Parties, Tassie & Money raised for charity

unnamedWe’ve had a wonderful few weeks and we’re pretty thrilled about the weeks to come. We write a lot asking for support, but we were thrilled to be able to support LGBTQI charity, The Aurora Group, by performing at their Annual Ball at Sydney Town Hall and offering private performances as auction prizes. Two attendees were sufficiently wooed by our Disney/Sondheim medley (the theme was Once Upon a Time) that they purchased the private gigs, raising more than $5000 for Aurora, an organisation that supports LGBTQI community groups including Twenty10 and the Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service. The whole evening raised more than $70,000!

Libby, Hayden and MaeveFor photos of the Aurora Ball make sure you check out the Star Observer and SX albums. Luckily they didn’t capture Maeve’s drunk Snow White arguing with a bouncer at an unnamed Newtown Hotel, but they DID get some snaps of Hayden’s army of handsome fans who trailed him throughout the night.

We realise we’ve launched our Patreon crowdfunding site and promised all sorts of new projects but haven’t told you what they are so a few are outlined below. We are up to $609 per month but we need to hit $1000 per month in order to finish our EP. If enough people pledge $1 (or more if you can), we’ll get there and send some of our favourite tunes to your earholes! Other projects include:

Mother’s Ruin
Maeve & Libby are working hard with Musical Director, Jeremy Brennan to write a history about the cabaret of gin. That doesn’t sound right…but you get the picture! It’ll be a departure from Lady Sings it Better, equal parts historical and hysterical, complete with a gin tasting experience with The Ginstress, Elly Clough.
Costs we need to cover: We need to pay a dramaturg and director, we need to get costumes made and photos taken.
What you get if you donate: Downloads of some of our songs, discount tickets to shows once they’re announced, warm glow of giving! Donate here.
Pushy Women
We’re bringing Catherine Deveny’s wonderful Melbourne comedy+women+cycling event to Sydney! One afternoon only for the Sydney Fringe, you can catch Tracey Spicer, Wendy Harmer, Dee Madigan, Mariam Veiszadeh, Nakkiah Lui and Zoe Norton-Lodge telling tales of their life on two wheels.
Costs we need to cover: Regular event costs like marketing, tech equipment and artist fees.
What you get if you donate: Discount codes for the show! Anyone who pledges over $8US (ie $10AUS) per month gets discount codes to our shows, including this one! We’ll offer reserved seating to all Patreon donors.
Supported by The Squeaky Wheel in Melbourne!
Late Night Library
We’re curating a season of Late Night Library in Kings Cross for the City of Sydney. We’re got 6 amazing shows including Queerstories (a killer line up of local LGBTQI leaders), Library Love Songs with Maxine Kauter, Archer: In Conversation, a Mother’s Ruin work-in-progress showing and more. Feat. Matthew Mitcham, Zoe Coombs Marr, Georgia Rose Cranko, Annaliese Constable, Jeeves Verma, Penny Greenhalgh, Jekyll X James, Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Liz Duck-Chong, the list goes on…
Costs we need the cover: City of Sydney have actually contracted us to do this! Amazing! But Patreon support helps with our company’s ongoing costs.
What you get if you donate: The shows are already free for the audience, but City of Sydney have agreed to let us reserve premium seating for our Patreon supporters.Please consider pledging to support our growing work. If everyone who subscribed to this enews pledged $1 per month, we would reach our next target! Click here

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

unnamed (3)We got the old gang back together to sing a few tunes for Maeve’s mum, Teresa’s 60th birthday party, themed Mods vs. Rockers! The night was a crazy queer celebration with far too many amusing tales to fit here, so read Maeve’s Happy Birthday blog!

Lord knows if any of you are still reading! This Saturday we’re road tripping to Canberra to play a sold out show at Bungendore Woodworks Gallery, then next week we’re off to freezing, wonderful TASMANIA for our Festival of Voices debut. We can’t wait! Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for silly photos and tales from the road.

Advertisements

Happy (belated) New Year!

We have so much almost-announce-able news that I’ve been holding off blogging til I can share it all. But time waits for no blog, so I’ll write a little update now and a bigger one later!

Firstly, we welcomed the BBC into our rehearsals last week for BBC World’s Fast Track special on the lead up to Mardi Gras! We sang a few of our new songs and I chatted to the interviewer about blackcat lounge and my views on last year’s Mardi Gras name change.

We are super excited about our Mardi Gras season with Maxine Kauter Band AND Brendan Maclean both launching new work! We love these kids (as I’m sure you know), so book tickets to their shows asap, before the VERY exciting billboard with our faces on it goes up at The Factory. No one will be able to resist our sexy gay faces, so get to it!

Soon, you’ll be hearing all about blackcat productions’ participation in Marrickville Council’s Open Marrickville Festival, which we were thrilled to receive a grant for. We’ve got exciting cabaret plans in the pipeline, so stay tuned!

Oh, and sales for our Lady Sings it Better Adelaide season are coming along nicely. Book for it, ok?

If you need any incentive, check out our new youtube montage, complete with Edinburgh footage…

Oh what a night! So long sydney…

Aaaand, we’re off! Well, tomorrow morning we are. We fly out at 7.55am tomorrow so keep your eyes on the sky and wave at any Korean Airlines planes you see coasting over the inner west.

