“It was amazing from start to finish,” a man in his 30s says to his friend minutes after Germein gets off stage at the Great Club in Marrickville.
It’s Friday night here in Sydney, Australia. Ella Germein smiles at the audience, people aged 20 to 70, thanking them for coming to see the band when “there are so many other things to do in beautiful Sydney”. However, after their hour-long set, I can confirm there’s no other place to be on a Friday night than in a room where Germein is playing. Given the booming echo of cheers coming from the crowd when asked if they’d seen the band before, I know I’m not the only one.
Germein is a few verses into their first song of the night, “100 Years”, and I already find them captivating: their soulful sibling harmonies, coupled with their striking stage presence, make an intoxicating combo for a timeless performance.
Germein is an indie-pop band consisting of Georgia, Ella and Clara Germein, three sisters born and raised on a farm in Adelaide, Australia. Georgia plays the guitar and is the group’s main vocalist, Ella is the bassist and backing vocalist while Clara plays the drums. On their website, there’s a picture and a home video of the girls singing and playing musical instruments together as kids – this helps me to understand the confidence that Germein exudes — it’s one thing to be talented, but it’s another to glide through the piano like a breeze or sing on stage with complete ease. Of course, performing at festivals like Isle of Wright in the UK and being openers for iconic acts such as Little Mix undoubtedly helps.
After playing a few of their hits such as “Talking”, “It’s A Shame”, and “Sunshine”, Germein launches into “A Little Part of Me”. The song has wistful and melancholic lyrics that make it cathartic for anyone in the process of letting someone go, but the song itself isn’t that pessimistic, Germein doesn’t allow it – the upbeat and catchy nature of their work prompts listeners to get up on their feet and dance. In a time where pop music is either depressing or hopeful, Germein’s music allows those two emotions to coexist as they intertwine with each other seamlessly.
Halfway through the set, Germein introduces their latest release, “Good for A Girl”, a song about female artists navigating the music industry while feeling like they have a lot to prove. The song has an uplifting beat, but it also has a firm message: “I don’t want to be good for a girl, I just want to be good”. While learning how to dance in the rain is important for us all, so is acknowledging the storm. In my opinion, Germein’s ability to teach both lessons well through their music makes them a breath of fresh air.
My favourite moment of the show comes when Georgia gets on the piano to play an acoustic version of “Because You Breathe”. She explains the song was written for a friend who was going through a tough time. “Because you breathe the air is sweeter,” Georgia’s tone is angelic and sweet, but it’s also layered with grit. “Because you smile the sun shines brighter.” This stripped-back performance is different to the feel-good tunes Germein has played for us so far, but it feels necessary to convey the sheer emotions of this song with only a piano and a beautiful voice to do it justice. In other words, Germein’s core strength lies in knowing exactly who they are, what to say, and how to say it.
Throughout the intimate show, the chemistry between Georgia, Ella and Clara is apparent through the glances, nods, and grins they share during each song. Georgia and Clara share a laugh when Ella confesses her habit of talking before the band performs each song (an audience member jokingly says, “you have to get the microphone away from her!”), which she takes after her mum.
As Ella shares how she flew to Sydney while her sisters drove here (“I had a lot of Qantas points,” she giggles), I realise it is the love and bond they share as sisters that define their music and the atmosphere of their shows. More importantly, the Germein sisters’ thoughtful attempts at including the audience in their inside jokes make their show special – the more you soak in their world, the more you feel a sense of belonging to the family they’ve created. It is precisely the warmth and joy you feel from a Germein show that distinguishes Georgia, Ella and Clara from the rest.
Show Date: 02.10.23 | Sydney , Australia @ The Great Club | Germein – Your Favorite Indie Pop Sisters