They’re looking like choir girls
POWERHOUSE vocalists Katie Noonan, Clare Bowditch, Emma Donovan and Adelaide’s own Sarah Mcleod will put a new spin on Cold Chisel in Songs of Don for this year’s Cabaret Festival.
The performance will celebrate the work of Don Walker – best known as the main songwriter for the rock band formed in Adelaide in the 1970s. Katie worked with Walker some years back, discovering many of his favourite voices and artists are female, planting the seed for the show which premiered with a sold-out performance at this year’s Sydney Festival.
“I just love great songwriters and storytellers and Don Walker is one of the greatest without a doubt,” she says. “He just has the innate ability to capture the Australian way of life in a very beautiful and poetic way but it is usually with a very masculine sound.”
And it’s not just all females on the mic, it’s an all-female band too. “I don’t think gender matters at all in music,” Katie shares. “But I love playing with all women. There’s a very beautiful energy. Emma, Clare and Sarah are all total badasses, but each very unique and with their own sound.
“Emma is one of the greatest singers Australia has ever produced. Clare has been a dear friend for more than 20 years and I admire her work. And Sarah is an awesome artist and a great shredder – obviously (Chisel’s Ian) Mossy is a supremely amazing guitarist.”
Noonan’s been a regular performer here – including a couple of stints at previous cabaret festivals – and she’s a fan. “From my very limited understanding of cabaret – I don’t really consider myself a cabaret performer – it’s very much about people taking other people’s songs and turning them into something very new,” she says.
“I think with Songs of Don we have the opportunity to do that but in a very Australian way. My priority is to tell Australian stories and songs.”
SA’S most loved winter event, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, is back in June and turning the spotlight on Australia’s best, brightest, and boldest performers, with the full line-up announced tomorrow.
Tony Award-winning Hollywood actor and cabaret king Alan Cumming – the festival’s first international artistic director in its 21-year history – presents the 2021 program as his personal “love letter” to Australia.
– Lisa Woolford
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