Fans bring the vibe

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

TO be taken on The Bel­lRays’ pow­er­ful and pas­sion­ate mu­si­cal jour­ney, fans need to be will­ing and ready for the ride. Front­woman Lisa Kekaula says the mo­ment she walks on stage, she de­mands ev­ery­thing from the au­di­ence. ‘‘I can’t do it all – I can’t sing and make you feel some­thing,’’ she says. ‘‘You have to come ready to sur­ren­der.’’ The Cal­i­for­nian quar­tet, who com­bine garage-rock vibes with soul­ful vo­cals, have been play­ing to­gether for more than 20 years. Kekaula, who formed the band with gui­tarist Bob Ven­num in 1991, says her au­di­ence needs to ‘‘un­plug’’ to re­ally feel some­thing. ‘‘You are not watch­ing TV. Don’t tweet or text dur­ing the show or you might end up with a shat­tered phone,’’ she says, laugh­ing. ‘‘You need to be there and be present in the mo­ment. I like the idea of peo­ple try­ing to cap­ture a mo­ment, but they get so busy try­ing to cap­ture it on their phones they don’t see it. They don’t feel it. You can’t be there, with me, if you are wrapped up in that.’’ New al­bum, Black Light­ning, re­leased last month, high­lights The Bel­lRays’ raw en­ergy and emo­tion. ‘‘When we play live, we make peo­ple feel some­thing, they see it. That’s what we want you to feel on the record.’’ Kekaula says the term ‘‘black light­ning’’ can also be used to de­scribe The Bel­lRays live show. ‘‘It’s one of those things, you have to see it. I think a lot of bands are do­ing what we do, just not in the same ways. They don’t have a black, fe­male singer fronting. With most of the bands peo­ple love (in this genre), it’s a white guy with a growl­ing voice.’’ Kekaula says peo­ple love an­drog­y­nous rock vo­cals. ‘‘Tina Turner, Mick Jag­ger, Jack White, Led Zep­pelin – the whole play with whether it’s a male or fe­male cre­ates a very sex­ual sound,’’ she says.

– ROSE SADLEIR

The Bel­lRays and Spurs for Je­sus play Coolan­gatta Ho­tel Satur­day night.

US rock­ers The Bel­lRays

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