DEMPAGUMI.INC – HYPER JAPAN 2015 – LONDON – 11/07/2015 – REVIEW
Dempagumi.inc have been hitting milestone after milestone ever since their formation back in 2008, touring the world and selling out Tokyo’s most esteemed venue the Nippon Budokan in the last year alone. Not bad for group of anime and gaming geeks.
I’ve always been a sceptic when it comes to idol groups- there’s something about the whole copy and paste nature of the genre that becomes somewhat eerie after a while. But luckily, this all girl sextet are part of a new movement of alt-idols, breaking away from the pristine cookie cutter formula that has plagued the world of J-pop for years, in favour of carefree off-key vocals and unorthodox beats that take on speeds more expected of a hardcore band rather than a pop unit.
Taking to the stage at the UK’s biggest Japanese pop culture event for the first time, the girls were met with fans and casual convention goers alike armed with glow sticks and commemorative towels, ready to be shown the wild side of Japanese pop.
Bursting into the first song Dempa kicked off a high octane set of catchy tunes and well choreographed yet erratic dance moves. As the show went on, the music got faster, with tracks like the staggering ‘Bari3 Republic’ and ‘Chururi Chururira’ taking the tempo to the next level, setting off the crowd into a frenzy of chanting and light stick flailing. Getting the audience putting those aforementioned towels to good use, Dempa went out with a bang with their happy go lucky summer tune ‘Otsukare Summer!’. And just like that, it was over. I felt like I was just hit by a freight train, the set passed by so quickly, but I certainly felt the impact.
For those who think idol music is just for the balding office workers looking to get a cheap thrill, you better think again. Dempa have managed to build a unique fan base of people from a number of different music backgrounds, from metal to hip-hop, something that became obvious as they took to the London stage for the first time. They’re catchy, talented, and unlike other groups of their stature, they’re memorable. All we want to know is, what’s next for Japan’s most creative pop triumphs?