Fierce leading lady Clairy Browne and her harmonising girl group The Bangin’ Rackettes have been tearing down the house at venues around the country with their drunken piano, heart-wrenching doo-wop and blinding hysteria, so who better to launch four days of the Mullum Music Festival than these red-lipped heart- and booty-breakers!
Clairy says these red-lipped heart-breakers creating their dynamic big band was created from ‘the inspiration to participate in a night life that I wanted to be involved in. I love playing that type of music and there wasn’t that much happening. There were lots of nights happening with DJs playing soul and retro but no live inspirations. In the early days we took a lot of inspiration from the 60s shindig era; I guess now it’s wild crowds and dazzle and lights and dancing. Our music influences have evolved over the last few years, including northern soul, early R&B and contemporary R&B.’
Being Melbourne based, it took time to convince crowds that Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes had something very different to offer.
‘At first it was hard to work crowds up. I think it’s different with every crowd; I think what people are used to seeing is four guys in skinny black jeans singing emo songs about teenage love affairs. Our show is about bringing feminine strength onto stage and into the studio; a lot of the female artists that emerged over 10 years had a singing style that was kind of whispering. We have a much more upfront style.’ It’s true. Clairy Browne and her Rackettes sing it up big.
‘For me,’ says Clairy, ‘it’s about singing songs that evoke emotion – that create really strong heart connection.’
Clairy’s show is proving to have strong appeal around the country, blitzing venues, attracting broad demographics.
‘We have a pretty strong response from different ages; older generations like it because it is nostalgic but young people like it because it is contemporary.
‘People try to put us in a nostalgic throwback replica kind of band; it’s about contemporising and flipping it and putting it on its head, and using our experiences.’
As Clairy says, the show is exciting. Audiences are responding in their droves, finding the grooves the girls pump out impossible to resist.
‘Our show is a lot of fun; it’s a bit cheeky. A lot of different bands are coming up that are playing older styles of music, and everyone is doing it in their own way; it’s nice to have a community to work off as well. If you haven’t seen us before it’s a pretty hectic vibe on stage; we often shower the crowd in glitter confetti. It’s a highly choreographed show; it’s in our bodies now, we can’t stop it, we even walk down the street and wave together! We even answer people in a sentence all at once in a harmony! There is costume changing – it’s a real show, and there is new music as well… there will be stuff that is not on the album.’
While the nine-piece love the stuff that gets you shaking your booty, Clairy can’t resist the odd slow number, or the dance breather.
‘I like sad songs. As a very small child I used to have a very strong pull to sad music; I used to sit on the beanbag in my room and have a cathartic cry while they were singing. Now that’s the stuff that pulls at the heart a bit, it’s shit that moves people!’
And moving people is what Clairy Browne and the Swinging Rackettes do best. They are the featured act at Mullum Music Festival’s opening night party on Thursday 22 November, two stages and one massive dance floor!
Ticketing information www.mullummusicfestival.com or phone 6684 6195.