Phoebe GreenGet It Loud In Libraries @ Liverpool Central Library 21/6/19
There is a definite atmosphere change when hosting a gig in a library. People are unsure whether they can chat or whether this will result in a telling off. With the arrival of Get It Loud In Libraries and PHOEBE GREEN, a place so used to silence is transformed for a few hours, as music is poured into the grand surroundings of Liverpool Central Library.
Opening the show is recent Modern Sky signing ABBIE OZARD, who admits she usually plays with a band, but tonight stands alone with her electric guitar. The surroundings suit the tight heartfelt melodies as Ozard’s long falsetto notes reverberate around the library’s walls. With shades of Daughter and Alvvays, the electro pop displayed on Ozard’s recordings stands well when stripped as a solo act, lending itself to the pensiveness of the occasion. New song Breakfast is a highlight, and I am left intrigued to know what the set sounds like with the usual band.
Next up is Eggy Records’ dream pop songstress ANA MAE, who gathers full attention from all corners of the audience with her sun-tinged, candid lyrics. Throughout her set she floats between realism and surrealism creating such imagery that it is hard not to be compelled; the mind is gently drawn away from the songs, guided around the lyrical pictures on display. Honey Somewhere is an almost conversational lullaby for someone battling with themselves: “Why do you insist on keeping your demons so near?” echoes through the tall ceilings of the space, and, as it is most days, the library falls completely silent. Ending with a beautifully haunting cover of The Killing Moon and the instant classic That I Would Do, Ana Mae leaves a big impression.
What is clear from the start of headliner Phoebe Green’s set is that she an artist with intent; she means what she is saying and isn’t afraid to lay this bare for her audience. Having recently released new single Dreaming Of to high acclaim, Manchester-based Green and her band is embarking on a small headline tour of libraries, starting tonight in Liverpool. Her set effortlessly drifts between genres, laid back but purposeful. Opening with a dark brooding number, despite early mixing problems, she and her band waltz between meticulously arranged songs, with harmonies piling up to great effect. It is with Dreaming Of the band really hit their stride – a tight well-crafted indie pop song with driving drums and bass. It has a chorus that bursts into life and would slot straight into any daytime radio show. Green then delves into self-released and recorded mixtape 02:00 AM with the whimsical, almost Disney-sounding A Phonecall, gorgeously held up with piano leads and tambourines.
Green builds back purposefully with new single Easy Peeler, a 70s inspired, Bowie-esque pop tune with an almost sinister sounding organ. It’s towards the end of the set when Green really shows her prowess as a lyric writer, honestly detailing her reflections on the life as a young person with a classic Northern wit. Double Vodka Lemonade expresses candid lyrics about supplanting over-thinking with thoughts of sex: “I don’t wanna think about dying, so I think about sex instead,” she concludes.
Up close to her music, you observe Phoebe Green is writer of real distinction, an artist with capable of bringing life to a setting so adjusted to silence.