Colleen Green – The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

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Southern California’s Colleen Green played Birmingham’s cosy 120 capacity Sunflower Lounge on Sunday night this week.

Touring to support her recently released coming-of-age, i.e., the dreaded turning thirty, album I Want to Grow Up, Green’s set didn’t neglect her earlier work including her less meditative album Sock it to MeWearing a comfortable t-shirt and her signature sunglasses, Green was accompanied by her guitar and backed by her tablet computer.

Green’s recent album is only deceptively simple and her stage setup allowed frictionless transportation of her meticulous D.I.Y. studio work to a live audience. I wasn’t surprised by a friend telling me she preferred this stage setup to that from Green’s tour earlier this year when she was accompanied by a drummer. And iPad minis require less feeding and watering—and packing—than corporeal drummers, right?

However, Green’s melodic guitar playing, and mainly her warm soft vocals with intelligent anxiety-filled lyrics—both essential emotional drivers of her work, took centre stage.

The two thirds capacity crowd were enthusiastic in their appreciation for Green after each song and in response to her minimal banter, including patience while adjusting her tablet computer in-between songs. Her exasperation with her ‘”bloody” touchscreen’ allowed us to empathise with her frustration, we’ve all been there.

Sometimes at this venue, out-of-town headline acts receive less support than local support acts whose family and friends depart early but thankfully this wasn’t noticeably the case for Green. In fact, support act FRANK’s band members deserve credit for forming the most enthusiastic part of her crowd.

Closing her set after playing crowd favourites including: ‘Darkest Eyes’, ‘Pay Attention’, ‘You’re So Cool’ and the anthemic titular track from her recent album, Green’s stage presence and musical craft belied her diminutive frame and sparse backing. Undefeated by technology the slacker queen left her audience wanting more, and some of us reflecting on our own growing pains. Colleen definitely gets it and she made sure we did too.

SoCal, so cool.


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