|Performing at MCM Fringe Festival (taken by me)|
J-Rockers Band-Maid make first European performance at huge MCM Comic Con
Band-Maid, one of Japan’s up-and-coming all-girl rock acts, made their live debut to UK/Europe at MCM London Comic Con, which took place from 27-29th May 2016 at ExCel London, hosting the UK's biggest Modern Pop Culture Event.
The Tokyo quintet who formed in 2013, consisting of Miku (guitar/vocals), Saiki (vocals), Kanami (guitar), Akane (drums) and bassist Misa – have been building quite a reputation and fan-base all over with their blend of cute yet deadly rock music and stand out imagery (appropriately dressing as maids) whilst they unleash and deliver their seriously skilled and striking sounds. The concept of the maid outfit aesthetic stems from founder Miku’s experiences in the maid cafes of Akihabara – the Tokyo district known for otaku (‘geek’) culture and passion for rock music.
Through their music videos they have been reaping success and gaining well deserved attention, especially for the videos for 'Thrill' and 'Real Existence' which have since received over three million views.
Over the MCM comic con event the band took part in a number of activities throughout the three days, such as attending question panels, signings and most importantly taking one of the few spots on the MCM Fringe Festival...
I caught their last performance at Fringe Festival on the 29th May 2016 and anticipation was running high, with many a eager fan in the crowd, and when asked by comic con staff on stage who would be on next, the crowd chanted "BAND-MAID!" back to them to confirm this.
They exert great stage presence throughout, even despite a bit of a language barrier, through their charm and enthusiasm, especially with help of the multi-skilled founder, Miku who does most of the interaction, who plays guitar and sings solo, as well as does dual vocals with main vocalist, Saiki. The audience happily shouting back and doing any command that is asked, even if they don't understand is always a good sign. They kick of with high powered, 'The Non-Fiction Days', which is their latest offering and the perfect introduction and opener. Within the set they play some of their popular songs, such as 'Alone', which is super catchy and more upbeat than most, which is followed by the promiscuous hard punk inspired, 'Don't Let Me Down'.
From the start to the end they put all their passion and power into each song, and a special mention has to go to lead guitarist, Kanami for her impressive guitar solos, where she isn't afraid to command the spotlight and have fun with it, especially in songs such as 'Alone' and 'Real Existence'. The same can be said of the very sheek and mysterious front woman, Saiki, who has a beautiful voice and strong capabilities. This of course is true of all members, who are very talented and together they are a breath of fresh, yet very hard hitting air (also matching the changeable weather, from sunny to breezy), making for a extremely tight unit, who revel in performing. The only downside to their set, is how short it is, but luckily to the delight of adoring fans they come back for an encore, perhaps saving the best until last, with huge hit 'Thrill', which has had over two million views on Youtube, and makes a memorable ending. Although for some, this simply isn't enough, as the audience continue to demand more as the fade from view.
They have by far the best reception and crowd of the festival, making their UK debut a blazing success and proving that the organisers made a very wise decision. This is the start of something very big for Band-Maid who have only just skimmed the surface, at least in terms of broad live exposure in Europe, and soon they will no doubt conquer all and far, with their captivating hard rock and charisma.