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Live Review: The Japanese House @ Heaven (7/11/16)

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Amber Bain’s sell-out headline show at London’s Heaven was always destined to be a big one.

In fact, that much was obvious before she had even stepped on stage. With a crowd awash in equal parts with up-and-coming indie bands (I see you Blaenavon) and music industry types, The Japanese House feels like a secret on the brink of blowing up. And for good reason.

What ensued was a positively spiritual experience, carried by Bain’s spectral cadence and complimented by undulating billows of layered synths.

Methodically working her way through a back catalogue of EPs, Bain is diminutive and endearing, yet all the while achingly cool in her stage presence - only briefly disrupting the set to earnestly thank the crowd or introduce a new song.

Honestly, I just want to be her best friend.

“Let’s play something a little less depressing”, she laughs after a particularly mellow number (not that anyone minded) before promptly launching into breezy recent release ‘Good Side In’.

Bain and her band’s setlist selection tonight treads the line perfectly between old and new material. Embracing the live setting too, Amber’s characteristic melancholic lyrics are laced and juxtaposed with instrumental interludes even more trippy than usual.

Somnolent dream pop offering ‘Face Like Thunder’ prompted the best reaction from the audience, whilst closing track ‘Still’, co-produced by Matthew Healy and George Daniel (and according to Spotify, Bain’s most popular song), definitely showed up all those that had flocked to Heaven thanks to The 1975.

My only disappointment of the night was that the promising-looking net overhead, jammed full of white and pink balloons, was clearly destined for another event.

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