UPDATE: New pictures host, fixed a few typos! ^O^
Carling academy Islington 2007
The performance given by Gazette between the hours of 7 and on
The sheer brilliance displayed by the band at this venue was so monumental that even if they had to push their next single back or vowed never to play
“Bum note” (or at least it’s Japanese equivalent) obviously doesn’t appear in The GazettEs dictionary, because every single last detail of every song was perfect as far as I could tell. The set list was mostly a (though I can’t remember it down to every single song) predictable mix of NIL and Stacked rubbish, however LINDA ~candydive pinky heaven~ and sugar pain featured, as well as a few other tracks I can’t remember.
After the gig, I was soaked – partially in water from Rukis mouth (OH MY GAZETTE) but mostly in sweat. It’s not a nice detail, but hardcore gig goers, mosh pit thrashers, the most rabid of the fans suffer for their passion (not as if no-one else did – the entire venue was crammed full but I do believe it was slightly more spacious towards the backs of the balcony and the lower floor; naturally it would be).
And when the gig finally finished and I was left standing outside, the realisation sunk in… as I loitered in the icy night air of Islington that I wasn’t 100 percent sure I had all my stuff and where everyone was. I felt trembly and emotionally rattled. I was freezing, worrying slightly about hyperthermia, and knew it’d be at least three quarters of a year if not longer before I’m likely to see another Jrock band (I’m not going to Plastic tree) or flat out go to another gig, at all.
But for what it’s worth… I’d do it all again.
Now, onto the point by point review, then some pictures and videos from me, for your reading and viewing pleasure. (also, after this review is finished, I’m getting back to Livejournal and MSN, for anyone who’s wondering! Finally!)
I vaguely remember waking up at 8 in the morning on Friday, after getting prompted by my mum. I then recall mumbling “bluughh… GAZETTE!!!” and leaving my bedroom quite quickly, going through my morning routine and getting into my Eddie outfit (Edward Scissorhands – that’s what everybody seems to call it, quite a few of my outfits are getting nicknames now XD; mostly from other people too!) and only putting on thick black eyeliner along with regular foundation/concealer/powder because I was slightly late and took a bit too long in the shower. Left the house with my parents who dropped me off in Cholsey, where Jamie_kay180 lives.
Met Maddy at her house, waited a bit, eventually struggled to the train station (not too far away) and got a train to
God Gazette. Yeah I tend to worry a lot about that XD;; Made our way onto the slightly stuffy train to
We walked to the hotel – well, Juliet, her parents and Maddy walked, I stumbled, clattered and dragged my bags. I had four heavy bags – one with camera tripod that I only used once (I bought it because I wanted to take better quality pictures, as I was actually NOT taking pictures for visual_fucks or anything but taking pictures for my photography project on “colour”, and I figured this gig would be a good opportunity to spot flourishes of bright colour in fashion!), one backpack, one sports holdall, and my fagswagbag/fagbag (always at my side loaded with makeup, mp3 player, mini comb + mirror, hairspray, wallet, yaddayadda - but this time with an SLR in it as well T__T )
I wasn’t staying in the hotel, but I WAS camping out and I needed somewhere to go to freshen up in the morning – and Rowans house where I was staying was just that little bit too far, so Juliet, her parents and Maddy kindly let me dump my crap in the room and go freshen up there on the Saturday pre-gig. Maddy, I still owe you and Juliet the £10 for that XDD;
We worked out what we were going to do, then decided to set off shortly afterwards as we really needed to meet people there.
