KOKO London, 1st November 2013.
Straight after work, I shot out the door and headed for London, some 100 or so miles down south to catch the second of HIM’s consecutive dates at KOKO. The weather and traffic was totally against me, but I kept my Finnish cool and made it, with 10 minutes to spare. I did however miss Caspian, who were supporting the headliners tonight, so sorry about that.
While awaiting HIM on stage, sat in the ever populating pit, some fans asked if I could take their phone and take a snap of Ville Valo’s mic stand, which I was only too happy to do, which has the bands famous Heartogram symbol on it. Ville created it on his 20th birthday, which he says symbolises a “Modern Yin Yang,” and is meant to represent the juxtaposition of ‘good and evil’, ‘light and dark’, and ‘love and death’ and has appeared on most of their album covers, as well as being featured in films, TV series, even video games!
H.I.M. – known early on as His Infernal Majesty – was founded in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko “Linde” Lindström, and bassist Mikko “Migé” Paananen. Now on drums, we have Mika Karppinen and Janne Puurtinen on Keyboards and are from Finland.
From speaking to friends, these guys are hit an miss when it comes to music fans. However, with a healthy following, 8 studio albums, the latest being “Tears on Tape” released in April 2013 and selling out tours at venues around the globe, these guys may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’d go as far as to say HIM are largely underrated and seem to get over looked by enlarge. Some, however, have taken note and many enjoy this bands, self proclaimed Love Metal, or “Goth n Roll” style of music and have done so for many years.
As soon as the guys set foot onto the stage here at KOKO, they were greeted with ecstatic rounds or applause from screaming fans, which continued throughout tonight’s set. Photographically, these guys are a joy to photograph, continuously giving rock and roll poses as they go about there business, entertaining people, which is exactly what they did.
The packed house of die hard fans sang back every word of every track, which is an honour for any band, I was certainly fixated on Ville, who’s probably the best dressed man on the planet, except for the beanie hat, but I can clearly see why he appeals to the female of our species!
For saying this was the second gig at the same venue in two days, you’d never of known as tonight was a great show from a band that’s at the top of their game and to prove it, they’ve just announced they’ll be performing at Australia’s Soundwave Festival, in Feb 2014, alongside Mastodon!
Review by Jay Hawkins and photos copyright KOKO London and Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)