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Nana Kitade/Loveless @ Camden Underworld May 2, 2011

Posted by ayasawada in Music.
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Nana Kitade/Loveless, Camden Underworld, a set on Flickr.

She came, she sang, she had her ass spanked. Yes, goth pop/rock/punk princess Nana Kitade came to London town.

It was…. brief. I’d aimed to get to the gig just in time for the support act, but as it turned out there was no support. Nana, or rather Loveless, were on at 8.15pm and due to finish at 9.15pm. Even with an encore it was all over by 9.30. It felt rather short – and rather short-changed having splashed out £20 on the ticket –  but in hindsight that’s as long as you’d get from any main act (unless you’re in Japan). And, in my old age, I was actually pretty pleased to get home so early without too much standing around :P

So how was the gig itself? Well, as I say, it was really more of a Loveless gig than a Nana Kitade gig. I’m not that into my Japanese gothloli punk TBH. There was a good beat to some songs, but others ended up sounding a bit like long wails (at times that I couldn’t work out if the song was one of the English or Japanese numbers ^^;). It was also a tiny, almost sparse, gig – even with the small venue, there were only about 50 people (if that) in the room.

Still, the crowd, and the performers made up for it. There was a rabid mix of gothlolis and young otaku (and my, do they get younger with each event I go to ^^;). And whatever my mixed feelings about her music, she’s a heck of a performer: dancing and spinning around, jumping on chairs, rolling on the floor, reaching into the crowd, bending over…. The small crowd meant we were all within touching distance of Nana – or should I say spanking or spitting distance. There were a ‘lucky’ few who got Kitade backwash sprayed on them, and there aren’t many gigs you can go to where you can say you’ve touched the artists ass!

She used a number of props too — a megaphone (!), a violin (!) and a striped whip to match her stunning red and black gothloli neglige. Yes, I did feel like a bit of a perv :P

I was hoping she’d go through at least a few of her older songs, and perhaps even divide the gig up into half Loveless and half Nana Kitade, but it wasn’t to be (I’d suspected as much after reading this interview). I imagine, for her, this was a chance to introduce Loveless to Europe and for a real punk fan to play in Camden, the birthplace of punk. I can hardly begrudge her that.

Still, she did at least acknowledge her fanbase by doing a punk version of Kesenai Tsumi in the middle (which really got the crowd jumping :) ).

The song is, of course, the first ED theme from the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime, which is how most people will have heard of her. That and the brilliant Kiss or Kiss are from her first album, 18: Eighteen, which, truth be told, is the only one of her records I love. I’m not really that big of a Nana Kitade fan :O

Still, I was so utterly excited when I heard she was doing a gig in London. How often do any Japanese bands/groups/singers I actually know (yet alone like) come to town? Never! So I am grateful to her for coming. You may be a little weird to some, Nana-san, but you were polite, genuinely pleased to be here, wished us all a Happy Wedding Day, gave one hell of a performance and wore one hell of a dress. おつかれさまでした。

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