Around , still on the Friday, we walked down to the Islington academy. We made our way around the corner of the unlit road which looked so abandoned… like nothing could possibly be going on – until we turned the corner and saw the line and all the lighting, all the people with the cosmopolitan array of sleeping bags, air beds, blankets. The line was about two thirds along the way of the FRONT of the building – nowhere near one solid line yet, but I’d say there were about 30 – 50ish people; a safe amount to camp out with. As I approached and walked through the car park area, memories of the year before – just under a year ago actually – when I went to see D’espairsRay (except dropped off/picked up by parents that time) all came flooding back. The academy! Islington for all it’s faults will hold a special place in my heart now, just because of the venue - rough as the area is, (let’s face it, a lot of the shops and houses around there really don’t look greatly presented) they have been the ones to give the majority of the Jrock acts this and last year (yes, one is a majority XD) a stage to perform on. As aggressive as the guards/coordinators have been at some points, they have done their utmost to provide a solid, reliable venue, and Gazette dammit they’ve done just that. I doubt any of the employees or managers there are reading this but if they just happen to be, big shout out – thanks for the memories so far and hopefully all the ones to come in the future!
Finally we met Rowan, which was the first time Maddy and Juliet had met her and a lot of the people at the venue so I introduced a few folks (although I wasn’t a brilliant… err, introducer to be honest! Most people just turned up and told us their names). I set out my incredibly common jungle print sleeping bag like a floor cover (fully unzipped it and laid it out) which me, Rowan, Juliet and Maddy all attempted to squeeze onto. Eventually two different girls from behind us (one of them being my friends list contact, kuukiichan!! ^_^ <3 err sorry, I forget your real name ;_; ) ended up camping on it instead – with my permission – as Maddy had her own separate bulky sleeping bag and she could do without the floor cover. Juliet, Rowan, I and the two other girls managed to fit onto it just fine, with Andrea/Cadet occasionally squeezing on, mostly when Rowan was walking around later as she was unable to sleep, due to the goliath dose of caffeine that comes from having Relentless, pro plus and Gazette only knows what else mixture of barely legal energy fluids. (Later on when I came out of the venue, the sleeping bag was gone – I’m guessing either it was picked up by a fortunate down-and-out, or some drunk scrambled his way into it and used it like a giant body condom while running around Islington yelling “I AM TARZAN INCARNATE!!”)
It was around this time, after I’d set out the sleeping bag and Rowan had got her fluffy chocolate-brown blanket out (which we’d sleep under later, or at least I would XD) that I started really talking to other people in line. I talked to Kuukiichan properly, met Andrea/Cadet (introduced by Rowan) and later on while walking about met a girl whose name escapes me… a friend of Rave, she had longish hair and slightly bunny-esque front teeth and this bright shiny face XD;;
I also (at other points) met Jamie (biggest fag there bar me, possibly neck and neck with me XDD or maybe not? Did he wear makeup? I don’t think so girlfriiieeend~~! XD;;), Farrahs boyfriend (omfg I didn’t get your MSN, give it me (omfgplz?)! =3), Kitty… ? She was an Asian-ish looking girl in a red skirt with a black and white sexpot top, was very near to the front in line, kept pulling on my hair? I have pics of her… talked to the first person in line as well, she’d set out at from
Alright, so after meeting Rowan (the bit I just did to do with meeting friends actually came later on and all around…), Andii who I’d only just realised was there bounced along with her GRP (Giant Ruki Penis… no joke, she’d bought a giant inflatable penis to the line and claimed it was Rukis XD;;) Eventually it got torn/popped by some guy called Dean who I don’t know, but that rocks because Dean made Ruki flaccid and I’m afraid that is not something to be proud of. :/ XD Some point around here-ish I took my first picture of an awesome looking Spanish girl with red hair who’s pic is in the folder of pics I uploaded – I’m going to use a lot of these pics, they worked really well and should get me great photography marks ^O^; also, if you’re the Spanish girl and err, know enough English to talk to me and stuff add me too? You were cool ^___^;; and had DELICIOUS CAKE! 8D
