THE SIXTH LIE at HYPER JAPAN Festival 2018, London

live report - 03.10.2018 01:01

No lie, they’re back with a bang.

Electro rock outfit THE SIXTH LIE are in danger of becoming a regular feature at HYPER JAPAN. They are continuing their plan to build an international following with a visit to London’s Japanese culture festival for the second year running, this time as a trio. Since making their international debut at last year’s event, bass player Hiroto left the group to explore other opportunities, but the band’s creative core remains intact. Don’t worry, there are still enough handsome men to go around, as the screams from the crowd attest when the group arrive on stage, backed by their intro music.

Rather than suffering the fate of drummers everywhere, hidden at way at the back of the stage, Ray is set up near the front, his drum kit on the left with Reiji and his gear on the right. Singer Arata introduces the band, shouting “We are THE SIXTH LIE from Japan!” As their opener Another Dimension kicks in, the crowd is already chanting and clapping. Though they’re now recast as a trio, they’ve lost none of the energy that won them fans here last time around. Arata is a live wire, bounding around the stage and hyping up the crowd, compared with Reiji, who stays cool and collected, riffing away in his “Matrix”-style overcoat.

The thumping fusion of rock and EDM gets the show off to a powerful start, and they keep the energy going with Wake Up Your Fire. Arata yells “I want to see you jump!” which gets the HYPER JAPAN audience bouncing and clapping. With their bassist gone the song’s funky slap bass solo is gone too, but nobody seems to mind as they clap along.

Arata takes a moment to thank everyone for their return visit before they take it down a notch with the easygoing Go On. The live arrangement is based on the album version, pepped up with a more elaborate synth part than the original 2017 single. It might be a little more laidback than the opening numbers, but Arata still gets everybody singing along.

Next up is Fall in the Sky from their latest mini-album, SINGularity. Like many of that record’s tracks, this has a lighter electro-pop feel to it, though played live the song’s electronically distorted vocals are replaced with a natural performance. SINGularity was released in Japanese and English language editions and fittingly they give the UK crowd the English version. Arata’s hard work on getting the pronunciation straight has paid off and he handles the foreign lyrics well, delivering them with subtlety and emotion.

Ray stands up from behind his drum kit to introduce their next song Hibana, the closing theme to the anime series “Golden Kamuy”, getting in a plug for the meet-and-greet session later too. The intro’s gently chiming guitar gives way to a pacy rock tune. The song’s harder sound is a slight departure from their usual style but it gives Arata a chance to let rip on the vocals. It all goes down a storm with the crowd and they join in, echoing the “oh, oh, ohs” of the chorus.

Ray’s drum solo leads into their closing number Endless Night and they polish off their show with a crashing crescendo of drums and guitar. As the crowd bursts into cheers and applause, THE SIXTH LIE line up at centre stage and take a bow. Same time again next year, guys?

Set list

01. Another Dimension
02. Wake Up Your Fire
03. Go On
04. Fall in the Sky
05. Hibana
06. Endless Night
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