Cold Tuesday evenings are best spent at home in front of the fire with a hot cup of tea, said nobody in Nice N Sleazy this week. We were in Glasgow’s little goldmine venue for the whirlwind visit of Canadian four piece JPNSGRLS – pronounced Japanese Girls, but don’t try googling that. A band who seem to have been able to harness the soft and heavy elements of multiple genres and melt them into melodic pop-rock are in Scotland promoting new album Divorce.
Following opening sets from local bands The Sunny Devils and Huxtable as well as Leeds’ finest Fizzy Blood was not going to be an easy job, however, when the time came JPNSGRLS took it up a level and delivered a masterclass in performing. From the first minute it was clear that even though this was the penultimate stop in a worldwide tour, this band were still thriving and feeding off the energy provided by a pocket of fervent gig-goers.
Frontman Charlie Kerr is like a sugar-laden kid with ADHD as he covers every inch of the stage – his feet and at times on his back – mingling with the gathering crowd and at one point serenading a girl in the crowd to the guarded bemusement of her boyfriend. The music allowing this to unfold is both manic and serene all at once. You can feel the rocky undertone trying to break free from the pop shackles that seem to tame it.
Lead guitarist Colton Lauro, who recently replaced original and founding member Oliver Mann, shows exactly why he was given the prestigious position as he widdles his way through each track with relative ease, the mirror opposite of his singing counterpart who is now staring folk down for looking at their phones as he belts out another song.
JPNSGRLS put on one hell of a show and it’s no wonder that they’ve managed to pull a decent crowd out of their warm homes on a dreary, baltic Tuesday night in Glasgow. A band who will have a four and a half thousand mile trip home after their last stop in Birmingham will hopefully be back one day soon. When that day comes you’d do yourself a favour by picking up a ticket.
Photos: Alan K. Gray at akgphotos