This year has been especially kind to BAND-MAID. Ever since their first overseas performance and North American debut at Sakura-Con back in March, the band has gone on to play at MCM London Comic Con in the UK and released their first international album, Brand New MAID, which is available via JPU Records.

Who knew that all of this would lead to a world tour, taking them back to the UK for an intimate show at a nearly sold out The Underworld. Filled to the brim, they start right on time, going straight into REAL EXISTENCE making guitarist Kanami Tono vertically play her solo while Thrill allows bassist Misa to take center stage with her slapping technique.

Cheers erupt as vocalist and guitarist Miku Kobato sings, all while getting the crowd to clap during Shake that, demonstrating the proficiency of drummer Akane Hirose. Miku asks “Are you enjoy?” during the MC but unsatisfied with the response she says, “No, no, no. More, more, more. Are you ready to enjoy?”, the audience getting to their loudest by the third attempt.

She then puts her guitar away to fully take part in the vocals for Beauty and The Beast, getting heads nodding only for it to get faster during the breakdown and the non-fiction days causes a small mosh pit to form near the stage.

band-maid-miku-kobato-the-underworld-performance-photo

Miku looks on as she strums away

The members then introduce themselves and at one point, cool and composed vocalist, Saiki Atsumi states that she cannot speak English to which someone replies “Neither do we”, making a few people laugh. Price of Pride gets the room fist-pumping, leading onto Don’t let me down, providing the opportunity to jump around as the band head-bangs in sync.

The next MC has Miku engaging in a call-and-response with “Kurrupo!”, onomatopoeia for the sound a pigeon makes in Japanese but yet again, she is not impressed and asks everyone if they are tired before the next song, YURAGU with its jazzy bass solo followed by Brand-New Road.

This happens once again during what she calls “Magic spell time!” (a magic chanting huddle) to eventually play their new song, YOLO and then FREEDOM. Saiki does her best to explain that each time she performs it feels very short and there won’t be an encore, as they finish on alone where another mosh pit forms at the front.

During the time BAND-MAID were on stage, they managed to make their songs just as entertaining as their MC’s and in turn, captivated those who there on the night, keeping them satisfied until the very end. It’s fair to say that this was very much a success.

Setlist:
REAL EXISTENCE
Thrill
Don’t apply the breaks
FREEZER
Shake That
Beauty and The Beast
ORDER
LOOK AT ME
the non-fiction days
Arcadia Girl
Price of Pride
Don’t let me down
YURAGU
Brand-New Road
Before Yesterday
YOLO
FREEDOM
alone

In the meantime, check out the music video for their most recent single, YOLO, to be released on November 16:

Many thanks to JPU Records for allowing us the opportunity to review this gig, and Sarah at Celluloid Moments for providing us with photos from the gig. Check out more of her work here.

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