LONDON BLUE at HYPER JAPAN Festival 2018, London

live report - 09.10.2018 01:01

LONDON BLUE's dream comes true.

Londoners tend to take their city for granted. Wrapped up in the day to day bustle of life, it’s easy to forget the marvels the city has to offer. So it’s refreshing to see the excitement and enthusiasm it generates in those who look to the city for inspiration from afar. Idol group LONDON BLUE base their image and music around London and British rock music, taking an upbeat retro 60s sound and merging it with a chirpy Japanese pop style. Though they’ve been going a while, formed back in 2013, this is the first time they’ve performed in the city that inspires them.

Their intro music is a rock version of God Save the Queen and the home crowd join in, singing the national anthem until LONDON BLUE make their entrance dressed in suitably Union Jack-themed red, white and blue outfits. The quartet get straight into London Calling, a perky, slightly punky, rock number that will be their first single after signing with the major label King Records. Even though they’re performing in an unforgiving 10am time slot, they still give it their all. They whirl their LONDON BLUE towels around above their heads as their dance routine takes them spinning across the stage. It’s an idol-friendly crowd who know how these shows are supposed to work, and they add their own ‘wotagei’ chants to encourage the girls.

The towels are put to one side for the next, slightly gentler song Angie, but they keep the crowd involved by leading the “Oi! Oi! Oi!” chants. As you’d expect with an idol show, there’s a break for Kana, Kayano, Rinka and Kyoka to introduce themselves. The group’s current line-up actually comprises five members, but unfortunately Rina can’t join them for their London trip. The four of them each have a handmade sign with their names spelt out in suitably red, white and blue English, except for Kyoka, whose sign is a plain affair in big black letters. Maybe the others had been hogging the coloured felt tip pens.

Kana greets the audience with “We are LONDON BLUE, yorushiku onegaishimasu!” As well as showing the crowd who’s who, the signs help out the group’s MC, with notes written on the back to prompt their English as they tell everyone a little about themselves. Kayano is an anime voice actress as well as being an idol, Rinka is the youngest, Kana, the group’s leader, creates their choreography and Kyoka tells us she’s the most energetic one, which must be quite something as they’re all bursting with smiles and energy as it is. Each member takes it in turn to get the crowd to shout out their nicknames by way of saying hello.

Now that we’ve all been properly introduced they’re back to it with Groovin’, another track that will feature on their London Calling single. The perky love song Midnight Lover is next up before a pause for another MC. They share their excitement with the London crowd, saying, “We love London, it’s our dream to perform here. Finally, our dream came true.” They share their sightseeing plans too and ask for recommendations from fans at the meet and greet later. The British Museum and Big Ben are on their list, though they might be disappointed to find that the world famous clock tower is covered in scaffolding.

Kana announces that it’s time for the last song, Nanatsu no Umi to Sora, which is met with pantomime groans of disappointment from the crowd. There’s a spot of coaching so that everybody can join in and the LONDON BLUE towels come out again for another swirl in the final bouncy, high energy dance routine.

LONDON BLUE enjoy the cheers and applause from the early bird crowd before heading offstage. One good thing about performing first thing in the morning – they get to spend the rest of the day in their favourite city.

Set list
01. London Calling
02. Angie
03. Groovin’
04. Midnight Lover
05. Nanatsu no Umi to Sora
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