I first heard of The Japanese House whilst I was browsing the Dirty Hit website for some Wolf Alice garb. I didn’t find any, but my eye was caught by the cover art for the ‘Pools To Bathe In’ EP. I took a listen and I was hooked.
Having heard that the band hadn’t played live before until a recent session for Phil Taggart on BBC Radio 1, I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Japanese House when I arrived at The Bullingdon. I was curious to see what the songs I had heard online would be like live. I wonder what the set up’s like…how much of it would be triggered sounds? Can you layer harmonies like that live?!
Well, turns out you can – and brilliantly too. Starting with the title track from the upcoming EP Clean, the set worked through new songs such as Cool Blue and more established tracks including Still. I was totally blown away, and I wasn’t the only audience member that was impressed. The rapturous applause following each song said it all. Amber Bain and her band mates put on an enthralling show, it seemed well polished for the first night of a 10-date UK tour.
The last song of the set was Sister, a song that feels bittersweet – lyrically down but melodically uplifting. It felt like a fitting end to the evening, the experience was over but The Japanese House is only just beginning.
The queue to meet Bain after the gig was pretty long, and to no surprise really, because her performance was absolutely captivating.