Gunji X ADAPTER

 
London Anime Con
Rocket Complex
London
9th February 2013
Written by Rachel Yarwood
Photography by Lorna Ransome
You would be deceived into thinking that the Rocket Complex would be anything more than a converted bank building, with stone steps surrounded by railings and stone-wash walls, plus upon entering you are harassed not once but twice by security. Pictures online obviously do not always tell the full story!
First impressions of the building aside, the ground floor stage area is rather cramped looking as more of a put-me-up than a real stage, unlike the first floor hall which has been designated as the panel and cosplay talk stage. However you would be tempted to say that the smaller stage would count for more intimacy between bands and their fans if it were not for the multiple sofas and tables getting in the way. Altogether not a good start.
 
ADAPTER is first on stage, dressed in his Kimono, and adorning the Kanji of "UK" on his cheek. With an unfortunate rushed sound check, which leads to a few technical difficulties through out his performance that could very well have been avoided, ADAPTER greets London Anime Con with a warm smile and begins his set. It was quite clear from the beginning that ADAPTER's equipment was not working with the convention's own equipment and instead he had to use the standard microphone provided. However to ADAPTER, who simply laughed this off along with the few in the audience who noticed, this seemed a minor set back and he instead worked this to the best advantage regardless of the hiccup and professionally took the stage with high enthusiasm.
One of the highlights of the afternoon was his performance of "Boku No Life". Taking a short break, ADAPTER greeted the audience again and asked of their knowledge of the Japanese language. Laughing at the same time he beckoned the onlookers to join in the chorus of "Konnichiwa, Arigatou, Gomenasai, Aishiteru" and by the finishing chorus of the track the enthusiasm had certainly increased amongst many dotted around the room. 
It was however a little bit of a shame that ADAPTER's vocoder would not work, especially with the electronic and 'digital' element of his music, with performing songs like "Please Please You" where his vocals would obviously have sounded much better being as they are originally in the recorded track. 
On the other hand, his performance of "Adesou", with it's heavier rock style intertwined with the electronic aspect was rather good and if you were not familiar with the recordings then you would be forgiven for believing that this was how it should have sounded. ADAPTER's vocals completely adapted (no pun intended!) to the environment put before him and gave us a performance, complete with kimono and customised digital glasses, that many would not. 

This extended to the second 'Digital Brother', Gunji. The same technical problems with microphones and dodgy wiring seemed to be becoming a bit of a plague but Gunji soldiered on, hyped on his own adrenaline, and taking us into the first part of his performance with just as much enthusiasm as ADAPTER had. 
Donned in black and silver, Gunji lit the small stage up with not just his sequined hood and metallic boots but his persona overall. Performing a few novel tracks from his band 'The Fool' such as "Mindjack" and "Chaos in the World", for those here this afternoon familiar with the trio who came to Europe not too long ago, it made for exciting listening. 
Along with this, Gunji played to the crowd as much as he could by encouraging as much movement as was humanely possible in the tight squeeze on the floor as he too attempted to use the small stage as best as he could. "Mindjack" especially, being a fast paced and energetic song, it must have been troublesome although Gunji still continued to dance, rock out, and show some skin through out the set. 
"Go Motherfucker" could have been one of the best experiences for fans at LAC but ended up a little awkward. 
As one of "The Fool"'s earlier single releases, this one is heavier with chant like vocals which... as the title suggests... has swearing in it. In many, if not all, cases you'd expect participation in movement and of chanting back the 'go motherfucker!' as Gunji tried his hardest to encourage. Today however it seems that there are people here either too young or not in the mood for using obscenities! Spoil sports. 

So really there were high points and low points of the experience at London Anime Con. 
Both ADAPTER and Gunji certainly gave it their best for LAC and especially for their fans who had come just for their performance (who had the chance to chat with them at a signing session afterwards). The both of them gave generous sets, despite the rush and technical problems, which saw a mix of both old and newer material for their debut in England. 
On the other hand it is highly doubtful that this part of Japanese culture will be seen much longer at a convention such as LAC who should probably stick to anime and not on entertainment.