LA’s COLLEEN GREEN toured around the US earlier this year with UPSET (Ali Koehler, Patty Schemel, Rachel Gagliardi and Lauren Freeman), and is now back in the UK, promoting her third album I Want To Grow Up. We last saw her on tour with EMA last year, and tonight she’s headlining Gulliver’s, to a nicely busy crowd for a Tuesday night in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, trusty sunglasses and drum machine at the ready.
I’m impressed with the new album, a varied selection of tunes and themes, demonstrating Green’s versatility and experimental inclinations, my favourite track being Deeper Than Love, a meditative synth track which chills to the bone.
Live, Green’s vocals are soothingly delicate in contrast with the growling guitar and impatient drum beats. She’s endearing with her don’t give a rat’s ass attitude, which comes across rather as a sign of personal ennui than implying any disregard for her audience whom she’s quick to thank at the end of every song. The shades work, and the Oakland t-shirt reminds us of her move to the West Coast from her hometown of Massachusetts. On the theme of growing up, though laced with irony and wit, the new track lyrics reflect a real mix of disillusionment, despair, relief and resignation, in terms of coming to terms with oneself and making better choices… Colleen Green’s been giving life some serious thought and it shows. With traces of this kind of depth, I can’t help already getting excited for the next LP.
Heading to the sales stand, you can see the DIY ethic in Colleen Green merch: hand-drawn business cards, t-shirts and comic strips, placed neatly by the side of the album work. After the show, she patiently and humbly dialogues with fans, and we eventually head to the green room to chat more about what makes her tick. It’s the first time she’s touring overseas on her own, and she’s enjoying the challenge, even recruiting a new friend along the way to help her out. If Green was concerned about growing up, she needn’t worry for now – travelling alone out of passion for one’s work is one of the best ways to experience life at its most intense, and she’s certainly embracing this new stage. Onwards…