Thursday, 17th March | Little Green ‘dreambird’ EP tour | The Vanguard, Newtown
...when you see a bright shining star in the sky, you have to point it out to everyone nearby.
My Thursday evening plans were to catch up with an old friend, have a little ramen in Newtown and head to The Vanguard where the soothing sounds of Little Green (one of my new favourite local artists) would be the soundtrack to a night of reminiscing. I had no intention of writing a review, I told myself I needed to take a break. But when you see a bright shining star in the sky, you have to point it out to everyone nearby.
Support Act #1 - Santpoort
Sydney-based, Dutch artist Santpoort opened the show, electrifying us with his one-man setup, featuring bass, vocals, some funky lo-fi beatz and a drawstring hat (which needs to be a staple in my wardrobe asap). Who says one man can’t do it all?
We later found out that not only is he a music master but also the brain behind Little Green’s EP artwork (see more of his stunning art). Little Green was also a featured artist on his newly released album ‘ocean tales’ that he describes as a “homesickness project that came together in this book of stories from Australia. They’re tales of being isolated and very far from the rest of the world.” I love seeing the fruits of collaboration, I love unexpectedly discovering a beautiful new artist and now I love Santpoort.
Support Act #2 - Ebony
I have to say I enjoyed the theme of acoustic/semi-acoustic soloists - it’s been a while since I felt so intimate with the performers on stage. The wallpaper, assortment of pictures hanging on the walls, wooden bar stools and mood lighting of The Vanguard was the ideal backdrop to invite attentive ears and open hearts. Next up, Ebony (a last minute addition to the lineup), graced the stage with sweet vocals, a warm smile and an acoustic guitar. It was nice to hear just a girl and her guitar, the way many of us fell in love with music in the first place.
When Little Green (aka Amy) stepped onto the stage with her guitar, adorable embroidered jeans (also to be a new addition to my wardrobe) and pigtails, the room fell silent.
The mood was perfectly set by the support acts, the audience was hungry for more vulnerability, more intimacy that you can only get at a gig like this. And ohhh boy, did she deliver. They should really warn you that you have to bring your passport to the gig, because I had no idea I was going to be transported away inside Amy’s brain. Her title track and opening song “dreambird” showcased her haunting, angelic vocals and from the first pluck of her guitar, we were teleported.
Live music is a special thing
Apart from her effortless vocals, cool guitar, and groovy and mellow solos on the saxophone and flute, my favourite part was all the bits in between. Little Green invited us into her world with anecdotes, random passing thoughts and wonderful insights into her songwriting, and you couldn’t help but smile.
The song that stuck with me the most was “frida kahlo”. A fan reached out and shared her personal journey (which was respectfully not shared on the night). After contemplating how to portray this woman’s story in the right way, along with an insta stalk, Amy found a picture of Frida Kahlo. This picture, as you might have guessed, inspired the song that would be track 6 of the EP.
"But I found Frida. Yeah, she understands. Turn suffering to art and I’ll hold it in my bare hands. I’ll stare it down, say is that all you can do?"
It’s about finding connection and solace in Frida and her ability to create from pain. Knowing this backstory to the song made it all the more captivating. I can’t quite express with words the melancholic but hopeful feeling this song puts in your heart, so you’re just going to have to listen to “frida kahlo” for yourself.
I can’t think of a better way to highlight how special live music truly is. It can reach your heart, it’s the moments, the stories told that let you peep just a little further than the .mp4 door.
There were two magic moments for me. The first was when Little Green invited her sister, Holly, to join her on stage. The crowd went nuts for their sweet-as-froot loop with choccy milk rendition of “Blackbird”. We were enchanted by the harmonies on the newly released track “Oak Tree” from a book soundtrack Amy created for ‘This Working Life’. The song is about an oak tree that is smaller than all the other trees in the forest but then it learns that that is its superpower (so cute, just had to share).
The second was “tea tree”. It’s a tradition of Little Green’s to end each gig with this song to give some healing energy to her audience. I can’t explain it but it really moved something inside me, the whole show did. I’ve had an estranged relationship with music for a very long time and I was suddenly inspired to play again, to sing again, to write again.
There were so many magic moments that night, I can’t possibly fit every detail into this already too long article. So I’m going to start my summarising statements and say, just drop everything and go to her next gig.
“[I felt] so held by everyone and safe to be messy me”.
Little Green’s show does the opposite to most. Instead of creating a divide between audience and performer, instead of feeling intimated by their gift, she is unfiltered, friendly and welcoming. You can genuinely feel Amy giving her whole heart to the audience and all you want to do in return is to keep it safe.
Not only is her music beautiful but I would say that in today’s world, someone her age, being so comfortably and unapologetically herself is a revelation, a breath of fresh air, or more accurately is feels like a warm Summer night's breeze.
I swear this is the end
Little Green’s ability to tell stories through music is unique. I’m addicted to the way she conveys emotion and complex thoughts through seemingly simple metaphors and catchy melodies. Little Green embodies the joy of music. Hearing her songs on instagram, seeing her cute giggle on stage (crush confirmed), all the projects she has put her name to - she has somehow carried that first love feeling on and on throughout it all. You just know that’s where she’s meant to be, up on stage, telling stories, working through her thoughts and I am blessed to have been part of her journey the past few years.
Little Green is a true artist’s artist. She inspired me to write and inspired me to play music again. An artist that inspires art is a pretty darn cool thing. Oh and I had the best sleep of my life that night. So at the very least, listen to Little Green for that.