Live Review: The Japanese House


St Luke’s, 18/11/18

Last night I retreated from the crisp November darkness and into St Luke’s, an alternatively used church space nestled in the East End of Glasgow. At the beginning of the evening the crowd was already growing quickly, gathering in front of the huge organ that adorns the backdrop of the stage.

Art School Girlfriend opened the night and captivated the room with an ethereal and softly electronic presence accompanied by a tender voice. The performance felt slightly hesitant at times but I welcomed the sleepy sounds as they nicely mirrored that hazy Sunday feeling.

The Japanese House, consisting of Amber Bain, arrived on stage with her band with a lot more energy than I was expecting, considering the pensiveness of many of her songs. The set began slowly, while warm colours spun around the room and cast long shadows of the swaying band against the balcony. Initially the set felt reflective as the band eased the crowd in with emotionally charged lyrics that went from being soft-spoken to dynamic and auto-tuned in only a verse. The songs were versatile, demonstrated by the contrast of playing the heart breaking ‘Lilo’ followed by ‘Follow My Girl’ that sets moody lyrics against hints of electronic. The Japanese House have the ability to mix a poignant gig with pop.

By the end of the evening, the room was filled with friends and couples dancing and hugging under the Gothic ceiling, proving that a performance can wake people from their end of the weekend slumber.

[Tabitha Tinkler-Ferguson – @tabithatf]

[Image credit: Jessica Bartollini]

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