Versailles 2010

O2 Islington Academy
30th June 2010
Written by Keita-Eiri Uesugi
Photography by --

Sound in Gate
God Palace-Method of Inheritance-
Aristocrat's Symphony

Red Carpet Day
The Revenant Choir

Renaissance cultured band Versailles – Philharmonic Quintet, finally grace our shores, heralding with them their story, history and music so unique, that the imaginations of the masses will surely implode with their facade of eternal life.

One thing to be noted with the sheer amount of people gathered and awaiting those open doors, that being, the accumulation of foreign fans who had thus travelled far and wide just for the show, let alone in some cases, following the tour: it’s safe to say, Versailles fans, are certainly dedicated.       

Each fan, whether the expected dressed in highly intricate lolita/aristocratic fashion (although effort was made, it wasn’t all good!) or in heavy metal outfits, it was clear not many had really thought of dressing for the weather.

Unlike most stage set ups, that being with instruments already upon stands and waiting in the side ranks and a back drop of some band logo or another, Versailles stage was quite stalk in comparison. The lights and atmospheric music would proceed to fade for a brief moment, before rippling into the opening of “Sound in Gate”, each audience member, eagerly awaiting their heroes to grace the stage.

But it is not until “Prelude” that they decide to enter, the build up of excitement mounting to agonizing levels. Drummer Yuki is first to make his appearance followed by Teru,, making his way to front, centre stage to begin an in-time to “Prelude” chant of “VERSAILLES” from the audience, before taking his place on the left. Hizaki follows suit, but then the Versailles chant oomphs with more gusto as Kamijo is greeted with cheers, roars, tears and everything else in-between. The male stands right at the front, one fist pumping the air, each person roaring “VERSAILLES!” as “Prelude” dissipates into the opening bars of their first song, “God Palace –Method of Inheritance-”.

With “God Palace” as an opening song, the band selected well in choosing such a song to begin with, however, it being one of their longest, running for about ten minutes, you do stand there and wonder, “WHAT ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO PLAY?”

The roadies were clearly having a few issues with sound also. The guitars seem to outweigh Kamijo’s vocals more than is necessary, so at some points, when the guitars are at full throttle, you cannot hear the singing. On a couple of occasions, you are able to glimpse both Hizaki and Teru, altering their amps and so forth, with Kamijo between guitar solo’s, fiddling with his mic. However, the sound does seem to improve as the show goes on.

It can be said though, that the set list was short, and with two intro tracks before the main songs also, however, due to the sheer length of their music, it’s greatly understandable.

As a vocalist, Kamijo certainly knows how to please, how to perform and much more. He is also rather enigmatic, a force to be reckoned with on the stage, what with the bands synchronised spins throughout their songs, to the way that Kamijo would “execute” his performance. He is a man to be watched and admired... that is for certain.

In the second act of their show, the extreme pleasure would fade into emotion-wrought tension: with calls of Jasmine-You (who tragically passed away before being able to perform in the UK) rippling across the crowd, and as those sorrowful violins begin to play, typically used in films giving you that all knowing point that yes, you are going to cry, and already, the tears are forming at the corners of your eyes. As a tribute to Jasmine, this truly shows the strength of the band and that after all that had happened; this is what he would have wanted.

Alas, it would seem the heat would get the better of Hizaki (or perhaps it’s the dangers of wearing such a long, ornate dress on stage). As Kamijo would call out Hizaki’s name, before the beginning of the solo to the song, Hizaki would take a step forward, then one back, his feet catching his guitar pedals and thus, he would proceed to fall backwards. Kamijo and a roadie would go and give him aid back standing, but had that not occurred and with the fact that Hizaki continued to play and not break his solo as he fell, everyone had thought he was about to do some epic, back-breaking, laying down guitar solo. He did look a little dazed until the end of the set though, which would be normal.

Thus, with some comic fanservice between Kamijo and Hizaki, with mock biting of Hizaki’s neck and sharing a wine glass of water, Kamijo swiftly leaves the stage. Yuki, Teru and Hizaki toss whatever they can into the audience, then make haste to leave also: they weren’t going to be hanging around for long tonight, for their next destination was in sight.

“When will these vampiric, musical, legends return?”

We await with the utmost of bated breath