Rock band X Japan to play concert, premiere film in London

A photo from the band's Facebook page.
A photo from the band's Facebook page.FACEBOOK

LONDON (AFP) - X Japan, one of the country's biggest rock bands, will play in the 12,000-capacity SSE Arena Wembley in London next year as it wins an increasingly large international fan base.

The concert will come after the release of their first studio album in 20 years and a documentary on the iconic band, digital ticketing platform AXS said Friday.

The group's sixth studio album, and first since 1996's Dahlia, will be released on March 11, with the show at the 12,000-capacity SSE Arena in Wembley in north London happening the following day.

Tickets go on sale Saturday.

The live performance will be accompanied by the world premiere of an as-yet-untitled film directed by US filmmaker Stephen Kijak that "chronicles the evolution and groundbreaking history of Japan's most iconic rock band," AXS said.

The band played at Madison Square Garden in New York last year.

More details on the album and a possible tour are expected to be announced by drummer Yoshiki at the Japan Expo event in Paris on Saturday, and he will be joined by singer Toshi at London's Hyper Japan on July 11 to debut a song from the new album.

X Japan are one of the defining Japanese heavy metal bands, quoted as a major influence by other major Japanese rock bands Luna Sea and L'Arc-en-ciel, and have enjoyed a large fan base that includes former Japanese Prime minister Junichiro Koizumi.

The band formed in the 1980s are considered founders of the "Visual Kei" genre, which saw Japanese rockers sport outrageous make-up and hairstyles reminiscent of the country's Kabuki theatre tradition.

X Japan disbanded in 1997 after a series of end-of-year stadium concerts at Tokyo Dome and lead guitarist Hide died the following year.

The band reformed in 2007 but has only released a handful of tracks since, including I.V., which was used to accompany the closing credits of US horror movie Saw IV.

In 2014, Yoshiki released a classical piano album which was accompanied by an extensive world tour.