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2016: Highlights

2016: Highlights

Before I start, I’d just like to thank everyone that visits KAKKOII CLUB for your continued support and there will be more great content coming your way in 2017!

I always enjoy the last few days of the year, it gives you time to reflect on the prior year while looking forward to the next unknown adventures that await! There have been a number of highlights to mention from 2016 and here are the ones that really stood out for me (in no particular order!)

SCANDAL IN PARIS!

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You really can’t beat a live concert! The anticipation in the air from the audience while the bands crew are completing their final soundchecks and the moment the house lights go down and the roar from the crowd makes your heart race as you impatiently wait for your #1 band to walk out on stage. I’ve been to numerous concerts over the years but I’ve never ventured outside of the UK to support my favourite band until this year!

I remember looking around The SSE Arena Wembley waiting for BABYMETAL to hit the stage and being blown away by all the various flags flying proudly and saying to myself “This is one goal I need to achieve, watching my favourite band perform outside of the UK!” Funnily enough, I didn’t have to wait long! SCANDAL’s ‘Yellow’ European tour dates were announced in April and straight after their show in London, the band would be concluding their tour in Paris! This was it! I booked my Eurostar tickets and VIP ticket for the finale and it was worth the long wait until September! SCANDAL were on top form for both of the shows I attended and really gave the crowd a fantastic set. The Parisian fans cheered so much for them at the end of their performance, SCANDAL didn’t want to leave the stage! Incredible!

TOKYOTOYS: GLASGOW STORE OPENING!

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One of the very first features on KAKKOII CLUB was my photo coverage of TokyoToys second store opening in Birmingham! I only intended to stay for the first couple of hours but the whole team were so welcoming, I stayed all day to capture all the fun and excitement! When I was approached to cover their Glasgow store opening, I jumped at the chance! Not only did some fans queue for over 5 hours (literally the line went around the block in both directions!!) anime fans withstood rain and hail to get their hands on the hottest merchandise!

While the staff were super busy adding the finishing touches prior to launch day, Coco (TT mascot) and I went for a walk around Glasgow to take in the sights! I had another incredible day seeing all the excitement of the Scottish fans that TokyoToys had finally arrived in Glasgow and being invited out to their team dinner afterwards was a perfect end to a fantastic day!

THE TOMBOYS: HYPER JAPAN CHRISTMAS MARKET.

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Sadly I missed the bands debut UK appearance at The Pipeline earlier in the year, so when I heard THE TOMBOYS were returning to London AND performing at HYPER JAPAN Christmas Market, I knew this would be a memorable experience! THE TOMBOYS performed an explosive thirty minute set which had the audience thirsty for more! Since then it’s clear to see they made a great impression with UK fans staying in touch with the band and recently sending Chirstmas and a Birthday card for Non!

The band were so much fun to photograph and quite a challenge too! Majority of the time you had to be quick to catch them or try to anticipate where they would be on stage next as they were full of energy and constantly running around! Shortly after the band had returned to Japan I was asked if they could use some of my photos from the HYPER JAPAN Christmas Market to create a 2017 Calendar, which you can see below and I can’t wait to receive my copy so I can get this framed!

INTERVIEWING YOSHIKI. (X JAPAN)

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It’s not everyday you get to meet and interview Japanese Rock royalty and being able to interview Yoshiki was an incredible honour and privilege! Yoshiki was in the UK to promote his recent documentary release ‘WE ARE X’ and being able to spend time discussing the release with both Yoshiki and Director Stephen Kijak really gave me an insight into the ‘behind the scenes’ of making the documentary and for Yoshiki to rediscover parts of his past that he didn’t think he would uncover again. Full interviews coming in 2017!

PHOTO TOUR OF CAMDEN MARKET WITH MUTANT MONSTER!

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Another band that won the hearts of UK fans in 2016 were MUTANT MONSTER! This trio hit the UK like a cyclone with their supercharged Punk and we couldn’t get enough!! Many fans attended multiple shows in support of their new favourite band and I caught up with MM in London, taking them on a tour around one of my favourite places in London – Camden Town! Admittedly, once the MM girls stumbled across a Dr Martens store, they were like kids in a candy store and were all excited to purchase limited edition boots that you could only find in the UK!

I had a fantastic time capturing their adventures around Camden Town and fingers crossed we’ll see MUTANT MONSTER return to the UK soon!

BABYMETAL  – CONQUERING THE UK! 

Photo credit: © Amuse Inc.

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The UK was privileged to have BABYMETAL perform tracks from their latest album ‘Metal Resistance’ for the first time at their biggest UK show to date! The SSE Arena Wembley was close to selling out which is an incredible achievement and just goes to show how BABYMETAL continue to gain popularity and win fans of all ages from all parts of the world! What made tonight’s performance special was that the fans back in Japan were able to view the show live from London and throughout the set the huge screens on either side of the stage displayed the Japanese audience and you could really feel their energy and passion for BABYMETAL!

I’ve never seen queues so long, just for bands merchandise! Many die hard fans had queued since the early hours to ensure they were able to get their hands on all the merchandise their bank accounts would allow, with many of the stands outside the venue selling out before doors had opened! The live show itself was incredible; circle pits, chanting from the crowd and a fantastic use of pyrotechnics all created a top class performance!

Wishing everyone a fantastic 2017!

What’s rocked your world in 2016? Rate this post and share your experiences in the comments section below!

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