Getting our US Tour started right, we popped into KFOG Studios for a little live performance and chat with the good folks there:
Keep up to date on what’s happening here!
You may have heard that Clairy has been suffering some vocal strain and sadly had to cancel the show at the Caravan Music Club.
An update for tonight’s ticket holders – Our leading lady has been locked in a humidified room taking potions, drinking special teas, meditating, praying (to Whitney Houston), doing yoga and her voice is slowly coming back, so the show will go on tonight!
She may sound closer to Joe Cocker than normal, but a bit of husky never hurt right?
Joining us in support on the stage will be his handsome self SPENDER in a new project called FOREST OF EYES and the beautiful and ethereal multi-instrumentalist and singer DUNE.
Big love, big hair. CBBR. XX
OUT NOW ON ITUNES - AVAILABLE HERE
Good Problems is a high speed tune that conjures up images of speeding cars weaving through the streets with Clairy and her main squeeze speeding ahead in one, and the Rackettes chasing after, calling back their wayward friend.
A classic girl group song, echoing the call and response style of artists like Etta James and the Peaches; Good Problems is frenetic, fun and pushes Clairy’s vocal into overdrive while speaking of a controversial relationship and all the temporary insanity that comes with it.
Written by the main man on bass Jules Pascoe and recorded at Sound Park with producer Steven Schram earlier this year; Good Problems was a group effort with the full band in the room throwing in ideas and getting delirious in the airless studio with some of the manic outtakes included in the final mix.
“It’s a bit ‘come here, go away, shut up, kiss me.” Clairy Browne
“It’s like a musical heart attack” Camilla McKewen (Bangin’ Rackette)
“Sounds like one of them good problems” Marlo Stanfield (The Wire)
Good Problems will feature as part of AA side alongside their song ‘Walk of Shame’ (previously only available on limited edition split 7”) with both available on ITunes on JULY 10.
For this video we decided to go in a different direction to “Love Letter” and make something raw and not quite as camp. We included some behind the scenes footage in the final edit to bring a sense of what it is like being in the spotlight, literally and metaphorically! I wanted to focus on the performance of the song and not have too many people in the room to make it easier for me to really let loose which is why we scaled it back to just being myself and the Rackettes for this video and not have the entire band with a full on production.
The lyrics of this song are really evocative so we let them take center stage and highlighted the rise and fall of the music with wind machines and strips of videotape flying around the room. Loretta, Ruby and Camilla’s foil dresses created movement under the pools of light as I threw myself around the room whilst being chased by a spotlight.
The song was written as a dirge, the instrumentation providing the soundtrack to a sort of epic funeral march and the words being the eulogy to artists loved to death, lost or damaged by the bright light of fame, all carried along by the Rackettes ghostly hums.
Amongst all this melancholy we did have a lot of fun making the video and had some ridiculous moments on the day, including me dipping my nipples in teacups of glitter and having to stand in the kitchen of a rehearsal studio waiting for the glue to dry!
The video was co-directed by photographer Leah Robertson / photographer and Tommi Hacker and was shot at Bakehouse Studios with hair and make up (and cameos) by Sarah Lea Cross Make Up Artist and Fotini Hatzis hair & makeup artist.
Find the store closest to you: http://recordstoreday.com/Item/9004631767
Band page: http://smarturl.it/iTunes.CBBR
And here it is on the day of our North American album release….the opening track of “Baby Caught The Bus”
Track # 1 LOVE LETTER
Primal. Guttural. Feminine. Hot, ball-busting blues.
A clarion call to lips and hips everywhere, an undertone of hip-hop and 80s industrial, re-imagined as dirty R & B circa 1964.
“Love Letter” is a blues. I wrote the first draft really slow but when I heard the New Orleans classic “Down Home Girl” that changed. Nick Martyn gave it a similar heavy dance “boom smack” on the drums. I remember Clairy did a great first take. She ended up coming back the next night (there was some Jameson involved…) and sang some stuff I have never heard anyone else do in the studio! The lyrics were inspired by an intense and moving French movie called “The Piano Teacher” which is about music, love and being out of control…. Clairy channeled all of that! Darcy
The opening line of Love Letter grabs you by the balls. It is about a filthy frustration, it is saying – I want you, I want you to do bad things to me, I don’t care if you don’t want me, I have nothing to lose, for good or for bad or for worse or for better. It is an electric song to sing because the tension boils just beneath the surface and then breaks out into vocal moments that are so full of yearning and desire, so raw, that you just can’t help but stand to attention. Clairy
Track # 2. VICIOUS CYCLE
Vicious Cycle was written as a dirge.
It is a glimpse into that dark corner of human nature that loves to indulge in the feeding frenzy around someone unraveling under the bright invasive lights of fame.
Each instrument punctuates these admissions and accusations as they build into a unified rise and fall swinging wildly between Clairy belting out furious lines like “I’d like to see those fuckers, hang their heads in shame” to the ghostly, knowing hums of the Rackettes.
Vicious Cycle is a funeral march for artists loved and lost.
