Live Review: The Japanese House at SWG3 ★★★★

The Japanese House created a groovy, dream-pop haven in Glasgow's SWG3. 

4 mins read

Following the release of her new album In the End It Always Does, Amber Bain aka The Japanese House; has embarked on her first tour in 4 years with the first stop taking place in Glasgow, October 12. 

Pencil, the support act

Pencil was the perfect choice for an opener. Their sound is similar to Bain’s but with a more folk/acoustic approach. 

The highlight of pencil is definitely Coco Inman on the violin. Her performance was incredible and the sound from her violin floats through the crowd making it very difficult not to sway from side to side. 

Pair her performance on the violin with vocals and an acoustic guitar from Kamran Khan, and you get this beautiful, super soft and subtle sound. 

Ensuring that the sound isn’t too silky we get a really hazy electric guitar performed by Kai Burns. This adds an element of harshness that is needed as it really balances out the sound and makes it more dreamlike and a bit shoegaze-y. 

Pencil’s performance created a great atmosphere for The Japanese House to step into. 

As soon as she does, she brings a more danceable, groovy element to the room quickly playing fan favorite Touching Yourself which got the whole crowd moving. 

“i saw you in a dream” – video credit James Henderson

The main event

The first thing to say about Bain’s performance is that it sounds very similar to studio versions of her songs. A feat that’s difficult to pull off which just goes to show her talents as a vocalist. 

Alongside Bain’s performance, the keyboard was a standout. The electronic sound that illuminated from it had a similar effect to the violin in pencil. It filled the whole room and wrapped all the other instruments in a trippy haze. 

We were even treated to a saxophone at some points which brought a much-needed little groove to many of the songs, I just wish we got to hear more from the sax. 

Most of the songs performed were from the new album but we were still treated to all the hits like I saw you in a dream. Although I think Bain is at her best with slow songs like Over There and One for sorrow, two for Joni Jones. The slower songs really allow her vocals to shine through as well as each instrument. 

Unfortunately, at some points, the drums were far too loud and would drown out some of the more subtle instruments. 

This tour is a real treat for The Japanese House fans, with some beautiful songs off the new album. There’s something for everyone and the performances are not to be understated. 

Featured Image credit – Dirty Hit

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