The main act, last Saturday arvo (things kick off 'round 2) was Brigitte Handley & The Dark Shadows. She of the mile-high glued hair, wildly accentuated eyes, gothic fashion sense and rockabilly hall-of-fame status has branched-out, into what you might call pop-punkabilly. They've just done some damage, knocking the socks off punters on the West Coast & in Canada, as I understand it, a feat they're currently repeating locally, with an, ostensibly, East Coast tour, right here, at home.
These girls are certifiable: they played 27 shows in 30 days, while in N. America. Yet it tells not. They come across as having palpable passion for their profession and material. Justifiably so. The present gad-about is in aid of their new ep, Stand Off.
Though the sound at MF was pleasing and raucously loud, my one frustration and regret is I couldn't really make out lyrics. The recorded mix fares somewhat better: already I've learnt it might prove a grave mistake not to return Handley's emails. (Listen in to the title track, which rails against the mindlessness & pigheadedness of family feuds, & you'll get the idea.)
The deep, dark, sultry one's penchant for eccentric makeup can't obscure her affinity and affection for melody, which reaches into the power pop pantheon and pulls divine rabbit after rabbit out of a musical cornucopia.
Brigitte, of course, is but one-third of the band: let's not underestimate the complementary skills and enthusiasms of Carly Chalker, on bass & backup vocals; Nerida Wu, on drums. Brigitte wields one or two very distinctive guitars.
Even the most ardent, diehard chauvanist will be forced to revise all preconceptions about girl bands. These girls give no quarter. They rock, harder than granite!
Brigitte Handley & The Dark Shadows
Music Farmers | 5 Crown Lane, Wollongong
Aug 2nd 2008
Power Plays | Sydney Theatre Company
Power Plays is an entertaining exercise in short-form theatremaking along a centralised theme, even if none of the individual pieces are especially memorable. Photo – James GreenWriting short...
Witches of Wicked | Sydney Symphony Orchestra
While you might be forgiven for expecting otherwise, this is not however a concert version of Wicked, although as it is the common thread between the stars. Left – Lucy Durack, Amanda Harrison,...