Track # 3. AEROPLANE
If Sgt. Pepper was having wild psychedelic sex in a bathroom stall on a jumbo jet with Nancy Sinatra it would probably sounds a bit like this loping, off-kilter tune.
“Aeroplane” is an obvious choice for the mile high club. Gabriel Strangio got a great sound out of a honky tonk piano to get the song rolling… I always get a kick out of Ricky Martyn’s “Ringo” fills and slamming the big low C on the baritone in the chorus. Whenever I came up with a line, the producer Steve Schram would say “that’s good, now play LOWER.” Darcy
Track # 4. BABY CAUGHT THE BUS
Bringing handclaps back, skittering, manic, girl-gang surf.
This song is sung on it’s knees, begging for another chance, hoping it is not too late, wanting someone that you once had because now they belong to another.
“The Urban Dictionary defines to ‘catch the bus’ as:
1. To kill yourself/commit suicide, as in “Didn’t you hear? He caught the bus last weekend. The funeral is next week.”
2. “Going to catch the bus” refers to going to buy weed, as in “I have to go catch the bus right now or else I’ll miss out”. I wasn’t talking about either of these things. I got the idea for this song when I congratulated someone on getting married and they responded with “as my grandma would say, I caught the bus”. I had never heard the phrase before and I just thought it sounded cool. The image of the bus driving away into the sunset is a romantic archetype in the collective unconscious man…travelling, saying goodbye, new beginnings. All that good stuff.” Jules
“Baby Caught the Bus” talks about not meeting a lover’s demands and subsequently losing them to someone else. Amongst all the rapid-fire surfy chaos of the chorus there is a deep longing in the line “all I need is a chance” whilst the Rackettes chime in with “my baby caught the bus”. Clairy
Let it be a warning, better not stay out playin’ or your lover might get on that bus with a one way ticket.
Track # 5. I’LL BE FINE
Gospel. Doo-wop. Sardonic.
“We were listening to a lot of Kitty Daisy and Lewis when I wrote this song. It’s that thing when you are saying ‘I’ll be fine’ and you’re actually trying to convince yourself more than anybody else.
There is an obvious gospel reference too, the ultimate salvation music. We wrote this one for Al Green to sing at his church but he turned it down…!
It is supposed to be full of fake bravado and playing with sacrilegious lyrics to ‘Gods’ music in the tradition of R’n’B greats like Ray Charles. It’s a little bit tongue in cheek.” Jules
Track # 6. FAR TOO LATE
Dreamy. Doo wop. Slow Dance.
Far Too Late is a pastel tragedy about a perfect love that never quite came to be. The rich harmonies and hazy feel conjure up images of faded prom photos, tear streaked mascara and endlessly waiting by a lemon yellow telephone for your dream lover to call.
“This is just a really simple song, I was listening to a lot of Sam Cooke and doo wop when I wrote this.
That feeling of a romance that wasn’t fulfilled. A person that haunts your imagination with what could have been. I think everybody has these feelings at some point in their life“ Jules
Track # 7. SHE PLAYS UP TO YOU
Sexual. Vengeful. Prowling.
This song slides up beside you, she is an emerald green, envy-inspired warning message to that girl in your rear vision mirror, with the bedroom eyes, pouting lips, shaking hips and flicking hair.
“This song speaks about jealousy at its core. It is an account of that feeling you have when someone who poses a threat is pursuing your lover. Jealousy evokes shame in some people but I think naming it blatantly and singing about it takes away some of its bitterness.
Most of us can remember feeling that red-hot rage that can cause you to do the stupidest things.
When we arranged the song we wanted it to creep. We wanted that sexy bass line and drums, you know, make it crawl into the verse….so it had this sense of uneasiness and the pulse and the throb of envy hitting you in waves.” Clairy
Another gem written by ex-Rackette, Simone Page Jones.
Track # 8. FRANKIE
Sweaty, drunken rhythm n’ blues, messy, fun.
“Frankie” is a hot mess of a song, the piano has definitely been drinking and the chaotic party continues to swirl and build speed as the song escalates to Clairy smashing a glass on a fireplace and declaring “It’s my party baby!”
“This came into my head after a long cab ride home in the early hours. We recorded it in the studio with everybody together in one room, the Rackettes were clapping and doing the dance moves as well as singing, which was a big party vibe in that small studio room! Jules Pascoe played upright bass and the baritone sax comes in off mic. Everyone claps at the end which reminds me of this thing we do sometimes when we’re all at a restaurant and the food comes out and looks good.” Darcy
Track # 9. YELLOW BIRD
Romantic, moody, hypnotic.
Providing some of the most romantic imagery on the album, the lyrics on this song speak for themselves. “Yellow Bird” surfaces through an opium haze, walks through China Town as voices rise like smoke, covers you like rain, everything is green and shiny again….
