Dork Radio
Now playing:
In the mag...
Featuring YUNGBLUD, Baby Queen, BENEE, Joe Keery and loads more.
Order a copy
December 2020 / January 2021
Live review

The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala

With her debut album fast-approaching, Amber opens her world to the crowded room
Sign up or log in to follow artists
Published: 8:52 pm, December 20, 2018Words: Ali Shutler. Photos: Frances Beach.
The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala

The Japanese House is on the cusp of releasing her debut album (rejoice) and tonight she gives a glimpse into that future at London’s Scala.

On record, Amber is quiet and reflective. Even in those big, booming declarations of knowing or crystal clear realisation, there’s a privacy. Her collection of EPs feel like a series of diary entries, something to protect, treasure and pour yourself into. Live, it’s a very different beast.

Having toured relentlessly and globally, ticking off Reading Festival and multiple arenas with The 1975 in the process, Amber knows that her songs have become bigger than her. Tonight, they sound massive as she faces outward and shares her world with the packed room.

The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala
The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala
The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala
The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala
The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala
The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala

Opening with a joyful, rushing ‘Face Like Thunder’, there’s a skip to the frayed ends that elevates the track to new heights. There’s a similar lift to ‘Somebody You Found’ as end of the line breaks, fracture and glimmer in the dark. Rather than wallow in loneliness and loss, tonight you hold onto a friend and lean into the crash. This is a communal experience.

‘Swim Against The Tide’ bubbles and beams. Live, it’s heavier, more jagged and stands on the edge of control before the teasing breakdown lets loose, but only for a moment. What’s that about always leaving them wanting more?

As powerful and awe-inspiring as this clutch of greatest hits so far stands, it’s the material from the imminent ‘Good At Falling’ that really shapes tonight.

‘Lilo’ swaggers with a rediscovered confidence as an actual lilo is thrown about by the crowd. It’s already a moment to behold as it straddles intimate and powerful, before the choppy, twitching serenity of ‘Follow My Girl’ twists with known direction and hungry adventure. ‘You Seemed So Happy’ fizzes with a rainbow snarl while ‘Maybe You’re The Reason’ is focused, then fluid. Taking a deep breath, it bursts into pop shades and for a split second, it feels like The Japanese House can go which ever direction she wishes. As ‘Good At Falling’ approaches, it’s a belief that’s only going to grow.

The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala
The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala
The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala
The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala
The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala
The Japanese House reaches new heights at London's Scala

Give all this a try

BENEE: "2020 has been a bloody shitter"
Feature

BENEE: "2020 has been a bloody shitter"

A rare bright point in a pretty damn difficult year, BENEE's arrival has been a serotonin shot in the arm. With her debut album finally here, the future looks brighter already.
Sundara Karma: "We want to get a lot of new music out; no time like the present"
Feature

Sundara Karma: "We want to get a lot of new music out; no time like the present"

Sundara Karma have fast become one of the most interesting, inventive band of their class. With a new EP, some all-star collaboration and an outlook that constantly moves forward, the journey to album three is afoot.
A day in the life of... mxmtoon
Feature

A day in the life of... mxmtoon

From dusk 'til dawn with your favourite acts.
Shame: "I promise you, we'll do Brixton Academy soon"
Cover feature

Shame: "I promise you, we'll do Brixton Academy soon"

The wait for shame's second album may seem to have lasted longer than it actually has. as they stand on the edge of a huge 2021, we get ready for a record that isn't supposed to be funny, but...
Like this? Subscribe to Dork and get every issue delivered direct to your door anywhere on the planet.
CONTACT PRIVACY ADVERTISE

© 2018 The Bunker Publishing