Around here I let Farrah have my camera which she wore around her neck for the rest of the line, even while she slept. I think she may have been a wee bit fixated on it XD but still, some great pictures were taken and they’re in the load in the folder as well =3; I’m glad she took the camera actually, given that she got some GREAT one for my project! O(^O^)o o(^O^)O O(^O^)o o(^O^)O
Eventually everyone tried to get to sleep (although not was there even one point when EVERYONE was asleep, which was probably a good thing seeing as soon a majority of people tried to sleep, it was chucking out time and all the drunks came out. After a number of unruly stupid motherfuckers taking pictures of the sleeping fans and stealing shit and generally being way too loud, Rowan decided she needed to kick ass and chew bubblegum so she approached security who told them to move on. After a while they left - partially of their own accord, but also because of the security as far as I know… I think everyone was fine. No-one got violent to my knowledge. Also, I don’t know WHO was responsible but some nice person/peoples decided to leave the public toilets open for us all night so we could go in them and use them while lining up! Which was awesome! ^O^
At this point I joined everyone else in the mass sleepathon – I think I was the only person nerdy enough to go remove their makeup and brush their teeth in the public bathroom, but oh well! XD I even applied my damn anti-spot cream XDD I fell asleep after a while of leaning against Rowan, my cuddly cushiony pillowperson ^^; <3 woke up again, pretty sure I was leaning against Cadet… was freezing. Feet outside blanket, I couldn’t feel them at all. Went back to sleep again, woke up, back to sleep, woke up, back to sleep… I can’t count how many times XD but I actually got a reasonable amount of sleepage! Thanks Rowan for the blanket usage and pillowperson-of-you-ness usage! <3
I don’t know where the line was back to at this point, but it was getting big – I think it was one third of the final line, all along the front side of the venue and just starting to trail off the end by the gloomy Next which was closed by now.
Start of Saturday – woke up with Emile from Ratatouille in my face O___O;; Turned out to be a cardboard cut out, which eventually got ripped up and someone started using the hands as their “hands” (i.e. poking them out of the ends of their sleeves and pretending they had rat paws >w< ), which was most HUMEROUS. Okay so what next… Dodo turned up! This was vair coolage as she had Cyberdog visor and dungarees on :3 and is generally a super person.
After that, me and Dodo went to sit with Kyo_o further down the line and yey she gave us croissant each! Which turned out to be one of the only two things I ate that day XD that and a hot dog later after the gig. Sankyuuu Kyo~ ^_^
Okay, FIRST GAZETTE SIGHTING: along with their truck, their bus’s pull up. THEIR BUS PULLS UP WITH THEM SLEEPING IN IT. We know this because we flocked to the bus to see them pull up and get out, except we were politely told to bugger off as they were still SLEEPING!!! Daaaw!! =3; As Maya from LM.C said in the Purple sky interview, idols don’t go to the toilet, grow hair anywhere but their head or sleep. But the people behind them do ^^; so we left. The truck was really loud, totally unsubtle – I mean physically, it had a GIANT sticker (yes, a STICKER) of the band in their Stacked Rubbish gear on the side with the letters “The GazettE” on one side, with their website URL on – and the tour dates and names on the other side of the truck. Two other busses are there. Total: two busses, one truck. OMGWTFBBQ?!?!?11 Apparently it takes them EIGHT HOURS to have all their makeup done as well. Oh man. I take 20 mins and I think I generally look alright XDD;; nowhere near their decency though, obviously.