“The idea for yellow bird came from Truman Capote’s book “In Cold Blood”. Perry, the convicted murderer tells Truman of a recurring dream where a yellow bird rescues him. I was also listening to a lot of Tom Waits “Real Gone” at the time. Dig the Rackettes ethereal harmonies and Peter Bees dirt-bag guitar on this!“ Darcy
“Yellow Bird’s evocative melody draws you in to an arcane and swelling alternate universe that contracts around your body like a squeezing hand, where riverboats glide in Chinatown and one woman’s love is enough. It talks of taking the bitch off the wall, so to speak. You don’t need anyone but this one woman’s love. My favourite line in this song is- When the world breaks your heart and words don’t explain, you don’t need nothing with my loving- because sometimes the world does break your heart and you need a soft place to fall.” Clairy
Now that you have all gotten a chance to get up close and personal with each one of the people who make up Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes we now want to delve into the music for you.
First up, a real heart breaker:
Track # 10. YOU DON’T OWE ME NOTHING
Smokey, blue, honest.
Listen closely and you will hear the rain on this recording. It was one of those magic moments in the studio where Clairy was digging deep to sing the song while rain beat down on the roof over head.
“It is an absolutely beautiful song about the end of a time with someone. Letting go, packing up and carrying on with life even though your heart is breaking.
It is also a sparse song for us, just the dulcet piano, double bass and sax with the vocal strain as I struggled to hold back tears. This one comes right from my heart. I weep every time I sing it.
I worked very closely with writer, Simone Page Jones, on this song. She wanted it to be a very honest account of the acceptance of ending a relationship, when you know it is over and understanding that moving on can be a liberating thing.“
My name is:
I am a complicated femme. Romantic. Rage Tamer. Poet. Ass-piration. Siren. Big sister. Little girl. Rebel.
I have loved music forever.
I was the child of two eccentric and wonderful parents who taught me the value of family. They were young immigrants who moved here with nothing but a guitar, a suitcase and babes so the importance of music was there from the get-go because it was all we had at night apart from Prisoner on Channel 7.
My father was a muso and we were brought up on Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, The Beatles and The Velvet Underground. He had his own band in the ’60s in South Africa called “Browne” so music was always around us. We listened to the songs he wrote on cassette and he would encourage us to write and play. I have all the newspaper clippings from his band. It is pretty funny, he did a photo shoot naked with a strategically placed Fender Stratocaster. He looked like Austin Powers.
As I got older I joined the stage that was our kitchen, most nights carrying on until 4 am with a guitar and a four-part harmony with my Dad and brothers. It was pretty normal for us to end up on the tabletop singing our hearts out. The main things I learned from them was to be humble, grateful and a little bit mad. We sang “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” so many times I could sing all the parts in my sleep.
I was compelled by sad music as a small child and I still am. I would sit on a little beanbag in my bedroom and sing along to sad songs by Karen Carpenter and I would actually cry! I enjoyed the cathartic release and the effect music had on my heart.
I did not stop there; I used to record my own songs on my brothers 4-track and I would get my little sister to sing parts with me. I think I still have the tapes somewhere. I became obsessed with the words in music and this amazing power of language through song.
Later, I got into all the soul divas: Etta James, Big Maybelle, Bettye LaVette, Aretha Franklin, Ruth Brown, Lavern Baker, Esther Phillips, Little Anne, Tina Turner and the Ikettes. And then I found Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Solomon Bourke, Little Richard. At this point I was deeply immersed in early R&B and soul.
On the other side of that was my ’90s teenage dream experience: dancing to “Papa Don’t Preach” in a hyper colour t-shirt. Listening to Cher, Salt ‘n’ Pepa, TLC, En Vogue, Madonna, The Breeders, Erykah Badu, Ani DiFranco, Chrissy Amphlett, PJ Harvey….too many to mention. I got really dark with Janis Joplin. I went there with Lou Reed. I burned the lyrics of Joni Mitchell’s songs into my memory. I became really dedicated to R&B music. The singers, the pulse, the style, the sex, the attitude. I wanted to tell stories like those I had become obsessed with.
I began singing at any opportunity I had. It began with The Rose at a school concert. In high school I hung around the dudes with guitars and had long bedroom jams. We thought we were anarchic delinquents, and were all “Fuck radio, our songs go for 18 minutes, man.” It makes me laugh now.
Before I was in bands I would just find myself some buskers on the street and join their party with my friends calling me at 1am saying “Where the hell are you?”, and I would say “Oh I’m just with my new friends. I don’t know their names but I’m singing Janis Joplin and they have wine. Come down.”
My style is overt femininity. It has been described as trashy Americana glitz meets 1960’s Italian Vamp. Peggy Bundy meets Sophia Loren.
I am always falling over. I think it’s the shoes. Lately, I have become really obsessed with little dogs and I am trying to avoid the cliché of having a Chihuahua in handbag but it is a daily battle to resist!
I am fiercely protective and believe in love so vehemently, I can tower over any threat to my precious ones but at the end of the day, I am always the little spoon.
Constantly growing. Coming along nicely.
Sweet dreams are made of:
Silk dressing gowns, opium, sex, Janis Joplin and kittens. Making music with my friends, travelling the world but also being at home cooking and playing records too loud, having kitchen sink dinner parties and all night jams, reading exquisite books and watching films.
