Such vibrant scenes have played out before at BABYMETAL’s previous London shows. Onstage later tonight, SU-METAL will even call the capital their second home. This past week, however, marks the first time that crowds like this have gathered across the country, as the Japanese band have taken their maiden headline tour across the UK, stopping off at Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester.
“Every time we do a performance in London, fans welcome us with such amazing energy, and I’m always eager to do more shows there,” says SU-METAL. “For this tour, we have been able to go to different parts of the UK, so I’m so grateful to visit new places and have so many people come see us perform.”
This tour is also the first time that these shores have witnessed a full arrangement of songs from the group’s third and most accomplished album, METAL GALAXY. When that record arrived late last year, it was likened by its creators to a spaceship visiting different faraway planets, due to its eccentric mix of styles. Given the colourful scenes surrounding the Apollo tonight, it’s not hard to imagine that spaceship has just landed in London.
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From the inside, the venue’s art deco interiors mirror BABYMETAL’s futuristic visuals. Enthusiastic fans huddle around several merch points. The band famously broke the record for selling the most apparel ever at Wembley Arena in 2016 and tonight there are tour shirts, flags, vinyl and winter hats on offer. Everything is black. Support comes from Southampton goth-punks Creeper, whose knack for twisted storytelling and theatrics puts them in smart alignment with the headliners, and they receive a toasty reaction from the early congregants.