Lucy Clark takes a visit to Brudenell Social Club to see Japanese Breakfast...
The first thing I notice about Japanese Breakfast is just how thrilled and quite fittingly jubilant the band look to be on stage, perhaps it's the ‘at last’ relief of a post pandemic tour kicking in. They immediately reflect this feeling onto the crowd, hitting the synth on Paprika, the album opener for Jubilee (their most successful and award winning album released in 2021). The high spirits continue as Zauner passionately whacks the centre stage gong in time to the marching snare filled beat, dancing at every opportunity she has in between. Watching both the band and crowd respond to the music, It is clear that Zauner’s attempt to create a celebration of joy in Jubilee, after a period of writing characterised by grief for her late mother, has been a success.
However, Zauners heartfelt numbers didn't go missed as one after another came ‘the song about a city I have never been to’ Kokomo, IN and Tactics. For the latter Zauner took a seat at the piano, showcasing the vastness of her musical talent. The fittingly sombre violin that layered the ballard gave a song about her estranged relationship with her father even more heartbreak. It must be said that Kokomo IN, one of the most popular tracks on Jubilee, felt underwhelming as Zauner, and Hendrix’s backing vocals, sounded a little flat. Despite this, the instrumental did the dreamy tune justice.
Brudenell was soon awoken again with playful synth lines, providing an unavoidable opportunity to bop. Zauner was insistent in involving the crowd as she bent down, directly singing into the eyes of fans, beckoning them to move. It worked, as more than ever the audience sang out the catchy chorus as the band grooved with be sweet - a highlight of the show.
Following this, Zauner knew how to maintain the high spirits of the Leeds crowd as she announced reluctantly ‘I had my first yorkshire pudding today’, the crowd cheered. Zauners onstage presence was one of charm and charisma.
The room sceptical begged for an encore following the old favourite Everybody Wants to Love You. It didn't take much as Zauner shortly arrived alone, for what became another three song finale, starting with Sufjan Stevens Romulus. During Posing for Cars, the band slowly entered back in, softly accompanying Zauners solo performance, building up to a long, laid back rock instrumental with the introduction of the electric guitar solo and crash laden drums. It felt like Japanese Breakfast had finished but The Diving Woman’s repetitive and driving drums and guitar riff followed. The song combined atmospheric synth, an added sax solo and Zaunders best vocals of the night, leaving a more than satisfied crowd.
Words: Lucy Clark
Photo Credit: Pitchfork & @lucasassagba on Instagram