My favorite qualities in a man are:
To be eccentric and strong and have a good smell about him
My favorite qualities in a woman are:
To be eccentric and strong and have a good smell about her
Idols and Influences:
Vladimir Nabokov, Tom Robbins and Judith Butler, Charles Bukowski and Robert Frost, Yoko Ono, Annie Leibowitz, Madonna, Erykah Badu, Donny Hathaway, Tina Turner, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Etta James, Esther Phillips, Little Ann, Charles Bradley, Outkast, Nina Simone, PJ Harvey, Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, The Violent Femmes, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Otis Redding, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, The Kinks, Frank Ocean, Mary J Blige, Arrested Development, Cass McCoombs, Big Maybelle, Del Shannon, Betty Lavette, Sugar Pie Desanto, it never stops….
I choose a hero of the day everyday. My mum, Grace Jones, John Waters, Joan of Arc, Dolly Parton, my friend Glam Fran, my boy Capri Mollenkopf, the feminists that influenced me, bell hooks, Judith Butler, Ani DiFranco, Queen Latifah, Jellybean Bonanza.
Browne is the new black
Antony and the Johnsons “Crazy In Love”
Lou Reed “Make Up”
Introducing on Saxophone, a prolific songwriter and secret diva:
McNulty is a mysterious shape shifter who lives his life in a time when Jazz was king and emails were a concept.
He is a romantic, can not bare mediocrity and lives, breathes and eats music.
Virtues I admire:
To quote master Li from the practise of Falun Dafa “truth, compassion and forbearance”
My favorite qualities in a man:
Being able to take it on the chin
My favorite qualities in a woman:
Like Tom Waits says “a good sport”
The thing I most value in my friends:
Not expecting me to reply to emails
My biggest weakness is:
I am shy
The things I enjoy doing most are:
Eating, farting, sleeping, bathing and all the things you can not do on tour
My idea of Misery is:
“Wonderwall” by Oasis
Stevie Wonder “Never Had A Dream Come True”
Jelly Roll Morton and His New Orleans Jazzmen with Sidney Bechet “Oh, Didn’t He Ramble”
His name is Pascoe, he’s causin’ a fiasco.
Introducing the bass, the backbone, the cult leader;
I like running on the beach
Pissing on trees
Rolling in the dirt
& Howling at the moon
Sweet dreams are made of:
Living in a mansion in the country with a big swimming pool, a big veggie patch, a studio out the back and a few dogs with a great woman.
The music I want to make is:
Imaginative and heartfelt. Classic music for classic people.
The writers that move me are:
Roberto Bolano, Haruki Murakami, The Beat Generation guys, Norman Mailer. Too many to mention, I love books… they are the great escape.
Music that defines me:
D’Angelo, Prince, Andre 3000, Charles Mingus, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Frank Ocean, The Beatles, Marvin Gaye.
Currently on my stereo:
Father John Misty, Toro Y Moi, Tame Impala, Townes Van Zandt.
My Motto is:
“Enjoy every sandwich” it seems very applicable to being on the road
Tame Impala “Why Won’t They Talk To Me”
This Tame Impala song has just the right amount of sook and self-indulgence to it. I can imagine making a fool of myself at my own birthday party to this song, and loving it.
The Invincibles “Heart Full of Love”
This is just a beautiful song, and its nice and short. You don’t want a funeral song to drag on or be too morbid.
Next up we give you;
What an excellent weirdo!
I always knew I was destined for great things. I guess I was wrong. People think I am smart. They are wrong and ignorant.
I started playing piano as a teenager, writing songs when I could not remember how to play real ones. I never opted to study the instrument too seriously, what if I was rotten at it? I was too happy for that disappointment. I have been happy for most of my life. So happy I did not even know what happiness was. I learnt the day it went away. Depressed, and my priorities turned upside down, I turned to the darkest occupation I could imagine. Rock n Roll. For I craved self-destruction. Now thin, and projecting an impressive darkness, the pussy started rolling in. The rest, as they say, is hysterectomy.
I like and welcome into my life: all of the law suits, the pyramid schemes, the cults, the exiles and banishments, blood and sex rituals, and birth control methods.
I am really friendly and polite. And rarely late. AND SAFE.
People I admire include Donovan, Clairy, Big Red Steve, Alesteir Crowley, Joan Jett, Madeline, The wise prophet Ezekiel, Cleopatra VII, RZA, and of course the Chameleon, shapeshifter, and Mad Man, David Bowie.
An illusion. If anything it amounts to being sated sexually, having a full stomach and having a fully evacuated bowel.
In my spare time, I indulge in:
Quilting, baking, church. Crystal Methamphetamine.
How I would like to go out:
Poisoned by jealous Americans. Like Phar Lap
R.E.M. “Everybody Hurts”
The Supremes “You Can’t Hurry Love”
Today is International Camilla day. A day of sequins, whiskey sours, unitards and dimples.
Introducing to you: CAMILLA MCKEWEN: Rackette, Power-babe, top chick.
I was born into a circus-house of characters, blaring Boy George, Cyndi Lauper, Patsy Cline and all types of dramatic classical music and opera. I spent my tiny years with a tape deck, some ugly hand me down costumes, and the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack, making up some serious dance moves I never thought anyone would see.
