I dunno what it is, but every time I go see a Japanese live act it’s pissing with rain and last night was no exception at a sodden VAMPS debut at the O2 on Sauchiehall Street.
I’ve been given a last minute ticket by fan Kei who has been in the queue since 11AM. “I’m freezing” she says and I feel distinctly out of place in my work clothes amongst so many in black and lace.
VAMPS are a Japanese band ostensibly modeled on a hybrid of Gun’s N Roses and Motley Crue but have a few modern flourishes that mark them out as not just another obvious hair metal rip-off. One can even pick out various references as far away as Muse during the groups’s opening track, Evil.
And Lead singer HYDE certainly has the swagger of a young Axl Rose as the band – complete with random guy in a gas mask on sample duty – tear through Devil Side and the Motley Crue cover Live Wire, much to the delight of a widely varied crowd who seem to comprise of elderly Japanese tourists, young Japanese tourists, goths and a guy in a shirt just like me. Yay!
Perhaps the only time tonight’s show drags is during Revolution II which sounds much too much like the tedious Rocks by Primal Scream. But this is only a momentary drop and the last two songs are killer. World’s End is probably VAMPS at their most progressive and it provides the launchpad for closing song Sex Blood Rock N Roll to really let VAMPS get their fangs out.
I originally intended to see VAMPS at Hyper Japan in July but things happened and I couldn’t stay for their headline set, which is a shame because it turns out that VAMPS are a bit good.
If you’re quick you can catch them at London Shepherd’s Bush Empire tonight, Manchester and Bristol O2 Academies November 28 and 29.
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Images copyright Kei Sung and her iPhone.