HYPER JAPAN is next weekend (23rd-25th November) at Earls Court, London and as usual the event has invited over some special musical guests from Japan to perform.

Legendary guitarist TOMOYASU HOTEI is making a special appearance at HYPER JAPAN ahead of his London concert date on 18th December. HOTEI is perhaps best known for his song Battle Without Honour or Humanity, which featured in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill. HOTEI has enjoyed a long music career which spans over 30 years and as well as an extensive recording career he has also staged sell-out live performances, including a special concert at Tokyo Dome designed to raise money following the earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan last year.

More recently, HOTEI has collaborated with colourful pop outfit MOMOIRO CLOVER Z, lending writing and production credits for their recent release Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimi-tachi Yo. Hotei will be performing at HYPER JAPAN on Friday at 6pm.

Amongst the other musical acts taking part are 4-piece visual kei outfit NINJAMAN JAPAN who are fond of combining theatrical presentation with a super sentai visual flourish. The band includes vocalist Sarino, formerly of TINC, Shelly Trip Realize and Aioria and also features guitarist Lida from Psycho le Cému, bassist Metal of Yoshida Metal and Gekidan★Shinkansen and also Pinky (PLUNKLOCK) on drums.

NINJAMAN JAPAN will be performing at HYPER JAPAN on Saturday.

TOMOCA will be bringing a splash of J-Pop to HYPER JAPAN with her own particular style of performance. With a backing of both modern and traditional Japanese musical instruments, TOMOCA weaves together a unique fusion of modern and classic, East and West, to bring a style that she refers to as ‘Wa-Pop’ (literally, Japanese pop)

TOMOCA will also be sporting colourful kimono-inspired outfits to complete her unique style. TOMOCA will be performing on stage on Sunday.

Also performing on the weekend will be THE MICRO HEAD 4’NS, a 5-piece visual kei band that features ex-members of D’espairsRay and FANATIC◇CRISIS.

THE MICRO HEAD 4’NS consists of vocalist Ricky (DASEIN), guitarists kazuya and SHUN (FANATIC◇CRISIS, Lastlip) along with former D’espairsRay members TSUKASA on drums and ZERO on bass. The outfit are also embarking on a European tour in 2013, including a further date in London.

THE MICRO HEAD 4’NS will be performing at HYPER JAPAN on Friday.

Also returning to HYPER JAPAN to perform will be the UK’s own star BECKII CRUEL (who we interviewed at the last HYPER JAPAN event). Achieving fame dancing to popular J-Pop and anime songs on her YouTube channel, Beckii also flew to Japan to take part in a one-off collaboration and was signed to the Tokuma Japan Communications label (home of Perfume) which releases material on albums from singers from the Nico Nico Douga community. Her first DVD titled This Is Beckii Cruel! reached No. 8 in the Japanese DVD charts.

BECKII CRUEL will be doing a brief stage performance at 10am on Saturday.

More guest info: http://www.hyperjapan.co.uk/whats-on/stage-timetable/guests.html

HYPER JAPAN is the UK’s biggest J-Culture event packed with a weekend of all that’s cool from Japan. The event covers Japanese food, cosplay, J-Pop, talks, exhibitions, guests, gaming, fashion and more. The special HYPER JAPAN 2012 Christmas event takes place on 23rd/24th November at Earl’s Court. Ticket information here: www.hyperjapan.co.uk

If you’re looking for post-HYPER JAPAN events to entertain you then check out the following:

7TH HEAVEN will feature an evening of J-Core with a side helping of K-Pop and Electro taking place at Fluid Bar 40 Charterhouse Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 6JN. Amongst the team will be DJs JAKAZiD, TANUKI, Snap, Tyujia, Dyzphazia, and Shenny (Cosplay Clubnights). DJ Shenny will be handling K-Pop duties in the earlier part of the evening. The event is also free entry. At the same time, WOTA will be staging their own event in the ground floor bar of Fluid. http://www.facebook.com/events/168579826611778/

Meanwhile, Tokyo rock outfit TOQUIWA will be playing their only headlining date in the UK as part of Japan Underground at The Pipeline 94 Middlesex Street, E1 7EZ. 3-piece outfit TOQUIWA (whose album we reviewed previously) are currently supporting The Wedding Present on tour.

TOQUIWA are an energetic band who were formerly Pinky Piglets and have a fine selection of blistering guitar tunes and raw vocals. Plus support from J-Pop-noise duo Umez. Tickets are £5 in advance or £7 on the door. http://www.wegottickets.com/event/193456

Text by Paul Browne
19th November 2012