This part of west London is well known for being an Australian enclave and just as Silverchair played four dates here to a largely expat audience in 2003, X Japan are playing what must seem like a hometown gig.
The sweltering venue is packed out, and dozens of pairs of glowsticks are crossed into an ‘X’ in the crowd. As the band emerge decked out in layers of leather, lace and tassels and burst into new single _Jade _you can barely think for the screaming. Japan’s most successful and influential rock band ever have approached this theatre show like it’s a stadium, playing just a dozen songs in two hours. Each member is allowed their time to shine, with lithe drummer and band leader Yoshiki frequently heading over to his piano, and at one point hilariously requesting a cup of PG Tips, while the newest member – guitarist Sugizo – even gets a lengthy violin solo.
No, this might not be heavy metal quite as you know it. While it’s borne from hard rock, the classical influences and pop sensibilities are somewhat at odds with the testosterone-fuelled Western idea of metal. After a huge eruption of smoke during X, the quintet slope off to the sound of their fans desperately baying for more. Reappearing for an encore after 30 minutes of begging and waiting, the quintet play one last song. It’s a surreal experience, but it’s certainly one worth opening your mind to.
Don’t forget, Yoshiki will be doing a q&a with fans from 11am on August 6 via his officlal twitter account @YoshikiOfiicial account. He’ll be answering questions from fans using the hashtag #AskYoshiki, before announcing some big news