Clown And Out.
The Divas play the Paddington Workers Club on Saturday.
The Divas are playing a gig. Like all things worth savouring, it’s a rare occurrence. While the band has a history stretching back to Sydney in the mid 1980s, their appearances here in Brisbane have been fleeting of late, but Damion Young and Co are once again treading the boards to prepare for some time in the studio. It’s a pre-emptive strike on your senses, if you will, before get stuck into the recording of their forthcoming Donkey Music disc.
“These shows are really a nod to Ed Kuepper and the Laughing Clowns,” Damion explains. “I’ve written a lot of new songs, and someone was asking what inspired them. It realty was Ed Kuepper through the Laughing Clowns period. We’re hoping to record with Ed next year. We hope. There’s nothing confirmed yet.”
As evidenced by their more recent previous releases such as 2001’s Tiger Bees or 1998s Goodbye To All You Divas, the band have never been afraid to take things in different directions.
“We’ve got a horn section again now,” he continues, “and a new bass player. Our old bass player Phil Kelly is playing drums now, but he’s still with us from Tiger Bees. We’ve actually sold out of Tiger Bees now. The Italians and the French loved it. We sold a lot on our web page. There’s a town in southern Italy who sent us stuff through a fanzine. It was really interesting in a sense.”
Is Tiger Bees still a good representation of what The Divas are about?
“We still play Tiger Bees live, but it’s been re-arranged for the horns, but that was then, this is now, basically. That was a straight our rock and roll band, but this now has a lot more jazz influences, I suppose. A lot of songs are being written about the saxophone.”
While the addition of a sax has added extra elements to The Divas sound, it’s not the first time the band have called upon it’s brassy tone.
“We did an EP back in Sydney called Tubtowns (1985) and I had a horn section in that period. We’ve gone back to that kind of sound as a four piece.”
It’ almost twenty years now since the Divas first got together, is it interesting for you to look back at all the directions the band has taken in that time?
“It is too,” he muses. “Yes it is, that’s why I still do it. It’s just my nature. When I’m inspired I write.”