Ella Hooper @ Trinity Sessions, Clarence Park SA 11/11/2022

The Trinity Sessions is an amazing venue to experience intimate live music just a few minutes out of the city. Ella Hooper as introduced by the host as the youngest ARIA award winner to have performed here and has joined some illustrious names who have also played at this mighty venue. This was a stunning show and a great night out. It is very easy to have a soft spot for Ella. She is a fantastic singer songwriter, genuine, authentic, loves her fans, loves music and loves playing live.

This tour is a precursor to her forthcoming album Small Town Temple which is set for release in January. Appreciative of her introduction she said “Adelaide, I’ve missed you!” adding that she was a little nervous to be playing this show in a stripped back version for the first time. There were no signs of nerves by any stretch. Opening with the title track Small Town Temple in a church, about a church and played in a church we can definitely be a little excited about the new album. It is shaping up to be a beauty.

After some adjustments to her guitar strap claiming it was to high, “who am I? Am I in The Beatles?” it was on to Grow Wild and her first single off her forthcoming album in Old News which was about feeling past your prime. Break Up Blonde was a charmer which was preceded by the story of taking your frustration out on your hair during Covid not having anything to do. A minor wardrobe issue with a recently acquired shirt that might not survive beyond the tour it was on to Achilles Heel and taking it up to fret seven on Monkey Mind.

Words Like These was a great moment in the set and the stories of the life and times of Ella Hooper kept coming as the intimate format allowed for it compared to getting a nudge when playing with her full band to wind it up and move on to the next song. Reflecting on singing Silent Night in a church as a young’un and having that glottal stop made her even more determined as singer and not to give up. Everything Was A Sign off In Tongues was stellar but the golden moment was The Monkees cover Me And Magdalena which was also covered by Ben Gibbard from Deathcab For Cutie (teaser alert, Ella mentioned that she will be playing live on a well known TV show coming up).

Hard to believe that the show literally whizzed by and no doubt we could of easily been mesmerised by Ella for another couple of hours. Ella said you’re “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” in reference to encores saying that this was it finishing on Ouroboros. Great night out topping it off nicely seeing Ella afterward who met the fans for a quick chat, some selfies and a few autographs. Looking forward to a follow up album tour next year.

Live Review By Rob Lyon

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