Not long after we went and sat back down, SOME SPASTICATED PENCIL PUSHING BASTARD GAVE GAZETTES TRUCK A PARKING TICKET. WHAT THE FUCK MAN?! YEAH THEY’D PARK THAT TRUCK, IF THERE WAS EVEN ROOM. THERE WAS NO ROOM TO PARK IT LEGITIMATELY and they were OUTSIDE A GIG, WITH THE BANDS EQUIPMENT INSIDE. What a dickface. Seriously, I’d love to see them do that to Mindless self indulgence… Jimmy urine would probably punch the guy in the jaw XDD;; but anyway, back to what I was saying. Yeah I’ve got pics of that XD; ¬¬
Shortly after, the other bus (that wasn’t parked, only one managed to park) got a ticket too. ROFLCOPTER. Retarded council paper pushing dicksprouts ¬__¬
Then we were all told by… I think it was Andii spreading the message? That there was to be no Dir en grey style ticket signing with symbols and all that messy shit, but instead people in the line would “out” the people who had line jumped or just cut right in - if 10 people or more nominated someone as a line jumper/cutter, they got taken to the back of the line or in some very rare cases, moved back a few places. That is totally a better system, although a really bitchy crowd would nominate tons of people… so our fandom can’t be ALL that bad, right? XD
Anyway, because of that, me and Maddy felt safe to go back to the hotel and freshen up without hesitation. I went all the way back, changed outfits, washed, shaved (the face you parvart XD;; ) and pretty much did everything I needed to, and dumped my tripod. I was now changed from my Eddie outfit to my Anime character (first day of college this year: I wore this outfit and someone said I looked like an anime character. XD that’s where this one got it’s name!) purple and black punk outfit, and I got my makeup done too and it wasn’t all that bad. Maddy left the hotel room before me because I take a crazy amount of time, which I’ll agree is crazy (2/2 + ½ hours from in bed to up? Yeah, that’s nuts right? XD;; I wake up at almost every morning T_T ) so fair do’s. Note: those gloves are gross; I never, ever wash them. They go with me to every gig, three so far, and can’t be washed because they’re leather. SO WTACHOUT!!11 xD
Romped back to the gig with one large backpack with fagbag inside. Farrah still had my SLR at the gig line and it remained unscathed when I returned. It still is, actually! ^_^ Found Rachel and Becky had arrived, which was coolios – sadly they ended up right at the back of the line but that’s just the way it is if you arrive late. Steve, Becky’s friend, couldn’t make it due to a relative being ill ;_;
By this point the line was huge, about two whole sides of the building. It was only going to get bigger.
We all knew it’d happen at some point: either sleep or wank induced, there would be tears. It started, for our kind of section of the line, here. I don’t know who said what, or who did what exactly, but the combination of 40 hours with no sleep (even though she took a Nytol), no food, and people apparently spreading nasty rumours and slurs at Rowan made her have a fully blown panic attack.
I can tell you she wasn’t faking a second of it.
It’s really sad this kind of thing had to happen, but even worse that it was partially due to fan wankery. As far as I can recall, someone said something about Rowan not going for the fact that she loves Gazette, more that she simply likes them and wants to support Jrock in the
Anyway, I decided to do her a favour and went and bought food for her – baguette, flapjacks and orange juice. When I got back someone else footed the bill, which was really nice – bill footing personage, I’m sure I added you on LJ already didn’t I, earlier on today? :3
Later on, with her heart still going like a jackhammer, Rowan had another attack. This time I helped her to the Superdrug where we managed to flag down a guy from the pharmacy and get a free sample of rescue remedy, which was really nice of the guy there – he let us into the small cabinet-like office to sit down and let Rowan take the herbal meds which ended up actually helping tons, and eventually she calmed down. Her heart didn’t slow so after about 7 – 10 mins of sitting, we got up, thanked the brilliant guys in Superdrug and left for Starbucks where Rowan got free water which she drunk very slowly in the line for the gig, which was now packing things up and becoming orderly as the employees started flagging people in (around 6 o clock as they moved the gig forward an hour). Thanks Starbucks, as well (I no longer believe you are pure condensed evil! XDD;; )
A solution for panic attacks, FREE from all charges. The kindness of employees, oh me oh my.
Now came the time for us to finally actually go into the gig hall. I have no pictures of this because we were told if we took an SLR in and were found using it (Farrah was going to take it in and take pictures from the balcony) we’d have the camera taken off us and the memory card wiped before they’d return it. I didn’t like the sound of that much XD
I paid two quid and dumped my bag in the cloakroom, along with another two pounds from Becky for her bag – but unfortunately the rush for the cloakroom was enough to slow me down and put me into fifth line when I got into the hall, and people who arrived after me beat me to the front. Oh well, I wiggled (and I do mean wiggled, I didn’t barge) my way to about third line by the end XD;
I ended up in front of Aoi and Reita in the hall, which was just what I’d planned – well, at least in front of where they would be later. As the hall got more and more packed, I could feel the rising apprehension that my jacket wouldn’t make it out alive, but we were too packed in now for me to go to the cloakroom. I would have to ride it out.
