People and Places
24/09/2019
Home-grown music made with bite

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Want to see an all-girl band that delivers thumping, gypsy-inspired soul-jazz and then some? Then get along to see The Love Bitez, whose vocals, percussion, double bass, sax and piano accordion tunes take you on a ride through American blues and European flamenco to land on the Mornington Peninsula with a serious swagger of theatrical shenanigans thrown in for good measure. 

These girls love what they do and do it well. Singer/bassist Jemma Purcell is a classically trained opera singer who studied at the VCA. Jade Nye brings her jazz-educated sensibilities to the group with vocals, sax, keyboard and accordion while Em Boon hammers home the beat with her punk-inspired drumming technique and sings backing vocals too.  Worth a look? Then listen to this. Jemma explains: “Jade and I met at a blues jam session. We clicked straight away and had a great improvisation collaboration, and it was clear we had a musical chemistry we wanted to explore. When Em joined, we knew we had something good. We are all pretty theatrical and love playing to an audience. We have our own characters on stage we morph into and are influenced by world and flamenco music, which is really all about the chord progressions and rhythm. The resulting sound is sultry and organic.”

Music is in the blood of these three young women. Jemma ventured off the musical path for a while but has returned with a vengeance and Jade and Em are as passionate about producing original sound as ever. There’s nothing cookie-cutter here. All three bring their own unique flavour to a line-up where cabaret performance, great musicianship and a determination to connect with the audience through their art comes into play. It’s gotta be harmoniously real, folks.

Jemma continues: “Jade and I write the songs but we love covering some of what we think are great tunes as well — songs from Lady Gaga, Nancy Sinatra and Nina Simone. We throw them all into the mix. We thrive on audience participation and want to get everyone up and dancing to the ‘gypsy caravan’ beat. I have lived in India and Spain and have been greatly influenced by those places, while Jade and Em bring their own love of world music with them. We all live on the Peninsula and love it, but we love roaming around too. We’ve played a bunch of live gigs from the beginning of the year and are looking forward to lots more over summer.”

So if you’re up for a rip-roaring musical journey through the world and want to hear hypnotic-quality, funked-up music, get online to see where they are playing next or catch some of their songs on Facebook. And take a bite. 

 LIZ ROGERS

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