Successful women's cultural night

Issue 

Successful women's cultural night

By Chantal Wynter and Alex Bainbridge

MELBOURNE — More than 100 people attended a lively cabaret of women performers, a benefit for Green Left Weekly, here on August 6.

In her welcome, Shaylee Rose from GLW explained the importance of supporting women performers and the alternative media. Women performers in the music industry are often marginalised or expected to conform to certain stereotypes. The alternative media is one of the few bases of support for independent musicians.

The evening opened with the smooth folk of Chris Falk and Kerry Gilmartin. These accomplished harmony singers, backed by acoustic guitar, sang about the environment, Aboriginal rights as well as love and friendship. "Escapee From the Country", the title track from their CD, was well received. They also play regularly in a band called The Big Easy.

Three women from Tryst were given a warm reception. Their penetrating harmonies, set against a backdrop of flute and drum, were a notable addition to the evening.

Rythym and blues band, Masked Strangers, gave an upbeat touch to the night. The band formed in 1991 when five women from Preston Girls College got together as part of a project using computer-based musical equipment at school. This project resulted in the release of a CD called "GirlStuff".

Temperate Buffoons was a provocative and entertaining cabaret act. In addition to singing in Bulgarian, German, French and Spanish, Sally Westwood, from the Bulgarian choir Petrunka, played the guitar and Sophie Chapman played the piano accordion. They mimed playing the instruments which were painted on their bodies while the pre-recorded music was played over the PA.

The evening concluded with the thrash/folk band Hecate. Hecate has been making a name for itself in the progressive and thrash music scenes for original and innovative women's thrash music. The band originated from the Rock'n'Roll Highschool, a school set up to encourage women in the music industry. This led to the release of a compilation CD called "Rock'n'Roll Highschool Volume 1" .

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