Broken Doll at HYPER JAPAN, London

live report - 09.09.2017 10:01

Stylish pop-punk rockers Broken Doll return to London's HYPER JAPAN to thrill festival goers with their quirky live performances.

Although it's only half past nine on a Saturday morning, the live theatre room in Tobacco Dock is buzzing with excited chatter and fresh-faced Japanese culture fans, eagerly waiting for the first performance. Broken Doll are the first act of the day and, after appearing at HYPER JAPAN last year, are back again to give attendees another exciting pop-punk live show.

The band bound onstage, guitarist and backing vocalist Kensuke deciding to run instead with a Japanese flag draped around his shoulders, beaming at the audience as he does, before cheekily asking "Are you still sleepy?" which of course is met with laughter and loud enthused cheers in response. As Broken Doll begin their set it is very clear that no one here is sleepy at all. Both audience and band are energetic, jumping to the beat, arms raised and pumping the air, cheering in all the right places.

Lead vocalist and frontwoman Sachi is wearing a (and this word will understandably be used quite a lot this weekend) 'kawaii' outfit of a Pikachu being caught in a Pokeball. I Miss You slows the pace only slightly, however Sachi continues to parade the stage with determination and encourages both the crowd and the band with her confidence as she adds her touch of feminine cuteness with her vocals and style. Playing to the audience, Sachi smiles and motions to her onlookers to clap, jump and sing, ensuring that everyone here is entertained and is having the best experience they can possibly have.

As the band take a breather they announce their HYPER JAPAN-only, "real" CD! This weekend and here only, fans can grab a copy of an exclusive CD and also get it signed at the meet and greet booth after the performance. Kensuke then follows to announce the next song, "I love 80s Madonna; my influence is from her!" As the opening chords begin there are unmistakable sounds of approval mixed with cheery amusement as Broken Doll treat fans to their rendition of 80s classic Material Girl.

Still Reach for the Sky is their last song of the morning but possibly the most energetic of the whole performance today. The crowd dances along and joins in the chorus, shouting the words “Reach for the Sky” at exactly the right moment. Bassist Yuu drops down from the stage and takes a walk — through the onlookers — and it's not often you see this with such ease. Yuu meanders through the audience without a care, which is both hilarious and admiring to watch, before stepping back onto the stage to finish the song and join the rest of the group to take a final bow and a group photograph.

Broken Doll’s show this morning was colourful, lively and thrilling to watch. It can be hard for an act to open a show, especially one this early on a weekend morning, but it was easy to see that Broken Doll were prepared and ready to pull off a show worth getting down here early for.
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