met. I’ve met Sophie a few times at press events. I think we all have a slightly different slant on things. Some focus on travel and culture and others focus solely on Japanese culture in London for example.
Our audience is largely UK based, and as I live in London a lot of content focuses on Japanese events or news in London. We also do interviews with interesting people and businesses. Interviews have included Beer Tengoku in Japan about the growing Japanese craft beer community, author of bestselling book Sushi and Beyond – Michael Booth, and the owners of all female Japanese knife specialists Japana. So we do a bit of everything really. We can’t really compete with the long standing online Japan travel guides so we don’t try to.
Taxi in Tokyo
Q : You have covered Hyper Japan for your magazine in the past, how important do you think these types of cultural events are ? 
A : 

 Japanese cultural events are hugely popular and enjoyable. I’ve been working with Hyper Japan since their first event in 2010 so am a long time fan. I started off as a volunteer, progressed to official photographer and now cover the event as press. Back in 2010 it was a much smaller event, although still extremely popular. Okinawa Day and Japan Matsuri also take place annually in London, both of which are enjoyable although on smaller scales. I often search for other events to visit, and recently went to photograph a Japanese hanami (picnic) event under the cherry blossom trees at Brogdale Farm Kent.
Japanese pop culture is big business in the UK but interest in more traditional aspects of the culture are ever growing, particularly where Japanese food is concerned. I never thought I would see the day that matcha lattes were sold in mainstream coffee shops, but it’s happened! You only need to look at the ever growing number of Japanese restaurants and cafes in London to see how popular Japanese food now is.
Less Than Love Live at Hyper Japan
Q : What are your plans for the future of Love Japan Magazine ? 
A : 

 I’m currently working on a survey to see if there’s enough interest to publish another magazine. I need to do some serious market research to decide whether it launches at all, and if so what content it should contain. In the short term we have a couple of new additions to the LJ Mag team who’ll be announced shortly. We’re currently hosting our first Instagram takeover which has been really popular so far, so there’ll be more of those in the coming months. I’d like to branch out into some more arts & crafts blog features too (like our Kintsugi post). I’m ditching the current weekly blog feed newsletter in favour of a monthly newsletter with more visual content. And that’s just for starters! I hope that Love Japan Mag will continue to evolve over the years and I’m excited to see where it takes us.
We would like to thank Emily for speaking with us about Love Japan Magazine and we hope you enjoyed learning about the magazine as much as we did
– Adam