Babymetal conquer Rock On The Range

Babymetal plant the flag for the Fox God on their first trip to Rock On The Range

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Babymetal just don’t give a shit. The festival slot – an industry euphemism for, ‘get up, get on with it, and fuck off,’ clearly doesn’t have bearing in the Fox God’s world, because for the last four, maybe five minutes their backing band (Gods Of Metal or Kami Band depending on who you ask), have been playing the same elaborate drum-roll in anticipation of Su-metal, Moametal and Yuimetal taking the stage.

Despite all this, the immaculately-presented centrepieces of this Japanese metal phenomenon are still hanging back on the side where a amount of gawkers – from industry-types to a wildly diverse selection of fellow Rock On The Range acts – who have turned up to see what the hubbub is about, and it’s the same out front, too.

How did this happen? What’s evident is that in the time since the video for Gimme Chocolate broke the internet over a year ago is that Babymetal, whatever you think of them, aren’t going away anytime soon. That’s because, again – whatever you think of them – there’s something so visually arresting, so outrageously heavy, and so hallucinogenically strange yet wildly entertaining about it all that even the most hardened metalheads here seem powerless to resist.

And it isn’t long before the pit becomes a conveyor belt of smiling crowdsurfers – four or five at a time – being dumped onto security. It’s hilarious to watch, but if there wasn’t something truly brilliant about it all it just wouldn’t work. The age of the Fox God is upon us. All hail.

All photos by Stephanie Cabral.

Alexander Milas

Alexander Milas is an erstwhile archaeologist, broadcaster, music journalist and award-winning decade-long ex-editor-in-chief of Metal Hammer magazine. In 2017 he founded Twin V, a creative solutions and production company.  In 2019 he launched the World Metal Congress, a celebration of heavy metal’s global impact and an exploration of the issues affecting its community. His other projects include Space Rocks, a festival space exploration in partnership with the European Space Agency and the Heavy Metal Truants, a charity cycle ride which has raised over a million pounds for four children's charities which he co-founded with Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood. He is Eddietor of the official Iron Maiden Fan Club, head of the Heavy Metal Cycling Club, and works closely with Earth Percent, a climate action group. He has a cat named Angus.