Singer/songwriter Renee Searles didn’t find her way onto the stage until she was 40.
‘It was always a fantasy hidden deep down inside of me,’ she laughed, commenting that what got her going was something quite different.
‘It was doing the comedy and getting up on stage that opened my eyes. I got to see that even though it was uncomfortable I am at home on stage. All those performing opportunities as a comedian helped me see I was a performer, and that I want to sing.’
Renee the comic performer is quirky and physical. What is she like on stage as a singer?
‘It’s a very different persona. I love the cutesy old-time avenue. It’s a way of showing though the romantic side of me.’
Renee believes that performing is something that most of us are mystified by but the lessons are clear.
‘I discovered that when it comes to performing it’s not about being in the right mood, or having enough training, or I learnt piano as a child; none of these things matter at all. It’s about actually taking what you do have and using it, and more comes. You do your apprenticeship on stage. You learn to be a singer by being a singer. I wish someone would tell us that.’
Audiences love watching new performers evolve.
‘Actually we deprive each other by not having a go, because people actually enjoy being part of the process of watching someone evolve and take a risk.’
Songwriting for Renee is about humanness.
‘I write songs about being a human being with frailties and shortcomings and the power is in admitting them. You know we are all heroes in our own lives – we are all striving to do our best. What comes back to me is that I like to see my life and other peoples’ ordinary lives in a mythical grand way. Thats why I like hearing songwriters I like because I get to hear my struggles and tenderness singers presented in a beautiful way.’
For Renee Searle’s show at the Mullum Bowlo this Saturday she is backed by a very impressive line-up. Ambika on piano, Oles Krolikowski and Marcus Patterson on guitars, bass, lap steel and ukuleles and Pete Wilkins on drums.
‘This is a big sound, beautiful guitar, and lap steel, and again I feel really blessed that they want to do it,’ she says. ‘It’s lovely being held and supported – it’s a beautiful feeling and more than that it makes the music sound amazing. It’s incredible seeing the music come to life when the song was just a little thing plucked away on a uke on a futon on the floor, and suddenly it comes to life and takes on a path of its own and that’s a wondrous thing… it’s like magic… actually it is magic.’
Ukulele songstress Renee Searles is feature act at this month’s ‘Live at the Bowlo’, Saturday in Mullumbimby. Tickets from Mullum bookshop and at the door. 7.30.
For bookings and info call 0419 237 932.