Add sugar and spice and all things nice to slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails… that’s what Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is made of. At just 21 years old, little Kyary is one of Japan’s biggest pop stars and equal parts shiny, happy kawaii and gross stuff like eyeballs, pink poo and monsters. We invite the J-pop alien princess over to i-D HQ for girl talk, karaoke and dream analysis…
Babymetal are set to embark on a world tour starting in July, the highlight of which will be playing the Apollo stage of the Sonisphere festival in the UK on July 5th. Originally Babymetal were scheduled to play the Bohemia stage but due to demand have been moved to the mainstage where Heavy Metal Legendaries Iron Maiden will headline later in the day.
Babymetal are also set to play another UK date at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, London on July 7th. Visit http://www.kililive.com/artists/babymetal for tickets.
The full tour dates are:
July 1st La Cigale, Paris, France.
July 3rd Live Music Hall, Cologne, Germany
July 5th Sonisphere Festaival, Knebworth, United Kingdom
July 7th Electric Ballroom, London, United Kingdom
September 14th Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan
It felt like a very long wait from purchasing our tickets back in late January until the evening of Tuesday 29th April where we got to watch Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performing for a second time in the UK. When we arrived at the O2 Shepherd’s bush Empire in London it was clear the excitement we were feeling for what was to come was shared by many others. Numerous fans had been waiting patiently on the streets outside the venue to meet with friends, and to ensure they would be able to secure a good vantage point once the doors opened. Kyary’s fans seem to be an impossible bunch to pigeonhole, encompassing an eclectic mix of people of all ages. From the knee high cosplaying Kyary clones, to the young and fashionable wearing their Harajuku inspired fashions and even the middle aged men in attendance, it was evident the crowd tonight came from all walks of life.
Once the doors opened we made a mad dash to secure ourselves some merchandise, before taking up our seats from which to watch from. With tonight’s venue being considerably smaller than the venues Kyary is used to playing back home in Japan, it was a pleasant surprise to see how much care had gone into the set design. Featuring a giant inflatable bear, a larger than life Jack-in-the-box and an exploding bag of popcorn it was enough to convey some of the surreal aesthetics we enjoy so much from Kyary’s music videos.
It was apparent from the moment Kyary joined her dancers, finishing their performance to the introduction of Nanda Collection, tonight was going to be very special. Starting off with Invader Invader, with it’s huge beats and catchy chorus courtesy of producer Yasutaka Nakata, Kyary was ready to immediately match the level of the already elated crowd. The tempo was maintained for a supercharged rendition of Mi, Kyary at ease on stage despite the pressure of expectation from her audience.
When Kyary spoke to the crowd, reading her English from a piece of paper, we all listened with great intent cheering and applauding as she paused. Kyary thanked us all for coming and summed it up nicely exclaiming “Let’s have fun”! Even when speaking in Japanese the language barrier did not prevent us from understanding the sentiment of every word, we all shared a common bond this evening.
We got a chance to hear Kyary sing acapella during her introduction to Ninjya Re Bang Bang proving what a capable singer she really is. The song itself proved to be another highlight with great audience participation, everyone was singing along and mimicking Kyary’s ninja moves.
With Yume no Hajima Ring Ring Kyary displayed a more mature and melancholic sound that I hope she explores more in the future. The song feels like Kyary is saying goodbye to the beginning of her career and is starting a new era where she is truly becoming a global star. Things moved back to familiar territory with one of Nanda Collections stand out tracks Saigo no Ice Cream and my personal favourite Pamyu Pamyu Revolution’s Tsukema Tsukeru.
Kyary then went back to where it all began with superb performances of Moshi Moshi Harajuku’s Cherry Bonbon and PonPonPon. While some may attribute much of Kyary’s achievement to the viral success of the PonPonPon video, and it certainly was one of tonights most warmly received songs, those of us here tonight were left in no doubt of the quality and quantity of the work Kyary and Nakata have produced. That quality was further proved in Fashion Monster which again had some of the most participation from the crowd of all songs tonight. And before we knew it the evening was at an end, with Kyary thanking us as she left the stage saying “Bye Bye”!
Fortunately an encore was inevitable and a few minutes later Kyary was back on stage wearing a Nanda Collection World Tour t-shirt to finish the night with my other personal favourite Candy Candy and to say goodbye this time for real with the perfect set closer Chan Chaka Chan Chan.
The evening passed by far too quickly, after just short of two hours Kyary was gone. It was a privilege to be able to see one of the most exciting acts in Japan today playing in the UK. Kyary demonstrated admirably tonight she is ready to rise to the challenge of becoming a worldwide superstar. I hope it won’t be too long before a new album and another world tour. See you next time Kyary!
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performing Ninjya Re Bang Bang live at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire London 29th April 2014
Full review of the show coming soon!