Eventually, once everyone was in – and it really honestly looked like all 800 places were accounted for, both on the crammed balcony and the choc-a-block lower floor – the roadies began setting up various pieces of equipment, and then the instruments. People were cheering at just the guitars being tuned and tested. The music playing in the background was totally unsuitable, NO WESTERN ROCK BACKGROUND MUSIC AT MY JROCK GIG PLZKTHXBAI.
After all the roadies had done their stuff, a CLJ records rep or spokesperson came onto the stage and hyped the crowd a little, not as if we needed it. There was no support act, even though initially I believe there was going to be, so she just yelled things like “WHO’RE YOU GOING TO SEE?!”. The second time she yelled that line, instead of replying “GAZETTE” I yelled “WELL ACTUALLY I PLANNED ON SEEING SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS”. Seriously, who else are we going to see when we’ve lined up for Gazette for over an entire day? XD;
After what seemed like years, the band came out. Kai first, then… I don’t remember. I think they came out in twos. Almighty cheers arose from the crowd, what sounded like 800
soldiers CHANTING FOR SPAAAARTAAAAAA crazed psychopaths wailing into the night… well, actually we WERE 800 screaming psychopaths XD almost all of us, anyway.
First, Art drawn by vomit. Everyone, and I think I’m correct in saying EVERYONE yelled “HEY JESUS, SUCK MY FRYING PAN”. I wonder if Ruki noticed? XD Next was obviously Agony, which I yelled my lungs out during. Cups of water were being passed around already and the fans were already sweating something awful, me included. OH SHIT! XD; Everyone up front jumped to this track, and the fists, horns and just pointing, flailing hands were definitely pumping. I can remember feeling worried for the sweet lolita to the right-behind of me ;_;
Shortly after Filth in the beauty played, which was absolutely fantastic – I sung along with every lyric I could and the rest of the crowd likewise, and it was like Agony had never ended; the jumping continued solidly through the chorus, just like in the previous song. I can’t remember if it was at this point but I think it might have been – that Ruki decided to start rubbing his hands ALL over his bulging crotch, while standing on the box in his tight, black PVC hip-hugging trousers. No other member really used the PVC to their advantage like Ruki did this concert, honestly XD;;
After more collective screaming and flailing from the fans, the band continued with the rest of the set in perfect harmony (or discordance, depending on the song I guess XD) – I can’t remember the tracks exactly or the order, but they played a mix of NIL and Stacked rubbish with a few older songs thrown in, one of which I didn’t know too well. Candydive pink heaven featured as well. At some point during the concert, the fans managed to successfully coordinate a happy birthday chant for Kai! It had been pre-planned but I think Gazette had initially thought that the management had planned it or something, but it was all the co-operative work of us fans. He [Kai] looked and sounded so happy when he took the mic to thank us all! He spoke “um… thank you so much!!” when we’d finished singing, which was so cute ^__^; I think it might just have meant a lot to him, you know… =3
All the way throughout the performance, Uruha, Aoi and Reita leaned down incredibly low with their guitars… those guys are REALLY flexible!! That could prove useful actually. >D XDD; All the way through Ruki continued shouting, “YOU READY UK? YOU READY
After tons of great tracks – calm envy, gentle lie, mob 136 bars, Taion and more – they left the stage, surely just WAITING for the encore chant. And oh how it came. The encore was, in my opinion, the best bit – the majority of the fanservice happened towards the end of the encore and dear God, this was Japanese concert style fanservice; sheer brilliance to be a part of in every way; Ruki, Reita and Aoi delivered especially. It was all solo or band member on audience however, none of it member on member. Around this time, Maddy made her way to the back of the crowd because she was getting squashed ;_;
The encore started with RIDE WITH THE ROCKERS, that drum + bass classic saved for gigs only. Reita and Kai came back out on their own, and Reita yelled into the mic, “YOU CRAZY?!” after we’d chanted for the encore. After receiving another assuring “YEAAAAAAH” from the crowd (or in my case, “FUCK YES” or “HELL YEAH!” xD; ), he yelled back, “… me too!” and chuckled. The track went on for ages, but it always seems to – it seemed a little improvised? The rhythms changed a lot. Reita kept taking the mic and yelling “SREEE, TWOOO, ONE… !” (an ADORABLE three, two, one XD) in between sections, which is something that’s going to be stuck in my head forever. I kept repeating that after leaving the concert! xD Seriously, it was impossible to guess that Reita was ill, or that he had recently been ill. He really gave it his all and sweet Jesus, did he work his butt off up on that stage! Finally, when the awesomeness that was RIDE WITH THE ROCKERS was over, the rest of the band came out and began playing again.
