Girugamesh @ O2 Academy Islington

O2 Islington Academy
18th March 2011
Written by Rachel Yarwood
Photography by Lorna Ransome

Bit Crash
No Music No Reason
Endless Wing
Driving Time
Dirty Story
Dance Rock Night
I Think I Can Fly
Mission Code
Never Ending Story

Break Down
Inochi No Ki

The tension was quite high for fans of Girugamesh, due to obvious reasons beyond any of our control, as to whether or not they would be continuing with their "Here We Go" tour.

Amazingly though, the four piece rock group Satoshi, Nii, Shuu and Ryo carried on with their world tour, and at the same time reaching out to all of their fans in neighbouring countries, in recognition of the disaster of the recent earthquake and tsunami in their home country, asking for everybody's prayers and thoughts.

The band entered the stage one by one to "Opening" from "Go" greeted by tremendous ear deafening roars and cheers from the audience. The band themselves looked thrilled to be back here in London, smiling and encouraging the crowd, before taking their places behind instruments and mic stands as they took us into their first song of the evening, “Bit Crash”. The noise from the fans alone, reached even greater levels than before, as they now prepared themselves for the unfolding of what will undoubtedly become a well awaited and incredible performance.

Satoshi's vocals were more than on top notch tonight. In fact the entire sound system tonight did not falter once, and even if it had have done, I doubt many would have actually noticed.

This new album from Girugamesh is not as heavy on the vocals as quite a number of their songs have been in the past. Satoshi's vocals have not only matured with their years together as a band, but along with the music, he has made some very bold moves and adapted his singing, offering something that is excitingly unpredictable.

The set list itself is something to behold as the fans are treated to not just songs from their current album, but also a good amount of songs from their older albums as well, namely from the last two before this newest release. Girugamesh are keeping it all in good measure; keeping the new fans and the old fans equally happy with the goods.

Looking suave whilst donning his bass, Shuu delivers each and every deep and pounding bass line, effortlessly taking lead with a booming and recognisable rhythm. Taking us into "Dance Rock Night" Shuu invites yet more noise from the mass of people, encouraging not just a worth while rocking out, but the undertone of the more dance side to Girugamesh persuades those who are more courageous within the crowd (or have more room to move!) to dance along to the chorus... followed not too far behind by a rather enthusiastic Nii.

Ryo's stage presence is never one that is forgotten easily. As if drumming is just not enough for him, Ryo enjoys taking an opportunity to interact to the crowd including dancing stood on top of his drum kit. It's not at every, or at any, gig you come across a multi-tasking drummer, but wacthing Ryo perform is something you will certainly never forget in a hurry. Tonight he is on top form, performing with true skill and with a passion you can sense from the way he engages with everything that he does.

The entire of the band's stage presence tonight was simply electric. Their attitude, the way each of them played to the crowd, seems to have evolved along with their music. From their debut show in the UK back in 2008, to the present 2011, it is almost as if you are seeing an entirely different band. They have plenty of the tour life under their belts now and, if you were one of those at their "We are real stupid" show three years ago, you can definitely see a change... they have excelled and return each time bringing with them something bigger and better.

Tonight was a definite step-up from the last, powerful and also entertaining, right up to last second and in all the right ways. From their presence on stage, rock appeal, pink star-shaped (and sparkly) sunglasses and with Satoshi’s echoing words “We will be back” ringing in everyone’s ears and minds, the hope is that this is certainly so…