LOVELESS

 
Camden Underworld
London
29th April 2011
Written by Laura Baron
Photography by Lorna Ransome

A small audience is present in the underworld for Nana Kitade’s first UK gig. The stage is set up with the usual equipment and a few unlit Victorian candlesticks. There is a relaxed atmosphere as the crowd waits and they get themselves pumped up for LOVELESS to take the stage with chants and the usual clapping gestures

 As the candles are lit and the lights dim we know the show is about to begin. LOVELESS consists of guitarist Taizo, who takes the stage first, followed by Nana herself. Despite the small crowd of people, they are raring to go and full of energy. They are making enough noise to fill the entire gig hall.

A slow, eerie version of the well-know IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL fills the room as Nana takes centre stage, capturing the audience’s attention instantly. Red light falls over her, highlighting the gothic attire she is wearing perfectly. To add to the gothic sense of the concert, Nana had purposely created vampire fangs with two of her teeth. She resembled a seductive vampire until she smiled sweetly and then you were questioning whether this was the same person. Her voice is strong yet haunting as she performs and her mannerisms are anything but innocent.

This show is already border lining the unexpected as Nana's style used to be cute and lolita-esque. We are being shown tonight her transition from sweet pop star to rebel rock star - and the audience loves it as they drown in her piercing voice.

Nana moves around the stage with such energy and passion throughout the entire show. Her interaction with TAIZO differs between friendly smiles and touches and aggressive tugging. They work very well as a team and we can instantly see the chemistry of their friendship on stage.

Nana's on-stage persona only differed when she was addressing the audience and talking to them. Her sweet voice and smile warmed up the room and her attempts at English were well received. As she spoke you wouldn’t have guessed that this was the same girl who had been throwing herself around the stage the previous song.

Nana's choice of on-stage props was something of a discussion topic amongst the fans. She switched between a chair, which she used to stand tall and reach for the ceiling and a long whip that she used to create a rather compelling and seductive gesture. Each one of them got the crowd worked up and screaming for more.

A suggestive theme ran through her concert that had the ability to shock and enrapture old and new fans of her music. The audience was treated to a concert as well as a small burlesque style show. Each movement was co-ordinated perfectly and as each song was performed the crowd got more lively and enthusiastic

 

Nana had left her inhibitions backstage as she moved several times to the crowd, lying back into them as she performed. Her rebel attitude coming through more and more as the show went on. Her marionette-style movements were somewhat of an eerie sight, which just added to the gothic feel of the whole performance.

TAIZO was less enthusiastic when it came to crowd interaction but his performance was not affected by it. His fast guitar skills impressed the audience and he managed to perform a guitar duet with Nana. The only difference was that Nana possessed a violin, which emitted guitar-like noises from the speakers whenever her fingertips grazed a small square patch on the instrument.

The whole show was an eye-opener as to what LOVELESS can do. It showed the audience that their style and their music has somewhat changed since Nana's solo career. She performed a mixture of ballads, rock songs and even some well-known anime theme songs, which she is well known for - with a rock twist added to them to give it new flavour.

Nana's transition from pop princess to rock goddess is almost flawless and her relationship with TAIZO is a force to be reckoned with. LOVELESS knows how to put on a show and no matter how eerie, dramatic and seductive it will be, Nana knows she has your attention.