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Last night (Saturday 27th February 2016) I was given the great opportunity to see The Japanese House perform at The Haunt in Brighton, and they (well, she really) was incredible! The supports were Kamran Khan (from the band Fake Laugh) and Isaac Gracie.
Fake Laugh (Kamran Khan performing solo)
Usually performing as a band, Kamran Khan (singer and guitarist of Fake Laugh) took to the stage to play a decent solo set. The guy has nice vocals and showed off a decent range to his voice. He stated how there are usually more of them and that their set is usually “more rockin'” – presumably supporting The Japanese House, they were asked to strip it back?! It was a great way to start the evening.
Highlight: The performances of ‘Kinda Girl’ and recent single, ‘Mind Tricks’.
Next to take to the stage was Isaac Gracie, a melancholic singer-songwriter from Ealing with the whole American hipster thing going on.
This guy captivated me instantly with his beautifully haunting yet powerful voice, which he seems to use gracefully and effortlessly! I was left in awe at how he utilises his vocal range and is able to tell stories of woe, through his music. I came away wanting to hear more and would love to hear an album from this guy – however, I am left disappointed to find that only one recording is available online; I guess I will have to wait patiently for the album to surface.
Highlight: The beautiful vocal melodies he weaves throughout his musical stories in each and every song.
The Japanese House
Lastly, was The Japanese House, who made a full-on entrance with the epic sounds, created by the synths and drums before Amber entered the stage to big applause.
Despite her growing success, Amber appears to remain a humble and modest, if somewhat shy, person with her rather endearingly meek speaking voice and small stature. However, the same can’t be said for her singing; she applies power and conviction when it comes to her music and makes sure she puts across her music with the utmost integrity. She isn’t without her quirks though; she plays a right-handed guitar, left-handed! That’s talent!
The rather melancholic nature of her songs has clearly captivated a wide audience; the room was filled with young, teen hipsters, festival-goers and even a few older music-lovers; it’s amazing to see how her music clearly resonates with so many people. She joked about playing, “Another sad one for you, but then there will be a more happy one,” or words to that effect.
Amber Bain has deliberately remained rather elusive about who is behind The Japanese House, in order not to detract from the art and her androgynous vocals make the sound an interesting one.
I thoroughly enjoyed this performance and remained transfixed throughout. Although her stage presence may not be your typically over-energetic, must-entertain-the-audience style, she still had me entertained and I recommend anyone to try and see The Japanese House live; people of all ages will love her sound, no matter what genres you’re into; she’s got something to offer everyone.
- The use of synth and sounds to enhance the music and maintain the magic of the studio versions.
- The strobe lights during the breakdowns of ‘Pools To Bathe In’.
- Harmonies on Amber’s vocals throughout and the use of synths to sample her vocals.
- The fact Amber is able to layer and loop her guitar parts, usinga whole magnitude of pedals.
- Amber playing a right-handed guitar, left-handed.
The Japanese House – Cool Blue (Live)
The Japanese House – Leon (Live)
- Pools To Bathe In
- Letter By The Water
- Sugar Pill
- Cool Blue
- Leon (New Song)
Lastly, I want to say a massive thanks to The Japanese House and their management for putting me on the guest-list, so I could come and do this review!
Matt – Muzik Speaks