My phone rang at exactly 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 16th. The soft-spoken woman on the phone warmly introduced herself as Clairy Browne in a sweet Australian accent. Let’s be real, everything sounds better with an accent, especially an Australian one! Calling in between playing sets at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Clairy Browne seemed surprised by the rowdy crowds at the highly anticipated music festival.
“It’s hectic, it’s great, but pretty mad.”
Clairy Browne and her harmonising girl group The Bangin’ Rackettes formed in 2009 over a mutual love of nineties dance videos, early soul records and big hair. They teamed up with a group of rogue musicians and started rehearsing and recording in a barely standing ex-coffin factory in the suburbs of Melbourne, which quickly became the musical home to this young band.
Clairy started making music over ten years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that she hooked up with The Bangin’ Rackettes to start concocting a mix of Soul, Surf and Rhythym n’ Blues tunes. Their live show is an experience from start to finish, these dynamic and energetic happenings are created with the intention of taking their audience to another place, with their contemporary take on the heightened hysteria of 1960’s music TV.
“We are inspired by 1960’s television, old records, R&B dance videos and films. It’s whatever we find to be musically sound.”
With influences from many different genres such as early R&B, Soul and Rock n’ Roll, Clairy Browne and The Bangin’ Rackettes are sure to appeal to a variety of musical tastes.
“I have so many musical influences, Prince, Outkast, Etta James, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder…”
Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes debut album, Baby Caught the Bus was in the making for two years and was produced by Steve Schram (Public Enemy, Little Red, The Cat Empire, Eagle and the Worm). Baby Caught the Bus moves effortlessly from tough, hip hop tinged soul single Love Letter to the heart-wrenching doo-wop of Far Too Late, the drunken pianos and party hysteria of Frankie and lynchian moodiness of Yellow Bird. This collection of songs is delivered with lush vocal harmonies and a forceful rhythm section, with Clairy’s big soul voice and the horns leading the procession.
Not only was the debut album a huge success, but Clairy Browne and The Bangin’ Rackettes also got signed. Clairy claims that getting signed, along with booking a killer commercial with a world-wide brewing company, are her biggest musical accomplishments so far.
“We recently signed with Vanguard and Heineken licensed one of our songs. They flew me in to be in the commercial.”
The song, “Love Letter”, was hand-picked by Heineken for “The Switch” a commercial which featured an appearance from Clairy and took the band to new shores with a phenomenal response in the US bringing the record to the top 5 in the US Heatseekers Albums list.
With crying fans, gift-givers and wanna-be band security guards, Clairy Browne and The Bangin’ Rackettes are obviously adored and quickly taking the world by storm. Their main goal?
Make sure you check out Clairy Browne and The Bangin’ Rackettes playing at Smith’s Olde Bar, Friday March 22nd!