Metal Madness, Mischief and Moe! (Indie Idol and Infamous Review)

The indie, idol and infamous tour is everything an idol and metal fan could ask for and more. The Manchester show down at the Night and Day Cafe flew by in a black and red haze leaving the northern audience hungry for more. The three part lineup consisted of Garuda followed by 14th Generation Toilet Hanako-san and finished off with DoubleAnd (2&), a line up which enthralled the audience and giving them the true flavour of what it means to be indie, idol and infamous. It was a wild night and it is sad to think that it flew by so quickly.

Garuda was the first to perform. A flutter of jet black feathers flowing from her outfit and wings were the first glimpse the audience received of this gothic idol. In one hand she held a microphone and the other held a nail filled baseball bat which looked like it could do some serious damage (even if it was just a prop). Garuda then met the audience head on wearing her bright white mask which contrasted beautifully with the rest of her outfit whilst belting out a hearty “Good evening Manchester!” From the moment she got up on stage Garuda got the audience hyped for her show and many fists began to punch the air like there was no tomorrow. Garuda’s vocals were a beautifully dark but rich tone which kept the audience almost in a hypnotic state at her stage presence.

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Garuda had a real contrast between her dark musical persona and her own sugary personality between songs. Her darkness lifted and allowed for a cheerful soul to shine through to have a conversation with the audience about Tesco and how amazing and cheap all the sweets were over here compared to back home. Suffice to say she captured the audiences hearts in both performance and personality. Three songs into her set Garuda took off her mask and revealed her painted snow white face along with her logo written in black on her cheek. Her face reveal led on to her performing a more mellow track which brought into some traditional Japanese flavour to her heavier sound. As Garuda’s performance went on she became increasingly more fierce with her stage presence as she began swinging her lethal looking baseball bat towards the audiences direction to give things some extra metal flavour. Garuda’s set included songs such as もうすぐ雪が which is a personal favourite of mine. Her music is filled with heavy chugging guitars which were perfect to head bang and compliment her set well and from time to time she would throw in an almost primal like screams to make things even more brutal sounding. To end her performance she gave a big cheery grin to the audience exclaiming “I’m so happy” before vanishing in a black feathery blur.

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After Garuda the audience was met with the haunting and mischievous spirit of Hanako-san, by far the cutest toilet ghost around! Her sweet and innocent looking school outfit was covered in splashes of red blood which I daren’t ask where it came from. Hanako-san and her set was something so unique that it came with a warning from one of the guys working the gig who stated “if you wanna be in the way, that’s up to you” and asking the audience to return her ducks to her if she happened to throw any into the audience. Her opening shtick was that since her head had been sliced off that she couldn’t speak and could only communicate through singing, the first taste Hanako-san gave was a bloodthirsty scream. The polite but misbehaving ghost later confessed that she could in fact speak and grinned mischievously as if she had been waiting to mess with Brits for goodness knows how long.

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Hanako-san really got down to it with her set. Whilst speaking she is a softly spoken ball of adorable moe-ness but this toilet ghost sure knows how to rock. Her set list displayed to the audience what they would be in for as her high pitched haunting screams bounced around the venue. I’m sure she has been practicing her screams within whichever toilet she happens to procure and it really shows. Her set was a mixture of savage screaming and softly sung vocals creating a bizarre combination which fits Hanako-san well. Her performance was filled with rude hand gestures, manic break down sessions which showed the contrast of her sweet looks and wicked ghostly personality and some very memorable audience interaction.

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The last song which Hakano-san performed got messy, real messy. After pulling out some toilet rolls to chuck at the audience she then decided to pick up a bucket containing various foods, both human and pet food mind you, and proceed to wade into the audience to throw and spit various things out at everyone. Bin bags had been handed around the audience in preparation for this part of her show and many people, myself included, got hit with at least some kind of food item whether it be cat food or HP sauce. After that it was time for clean up duty where an innocent sounding Japanese song played in the background whilst the audience help to clean up the foul smelling mess which littered the floor. Hanako-san knows how to end her show.

To close off the night was Saki from DoubleAnd (2&). Saki really knew how to close an already amazing concert and brought about a real authentic flavour of what idols and idol culture in Japan is all about. Much of her set parallels with the kinds of performances which can be seen in districts like Akihabara in Tokyo and for a while I felt transported back to the land of the rising sun whilst watching her perform.

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Despite DoubleAnd’s petite frame she is a full on ball of energy from start to finish. Her outfit was much more simplistic when compared with Garuda and Hanako-san and their elaborate get ups. For her opening song she stood in a crisp white oversized shirt and stood in a rigid like stance whilst she opened up her set. Her very still moments which opened up her performance were quickly shaken away as she screamed “TASUKETE!” This in English translates to “HELP ME” which I’m sure grabbed the audiences attention for what they were about to watch. Saki spent the rest of her set after this point completely rocking out and she never seemed to tire. Her love music and her passion for gymnastics really shone through within her set and the audience couldn’t take their eyes off her as she bounced across the stage with a smile dancing across her face. Saki even pulled out some awesome front flips for the audience which was met with a huge cheer. DoubleAnd’s set didn’t pack the metal punch that the previous idols did, instead she opts for more of a catchy and often melodic rock tone which suits her vocal melodies well. Her set list was filed with songs which can be found on her YouTube including tracks such as 間違いダラけ andちっぽけヒーロー which were a huge hit with the audience who bounced along to the rhythm and even pulled out some of her dance moves along with her.

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All in all the Indie, Idol and Infamous tour was an unforgettable experience and I only wish the tour could have been longer. It is clear that the UK is ready to embrace kawaii kickass idols with arms wide open and I hope that many more performances like Garuda’s, Hanako-san’s and DoubleAnd’s can come to us again soon. Be sure to check out ORIONLive UK and keep up to date with their other stuff here.

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