ART SCHOOL GIRLFRIEND | ELIZABETH LIDDLE | 05.04.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

ART SCHOOL GIRLFRIEND | ELIZABETH LIDDLE | 05.04.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Art School Girlfriend | Elizabeth Liddle – 5th April 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

Have you ever been to a gig where everything feels complete and then at the end of it you think, ‘what just happened?’ I have been to gigs where I have had ‘moments’ and there are only a handful, yes I can actually count them on one hand, where I have become so immersed in the gig that I have forgotten most of it because each second was perfect. I had people come talk to me before and after the support act and headliner. I remember those parts but tell me to describe the gig for you and I am a bit lost for words. Thankfully I managed to grab a setlist to trigger some moments.

So, Friday 5th April at Cluny 2, what can I tell you?

Local girl Elizabeth Liddle opened the night. She quietly took her place behind the keyboard where her fingers glided over the keys giving us gorgeous melodies with her silky powerhouse vocals. They held the audience captivated and most of them hidden in the seated area at the back of the venue. It was a dreamy set so why would you not want to sit back and relax but as her name gets known there’s no doubt in my mind there will be more bodies in the room that they will want to get closer to the action.

Elizabeth Liddle – 5th April 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

Credit to all that turned up to this venue to see this artist on this date as before Art School Girlfriend was announced I had my heart set on another show that was rescheduled, then another was announced and a few more that I would have loved to have gone to but as soon as I saw this show scheduled I knew that there was only one I would and could attend and those that joined me also knew that there was only one show to be at especially after hearing what they had to say afterwards.

The room took a moment’s silence as the electro pulsating beats of Distance opened the show as Art School Girlfriend, AKA Polly Mackey, and her band settled on stage and a few more bodies took to the floor area. After each song the audience sent rapturous applause and a few thumping yells of ‘yes!’. We are a relatively smaller crowd than I anticipated but we made sure our appreciation was heard as ASG sends us into a whirl of electro dreamscapes from the opening number to the last note. We get the tracks from her previous two EPs, Measures and Into The Blue Hour, and are also introduced to the latest single Come Back To Me and an even newer one called Diving.

I realised during Uncomfortable Month that I was actually singing along at a mild volume to every word besides Diving. Until this night for a while I have skilled the art of lip-syncing as I have noticed at a few gigs my fellow gig-goers can over-sing the artist which can get annoying but the sound was loud enough that I didn’t realise I was actually singing until I mouthed my favourite lyrics of ASG’s which is, “You’re so shy, I could kill you out of love.” I even caught myself smiling at this point too. It’s a lyric that just GETS me!

There have been a few gigs I have been looking forward to going into 2019 but this gig was the one that I anticipated the most and I don’t know why but after the night I knew I was right to trust that gut feeling. A few I spoke to afterwards eagerly waited to try and talk to Polly after the show. I say try as some then left without a word as she left them speechless.

I am unsure if these words are really a ‘review’ so to speak but what I can say is that from having  seen Art School Girlfriend at a festival and a rowdy showcase where people were queuing to get in (and many missing her set due to the numbers) to a solo support show for another artist and two headlines of decent audience numbers in Newcastle, every performance has been quite euphoric and the most recent one tops them all. Art School Girlfriend will soon be mouthed from the lips of more people and the best thing about it is that she is so humble that I don’t think she realises just how great she is and how the music captures others souls.

PHOTO GALLERY

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Images Copyright Victoria Wai. For permission to use these images please contact victoriawai.co.uk


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THE JAPANESE HOUSE | ART SCHOOL GIRLFRIEND | 19.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THE JAPANESE HOUSE | ART SCHOOL GIRLFRIEND | 19.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Japanese House and Art School Girlfriend – 19th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

Amber Bain headlined Newcastle O2 Academy to a very excitable crowd. I was one of those excitable ones as there is just something about the production that Bain puts into her project The Japanese House that when I listen to her music, it’s like riding an emotional rollercoaster. I have seen her perform live once prior to this date and watching her is almost trance-like, well for me at least, as a lot of the crowd gathered at the front are in a different kind of state that makes them scream and wanting to reach out and touch Amber. I guess that could also be considered trance-like but as I said, an emotional rollercoaster, it definitely is!

Art School Girlfriend

My excitement hit another high before walking into the venue. I somehow missed the memo that a fairly new act going by the name of Art School Girlfriend was the support act of this tour. ASG has a similar vibe to TJH but maybe more so on the ‘chill vibe.’ I first saw ASG at The Great Escape earlier in the year and people were lucky to get in to see her. She was high on the list of ‘ones to watch.’ She also headlined her own tour a few months prior to this support slot. Both times, she was with a full band. However, on this tour, she’s flying solo and was just as mesmerising. Her performance didn’t feel any less complete than if she was with a full band. I was stunned into silence but sadly, half the crowd were immersed in their own conversations. ASG was the perfect opener to this night and seeing her perform solo was a wonderful surprise.

The crowd pushed closer to the stage when The Japanese House appeared. A low tempo opener introduction put an excited silence over them as smoke and blue light filled the stage then the first sight of Amber sent them into a frenzy as she and her band opened with Face Like Thunder. Bain interacts with the crowd from the get-go as she shouts out ‘How you doing?’ to little waves, winks and smiles to members of the audience. The same interaction is given to her band as she shares a laugh here and there to even a drink!

Mid-way through the set we are given new tracks Lilo and Follow My Girl and the fans have already been studying the lyrics as you can not only see a lot of them mouthing the words but also hear a good few sing along with Amber. It is like this with every song of the night, each song also met with screams of appreciation. Then there were the handful like me that are simply in awe of getting to not only hear but to see Amber on stage as The Japanese House.

Every note delivered feels very emotive yet effortless at the same time. Most of the crowd sing their emotions loud but for some, singing along sometimes feels like you are detaching yourself from what you are really feeling, if that makes sense. There are times when I sing my heart out (very badly) at gigs but at a gig like that of The Japanese House (and the support of Art School Girlfriend) I feel ‘absolute chill’ that my body feels like it is in another place and time until the house lights go on. I guess you could say it feels like euphoria.

PHOTO GALLERY
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Images Copyright Victoria Wai. For permission to use these images please contact victoriawai.co.uk


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