I had looked forward to this for SO LONG! I’d thought the chances of anyone connected to Hello! Project coming to the UK were slim to no-effing-chance but suddenly a few months ago Hangry & Angry’s first European tour was announced. Cue much squeeing, panic, hyperventilation and pure unadulterated lust more squeeing. Personally I find Hangry & Angry’s music to be brilliant and so this was a gig I HAD to go to. Damn the expense. I love Rika and have a healthy respect for Yossie too. How could I miss the opportunity to see them live? I was really pleased a few years back just because Yo-Yo Girl Cop got a UK dvd release so there was no way I’d miss Rika performing here.
On top of the general excitement at seeing one of my favourite performers there was also the fact that I’d been chosen by the Hello! Blog to ask a question at the end. Hexi had also been chosen which made it doubly exciting. Anyway I got into London at 4pm knowing that the hotel I’d booked was only five minutes away. 45 minutes later (and after buying a London A-Z only to find that if I’d walked one street further I’d have found where I was looking for) I booked in and had a quick shower. Then it was off to Camden. Having wandered around outside the End of the World pub for a few minutes it turned out that everyone I was meeting was inside the pub which seemed like a perfectly logical place to be. Who’d want to queue up outside for hours when you could be drinking? Inside was a who’s who of bloggers. Including Shirow who I was meeting for the first time and lots of other people who will be mentioned by the end of this post and so I won’t bother running through now.
Anyway I had a few drinks to calm my nerves and then it was outside to queue up. The queue was impressive in that it snaked right round past the World’s End pub next door and on round the corner. It was pleasing to see a healthy turn-out. It’s a shame the signing hadn’t been a bit more like that. After some fun with some European bloke (possibly German?) who looked like Jaap Stamm and some black cockney bitch it was finally time to enter inside. Hexi and I headed straight to the merchandise stall to get our super-gay wristbands that marked us out as questioners. Then it was time for the gig to begin. There was a great touch at the beginning as an introduction video played clips from Rika and Yossie’s Momusu career and interspersed that with (gasp) clips of Tsuji Nozomi, Takahashi Ai and Niigaki Risa (the latter two wearing their pink bunny suits from the latest tour) talking about the two Hangry & Angry members. Watching a subtitled Takahashi Ai on a big screen in London was a beautifully surreal moment. 😀
Then Hangry & Angry themselves entered the stage. The next hour or so was blistering. I cannot begin to describe how great it was to see these two people in the flesh. Okay I saw them briefly on Tuesday at the signing but to see them actually performing right in front of me was just amazing. Both girls worked the crowd brilliantly and gave a great performance. Part-way through the gig Yossie read a prepared little speech in English about what she’d done that day (something about jogging somewhere?) Later on Rika also read a prepared speech but cutely had to stop and start again after getting a bit lost on one of the first words. Yossie seemed to be the better at speaking English but Rika’s comments of “me too” whenever Yossie said anything about enjoying England, the gig, whatever, was very funny and of course utterly endearing as you’d expect.
So the gig went by in a flurry of arm waving, glow-stick thrusting and screaming. Some of the screaming seemed to be coming from Aquasan’s entertaining Australian cousin Rachel and that was even before the concert had started. o-O I think she’d had two wine gums earlier or something. Still I think it’s a measure of the performance that the two ‘not-we’s’ who were there (Rachel and a friend of Hexi’s who was really really nice and whose name I can’t remember. Not that she’d hold that against me if she ever read this as she was far too really really nice to do such a thing) enjoyed it so much. I think both ‘not-we’s’ are now on the path to the dark side. It won’t be long before the revelation that Tsunku is their father and then the journey will be complete.