My sister gave me The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and from there I found a path leading to all the attitude, creativity and toughness I needed, in women such as Patti Smith, Deborah Harry and Kate Bush. I spent my teenage years as a 90’s urchin into the riot grrrl/Seattle grunge thing (army boots and black eyeliner anyone?) and my early 20’s dancing in hip hop clubs. I then found R’n'B, 60’s girl groups, soul.
My music tastes now travel far and wide, I can dance in a jumpsuit to Blondie, listen to a country album in the backyard, and cry on the floor to Nina Simone. I look for music that moves me in more ways than one.
I have spent my past high kicking and hair flicking, tap dancing on tables, accepting late night dance performance challenges as anything from a lycra suited Beyonce-chicken, Russian spy or marching cigarette girl. If there are costumes and glitter cannons, basically I will be there. If Robert Palmer is playing, I’m double there.
I love style from the 1920’s to the 1990’s, and spend any time I can looking at/touching/creating costumes.
I live for food, my crazy friends, old book covers, caravans, swearing, postcards, yoga and chorus girls.
Meeting Clairy was a life changer, my partner in crime. Diving into this thing together, we all sweat for, love, passion, friendship; a swirling creation of sad and longing tunes, sweaty clubs, big hair, dance floors and long van rides. We’ve all tripped along together not knowing what was around the corner, but are driven to sing and create together, all finished off with a whiskey and a slow dance.
I am lucky to live in this crazy musical family xxx
Honesty, social conscience, being humble and outrageous, conviction, people doing it for themselves.
Bodysuits, whiskey, dark eyes, long roasts, patterns, black cats, love hearts & love letters, sequins, humour, freckles, Twin Peaks, bikes, black lace, lounge room dancing, girl gangs, abandon.
Kate Bush, Deborah Harry, Erykah Badu, Talking Heads, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, ESG, Patti Smith, Solomon Burke, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Frank Ocean, Salt n Pepa, Patsy Cline, Nina Simone, The Divinyls, Prince, Kelis, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mayer Hawthorne, Frank Ocean, Snoop Dogg, Tina Turner, Sharon Jones, Elvis Presley, Fleetwood Mac, Missy Elliott, to name a few!
Heroes and heroines:
My mad Mum – the ultimate survivor and trailblazer. Frida Kahlo, Busby Berkeley, Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire, Cindy Sherman, my past Rackettes.
Solomon Burke “Cry To Me”
Traveling Wilburys “End Of The Line”
Today we are introducing our very own guitar hero:
MR PETER BEE
(aka “P-Nut” aka “Ill-Nut” aka “Tetris Pete”)
I am either a dilettante or a true Renaissance man, depending on who you talk to. At school my teachers bemoaned my lack of application; apparently I had this curse they called “potential”. The King Of The Pipe-Dreamers and The Patron Saint Of Procrastination, I have always been a gregarious loner looking for somewhere to belong.
Two thoughts that often guide me; Shakespeare “This above all: to thine own self be true”, and RUN-DMC “Don’t go out like a sucker.” Word.
My favorite qualities in a man are:
Intelligence, humility and selflessness
My favorite qualities in a woman are:
Intelligence, humility, selflessness and a thing for guitarists
My father and my mother, my step-dad and my step-mum. Corny but true.
Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, De La Soul, James Brown, Prince, Public Enemy and the other members of Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes.
If I could be someone else I would be:
My motto is:
Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.
Today please allow us to introduce you to the angel voiced, bangin’ dancer, true romancer:
LOVELY LORETTA “LOLO” MILLER
How did I go from a grubby, dirty jeans wearing, camera shy, tom boy to a sparkly, false nailed, bee-hived glitter monster? A Bangin’ Rackette?
I am really not quite sure!
As a kid I was very into animals, trucks and dinosaurs, I could name them all and I wanted to be a paleontologist or a vet. My older sister Cora was blonde and girly so she went to Ballet school. I think I secretly wanted to go but I was incapable of wearing a dress and far too shy.
My mother is an incredible singer and my father a great lover of music. I would dance with my parents to records on our rug in the lounge and it was such an eclectic mix of different styles and artists.
As a three year old Patsy Cline and Nina Simone were my favorites but I also obsessed over the song ‘Twist and Shout’ which I thought was called “Shaking A Baby”. Mum used to have band rehearsals in our home on weeknights and I would go to sleep listening to a mixture of that music and the classical music we had coming from a small tape deck by our bed.
In primary school on rainy days my friends and I used to put on Spice Girls performances for the rest of the students (whether they liked it or not). I was Sporty Spice, so still no dresses were required.
Then I turned 13 and lost my mind, went boy crazy and gave my parents hell. Until the age of 16 I was a monster. When I returned to the planet I started to learn more and sing more with my mum and the other musicians she played with. I helped out, learning harmonies and doing four part gospel tunes that she had arranged, or just singing with her band whenever I got the chance.
Since joining the Rack Pack I have had to woman up, learn hair and make up tricks on the fly and for the first time in my life I feel comfortable wearing a dress out without having to pack a change of jeans and a t-shirt. Clairy and the Rackettes have all helped me embrace my femininity and that is a big part of what we bring on stage, and (I think) a part of why people are drawn to the music: Strong, individual, glamorous women, sweating, singing and working it, and lovely, soulful boys laying it all down.
