Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY
May 9, 2009
Review by David Chiu
Ever since hearing her excellent 2003 debut album, The Baby That Brought Bad Weather, I have seen Brooklyn-based musician Greta Gertler a few times, most notably at Joe’s Pub. However, this recent Union Hall show was unique because it was the first time I had seen the singer/songwriter from Australia perform solo onstage with just her keyboard. Yet the lack of a backup band didn’t take anything away from her soaring voice, her dazzling musicianship, and catchy pop songs. In fact, it made one appreciate her talents even more closely.
Gertler is in the process of recording her next record titled The Universal Thump; she recently came back to the States from tours of her native Australia and Europe. For the Union Hall show, she performed some new songs, including one called “Honeybee,” which sort of has a very romantic sound. She also performed older material such as the uptempo “Edible Restaurant” and the ballad “If Bob Was God,” and concluded the set with “Flora,” a song about the komodo dragon. Despite the brevity of the set, it was a nice evening of whimsical pop music that seems to draw inspiration from old-fashioned European melodies and Tin Pan Alley.