A couple of months ago Kyary Pamyu Pamyu announced she was coming back to the UK and I just knew that I had to go. I last saw her when I was at university so that was back in 2015, three years ago now! I went with Jess when she played at the Roundhouse in Camden and I’d loved every second so I decided to go again but by myself this time. Although my friends like K-Pop they’re not really Kyary fans so I figured it’d be best to go it alone.
Since I love spending time in London I decided to extend the trip by an extra day. The concert was on a Sunday so I figured I could go from Saturday to Monday and make a full weekend of it considering I needed to book the Monday off work anyway. I decided to see a couple of theatre shows on Saturday, do a little sight-seeing on Sunday, go to the concert then come home on Monday. I booked things a little bit at a time over the past couple of months (I had the train tickets booked before I even had my ticket for Kyary) until it was all sorted.
I got the train to London early on Saturday morning and got there for about 12:30PM. Check-in at my hotel wasn’t until 2PM and my first show was at 3:30PM so I had plenty of time and wasn’t too stressed. Over the weekend I decided to tick an item off my bucket list which was ‘Leave books around London for strangers to find’. Unfortunately I was too nervous to stop and take any photos so I have no proof but I did leave some books! My first one was in London Euston – I left a copy of my favourite book ‘Only Ever Yours’ by Louise O’Neill on a staircase for someone to find.
I walked down to Camden Market which is known for having lots of amazing different types of foods but of course I ended up in McDonalds and had lunch in there. Look, it’s cheap, quick and I can sit inside while reading my book which was all that I cared about. Over the weekend I was reading ‘Your Turn to Die’ by Sue Wallman which I finished before I got home and I will probably write a review about at some point because I really enjoyed it.
Once I was done in Camden it was almost 2PM so I decided to head to the hotel. Back in September I stayed in hub by Premier Inn at West Minster and it was probably the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in so this time I went for the same chain but stayed in the King’s Cross hotel. It was more than I’d usually spend on a hotel but after having a bad experience in my regular London hotel I now prefer to spend the extra and stay in a trusted chain hotel.
On my way there I hid another book on a bench outside King’s Cross Station, this time I left a copy of ‘The Lost and the Found’ by Cat Clarke – and when I went back about an hour later the book was gone so I guess someone took it! I hope they’re enjoying it.
Check into my hotel was easy and I was in room 1047 which for some reason was a disability friendly room. I’m not complaining but what I’d liked about the hotel room at the West Minster hotel was the high bed which I didn’t get this time but the bed was two singles pushed together to make a double and it was massive so I decided not to complain.
After chilling in the room for a bit I headed to my first show of the day which was ‘Ruthless! The Musical’. I didn’t know an awful lot about it but I’d watched a scene on YouTube and had decided to give it a go. I found the theatre quite easily because it was where I’d seen ‘Mischief Movie Night’. I picked up my ticket, headed to my seat and was immediately disappointed to discover my seat was literally right behind a massive pillar that covered half of the stage. For ‘Mischief Movie Night’ I’d sat in the circle which had given me a brilliant view but this time I’d opted for stalls because it was cheaper. I could see why.
I sat there feeling really salty until the lights went down and luckily the theatre was quite empty so I moved along a seat and I suddenly had a perfect view of the stage. The first half of the show was good and I really enjoyed it. The show is about a talented girl named Tina who will do anything for the star part in her school play. As it’s a musical there were obviously a lot of songs and I thought these were really good. The show was funny and a little bit shocking sometimes and I was enjoying it. Unfortunately the second half kind of lets down the show because it’s not as interesting and doesn’t really seem to have much point to it. The cast still did amazingly and I’m glad I went to see it.
I came out the theatre at about 5:30PM and set off on a mission to find somewhere to eat before my next show at 7:30PM. I am someone who can’t stand getting to the theatre late, I would rather lose my money than go into the auditorium after curtains up so I like to arrive at the theatre half-an-hour beforehand so I can grab my ticket, head to the loo, get a drink if I’m feeling ambitious and still have plenty of time to find my seat. So I needed to find somewhere quickly.
