X Japan thrill Britain with live show

LONDON • Legendary Japanese rock band X Japan dazzled fans at London's SSE Arena last Saturday with a live show, hot on the heels of the British premiere of We Are X, an award-winning documentary about the band.

X Japan, the most successful rock band in Japanese history, stunned fans with their pioneering spectacledriven style of visual rock.

"I feel some kind of electrical current up and down my spine. I cry almost every time I listen to their music," said Spanish fan Lazaro outside the SSE Arena.

The band, which reunited in 2007 after a 10-year split, have sold more than 30 million singles and albums combined and won admirers such as record producer George Martin, rock band Kiss, Marvel Comics publisher Stan Lee and former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi.

The documentary We Are X premiered in Los Angeles last October. It was officially selected for the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the BFI London Film Festival, winning a number of awards.

The film, which premiered in London last month, gives an up-close history of the band and portrait of the group's founder and drummer-pianist Yoshiki.

"I was very suicidal... When you think there's no tomorrow, so it is the last day you can live, you just put all the energy into it," Yoshiki told Reuters.

The creative force behind the group, he said he is working on new songs with American shock rocker Marilyn Manson as X Japan gear up to release their first album in about 20 years.

We Are X will be released for home entertainment in June. It was directed by film-maker Stephen Kijak of Stones In Exile (2010) fame and produced by the Oscar-winning team behind the documentary, Searching For Sugar Man (2012).

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2017, with the headline 'X Japan thrill Britain with live show'. Print Edition | Subscribe