Clairy Browne & The Bangin' Rackettes
The lights go down on a smoldering red head in a tight dress.
Her smoky voice channels aching and longing as three shimmying, bouffant haired singers in sequined dresses harmonize along with her. To the left, a baritone sax wails and shudders as the soul claps rise and fall in and out of a blaze of sound. The diva in front of her band raises her eyes to the ceiling, fist clenched tightly to her heart. The dancing ends over the roar of the crowd, they stand there entranced, sweating, and waiting: a typical dramatic moment for Clairy Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes.
The Clairy Browne experience is like a vivid flashback to the sixties, one that transports you straight onto the set of Shindig but with a darker undercurrent, with shades of David Lynch or Federico Fellini piercing through.
"I want to experience joy and pain in the same moment, and bring the audience along on an emotional journey with me." Browne asserts.
Over the past three years the arresting head chanteuse in charge of nine-piece Clairy Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes has transcended humble origins from playing a residency at a local club in Melbourne, Australia to joining an international tour with Oz stadium rockers the Cat Empire, to recently signing with Vanguard Records and headlining their own US tour.
Their debut album "Baby Caught the Bus" produced by the award winning Steve Schram (Public Enemy, Cat Empire) drips with heart-wrenching doo-wop, noir theatrics, party attitude and tough-as-nails soul, the songs on the album have drawn favorable comparisons to artists as diverse as Sharon Jones, Tina Turner and Bettye LaVette.
"I want the live show and the recordings to complement each other but also stand alone as separate entities," Browne explains. “We try to record mostly live because it reflects the rawness and grit in our sound. And the music has to be something you can always dance to, be it slow and grinding, or wild and fun."
That commitment to raw emotion pays off, whether on the luridly seductive “Yellow Bird", the torchy, angst-fueled "Vicious Cycle" a homage to the fallen icons of classic soul, the drunken party clap-a-long "Frankie", the vengefully dramatic "She Plays Up To You", the title track "Baby Caught The Bus", with its fetching ah-OOH vocals and rapid-fire choreography, or "Love Letter" inspired by the film The Piano Teacher, with its mix of sensuality and menace.
In 2013 expect to see a global presence from these irrepressible, high-voltage soul revivalists, now well-known to many a beer drinker around the world thanks in part to a popular Heineken TV ad.
As is often said - it takes a village and, indeed the number of people that make up the group that is Clairy Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes is akin to a small village. It is exactly this unique concoction of nine personalities that makes the band what it is, they all come from very different places but all have a common ground, a shared love of this music.
Browne and bassist Jules Pascoe had performed together for many years but lost touch and their friendship for a while. Out of nowhere, Pascoe had a precognitive dream about Clairy and soon after they reconnected in a bar one night and Browne recalls going over to Pascoe's, a former coffin factory which the band fondly … Read More