Japanese Breakfast // St Jude the Obscure // Mary Miller
Starting our Liverpool Music Week a little later than planned, we headed down to EBGBS to check out Japanese Breakfast’s first ever Liverpool show, with some stellar support to kick off the night.
Despite narrowly missing the DIY guitar pop stylings of Bill Nickson – apologies to Bill for not making it quite in time to see his early slot – we arrived in plenty of time to get our first live taste of the inimitable Mary Miller, St Jude the Obscure and the night’s headliners Japanese Breakfast.
A solo performer with a big live sound, Mary dove straight into her set list with the fantastic track Angling. First impressions are everything when it comes to new acts, and this one definitely did the trick.
Mary Miller’s set was a mix of powerful, punchy tracks, blended perfectly with low key indie ballads. Plinky guitar tones gave way to pulsating electronic undercurrents and I couldn’t help but draw comparisons with the distinctive alternative sounds of the The XX, or perhaps even a unique fusion of Chet Faker crossed with dashings of Adele. Loose comparisons aside, Mary Miller is surely one to look out for.
St Jude the Obscure
Electronic art-pop outfit St Jude the Obscure were up next. I was already familiar with their music through the grapevine, but again, this was my first opportunity to see them live.
It’s no surprise they’ve have been receiving support from the BBC and other mainstream tastemakers. The soaring voice of Adele Emmas stole the show, and their track flowed perfectly, rising to crescendos, dropping back to subtle melodies via vocals and keys, before rising once again to hit the us like a ton of bricks.
The stand out track for me was Wonder of You, but St Jude the Obscure had us on the hook from start to finish. There was also something incredibly likeable about the band too – great stage presence, charm and personality. If you get the chance to see them, take it!
Headlining the night for what was their debut Liverpool gig, Japanese Breakfast played to a packed-out basement. The anticipation was palpable and we were not disappointed.
It was a flawless set; and despite Japanese Breakfast’s limited exposure in the UK, the band had drawn in plenty of people and held everyone’s undivided attention. Michelle Zauner was on top form, creating an incredible and unforgettable atmosphere on stage, brimming with energy and charisma.
As the band played out their tight-knit set, switching effortless between each psych-indie track, there was an irrefutably joyful vibe, which spread throughout the spot, washing over the audience like a tidal wave of funk rhymes and good times.
Thumping basslines, addictive melodies and endearing vocals were served up for Japanese Breakfast, and we could eat it up all night. This is a band who – if you don’t already – you should really get to know.