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Live Review: Tomoyasu Hotei – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 9/11/13

A common film saying might go along the lines of lights, camera and action. Funnily enough, that’s exactly what was experienced tonight at Shepherd’s Bush Empire with Japanese superstar, Tomoyasu Hotei. To many outside of his native Japan, the name might not seem to ring any bells at first. But to those that are a fan of Kill Bill (which I would presume that most of you are), then the theme music that he wrote, not to mention heard in many syncs and TV spots over the last decade, is all too familiar.

The lights coupled with stunning video visuals were shown over five huge rectangular blocks behind the band performing. It was as much of a spectacle and brought attention to as many watching as the music itself. The cameras present were of Japanese TV, filming the show live and direct to those still awake in the small hours. In his native land, Hotei is a stadium-filler and can barely walk the streets without being mobbed by fans. Which is part of the reason why he decamped to Britain and has begun the task of establishing his name overseas.

And a good way of doing so is by linking up on stage with Andy Mackay of Roxy Music, featuring for a couple of songs on saxophone duties, and Mike Edwards of Jesus Jones on guitar, as well as a DJ set before Tomoyasu took the stage.

An action-packed, cinematic spectacle to watch on a Saturday night. We’re really spoilt living in London sometimes.

- Yousif Nur

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