Greentea Peng @ Stereo, Glasgow, 24 Nov

Stereo holds the intimate ambience of a candlelit dinner tonight as Greentea Peng plays a sold-out midweek set

Live Review by Maeve Hannigan | 26 Nov 2021
  • Greentea Peng

The weekday warriors gather at Stereo tonight for Greentea Peng’s long-awaited debut tour. The mid-weekers are a varied bunch – we all unite in an understanding that there is such a thing as one too many on a Wednesday evening. There's a coolness in the air, but age has nothing to do with it, as the crowd feels easy-going and undoubtedly hyped to hear the sweet sounds of breezy reggae and sun-kissed soul. 

Tonight, Stereo holds the intimate ambience of a candlelit dinner, with welcoming warmth and beer-infused chatter that disperses as Greentea Peng glides onto the stage. Tartan, ski goggles, and a kilt are suddenly made cool as the band project reassuring confidence – we’re in safe hands. 

Kicking things off with Man Made opener Make Noise, it's the perfect introductory lesson on what Greentea is about. Her demand feels aimless in its energy but sensual in sound, one that the crowd willingly responds to. There’s a familiarity that circulates the space, or maybe it’s the friendly tone in a Glaswegian response to her weather chat: “It’s fucking freezing.” The set hazily stumbles between old and new tracks that pull psychedelic jazz out of the hip-hop undergrowth. After months without live music, it’s easy to forget how to move but Greentea embraces her sound with body. The rest of us try our best to imitate in polite sways and understated head nods.

Greentea is honest: “Sorry if my energy seems a bit… it’s been a trip for sure.” Her laugh is the full stop and she is instantly forgiven by the audience’s all-knowing chuckle. Mr. Sun (miss da sun) is only too relatable as Greentea confesses: 'I can’t lie, I need you Mr. Sun / Chasin' after you I’m on the run'. To a Scottish crowd majorly lacking in vitamin D, the pain is only too real. Greentea's band The Seng Seng Family frame her as supportive younger brothers; every sound is playfully competitive yet Greentea’s presence settles any debate. Politics is only mentioned once: “I wouldn’t be a good prime minister. Just kidding, I’d be sick.” Of course, we agree. Downers ends the night as a bedtime story that melts away the day. The mid-weekers leave satisfied and ready for bed.