The Japanese House at Here at Outernet
Here at Outernet is a fun new venue nestled in the heart of London. Last night it shone with vivid light and dreamy pop as part of The Japanese House’s In the End It Always Does tour. Amber Bain, although a solo project under the moniker, takes the stage alongside four members of a live band, together creating a smooth-edged show awash with lush visuals, magical harmonies and absorbing moments of vulnerability.
The graceful intro to first track Sad to Breathe draws any straggler right in, the beautiful piano and shock of exposed lyrics opening up into the delicious indie electronica that Bain is known for. Touching Yourself and Something Has to Change follow, songs of yearning and heartbreak that flush with reverb and harmonies and a truly spectacular LED screen, almost making one forget their soft, sad core in place of closed eyes and dancing with strangers under vibrant colour. This LED screen really is something, beaming sunrise blues and sunset oranges, dressing the crowd as part of the show and casting Bain as an oft-silhouetted figure onstage, adding to the dreamlike sense her music evokes. It blushes bright pink for Follow My Girl up next and the saxophone is brought out to cheers, ending the song in celebration.
Over There showcases vocals that have somehow been both raw and smooth all night, vocal flipping with ease before leading into a build-up of synths and chords and the urge to float into the air. Friends, one of the most upbeat tracks of the night, is stellar, with rainbow clouds lighting up the screen behind.
While most of the emoting effect of Bain’s songwriting skills shelter in the faces of true fans and filter in between layers of harmony, there are moments where she slows down and lets the audience truly listen to her. Baby Goes Again and older track Chewing Cotton Wool are beautiful examples of this, but none more than One for Sorrow Two for Joni Jones. Here, Bain is aglow. It feels almost like a private moment to intrude on, the stage smoky and low-lit so she’s barely visible, but the crowd understand that this is for her and watch on in silent awe.
Apart from a couple of “thank you”s and “wow”s, she doesn’t talk to the fans much, but this works for the show that she’s created. It’s one that asks the concertgoers only to dance along in the balmy electric atmospher and get lost in the rush of sound. Bain and her band move impressively as one, the glorious hit single Sunshine Baby leading the crowd out into the night.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information and future events visit The Japanese House’s website here.
Watch the video for the single In the End It Always Does here: