CHERIE CURRIE, The Babes, Babes Are Wolves. The Gov, Adelaide. 31-05-2016.


Words Will Oakeshott.
Photos Kylie Horwood.

It would only seem suiting that the best way to introduce this review properly would be through the power of sharing a quotation from a prestigious personality whose relevance and prominence is criminally understated. Once known as the most famous actress in the world, Sarah Bernhardt once said: “Legend remains victorious in spite of history”; considering the status of the prominent woman headliner, this aforementioned quote could have been the title of her show.

Locals Babes Are Wolves had the prestigious honour of opening the event and were livid about the opportunity but their stage presence didn’t really reflect their enthusiasm. Their polite rock sat well with the small crowd, but emphasis has to be put on the idea of polite. Unfortunately the pot wasn’t stirred by this rather perfect execution of sound the quartet were able to display; truth be told The Gov is just a bit too much of a grand venue for the four-piece. A more intimate setting is the band’s forte, then again the audience and outfit had nothing but smiles on completion, but then again who could hate a recipe of The Cardigans meets a slight AC/DC influence?

The Babes are a glam punk band, they have a resume which would impress anyone who reads about them. A drummer who broke a world record for 24 hours of drumming without rest; a guitarist who could embarrass many, they have supported the best of the best: Ace Frehley personally endorses the band, but the truth of the matter is those two members alone are the highlight of the outfit. Front-man Johnny Snakes is just inappropriate and unnecessary, more a salesman than a singer and for his own pleasure. Apologies for any offence translated here, but if the band halved their members and were a two-piece passion driven rock group, they could take over the nation. Often this scribe was only capable of a grimace by exhibited behaviour. I will anticipate some hatred for this, but there is talent here, more than can be described; the wealth of skill is overwhelmed by inconsistent “glamour” that has no use in such a setting. They have a following, a strong one, but this writer is left baffled by how such a failure of artistic ambition. If Van Halen meets the Ramones it reads as a nice formula for the readers, but this was done with inappropriate b-grade ability, to the point of “please be a cover band”. In my opinion though, She’s The Band SHOULD have played this role.

Numerous descriptive words could be utilised to describe the headliner of this event: Iconic, admired and even historic. However, none of these quite give justice to the prestige that this woman upholds, a character known as Cherie Currie who simply has performing in her DNA. On stage Ms. Currie could be likened to a proud senior lioness, stalking gracefully on her chosen platform with the adoration of her jungle, or in this case fans from a variety of ages. Cherie knows her worshippers want to do more than just watch, they want to contribute and even talk to her. This is where she truly shines; happily she answered questions from the audience and even presented the microphone to her aficionados to allow them to sing too. ‘American Nights’, ‘It’s Alright’, ‘Rock’n’Roll Rosie’, ‘Dear Mom’, ‘Is It Day Or Night’, ‘Roxy Roller’, ‘Heartbeat’, ‘Queens Of Noise’, ‘California Noise’, ‘Midnight Music’, ‘Believe’, a moving cover of David Bowie’s ‘Rebel Rebel’, a cover of KISS’ ‘Do You Love Me?’, ‘Cherry Bomb’ and then an unplanned encore of ‘Come On’ had The Gov in simple awe of this remarkable woman. Even at the astounding 56 years of age, Ms. Currie does not miss a beat channeling her youth with ease especially when the song required her unique wail or snarl. The show was far from a sellout, but this did not phase the songstress one iota, if anything she embraced the intimacy and made it a night to remember. Especially with her anecdotes and recollections of each song she performed. Many would have waited years to be this close to Cherie Currie or even The Runaways, Cherie did more than that, she made Adelaide her friend and for that we are thankful.