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TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

Green Pools
Green Pools

GREEN POOLS, CECILIA BRANDOLINI, SERVO FLOWERS AND ANGIE COLMAN
THE AARDVARK
6 NOVEMBER 2021

Photos by AT

Having recently started a day job because COVID killed my sweet, sweet music industry gig and fucked my life, I decided I’d better start trying to impress my new work colleagues. What better way to do that than invite one of them down to the Aardvark last Saturday to watch a whole lot of people drink strong liquor and play music? I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Fronted by the increasingly beguiling Tess Hutchinson, Green Pools are the proverbial enigma wrapped in a mystery. The way they’re headed, they could do anything and none of it would be wrong.

When my colleague made her way down into the Aardvark’s warm embrace, a small crowd was already watching Angie Colman and her trusty Godin bang out some tunes on the venue’s storied stage. We greeted each other, me rather nervously, as if for the first time and then, right off the bat, my colleague tilted her head towards the stage and asked, “Who’s that?”

Who’s that indeed! You see, Angie Colman — ATS’s current #SingleoftheWeek incumbent — was bringing down the house. Here’s a songwriter with a sackful of deftly written songs, a voice that has power and heart to burn, and presence on stage that’s confident without being cocky, open but with the right amount of aloof. Yep, Angie Colman is a star in the making and, tonight, playing solo, she demonstrated just exactly why that’s the case.

I learned tonight that my colleague is nothing if not understated. By “Who’s that,” she actually meant, “This unknown artist who I’ve never heard of before is really rather good.” And she was right, my colleague. How right she was.

By the time Servo Flowers took the stage, looking like they’d teleported in from 1975, we were sitting at the back of the main room being regaled with stories of the exploits of former Love Junkies drummer, Elloise Walsh, by none other than Elle’s Mum, who had popped in to see what Green Pools are all about. It surely doesn’t get any better than this, I was thinking. Truly. Anyone who can bring such a dead set legend into the world is just fine with me. But, when Servo Flowers kicked into life, we all shut up for a while, our jaws gaping just a little bit.

I still can’t really pin what it was that Servo Flowers were doing, besides playing cracking music. I’ll have to go see them a few more times before I can really work them out. But I know they’re good enough to warrant the time. That falsetto on Jimmy Mac, vocalist, songwriter and producer, is just divine and the music sounds like the Jackson 5 on speedballs. It’s got pop swagger that goes on for ever.

My colleague’s review, “Not terrible.” Translation, surprisingly good!

After more girly chat, the content of which shall never be revealed in public, we settled in for a set from the highly divine Cecelia Brandolini. Tonight, Brandolini and her keyboard were accompanied by Miranda Murray-Young on Cello and, for a few of the songs in her set, by her good friends Grace Newton-Wordsworth (Joan & The Giants) and Nadene Burchell (King Ibis) on vocals.

You can tell something significant is happening in a live music venue when the chatter dies down and people suddenly begin to form a tight knot in front of the stage. That’s how it was tonight when Brandolini stepped up and began to play a set of her exquisitely beautiful piano-to-the-front widescreen alt pop. This is an artist who, once she steps under the lights, becomes transported by her music, creating moment after moment of pure magic. Enticing and entangling her audience with her words and melodies, and her voice, that most unique of instruments that belongs to her and her alone.

If you were ever going to check out some new music any time in the next decade or so and you had a limit of, let’s say, one artist you were willing to take a risk on, make it Cecilia Brandolini. She’s this generation’s Elton John. There really is no more that needs to be said.

My colleague’s review, “Very good.” Translation, out of this fucking world!

The band people came to see tonight was Green Pools. Here they were finally launching their COVID delayed EP, ReCollect, which is bookended by opening track, ‘Albany’, a beautiful nod to Green Pools’ folk beginnings, and closing track, ‘Alderney’, which, whether they intended it or not, points to the band’s future. Green Pools played these songs back-to-back tonight, as is their wont, and by the time they reached the searing guitar lick that punctuates ‘Alderney’, they just about blew the roof off the Aardvark.

Green Pools are now a band with more muscle than Madonna’s biceps, more mathematics than a tricky Radiohead composition and more zane than Frank Zappa. Fronted by the increasingly beguiling Tess Hutchinson, Green Pools are the proverbial enigma wrapped in a mystery. The way they’re headed, they could do anything and none of it would be wrong. Me and Elle’s Mum were well impressed.

As for my colleague, she bought the t-shirt. One more convert to what is a growing and dedicated legion of Green Pools fans.

The next day, I was singing Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons for some reason.

Don’t forget to buy a t-shirt!

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