Of course finding a space in a restaurant at dinner time on a Saturday night in Central London is never easy so I walked around in circles, glanced through every window trying to scan for an empty table and kept coming up blank. Eventually I headed into a place called Bill’s Restaurant where the food looked quite expensive but hey, I’m in Central London so what did I expect? I’m really glad I found it because I ordered a chicken burger and it’s like 6:10PM by this point so I’m very stressed about being late for the show – within two minutes the food had arrived. It was literally the fastest food I’d ever received.
Because it arrived so quickly I took the risk and ordered dessert. I ordered a chocolate bomb which also arrived quickly but was a bit awkward because the waiter stood in front of me and slowly poured the caramel over the bomb whilst I just sat there and didn’t really know what to do. Worth it though, it was really tasty. I paid the bill and managed to get to the theatre with plenty of time.
My 7:30PM show was ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ and it was my fifth time seeing the show. I’m a big fan of Mischief Theatre and this show is really good. I enjoyed it but unfortunately I think I’ve seen it maybe too many times because although I still found it funny I knew what was gonna happen each time which takes away the shine a little bit. But it’s definitely a show I’d recommend.
I got back to my hotel at about 10PM, had a quick shower, wrote in my journal then got into bed to watch Family Guy before eventually switching off and going to sleep.
I didn’t pay for hotel breakfast this time so I had a lie-in and when I eventually did wake up I had a chill morning in the hotel. I’d bought some biscuits the day before so I had them for breakfast and discovered the hotel TV had a YouTube app so I watched some ‘Buzzfeed Unsolved’ before deciding to get dressed and do some sight-seeing.
My issue with sight-seeing in London is that I’ve been an awful lot of times and there isn’t much I haven’t seen. I decided to go back to the Natural History Museum in the hopes I could finally see the T-Rex exhibit this time but when I got there I ended up going through a different entrance and I was really disorientated. I had a look at some of the exhibits but suddenly those biscuits just hadn’t been enough for breakfast so I went off in search of food. Nothing in the Museum café really made me happy and I ended up walking here, there and everywhere in search of something to eat but I really couldn’t find anything nearby.
In the end I went to Kings Cross station and went to Giraffe for a burger. It wasn’t anything special but there were plenty of free tables and their milkshake was tasty. Plus it filled a hole and that was all I cared about.
Now I’d eaten I decided to go to the Foundling Museum. It’s a museum I’ve been thinking of visiting for a while but never got round to it. I wanted to go because even though I’m 21 I’m still a big Jacqueline Wilson fan and I’d loved the ‘Hetty Feather’ books so I wanted to see more of the real-life foundlings. It was £11 for entrance and although the first room was really interesting I didn’t really enjoy the rest of it because it seemed to have little relevance to the foundlings. I’m glad I went though since I’ve been thinking about it for so long. My favourite was the tokens that the Mother’s left with their babies so they could identify them if they wanted them back when they were older, pictured below.
Once I’d left I wasn’t really sure what to do so I sat in the park outside the museum and read my book for a little bit before making the decision to go to hmv in Oxford Street. I wanted to have a look at the K-Pop albums but unfortunately they’ve either gotten rid of them or moved them to a place where I couldn’t find them. I had a browse through the rest of the shop before I decided to go back to the hotel and chill before the concert.
I bought some snacks from Waitrose which I had in the hotel room whilst watching some more YouTube videos. Unfortunately as a size 20 girl who’d been walking around boiling hot London I had been starting to chaff quite badly so I needed some time to chill in my pyjamas so that it wouldn’t hurt too bad by the time I got to the concert.