We went out with a bang last week, with two packed out houses at our Edinburgh Fringe preview / farewell shows at The Factory Floor. The crowd were loud, the dance moves were raucous, our musical bromance Maxine Kauter Band rocked the house (and admitted their undying love for Chandra), and Dr Joe’s shook his maracas harder than ever before.

For all the pics from the night, check out our facebook album: Lady Sings it Better Farewell at The Factory Floor.

Lady Sings it Better sing Mysterious GirlLady Sings it Better sing YeahBelinda Crawford and Chandra FrankenHannah JamesMonique Potter and Maeve MarsdenLibby WoodDr Joe shakes his maracas

 

Lauren AllisonLady Sings it Better sing Mysterious GirlJenni LittleChandra Franken

Phoebe Meredith and Cate Madill

Thanking Dr Cate Madill, our Vocal Director

 

Lady Sings it Better Farewell Gig SOLD OUT

Two weeks out and both of our farewell gigs are completely sold out! If you missed out, you can hang around the door hoping someone doesn’t show up, but we won’t be releasing any more tickets!

We’re so appreciative of the wonderful support of our community and are thrilled that The Factory Floor will be packed to send us off in style.

The show’s general admission and doors open at 7.30pm with the amazing Maxine Kauter Band performing first and Lady Sings it Better hitting the stage around 9pm for a 1 hour jampacked preview of the show we’ll be taking to Edinburgh Fringe!

We’ll also be raffling some great prizes (wine, massage vouchers, chocolates, meal vouchers etc) to help fundraise final tour costs, so bring spare change…

Finally, please remember to tell any friends you have in the UK about our Edinburgh season. Details here.

See you then!

xxx the blackcat team

What a week! Part 2: Maxine Kauter Band and Gen Chadwick at The Vanguard

Months ago, when we heard Maxine Kauter Band were performing at The Vanguard with Gen Chadwick, Phoebe and I got pretty damn excited and booked in a business-wife-date for the night. Then, I did what I’ve done to all my wives (business or otherwise) and invited everyone else I know.

And so it was, I booked a table for 17, frocked up, put on mah pearls and trotted across the road to The Vanguard last Wednesday night.

First up was Genevieve Chadwick, who served up some of the best guitar-playing I’ve seen in a while. Meanwhile, The Vanguard served up one of the stranger vegetarian dishes I’ve eaten (vege patties on top of sweet potato risotto – strange, but oddly tasty). Gen’s high energy performances are always strong, her stomp box adding extra oomph to the singer-with-guitar combo. She was a hit with the crowd!

After Phoebe and I indulged in a dessert tasting plate (tasting plates are HEAVEN for the chronically indecisive), MKB hit the stage.

One of the lovely things about paying any attention at all to one’s local music scene is the opportunity to watch a musician you like grow and improve. This is especially nice when that musician becomes a friend. I first saw Maxine Kauter play when the lovely Kate Duffy and I supported her at The Roxbury in 2008. She was good then, but in the past four years, her sound and songwriting skill have really developed.

Seriously, this band is so damn good. All the musicians have their moments to shine and while MK leads the B, they are so tight and together, well-rehearsed and in sync that it’s clearly not a case of singer-songwriter-backed-by-some-musos. This is a four-piece act and a classy one at that.

Now, I’m no seasoned music reviewer and I am far too dorky to have enough of a handle on the indie music ‘scene’ to make clever allusions and references to other bands MKB might be like. I just know what I enjoy putting in my ears.

Maxine’s songs manage to be really clever, without feeling like she is beating you about the head with her intellect; they are often sad and wallowy, but they never stray into angsty-high-school-lesbian-rant; and several of them are damn hot, but you never get that awkward sense she is trying to be sexy. The lyrics are well-crafted, successfully avoiding cliche. Despite much of the material focusing on the singer’s internal world, you never feel like songwriting is a vanity exercise for her: she genuinely cares about the story she is leading you through.

The vocals often waiver around intonation, taking a fraction longer than you’d expect to land bang on a note, and packing in a whole lotta vibrato, lending a dreamy and slightly disconcerting quality that holds your focus and stops the music from becoming ‘easy-listening’. The vocals and Pete Holz’s electric guitar slip and slide around each other beautifully, contrasting with the sure rhythms of Shannon Haritos on bass and Stephen Beverley on drums.

Maxine stands really damn still when she sings. Like, she hardly moves at all. I find it baffling that this is even humanly possible, but there it is. She made a smart move though, and balanced her style with that of drummer, Stephen (possibly the cutest man in the world). His boundless enthusiasm for performing is completely charming and I love the interplay of Max’s voice and his energetic, almost intrusive (but never actually intrusive) drumming. One stand out moment, when he paused drumming to loosen his tie, made me question my sexuality…

On that note, I know I should be praising skill, not good looks, but seriously, can this band stop being so attractive please?

photo by Fiona Riches Stace

I’ll stop praising them now for fearing of boring you or making them uncomfortable. But thanks for a fabulous night, Gen & MKB.

In conclusion, they will be performing at Lady Sings it Better’s farewell gig on July 19 & 20 so you should really come… Book here. See what I did there?

If you need more convincing, here’s one of their new numbers…