Now I get to travel the world and make music with my friends. I am very lucky!
Artists I adore:
Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Nina Simone, Etta James, Ann Cole, The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Neil Young, Crosby Stills and Nash, Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Bettye Lavette, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Lefty Frizzell, Gillian Welch, Freddie King, Louis Jordan, Lee Dorsy, Devo, James Brown, Bill Withers, Billy Holiday, Sam Cooke, Loretta Lynn, Ike and Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Frank Ocean, Charles Bradley, Big Joe Turner, ACDC (Bon Scott era) Toots and the Maytals, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green…. I could go onforever.
Beatrix Kiddo/The Bride – codename Black Mamba
My friends who go to work every day and do important things, like teaching or working in nursing homes or becoming doctors.
Moon Mullican “7 Nights To Rock”
Because I like my Birthday to go on for as long as possible!
Townes Van Zandt “Loretta”
It is probably a bit egotistical but I love to pretend this was written about me especially the lazy part! It would be a damn sweet send off.
Next up, we introduce to you, the engine room of Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes:
NICK “RICKY” MARTYN
Since witnessing the theatre production “Stomp” as a 7 year old I have been obsessed with percussion. The call of the drum, or knife and fork at first, has been with me from that tender age. Primal yearnings married a study of technique and rhythm by the time I was thirteen – my first drum lessons. I was meticulous, driven. By fifteen I got my first set – all plywood and race car red. The neighbours adjusted to a new kind of serenity.
Between the guidance of older siblings, my parents’ record collection, community radio and a few school friends I found solace in recorded music. I was in adolescent boy heaven – heavy guitars and heavy beats. Live music came later, through the incredible Melbourne jazz scene. My drum teacher, Dave Beck, put me on the guest list at his gigs where the greatest musicians in the country would be playing, my teenage mouth agape at their creations. I was deeply inspired, the die was cast – “I’m gunna be a musician!”
I studied music at Monash University and did every gig I could, from jazz to country, funk bands, avant-arty bands, wannabe pop starlets – I played ‘em all. It was through this life that I met Jules Pascoe – a great, hardworking bass player. We played little, jammy gigs in bars. I liked the cut of his jib. He asked if I’d like to do a few gigs with a band he was starting up. Some soul band with a lot of singers.
I remember my first rehearsal at “The Pound” – Jules and Darcy’s house of strays, in an old coffin factory in the suburbs. It was a loud group, ten people at the time, four of them very wild women. The chatter was bananas – a very friendly bunch. They were all love, I could tell it was going to be a lot of fun. “A few gigs” has now turned into a few years and the surprises keep on coming….
Generosity, creativity, discipline, an adventurous spirit
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sweet dreams are made of:
Melbourne in summer, Istanbul in winter, the colour of Lake Tekapo and the smell of Jasmine.
The contorted orgasm faces I make when I play the drums.
Inspirations & Influences:
Miles Davis, Townes Van Zandt, Brad Mehldau, David King, Kurt Vonnegut, Chuck Palahniuk, Bill Bryson, Noam Chomsky, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Albert Camus, Kandinsky, Tanguay, Dali, Miro, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, James Gleeson
Personal Hero’s and Heroines:
My Nana. She’s got some amazing stories from a time when the world seemed a lot tougher but had way less billboards and other mind-numbing shit. Also my brother. He shaped my adolescent mind (which is the one I pretty much still have).
Being able to really believe that the world is a beautiful, fair place with room for sentimental types.
Aphex Twin “Windowlicker”
Everyone is to watch me dance. I’ll keep my clothes on for this one.
Mavis Staples & Jeff Tweedy “You Are Not Alone”
It’s devastating, simple, cathartic; painful yet optimistic.
We want our fans to get to know us a little bit better so for the next nine days each one of us is going to post a little bit about ourselves so you “better know a band member”. We are kicking things off with one of our youngest and newest band members…..
INTRODUCING THE RAVISHING RUBY JONES!
My name is Ruby Jones and I am a Bangin’ Rackette.
I was born in the last six months of the 1980s, the love child of two fabulous yet wildly unsuited people to whom music is everything.
I played my first solo acoustic show of my own sad songs (my favorite kind) at the age of 17, a moment of life affirming thrilling terror; akin to my first moment as a Rackette. At that first show I was still learning everyone’s names, I had already tripped on my high heels and fallen onto our drummer Ricky and an hour before the gig, new songs that I had never heard of where added to the set! Right before we went onstage Clairy asked me what she should introduce me as….
Earlier that day I had decided I would adopt the surname Jones, after the Stones guitarist Brian Jones. The whole gig was a blur but the last thing I remember before walking on stage was Clairy telling me how much Ruby Jones suited me. And I guess it did.
When I was a child I used to dream about running away and joining the circus. Being part of Clairy Browne and The Bangin’ Rackettes is me doing just that.
Friends, family, champagne, Mexican food, music, writing songs, roses, new shoes, men, love.
