KATE CEBERANO IS TURNING 50 .... AND YOU’RE INVITED
You’ve visited the Gold Coast many times. What memories do you have here? My fondest memory would have to be opening up Sanctuary Cove. At the time on the bill there was myself, Peter Allen, Whitney Houston and Frank Sinatra – it was insane. At 17 years old I was like holy s-t look at me now. That was the 80s. You get through it when you’re a kid, just balls to the wall, be shameless and have no fear. Does that mean you hung out with Frank Sinatra? I wouldn’t have even known what to say. Put me onstage with a mic and I was fearless. Because I had such a strong desire to succeed I didn’t care if I f---ed it up, I just did it anyway. But later there’s that crippling self-confidence when you’re among peers. You’ll be playing NightQuarter on the Gold Coast to around 2000 people. Do you prefer to perform to huge arenas or in more intimate settings? It’s such a powerful, heady experience to perform big outdoor concerts, but I’m a little bit weird in that I like to play intimate gigs too. It’s just you and the crowd and they get to request whatever they want and I take it all in. Interacting with a crowd is part of the whole experience. There’s still so much I want to discover and learn - how to be more expressive, more honest. You can’t learn that by wishing for it, you have to live it. I’ve still got that to go. It doesn’t sound like you’re anywhere near retirement … No there’s no retirement coming up for me. Musicians, we’re not really normal. Even the word retirement, what even is it? Retirement is meant to be getting rewarded for working hard, but this doesn’t feel like work. Do you get sick of playing your classic hits or do you like to give the people what they want? I don’t know. Because it’s my birthday I’m just going to make it up as I go along. I’ll ask the crowd. I have a band I’ve been working with for many years now; they’re dear friends of mine. We’ve grown up together, we’re a family. With a live audience part of the magic is you changing and working with them and serving them – that’s magic. I’ll always do Brave, Bedroom Eyes and Pash, then material from Jesus Christ Superstar and I had a top 10 record with Wendy Matthews, a blues record. NightQuarter is all about nurturing Australian musicians. What are your thoughts on the Australian music scene at the moment? I’ve heard (NightQuarter) is a burgeoning scene and they’re putting a lot of effort into great bands and a great atmosphere. They did the sweetest thing with this gig on my birthday and making it free to the public. It’s a big one this year, so they’ve been making a lot of song and dances into how to spoil me for that. As for the broader scene ... women in rock. There’s probably only one female for every 15 men in Australian music. I’m supportive of Australia music, as much as one can be. But yeah, I still think we have a lot of boys and could do with a few more chicks. Someone like Sia, there’s much to be admired. What’s life like for Kate Ceberano at the moment? My working life is usually spent on the road between Thursday and Sunday. When I’m home I’m cooking and I’ve got a 12-year-old daughter. That’s the life of the modern woman though isn’t it? I’m blessed that I have a career and love what I do; I wouldn’t replace it for anything. Turning 50 is impossible to imagine, it sounds so old. What has it been like transitioning from a wild early career to motherhood? My daughter is a rare person, she arrived and she has a great interest in music herself and does acting at school. She’s expressed a huge interest in clothes and fashion since she could balance in six-inch heels. We have a very rare and unusual life, but she cuts me a lot of slack because she loves it too. She writes songs and started recording this year – we’ve done some recordings together. It’s all about easy steps. She’s been in some incredible environments of 20,000 people concerts, televised shows – she’s already lived quite an unusual life.
Kate Ceberano’s free concert is at NightQuarter tomorrow night.