Perfume – one constant in an ever-changing world of music
Concert report inbound… Perfume @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, UK – 3rd June 2023
It’s truly comforting that Perfume still exist. Not only for nostalgia sake, but also for their consistency.
Halko Momoi introducing Akihabalove, back in the ancient days of 2005, was my first exposure to them (oh how I long for them to perform this live again… will it ever happen, are there contractual, or more likely style reasons they don’t?).
A lot has changed in those 18 years, (other than that being half my life away!). Bands I’ve liked have disbanded, some to do other things, some to disappear & never be heard from again. Even when the bands haven’t disbanded, their members have graduated, to be replaced by an endless churn of new faces. Music too has changed, genres come and go, styles change a little here and there. Maybe the music you liked back in 2005 isn’t so popular anymore. Even the delivery of music has changed, few people own any songs they listen to anymore, preferring the ephemeral streaming options instead.
In those 18 years I’ve seen them live 4 times now, twice in Japan, and twice outside, and I can safely say…
Perfume are still a shining beacon of consistency!
They are still making music. Not only are they still making music, they are still making good music. Not only are they still making good music, they are making music with a style that can only be described as “recognisably Perfume”. Their dance coordination is still top-notch. Their PV’s are still extremely well produced, along with the special effects on their live performances.
Even their hair styles, and introduction speech have not changed at all!!
There is something so comforting about their consistency. In a world where change is constant, having group like Perfume still here, and still touring outside Japan is a true blessing. ❤️
As for the concert today itself, I wondered what would it be like. It had been 10 years since I last saw them live. Was the crowd younger now, were they any different?
After navigating the UK train strike and opting to do the unthinkable and drive into London (complete with spending 30 minutes driving around one way systems in Shepherd’s bush to find the entrance to Westfield parking), me and another UK JPop concert veteran (LegionZero/MrTrainspotting/Matt_D) arrived at the venue ready to queue. Surprisingly, despite getting there not very early, we weren’t too far back. 😅
After a couple hours queuing we were inside, and basically at the front behind a couple of rows of people (this might have actually have been the closest I’ve been to the stage at any Perfume concert)!
The concert was brilliant. Perfume were brilliant. They played a mixture of new songs and some classics, as well as debuting a new single, and broadcasting the whole thing live to Japanese cinemas.
Not only were Perfume brilliant, the crowd were truly brilliant too. 2023, and there was hardly a phone in sight, everyone was jumping in time to the songs, the whole crowd in sync with jumps. It’s been a long time since I’ve left a concert dripping with sweat due to physical activity (and Matt leaving with a leg injury as is traditional). 😂
Chocolate Disco with 2000 people joining in shouting DISCO every time!! That too in London, absolutely amazing!
…and to answer the question, yes, the crowd were also the same as I remember, not younger, aged like a fine wine, still got the energy when it counts, and still a load of hardcore Japanese fans in attendance!
The only downside of the concert was it finished too soon. Like it literally felt like they just stopped early for some reason, it was supposed to go from 20:00 to 22:00 according to staff, but they started about 20:10 and finished at 21:30, and this is the part that is almost sacrilegious……. with no encore. 😭😭😭 Everyone was so confused, why was there no encore, come back Perfume, did we not cheer loudly enough! 😭😭
Alas, no encore, and surprisingly they also didn’t play Saisei, I was sure they’d end (or start) with that (as an aside, the PV for that is awesome, made up with clips from all their old PV’s).
On the drive home it was hard not to feel a wave of nostalgia for them, and shed a tear all the other bands that are no longer around. I couldn’t help but wonder, would this be the last time I see Perfume live? Will they still be this consistent for another 18 years. I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know this…
Music is everything