Rebel with a cause celebre
BOURBY Webster is a rebel with a cause.
Raising a ruckus and shaking the status quo, she’s helping Perth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) become the bad boys of the local music realm.
Under her instruction, the orchestra transforms into a raging alt-rock beast in October, bashing out the ’90s-defining sounds of Seattle gods of grunge, Nirvana.
Using the band’s MTV Unplugged in New York as inspiration, PSO will take songs from the concert and throughout the band’s discography and “blow them up”.
“I’ve always said that the one thing that’s going to make people sit up and go ‘This orchestra is not your normal symphony orchestra’ is if we play Nirvana,” the bubbly orchestra director said.
“Nirvana has always had an enigma about them compared to the mainstream band and that’s what I want PSO to have.
“I want PSO to be perceived as different, exciting and new and on the outside.”
Webster said the orchestra was breaking rules on every level.
“Even putting the show in His Majesty’s, which is a venue known for ballet and opera, is a bold move,” Webster said.
“We are being the rebels that Nirvana were: they wanted to grate and do challenging things and not give a crap about tradition, so we’re not giving a crap about tradition and putting Nirvana in His Majesty’s.”
Taking on the voice and spirit of Kurt Cobain is End of Fashion’s Justin Burford, of West Perth
A Nirvana fanatic, Burford approached Webster with the concept three years ago. The biggest cause of delay was finding a suitable-sized venue.
“We have some fantastic venues like Perth Arena, but Nirvana in Perth Arena is not going to work,” Webster said.
“We were looking for a much more edgy venue like a basement, carpark or warehouse that could fit a symphony orchestra but the cost of bringing in everything required would have made the ticket prices $800-plus.
“If His Maj hadn’t offered the venue free of charge, this concert would still be just an idea.”
WHEN: WHERE: TICKETS: Vocalist Justin Burford.