As part of a five band evening at the Wagon and Horses in Digbeth we have JPNSGRLS, which is pronounced “Japanese Girls”, although if you try an internet search with that description you may not be directed to a four-piece garage, punky-pop band from Vancouver.
Their first album 'Circulation' which was released in the UK in April has plenty of hooks, spiky guitars and a driving rhythm section and was featured on our daily 'Album to commute by' tweet.
JPNSGRLS played at Austin's SXSW this year and this week at Liverpool's Sound City, the band's reputation for energetic live shows and the album's big sound prove too much for the small stage in the backyard of the Wagon and Horses as during the first track's instrumental lead singer Charlie Kerr (wearing a white St .Vincent T-shirt which gives him bonus points) is down in the crowd and hammering on the front of the PA.
Kerr is the obvious focal point of the live show as he gyrates and dances like Jagger, wraps himself around the mic stand like Julian Casablancas, (his vocal style is somewhere between Casablancas' and Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro), but he's in competition with giant bass player Christopher McClelland, who during 'Smalls' is in danger of decapitating himself due to a combination of his enthusiastic playing style and the low overhead stage lighting.
'Circulation' is sung with Charlie lying on his back draped across the stage monitors, during 'Tiger' he's urging the crowd, which is gaining in enthusiasm, to join in with the 'Whoops” which pepper the track. Last song of their short set is the awesome 'Brandon', to avoid a visit to local A&E Christopher has abandoned the stage in favour of the standing stalls to hammer out the chugging bass parts and in the instrumental finale Charlie's dancing on stage with the St. Vincent T-shirt pulled over his head but without his shoes.
As yet there's no news of further UK appearances this year, but if you like an energetic band playing songs with hooks and huge guitars you really need to check out JPNSGRLS next time they visit.