Southern Belles with Jane Clifton, Nichaud Fitzgibbon and Rebecca Barnard.

Southern Belles with Jane Clifton, Nichaud Fitzgibbon and Rebecca Barnard.

Three talented ladies, Jane, Nichaud and Rebecca brought back to life the magic tunes of the 60s and early 70s. The ‘Southern Belles’ show wasn’t over produced and the cheeky rawness made it real. Period costumes and wigs added some colour and hilarity to the visual aspect and along with some witty banter – It was a “Belles” without the “whistles” production.

The music shone through with the accomplished singers all taking turns at the microphone to deliver some impressive and respectful interpretations of some timeless songs. The harmonies also worked well as did the ‘tongue-in-cheek’ acting from the girls.

With a cracker song list to get any audience excited, the sell-out crowd were taken on a great trip down memory lane. From Jeannie C Riley’s classic ‘Harper Valley PTA’ to Dolly’s ‘Jolene’, throw in Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Were Made For Walkin’ and an encore of Silver Threads and Golden Needles, the list just went on. Oh yeah, let’s not forget Dusty’s, ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ too!. You get the drift? An audience targeted, 2 set gig that had everyone singing along.

The band was an A list of some great musicians. Clare Moore on drums and Rosie Westbrook on bass formed part of a seven piece line up that also included a high-powered brass section AKA The Maribyrnong Horns featuring Paul Williamson.

Finally, St Kilda’s Memo Music Hall was an ideal venue for a show like this. It’s a nice intimate space that offered a good sound mix and along with appropriate lighting, ticked most of the boxes.

Congratulations to all involved.

Rob Foenander
Columnist – Melbourne Observer

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