"It’s not a joke, it’s not a game – if the enemy has information about civilians in particular and where they’re going and what time they’re going you are very vulnerable to attack."
Oozing sexuality and theatrical athleticism in a variety of vivid and often very tiny outfits, Miranda Bertram is certainly not what you'd call the average frontwoman of a costumed, makeup-wearing glam rock band – and that's exactly the point. This year alone the Brisbane four-piece have entertained European cabaret crowds, rock'n'roll kid-friendly hometown audiences and Australian troops in Afghanistan.
“It was top secret… for obvious security reasons,” she says of their tour of the Middle East. “It's not a joke, it's not a game – if the enemy has information about civilians in particular and where they're going and what time they're going you are very vulnerable to attack. But fortunately that didn't happen so we were very honoured and privileged to have that opportunity and to do so very safely… We were overwhelmed by the compliments we received and it's hard to comprehend how extremely happy it makes people just that you're there.”
Though filling a rather narrow musical niche, the variety of audiences Bertie Page Clinic appeal to is quite astonishing.
With the release of Too Loud Too Naked this month, Bertram continues to explore character-driven plots with a dramatic and comedic edge, though single Pearls takes a soft-rock approach to a more serious topic.
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“It's something that I sincerely wanted to express, and it's all about themes of innocence and the anguish that girls go through when they feel like they've lost their innocence perhaps to somebody that was unworthy… And then realising as an adult that innocence does not have the value that we thought it did,” she admits. “A lot of our songs are highly narrative because that's the kind of performer I am; I studied drama at university, playmaking, cabaret. So Smoko Oh No is all about a hot chick who works at a smoko truck. While it does come across as a very light-hearted song that has quite a few bogan jokes in it, it also has a very deep meaning that's important to me and that's also about the concept of women as Judas characters, and that focuses on the Yoko Ono model.
“It's glam rock, with some cabaret influences,” Bertram says in summation of Too Loud Too Naked. “It's highly narrative, comedic and sexually liberated, and very honestly expressed.”