Cherie Currie – ‘The Voice of The Runaways’
Rosemount Hotel, North Perth, WA
June 1st, 2016
Support – Legs Electric
Closing my eyes at Cherie Currie’s final Australian show of her tour for a just a few short seconds and I can still hear the fervour in her voice, as if it were The Runaways themselves in action, 1976. Open your eyes, and the mannerisms are still there, the passion is still there. Cherie Currie, the teenage blonde bombshell may be 56 years old, but wow, can she still rock!
The girl with the anger. The woman with the fight.
Currie’s life beyond her time with The Runaways and her solo career is one befitting her own biopic – she should have her own film. Plucked from obscurity at just fifteen years old to front an all-girl rock band in the ‘70s, her life spiralled out of control, all within just the few short years she was actually with the band. Drugs crept in. Hell, she was even kidnapped and raped. Fight followed. Perhaps she was always fighting? Her part in The Runaways legacy cannot be denied. Yes, the band had Lita Ford and Joan Jett, two incredibly strong personas and musicians but without Currie they would have just been another garage rock band fighting for mediocrity. Currie had the fight. She had a spark and that has lived with her both on and off the stage.
Before I delve into the Currie performance, however, a mention to the support of the night, Legs Electric. An all-girl rock band, and without a doubt, a Runaways influenced quartet from Perth. These girls command the stage. Formed in 2012, the band’s Facebook page simply quote their genre as ‘Maximum Rock and Roll’, and to be honest, it’s hard to argue the point. Ama Quinsee vocals are killer. A searching rock voice that hovers between classic Suzi Quatro and another Perth rock chick, Suzi DeMarchi. Backed by the Soanes sisters, Kylie (drums) and Abby (bass), and the riffage from Laura McCormack, there’s nothing to dislike what the girls dish up. 70’s inspired arena rock anthems. Great work girls! (Full gallery below)
Back to Currie, the girl with the spark.
Currie’s tour was promoted as ‘Cherie Currie – The Voice of the Runaways’, and she didn’t disappoint her fans, blazing her way through a vast array of Runaways classics including ‘American Nights’, ‘Is It Day or Night’, ‘Queens of Noise’ and my personal favourite, “California Paradise’. The band she brought on tour with her were solid too, in fact they were more than that. Danny Raygun on guitar and backing vocals slayed those riffs and Nikki Sixx wannabe, Alexx Michael on bass had those Jackie Fox bass lines pumping. At the rear of the stage, drummer, Tommy Wagner conducted the rock opera flawlessly, even getting a vocal part during the KISS cover, ‘Do You Love Me’; which he nailed.
Currie toyed with the crowd throughout, at one point threatening to skip a song, ‘Heartbeat’ after saying it was time to “slow it down a bit” with one punter yelling out, ‘noooo’! Of course, she was joking. The gentile chainsaw artist always had her fans at the forefront of this show and in fact the whole tour. 40 years is a long time to wait for a girl. If she wasn’t throwing her microphone into the faces of her adoring fans to join her in chorus, jumping into the crowd to dance and take selfies or inviting someone on stage to help her sing, as she did ¾’s of the way into the set with the track, ‘Midnight Music’, when a young female fan got her wish.
Her David Bowie tribute with ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ and ‘Rebel, Rebel’ was fantastic, especially the subtle tender approach by Currie on ‘Lady Grinning Soul’, an ode to her own performance as a child in high school, so brilliantly acted out by Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie in the 2010 movie, The Runaways.
Of course, ‘Cherry Bomb’ concluded the night, with a little help from Legs Electric’s own Joan Jett look-a-like, Laura McCormack on guitar. The audience sang in unison, Currie stepped back in time belying her age. It may well have taken four decades to coax Cherie Currie to Australia, but it was well worth the effort. If a rock performance could be described as being sincere, gracious and accommodating – then this was it.
The Runaways will never reform but will always be remembered whilst Currie has a say.
Keep fighting Cherie – you legend!
American Nights (The Runaways song)
Rock & Roll (The Velvet Underground cover/Runaways cover)
Rock ‘n’ Roll Rosie
Dear Mum (Shameless cover)
Is It Day or Night? (The Runaways song)
Roxy Roller (Nick Gilder cover)
Heartbeat (The Runaways song)
Queens of Noise (The Runaways song)
California Paradise (The Runaways song)
Midnight Music (The Runaways song)
Lady Grinning Soul (David Bowie cover)
Rebel Rebel (David Bowie cover)
Do You Love Me? (KISS cover)
C’mon (The Runaways song)
Cherry Bomb (The Runaways song)
Photos courtesy of Denis Radacic
** please do not use photos without permission **
Click on a photo to enlarge and start up the slideshow of the night.
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