I can’t describe what it’s like seeing two singers, who I’d only ever watched on a computer screen, performing right in front of me. Think of it as like a really long orgasm but with great music thrown in. After they had come back on stage to do their encore (The Peace!) Hexi and I had to shuffle our way to the edge of the stage for the question and answer session. There were six of us asking questions. Two from JPH!P, two from International Wota, two from the Hello! Blog and none from Hello! Online. One of the International Wota people had come all the way from Spain. So it really is international. She was also the only person to ask a question in Japanese. I would like to say I’m really impressed. She seemed really nice as well so it was cool. Anyway Hexi asked her question first. Her question was about choosing H!P costumes as favourites and led to a bit of dancing from Yossie if memory serves me right. My question ended up last which was a bit nerve-wracking but the way it all turned out I’m actually really pleased with that.
The one disappointment with the Q&A is that we didn’t get to go on stage and so we were at the side of the stage pretty much leaning around a pillar. IshiYossie were both a distance away as well which was a shame. Also since the autographed poster winners got to go on stage and collect the posters from the girls themselves and the photo winners of course also got on stage with them I’m not sure where the harm would have been letting us at least stand on the edge of the stage to ask the questions. Even so that’s not to take away from the experience. Personally I think it was a really amazing privilege to get to speak to them in any way whatsoever. I think it was a great touch by the organisers and along with the photos and autographed posters draws really made it an even more special occasion.
Anyway come my question I have to say I’m not sure I spoke clearly at all. In fact after saying konnichiwa to them (which they replied to. OMFG THEY SPOKE TO ME 😀 ) I then started to ask the question and nearly paused as, despite the fact I’d heard every other question through the microphone, I couldn’t hear mine at all. But I stumbled through and personally I’m really happy with how the question went down. I’d asked that, seeing as they’d covered The Peace! if they were to do another Momusu cover what would it be? I was speaking to someone a while ago and I said it’d probably be Mr Moonlight the rock version as The Peace! is seen as a Rika Momusu song and Mr Moonlight a Yossie one. Yossie’s reply to my question was Mr Moonlight (she even said “rock version”). Rika seemed to agree and they both started singing Mr Moonlight in a rock kind of way before turning to someone at the side of the stage and saying “please” (as in please make it happen). It was great to see Rika and Yossie standing there suddenly singing a bit of Mr Moonlight while doing some rock-style moves. I was really glad the question had gone down well as I had a horrible feeling there’d be a long pause and a lot of ‘errs’ instead. Still my question (and Hexi’s) both got a physical response as well as a verbal one so I think the Hello! Blog questions worked out well. The response to my question was a great moment with them both fooling around a bit on stage. Well happy! ^^
I’d been feeling hyper all day so it was only natural that all that excitement coupled with the long train journey would eventually get to me. So after a quick Chinese with ptom, Hexi, Hexi’s friend, Insane Lampshade, a slightly inebriated (read very drunk) CDevil, ptom’s non-H!p-supporting token normal person Chris and Matt it was back to my hotel room and a fitful sleep.
Now I’m back at home and about to try that whole sleeping concept out again. I have to say it’s a weird feeling. I listened to Hangry & Angry on the train home and just kept getting flashbacks to the gig the night before. They played a gig the night before. I saw it. I was there. It was in the UK. OMFG. Brilliant! At the same time now I’m like aww…what’s there to look forward to now? Luckily the answer is Momusu in Paris (also the World Cup). Seeing two members I like was great. Seeing seven and Mitsui? Should be stellar. 😀
Now I’m back in boring normalville though. It was great meeting up with people and talking about H!P. Not something I can exactly do around here. At least I have a three day weekend coming up with which to reflect on the concert again. I’m thinking of going on a Rika-fest to celebrate. I reckon on the menu must be the two Music Fighter’s she did when she was graduating, some show the name of which I’ve forgotten which she went on solo (there’s musicians sitting in two rows on stools?), the Matthew’s Best Hit Television episode she did, Yo-Yo Girl Cop and of course a shedload of photobook dvd’s. Should make for a relaxing weekend. 😀
Edit: I forgot to mention Rika’s great little “happy” moment. She said it. She said the Charmy “happy” trademark word. Excellence!