I didn't go to the Winter Hyper Japan this year, I just lacked the motivation however a couple of the bands that performed there were also doing a show in Camden at the Underworld, a venue I'd not been to since the early 2000's.
First up was Shirobon, a guy who's music looked to be coming from a Gameboy. We knew what we were getting as soon as the set started with the sound of the Gameboy starting up. This chiptune stuff was very strange but worked.
Even stranger, but also working was FEMM who are best described as mannequin electro J-pop. If that's a genre, they're the only ones in it. They were carried on the stage then proceeded to do a 40-minute set of just them vocalising over a backing track whilst dancing like robots.
This is from youtube but gives a good idea of what is going on. With no band it was hard to tell how live the performance was. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt; they were very good either way.
There was no disputing whether second band Love Bites were playing live or not. Out came 5 well dressed diminutive Japanese women who opened by telling the audience "We are Love Bites and we love heavy metal", and boy do they!
They were loud but really really good. Unlike BabyMetal which was 3 Japanese girls fronting a band, these girls could could play and do so very well. I remembered why it had been so long since I'd been to the venue; the soundsystem is really poor and I had ringing in my ears for a couple of days after the gig.
I think this may have been their first full length tour outside of Japan and their first album is out any time now. They did very well.
Someone kindly recorded the show and posted it online so here you go!