33Insanity'sVertebra @ JPU

Jun Okada, Yuki Kawana, Miette-one, 33Insanity'sVertebra

Japan Underground
The Pipeline
19th October 2012
Written by Rachel Yarwood


Talk to the Wall
End of the world
Fukin' Popsongs
Blind Belief
Brain Washing

The setting is simple, the mood is relaxed, as Jun Okada sits solo on the stage in The Pipeline's basement room starting the evening off with a lovely and pleasant pop-filled acoustic set. 
As the gig tonight is in the basement, the sound reverberates brilliantly and the atmosphere is something quite welcoming as those onlooking, or simply listening from the seated tables, soak in the charming vibes from Jun's performance. Even for those who came tonight not knowing this young musician, could not mistake the beautiful and highly emotive rendition of Ed Sheeran's "A-Team". Indeed Jun's entire set was simply lovely, with her refreshingly sweet vocals and impeccable skill on the acoustic guitar, she truly gave us an engaging start to the night. 
Next to come to the stage is Yuki Kawana, who is evidently tired with glasses intact and a pint in tow, announcing that she had only arrived in Heathrow hours prior to the gig. 
Despite this, perhaps you might call it a small set back, Yuki performs remarkably well stopping between songs in presumably good humour so that the audience can take pictures.
For a few of her tracks her vocals do sound a little overpowered by her guitar, the volume at times drowning out her singing making it hard to hear her clearly. However what you do catch has a mellow tone, a little unique with a slight indie quirkiness to her voice, her overall style being at times laid back but ever so individualistic. 
Yet, as her own set finishes, this is not the last we see of Yuki Kawana. She returns onstage with Miette-one as both vocal and keyboard back up, although judging by the performance of the opening song it could be questioned whether this was planned or indeed a decisive last minute aid. 
Indeed, as we soon realise, Miette-one is also performing solo tonight with the use of her i-pad (and of course Yuki's extra vocals and on the spot keyboard skills).
Miette-one delivers her set with some cheerful, abundantly adorable, yet also strange songs to entertain the crowd with. Mixed with a few games (and prizes of course!) this certainly is the most weirdly interactive performance so far. 
There is a noticeable change of aura to the room as Miette-one ends her set and departs the stage.

Darkness consumes the room as the final performers of the night, 33Insanity'sVertebra, enter the room. As they make their way through and to the stage it is obvious that we are going to be in for something unexpected and the previous three performers, as entertaining as they were, could not have prepared us for what was about to unfold. 

Vocalist Nozomi Mano quickly gives a short introduction before we are taken straight into their first song "Zuruli", a little bit jazzy with smooth bass (Ryo Nishimura), funky guitar melodies (Yoshihisa Goshima; Ryota Imai) and a cool beat on the drums and cymbals (Kazumasa Ishii). This is short lived, by about ten seconds, as the song opens fully with an added guitar rhythm giving the song more of a heavy element. 
The next song "taieki" that follows more or less instantly, surprises even further with not just the definitive heavier sound but also because there is still such a gracious melody from the guitar behind the deeper rhythms and not forgetting the vocals. Nozomi has excellent stage presence and her vocals are remarkably strong and even offers occasional growls and screams to the mix which leaves you in complete awe. 

"howlong" takes us on a different path, the atmosphere turning slightly darker and a little electronic sounding. There is also a little more punk, what with a girl prowess which is emanating from Nozomi, and the bass in particular becoming more noticeable as it chucks out deep and erratic rhythms to compliment the mood of this song.
Of course, with most headlining acts, an encore is nearly always inevitable, and of course with the numerous calls from the audience to see more from 33Insanity'sVertebra... who could really deny another song to finish the night on even more of a high?
The band treat the audience to one last song, "Brain Washing", which arguably becomes the heaviest track of the night with the upbeat opening of the introductory drums, the added shredding guitar rhythm and equally heavy, strong vocal work. 
33Insanity'sVertebra tonight, considering that this was their debut show here in London and even more so that they only formed earlier this year, gave us an immensely incredible and energetic show. The band and the crowd seemed to feed off each others vibes, throwing them back at one another through out the performance, certainly neither wanting it to end.