No rivalry among touring pop pals
LONG gone are the days when Wendy Matthews and Margaret Urlich had to pretend they were rivals. When the two popular singers launched their solo careers in the 1990s, their record companies ‘‘whipped up supposed competition’’ between them. ‘‘‘It was always like, ‘who’s going to win the ARIA’,’’ Matthews says. ‘‘It’s much more relaxed now. We are great friends. We’ve known each other for a long time.’’ Originally from Canada, Matthews is an Australian alternativepop singer and a former member of Models and Absent Friends. Urlich was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but moved to Australia in the late ’80s to pursue her singing career. This weekend Matthews and Urlich team up to share stories and songs on stage as they showcase their iconic voices and classic tunes. With their ‘‘competitive’’ days behind them, the pair back each other vocally on their most loved songs, including Escaping, I Don’t Want To Be With Nobody But You, Only My Heart Calling and Standing Strong. ‘‘It’s great fun and a really nice change from our normal gigs,’’ says Matthews. ‘‘There’s a real chemistry on stage between us. There’s eight of us on stage in total, a couple of her musicians and some of mine.’’ Matthews says singing duets is a nice change from touring solo. ‘‘It’s lovely to have a break and a think and a listen,’’ she says. Matthews enjoyed Top 20 hits in the 1990s including Token Angels, Let’s Kiss (Like Angels Do) and Friday’s Child and Top 20 albums You’ve Always Got the Blues (with Kate Ceberano), migre´ , Lily and The Witness Tree. She will release her 13th album, The Welcome Fire, next month. ‘‘I’m so excited about this one,’’ she says. ‘‘I got together with people like Josh Pyke and Megan Washington to write songs. There are plenty of stories and they are all original songs.’’
– ROSE SADLEIR
Wendy Matthews and Margaret Urlich play RSL Southport on Saturday at 8pm. Tickets $40.