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Butterfly Boucher rocked her one-woman show at the Northcote Social Club

Hailing from Adelaide, this singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer started her music career playing bass in her sister’s band, The Mercy Bell. Butterfly released her first solo album in 2004 and since then, has worked with David Bowie, touring as bass player and vocalist for Sarah MacLachlan and most recently, spending most of 2011 producing Missy Higgins’ forthcoming new album.

She’s just completed a quick east-coast tour of Australia before heading back to Nashville, where she currently resides. Butterfly has enjoyed large amounts of TV love in the States, and 5678!, the title track off her soon-to-be released album, has already aired on American television, with it’s debut in January on NBC ‘s Grey’s Anatomy spin off Private Practice.

I had the privilege of heading to her gig at the Northcote Social Club last Wednesday the 21st of March. Standing alone on a brightly lit stage with an audience and a lone microphone glaring at you would be enough to scare the breakfast burrito out of anyone. But not Butterly Boucher, who rocked her guitar, wiggled her lanky little legs and charmed the pants off everyone sitting in the room.

Butterfly is irresistibly cute in an old-fashioned kind of way. Her old-skool charm propelled this one-woman show forward with incredible might. Half way through her set, she stops to pass around a clip-board so that we could write down our email addresses to be added to her mailing list. So old-fashioned, but so cute and refreshing. She even lovingly amended the zip code to say “postcode” as to not offend any of us Aussie folk.

The thing I really like about Butterfly is the fact that she is real. Warts and all. Right in the middle of her song “Another White Dash” from her first album, Flutterby, she suddenly stops and says “what are the words again?”. She had been so busy encouraging all of us in the crowd to sing along that she had momentarily forgotten her own lyrics. Anyone else, alone on that brightly lit stage might have frozen, but not Butterfly, who continued to charm us all with her sense of humour and her incredible voice.

She did occasionally use a little magic box on the floor, which she introduced to us as “her band”, which was pre-recorded material to help back her solo efforts every now and then. I usually cringe when artists do this, likening it to karaoke, but Butterfly used it so sparingly and so well, that I didn’t mind one bit.

Her vocals never faltered once throughout her long set. They particularly shone on the loud high notes with a pelting strum of the guitar to accompany. Such power and gusto in this register…the kind that sends goosebumps straight to the back of your neck.

Half way through the set, Yeo, who was one of her support acts, jumped on stage to play the tambourine. Butterfly, in her usual slightly daggy but oh-so-charming way, laughed saying he’d been practicing this tambourine part since he was 17.

Butterfly Boucher really is a rare gem in the music world. If you get the chance to see her play live….definitely go!

I’m giving her gig 4.5 out of 5 kisses.

Written by Amy Bastow for the Kiss My Arts Show on Joy 94.9 – All opinions are mine. Copyright 2012.

My Golden Plains Highlights

Standouts of the 2012 Golden Plain Music festival

Lanie Lane

Lanie Lane is fifties style, but fifties her way! She picked up her guitar at Golden Plains in the afternoon of day 1 and rocked out to a crowd that was just starting to warm up and settle into the festival. A solid set of groovy tunes with sassy lyrics got me swingin my hips and getting into the festival mood.

First Aid Kid

We reviewed their latest album, The Lion’s Roar, a month or so ago on the Kiss My Arts show. Their quaint swaggering folk music was perfectly matched to the tone of the afternoon on day 2. The coffee had kicked in and the headaches had eased by this time and everyone had found their little spots on the grass. Shoes were off, those weird little corn cobs on sticks were in hand and the charming harmonies of First Aid Kit could be heard in the fields of Golden Plains. A great moment of the festival.

Bon Iver

Bon Iver played a magical set at 9:05pm on Day 1 (Saturday), when the sun was just low enough in the sky to create those amazing silhouettes around the amphitheatre but it was just dark enough for the hanging lanterns to splash vibrant colours throughout the crowd. He was backed by an incredible band and Bon Iver’s voice filled the arena to a crowd that had every ear and every heart listening. Tingles were felt on my arms when he left the stage.

Saskwatch were Golden in the Fields of Aunty Meredith!

Event: Golden Plains Festival 2012
Location: Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre
Dates: 10-12 March 2012
Feature Artist: Saskwatch

Saskwatch were my favourite band at Golden Plains by far! Their set was at 3:40pm on day 2 (Sunday). By this time, I was perched on my little red tartan picnic blanket, a can in hand and the sun on my face. It was a picture perfect moment.

Saskwatch began their set by playing two kick-arse instrumental songs. Never having heard them before, I assumed they were an instrumental group. Even without lyrics and a vocal melody, I was still perched on the edge of my little red picnic blanket watching their every move. But then, after a brief introduction, the stage was graced by the beautiful, sassy and sultry Nikechi Anele, with her wonderfully expressive and captivating voice. We’re talking about that big, ballsy female voice you rarely hear these days. Imagine melting the voices of Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Whitney Housten in the same pot and serving it up in front of a 9-piece band complete with horns.

Saskwatch are the kind of band that demand attention, a band who are bringing the old sounds back whilst truly making them their own. They present a charming take on old school soul/funk music, with real musicians who have studied and learnt the crafts of their instruments. It’s so refreshing and I’m not the only one who thinks so – the 8 thousand other Golden Plains festival goers were also cheering their little lungs out for the Melbourne newcomers.

One of the most striking things that Saskwatch has done so far in their short career is release singles on the good old fashioned 7″ vinyl format, something of a lost art in this keeping up with the Jones’ technology era we live in. I’m pretty sure even the Jones’ would be rockin’ out to the 7” vinyl’s that Saskwatch release. Liam McGorry,  Saskwatch’s trumpeter has said and I quote “The main focus of Sakswatch is to make our music sound very much of now while still incorporating that of the past”. And I think they’re onto something people! Saskwatch have a beautiful grasp of that late 60s/early 70s kind of funk, fusing that with their modern take on soul alongside ballsy Aretha-esque vocals. Channeling music of the past, but in a truly new and exciting way. I give them 5 out of 5 kisses.

Make sure you check them out at their website.

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