Hero’s & Heroines:
Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz. She stood up for good in the face of adversity. She also understood the power of music, sticking up for her friends, family and home, showing kindness to animals and did it all in a great pair of heels.
Frida Kahlo, Martin Luther King, Queen Elizabeth the 1st, Queen Elizabeth the 2nd, Joan of Arc, Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln
Inspiration & Influences:
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hunter S Thompson, Lewis Carol, CS Lewis, T.S Eliot, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Debby Harry, Patti Smith, Chrissy Amphlett, John + Paul + George + Ringo, Joni Mitchel, Carole King, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Robert + John + Jimmy + John-Paul, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash.
“It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world” (borrowed from Dolly Parton)
The Beatles “Birthday”
Bad Examples “Not Dead Yet”
We are super excited to announce that CBBR will be playing Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay this July!
The full line up is here – http://www.thevine.com.au/music/festivals/splendour-in-the-grass-2013-line-up-announced/
And tickets available here – http://splendourinthegrass.com/
Fresh off the back of SXSW and a headline tour of the USA, Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Racketttes return to Melbourne to perform their first Australian show of 2013 on Friday 31st of May at the Corner Hotel!
2013 has already been a mammoth year for the band, following their prodigious success in the States last year – their debut album “Baby Caught the Bus” reached 66 on US iTunes charts and the single “Love Letter” featured in a hugely popular Heineken ad – the band signed to the prestigious US label, Vanguard in February and set off on a twenty-six stop North American tour, with appearances on the Carson Daly Show, AXS TV and Balcony TV. Since then the arresting chanteuse and her nine-piece band have been leaving behind love letters and broken hearts from Alabama to Arizona.
But as they say nothing beats a hometown crowd, so on May 31st get set to have a serious reunion session with some new songs, a well oiled machine of a show with all the shimmery vocal harmonies, soul claps, choreography, horns and Clairy’s huge voice slapping you about the face.
Joining them with this low down, down-home party will be Juke Joint blues from Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk, the gorgeous singer songwriter Ainslie Wills, New Orleans inspired horns from The Bad Backs Marching Band and exotic tracks from Treasure Island DJ’s.
“Watching this band was like discovering the great, long-lost video collaboration between David Lynch and John Waters.”
New York Music Daily
US TOUR BEGINS & SUPPORTS ANNOUNCED
Thank you to everyone who came down to us celebrate the start of our first official US tour last night at the House of Blues in Dallas! We are super excited to be travelling around this great country playing so many iconic venues. We are also very pleased to announce the full list of amazing US artist who we will be sharing the stage with in the next few weeks.
March 18th House Of Blues Cambridge Room Dallas, TX Special guest: Larry Gee
March 19th House Of Blues Bronze Peacock Houston, TX Special guest: Larry Gee
March 20th Varsity Theatre Baton Rouge, LA Special guests: Roadkill Ghost Choir & Day Joy
March 21st Soul Kitchen Mobile, AL Special guest: L.E.D
March 22nd Smith’s Olde Bar Atlanta, GA
March 23rd Zydeco Birmingham, AL Special guest: Pony Boy
March 25th Rock and Roll Hotel Washington, DC Special guest: Dead End Lane
March 26th Mercury Lounge New York, NY Special guest: Stella Angelico
March 27th TT the Bears Place Boston, MA Special guest: Jenny Dee and the Delinquents
March 28th North Star Bar Philadelphia, PA Special guest: Aaron & The Spell & Lucy Stone
March 30th Bottom Lounge Chicago, IL Special guest: Soul Summit DJs
March 31st Mill City Nights/The Nether Bar Minneapolis, MN Special guest: Toussaint Morrison
April 2nd Larimer Lounge Denver, CO Special guest: The Jekylls
April 4-6th Cosmopolitan Chandelier Bar Las Vegas, NV
April 8th Crescent Ballroom Phoenix, AZ Special guest: Pony Boy & Samuel L and the Cool Js
April 9th Troubadour West Hollywood, CA Special guests: Pony Boy & Sweetwater and the Satisfaction
April 10th The Casbah San Diego, CA Special guest: The Amandas
April 12th Rickshaw San Francisco, CA Special guest: Carletta Sue Kay
CLAIRY BROWNE & THE BANGIN’ RACKETTES
SIGN WITH VANGUARD RECORDS
We are super, crazy in love excited to announce that we are officially going steady with Vanguard Records. It’s such a huge honor to have the support of this label and have our records sit within the company of such amazing artists and so many personal heroes.
Our debut record ‘Baby Caught The Bus’ will be out May 21 through Vanguard records, so stay tuned for more news on that. We can’t wait to get to the USA and play these songs live for you all!
PERFORMANCES AT SXSW MARCH 14-16 +
U.S. TOUR DATES BEGIN MARCH 18TH IN DALLAS, TX
Having only played in N.Y.C. and L.A. before, this will be our first time going to most of the cities listed below and we can’t wait to play all over your fine country! Beginning with a string of performances at this year’s SXSW festival and followed by a cross-country tour kicking off in Dallas, TX at the House of Blues on March 18th. Additional dates include March 22nd at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta; March 26th at the Mercury Lounge in New York; March 30th at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago and April 9th at The Troubadour in Los Angeles.
