Life And Limbs

3 October 2012 | 5:00 am | Benny Doyle

“The Woohoo Revue is a very Australian band because where else do you get such a mash of different cultures in one place?”

Where to begin with the unique sounds of The Woohoo Revue? Theirs is a colourful burst of international music, taking splashes of styles from across Europe, Asia, North America and more. The sextet don't have a vocalist, but with saxophones and trumpets roaring in amongst guitars, violin and drums, you'd be at odds to find words suitable to verbalise the wild ride the band take listeners on. Latest record Moreland's Ball was released six months ago, and although guitarist and founding member Dannie McKenzie has been happy with the response, he's looking to take The Woohoo's music to further places unknown.

“We're working with some guys to do some remixes, so we're looking to release a remixed version of the album next year,” McKenzie says, having never considered this crossover until now. “I have no idea what to expect. I was expecting some electro-swing kinda stuff and some dubstep, but guys are coming up with wacky minimalist things; 'Oh yeah, that's meant to be a tune of ours is it?' But people have just been doing it for a while, just mixing our stuff and mashing it up with other things. And this time, we recorded it so well at Sing Sing Studios – everyone loves to get their hands on some nice recorded stems.”

Considering there's nothing typical about the band, it's not surprising to find that The Woohoo Revue's songwriting process is equally as original. McKenzie tries to paint some sort of standard picture. “It's funny how we come up with things,” he says. “I tend to discourage people from having too much of an idea of what they want to come out of a tune. So where our songs really come from is just pulling parts together and playing bits and pieces, trying different things and the surprise of taking something that may have been played straight and slow, and then tripling the tempo and playing it swung. You don't envisage anything like that.”

Melbourne-birthed and bred, the five-piece are upholding the city's colourful and undeniably unique scene – just don't go calling this world music though. Sure, it's got an international flavour to it; however, by taking foreign inspiration and distilling it into something new, McKenzie explains that they're following our standard country practice.

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“The Woohoo Revue is a very Australian band because where else do you get such a mash of different cultures in one place?” he reasons. “The band started playing traditional tunes from Eastern Europe, so there was a conscious decision to not try and uphold the traditions of how they do it because we're not qualified for that, we haven't grown up with an accordion since we were two. It's a lot more sincere that we've approached it from our way to get the things that we appreciated out of it, which is the fun, excitement, passion and virtuosity that comes from that without being too caught up in what we're about and what we stand for.”

Still, the inspired nature of The Woohoo Revue remains borderless, and when their individual sounds leap from the stage, there's no real contingency plan available to follow. “That's one of the most exciting things, for me, is to see people walking into a room for the first time and that jaw-dropping effect like, 'I don't know what I'm meant to do to do to this music but I really like it',” he exclaims. “And then there's those self-conscious people that look over to their friends just waiting to lose their shit. It does take a bit to give your limbs the amount of freedom that they want to.”

The Woohoo Revue will be playing the following shows:

Friday 5 October - Regal Ballroom, Melbourne VIC
Friday 12 October - Soundlounge, Gold Coast QLD
Saturday 13 October - The Joynt, Brisbane QLD
Sunday 14 October - Bond By The Lake, Brisbane QLD
Thursday 18 October - The Polish Club, Canberra ACT
Friday 19 - Sunday 21 Ocobter - Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival, Kangaroo Valley NSW
Saturday 10 November - Harvest Festival, Werribee Park VIC
Sunday 11 November - Harvest Festival, Werribee Park VIC
Thursday 15 November - Eclipse Festival, Cairns QLD
Friday 30 November 30 - Commonground Festival, Melbourne VIC