It felt like two minutes had passed and it was time to go. I got to the venue after the doors had opened but the queue was still all the way down the street so I joined the back. I don’t mind doing anything alone but I do find it quite sad queuing by myself especially when I’m surrounded by friends who are all chatting to each other. The guy in front of me was alone and the girl behind me was alone but none of us talked to each other, maybe we were all too shy.
I could’ve died, we were getting closer to the venue and this taxi driver stopped his taxi in the middle of the road and I made the stupid mistake of making eye contact with him so he yelled “Who’s playing tonight?” so in front of everyone else in the queue I had to yell back “Kyary Pamyu Pamyu!” which is a pretty cringe name to have to yell in front of everyone and honestly if the ground could’ve swallowed me whole in that moment I’d have been happy.
Kyary was playing at the KOKO in Camden and to be truthful I’ve always wanted to go to a concert there because as a teenager pretty much every emo band I loved had played a show at KOKO and I really wanted to go. I don’t know if there are people who love that venue but I did not. It’s very grimy with a strange layout and the loos were a bit grim. Maybe I’m just not grunge enough anymore. It’s probably an ideal location for a rock concert, not so much a cutesy J-Pop concert.
I had assumed the Kyary concert would be full of girls but nope, it was 75% men and a lot of them were extremely tall with absolutely no mercy. When Kyary came out I wasn’t even sure if she was on stage yet because I honestly couldn’t see her and I remember looking at the woman next to me and we both just shook our heads because we couldn’t see a thing. Maybe I wouldn’t have minded but these men blocking my view weren’t even getting lit, I was screaming the lyrics to ‘Candy Candy’ and they were stood there barely bobbing their heads. A few people moved back and my position got shifted and in the end I could just about see her if everyone in front of me aligned perfectly and my head was at precise tilt and ultimately I did really enjoy the show.
The theme of the concert was ‘haunted house’ so a clip was played before the start of the concert and although it looked cool it wasn’t planned very well because it was in Japanese with no subtitles – which is fine considering Kyary’s Japanese and we were all there to listen to J-Pop but 98% of us couldn’t understand what was going on so it was a bit lost.
The set-list was as follows:
– Fashion Monster
– Invader Invader
– Candy Candy
– Kura Kura
– Saigo No Ice Cream
– Serious Hitomi
– Koi Koi Koi
– No No No
– Mondai Girl
– Ninja Re Bang Bang
– Mottai Night Land
– Cherry Bonbon
– Kira Kira Killer
– Sai & Co
– Crazy Party Night
– Kimino Mikata
– PON PON PON
She played pretty much all of my favourites and it was a really good night. Also her speaking English is one of the cutest things ever, she’s so sweet. I’m really glad I went, it was such a good night and she’s amazing to see live.
I was planning on getting an after concert Maccies but unfortunately I didn’t feel hungry until I was back in the hotel room having a shower by which point I could not go back out, my thighs would’ve killed me. I had another chill evening watching TV before finally going to sleep, feeling a little bittersweet this time since I knew it was my last night here.
I forgot to mention I’d also left a copy of Louise Rennison’s ‘Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging’ on the underground for someone to find so here’s hoping someone found and enjoyed that one.
Got up the next morning at about 9:30AM and packed my stuff up before heading out at about 10AM. I don’t really like doing much on the last day since I hate having to lug around my backpack full of stuff so I headed to Wetherspoons in Camden – I’ve found I can’t really get in there for dinner but it’s usually nice and empty to get breakfast. I had a full English, finished the book I’d been reading and then wrote in my journal because I’d been way too tired the night before.
I left a copy of Holly Bourne’s ‘Am I Normal Yet’ on a windowsill in Camden, popped into Waterstones to buy myself a replacement book and then headed to the train station. I get stressed about missing my train too so I like to be there nice and early so I can chill before going home. Before I knew it I was back on the train and heading home!
It was a good weekend and I’d love to go back to London ASAP but unfortunately I am doing my best to save for Japan and South Korea in September so it might be a while before I go back to London but I had a really good time. Definitely a weekend I’d like to repeat.