The Constellation Room at the Observatory in Santa Ana hosted an eclectic crowd for British band Kero Kero Bonito.
That would be fitting since Kero Kero Bonito’s music is a mixture of J-pop, video game sounds, and rather uplifting vocals. Vocalist Sarah Midori Perry kept the energy up, jumping around in a shiny pink dress with silver grey hair. At one point, she changed into an equally shiny graduation gown and mortarboard for their song “Graduation.”
Jamie Bulled and Gus Lobban were equally entertaining. While the band doesn’t play traditional instruments, they were definitely active in producing the sounds heard as opposed to pressing a button and standing back. Some songs even incorporated props, like during “Break” when Lobban picks up a corded telephone to mimic when Perry leaves a voicemail during the song.
The audience went wild when Perry danced with a stuffed flamingo for their song “Flamingo,” which includes the lyric “How many shrimps do you have to eat before you make your skin turn pink?”
KKB’s lyrics truly elevate their songs above the chiptune style they play in. They are simultaneously self-serious and absolutely ridiculous. Song topics range from pocket crocodiles to life in the big city. There’s always an element of fun, and sometimes Perry even sings in Japanese.
The intimate Constellation Room was packed by the time KKB came on stage. The average age of the 100 or so attendees skewed rather young, which only meant less drinking and more earnest enjoyment. At the end of the show, one fan managed to pass a hand drawn rendition of the band up to the front. They received it graciously, and after chants of “KKB!” they returned to the stage for an encore.
Slime Girls and Moto80 opened for KKB with mixed reactions. Slime Girls were definitely more exciting, as four guys playing drums, guitar and a melodica jumped around the stage, and at one point, all fell to the ground. Moto80 is a Swedish DJ who at scream/spoke lyrics.
The North America Tour 2016 for KKB will conclude on Nov. 6 in Texas. Their second album, “Bonito Generation,” is available now.