More of Rukis yelling (“READY UK?” and what I THINK sounded like “NEXT YEAR
Last but definitely not least, the barrage of fanservice – it was probably more spread out and hell some of it was probably before the encore, but I’m confused and remember it all being towards the end. Ruki rubbed his crotch again, trailing down from his chest and down his trousers, and then proceeded to shoot water out of bottles with holes in the caps which he held in his crotch with one hand. If a fan had stood directly in front of him, with his/her mouth open, for the entire encore, they could have been Rukis jizz bucket. LULZ. XDD hell, I’d take that position xD Ruki also threw straws and bottles when he was done with them on stage. Swinging my head back around, I caught Aoi mid-lifting his shirt up – his stomach FULLY EXPOSED with a smirk on his face as he sort of rubbed his shirt upwards in a circling motion with both (… was it both?) hands. That man has the most delicious chest I have ever seen <3
At least twice, Ruki chugged water from the bottles and then spat it ALL over the crowd – I SHOULD KNOW, AS IT GOT IN MY EYE, and over my face, TWICE. I felt so fantastic, this is the first time I’ve had real contact with a Jrocker, even if it was indirect. The fact I didn’t have my mouth open it and swallow it disheartened me ever so slightly when I thought about it afterwards, but nothing could tread on the fact that I was truly pleased - at the D’espairsRay gig I missed Zero, but Ruki finally absolved me from my slight lingering sadness. I think he might be my new favourite member of Gazette =3; but anyway, enough of that… next bit of service was Aoi leaning into the crowd and touching the first rows hands, shame I couldn’t get that close but oh well – and Reita managed to lean forwards, over the crowd and FLIP US ALL OFF. He stuck his middle finger up at us, so I yelled and gave him a two fingered salute XDD; I think he saw that as I’m sure he pointed at me, so I grinned and thumbs up’d him back. That was another high point of the night… perhaps he thought I was “macho” because of my gloves? XD;
The very last song was LINDA ~candydive pink heaven~ but personally I couldn’t have cared WHAT it was, I was so exhausted and SO happy. Gazette gave me the best concert experience of my life to date, along with the brilliant fans I met in line, including the ones I already knew before the gig. At the very end, after the last song, Kai snapped and threw his drumsticks (which I always think is sweet when any drummer does it as it means more fans get pieces from the band, so they’re obviously thinking of them :3) and his face towel, and Ruki threw the rest of his straws and bottles… the three magnificent guitarists threw plectrums/guitar picks, and Ruki thanked the audience for the night… and then it was all over.
After the gig, I bailed out fairly sharpish but went back in to collect my bag from the cloakroom. Best. Gig. EVER.
Apparently, Ruki wanted the band to do a second encore (which I’m sure NO ONE would have complained about ^o^) but sadly they couldn’t because Carling academy had a club night next and they had to work their BUTTS off to clean up all the crud from the floor! But that really touches me that he loved us… that they loved us that much… if that’s so, with the venue packed and sold out and Gazette wanting to perform even more than they got to, it feels almost certain they’ll return at some point, even if not in the near future.
… right, okay.
I’ve been writing this report for… roughly three quarters of a day now. Stop, stammer. Eyes welling up again slightly, reliving this and writing this all has been difficult because I’m feeling slightly emotional, even with Mindless self indulgence playing in the background to counteract the soppiness. I won’t write any more. 11 pages of solid writing. Thank you so much if you have read all this.
Stop, stop stammering. Stop stammering. Stop typing.
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