The Ruminator

Come on up and grab yourself a beer.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Strange Fruit

A slow start to the morning today, after a late night at Tilley's. For non-Canberrans, Tilley's Divine Cafe & Gallery is a Canberra landmark and favourite performance venue, like many Canberra features hidden away in one of the suburbs. Low-ceilinged, red-painted, and full of dark, scarred wooden furniture, Tilley's was famous for once being open only to women. Although that is no longer the case, the clientele does still disproportionately consist of short-haired women in Birkenstocks. (Not that I say that as a criticism. Some of my best friends are short-haired women in Birkenstocks. Let’s be honest, a lot of them are. In fact, were I not too cheap to buy Birkenstocks, I would be too.) Tilley’s is a great concert venue (most performers I have seen make a point of saying how much they love performing there and how lucky Canberrans are to have it), and being in the suburbs I am always surprised that noise complaints haven't shut them down. I have seen some great acts at Tilley's - The Waifs, Tex Perkins, Vince Jones, and last night, Fruit.

Fruit is an Australian band, consisting of three lead singers/musicians (Sam Lohs and Susie Keynes on acoustic and electric guitar and Mel Watson on saxaphone, clarinet, flute, trumpet, horn and whatever other instrument she can get her hands on), Brian Ruiz on bass and Yanya Boston on drums. The core of the band has been together since 1995, which is quite an amazing feat as they are all incredible performers in their own right (each has released solo albums) as well as obviously being strong-minded women. They all have very different voices, but the sounds compliment each other and their harmonies are to die for. A little bit jazz, a little bit blues, a little bit funk, a little bit rock, and a whole lot of energy. Grinning madly from ear to ear and jumping up and down from the sheer joy of performance. One of my favourite live acts, and if you are in Sydney, do yourself a favour and go see them at The Basement tonight.

I am still driven to teeth-gritting feelings of impotent rage at selfish bitches who insist on talking loudly throughout a performance, but fortunately Fruit has such a big sound that most of the time they safely drown out such irritations.

Other than that I am looking forward to a Sydney road-trip this weekend, and contemplating the rash promise I made to go indoor rock-climbing next week. Not that the idea of rock-climbing disturbs me – I’m not afraid of heights and it looks like fun. I am disturbed that apparently the venue has a sign, placed inside the toilets where you don’t see it until far too late, notifying patrons that they don’t have insurance. Maybe it is meant to encourage climbers to put that much more effort into not falling.