Liz Green Live Review
Kings Place, London - 25/11/11
Five years on from first coming to attention as the winner of Glastonbury Festival's emerging talent competition, and folk-blues troubadour Liz Green has finally completed her debut album.
To celebrate the release of (the rather marvellous) O, Devotion!, Green presented a special night at Kings Place - starting with a puppet and overhead projector based retelling of her favourite folktale Fenist The Falcon, with piano and flute accompaniment to boot.
There then followed the screening of a paper and craft knife based stop-frame animated video for Green's track Luis, before the gig proper.
Opening her set with an a cappella rendition of Son House's Grinnin' In Your Face, from amongst the crowd no less, was a brave move but one that the endearing singer pulled off effortlessly, helping further create a sense of cosy inclusiveness with her audience.
Green then took to the stage to perform solo with just her acoustic guitar, before being joined her band Team Me, so called because, "There's no 'I' in team".
The band, comprising bass, drums, sax, trombone and a scene-stealing tuba, were the perfect accompaniment to Green's often dark, skeletal tunes, with their woozy swing reincarnating the usually sterile Kings Place as a (metaphorically) smoke-filled inter-war Euro nightclub.
Green's voice is a wonder, drawing easy comparisons to the likes of Karen Dalton or Billie Holiday, but with less bleakness and a great deal more warmth, despite her songs including tales of violence, death and funerals.
Punning song titles such as The Ballad Of Joe And Oko, the self-made bird hood worn when performing the nursery rhyme Who Killed Cock Robin? and the use of mouth trumpet should all push Green's work firmly into the wilfully kooky camp - but the strength of her talent and song craft means these features seem completely natural, and genuinely entertaining.
Green is a rare and rewarding talent, whose magical, twisted fairy tale world should be visited at every opportunity.