See full tour dates below.
Thursday March 14th SXSW Showcase @ Javelina, Austin TX (11pm)
Saturday March 16th The Aussie BBQ @ Maggie Mae¹s, Austin TX (4pm)
Saturday March 16th SXSW Showcase @ The Iron Bear, Austin TX (1am)
March 18th House Of Blues Cambridge Room Dallas, TX
March 19th House Of Blues Bronze Peacock Houston, TX
March 20th Varsity Theatre, Baton Rouge, LA
March 21st Soul Kitchen Mobile, AL
March 22nd Smith¹s Olde Bar Atlanta, GA
March 23rd Zydeco Birmingham, AL
March 25th Rock and Roll Hotel Washington, DC
March 26th Mercury Lounge New York, NY
March 27th TT the Bears Place Boston, MA
March 28th North Star Bar Philadelphia, PA
March 30th Bottom Lounge Chicago, IL
March 31st Mill City Nights/The Nether Bar Minneapolis, MN
April 2nd Larimer Lounge Denver, CO
April 4-6th Cosmopolitan Chandelier Bar Las Vegas, NV
April 8th Crescent Ballroom Phoenix, AZ
April 9th Troubadour West Hollywood, CA
April 10th The Casbah San Diego, CA
April 12th Rickshaw San Francisco, CA
Lots of exciting things happening in Camp Rackette! Can’t wait to tell all y’all all about it, we are about to burst. Right now we are planning our next tour of the USA kicking off at SXSW in Austin TX. We have always wanted to go to Texas! Where else should we go? American friends please write in at http://www.facebook.com/ClairyBrowneandtheBanginRackettes and tell us about your favorite venue that you think we should come and play at! What cities should we visit?
ROOFTOP MOVIES SKY HIGH NEW YEAR’S EVE!
Set your sights sky high on December 31st and head to Rooftop Movies where Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes will ensure you bring in 2013 in style.
The 9-piece rhythm and blues/soul/doo-wop big band, Melbourne-based Clairy Brown and her harmonising girl group promise to deliver an amazing performance.
They will be joined by local ska sizzlers Special Brew, debonair dub delinquents Weapon Is Sound and primo producers Diger Rockwell and Sam Perry doing amazing shit around sunset as well as the bonkers soul/ska/rocksteady/dub/latin/funk/swing party soundtrack provided by superstar DJ’s Jo19 and Wrighteous.
Never has a New Years Eve party been called Sky High so appropriately……..
The celebrations commence 7pm – late and tickets are $60 plus booking fee, available pre-sale online only.
Please note: this is a strictly 18+ event.
For more information on the event and Rooftop Movies’ December – January program head to http://www.rooftopmovies.com.au
The excitement just keeps on coming! We are happy to announce a second US show in New York City at Webster Hall on Thursday November 15th. Tickets go on sale Friday morning 10/12 at 10am.
We are super excited to announce our first ever US show! Kicking things off in the City of Angels at the The Mint LA on Tuesday November 13th. More US show announcements to come soon we just couldn’t wait to tell y’all about this one. xo
Tough Lovers Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes have decided to hit the road one more time before heading to Europe so this will be the last chance to catch this awesome live band for quite some time!
This nine piece ensemble have been making a splash at home and internationally with their original take on soul, jump blues, doo-wop, ska and r’n’b. Clairy Browne and her harmonizing girl gang the Bangin’ Rackettes have earned a reputation for their dynamic live show which is an experience from start to finish, created with the intention of taking their audience to another place complete with all the heightened hysteria of 1960’s music TV. As a journalist recently put it:
“To label the show a ‘gig’ is a huge injustice to the whole production. While the spectacle is electrifying, the spine of the group is Browne. She’s warm, ballsy, with an enormous voice that could move mountains.” Madeleine O’Gorman, The Music.com.au
Joined by friends and collaborators Kira Puru & the Bruise, the two bands will be touring together in a raucous busload of musicians and divas to break hearts in Sydney and Brisbane and play for the first time in Katoomba, Newcastle, Canberra and Castlemaine!
Kira Puru is a force. Her grace, stillness and presence on stage is mesmerizing and it’s from this place she projects her enormous mournful voice backed by her band playing music that is languid, sullen, sweaty and spine-tingling all at once.
As part of this run, both bands will be showcasing at BIGSOUND in Brisbane and CBBR will be stopping off along the way to shoot a little video in the middle of nowhere… stay tuned!
Warnings: Large amounts of Whitney Houston-ing, finger waving, hip shaking, soul screams, heart break, a wig technician and more woman than Regional Australia will ever be ready for.
Thursday 6th September, Moonshine, Manly
Friday 7th September, Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney
Saturday 8th September, Clarendon Guest House, Katoomba
Sunday 9th September, Queens Wharf Brewery, Newcastle
Wednesday 12th September, Bigsound, The Bakery Lane, Brisbane
Saturday 15th September, Transit Bar, Canberra
Friday 21st September, Theatre Royale, Castlemaine