Category Archives: News

Tales From The Life Of Eva Cassidy

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Clare Bowditch had to pull over and have “an emotional moment or two” when she first heard an Eva Cassidy song while driving down Lygon Street in 2001. She had to find out more about the hauntingly emotive singer and, like many people, was surprised to learn that Cassidy had died at the age of 33.

American vocalist Eva Cassidy is best known for her interpretations of pop, jazz and gospel classics, but only found fame posthumously. When Bowditch announces that she’s performing (and has co-written) a show dedicated to Cassidy’s life, she’s often surprised by people’s enthusiastic response. “Every time I say, ‘Oh, I’m doing this concert,’ their eyes light up and they say, ‘Oh I love Eva.’ It’s quite sweet – she obviously has a strong place in people’s hearts,” says Bowditch.

The 2006 Best Female Artist ARIA award-winner Bowditch began her own career at the age of 16 when she started gigging around Melbourne. But, like many artists, she found it difficult to earn a living so didn’t seriously pursue a musical career until she was 26. “Music was always something I loved doing but I couldn’t work out how you could play music and make a living as well,” she says. “So, I always figured I’d be a journalist or radio documentarian or something along those lines but then I think my love for music just kicked in and I had to give it a crack really.”

These days, Bowditch is a passionate advocate for music and the arts. With a Bachelor of Creative Arts from Melbourne University under her belt, Bowditch has experience in both theatre and creative writing. With her interest in the life and music of Eva Cassidy she was qualified to co-write EVA – Tales From The Life Of Eva Cassidy, alongside Jim McPherson who also wrote The Man In Black about Johnny Cash. “I studied creative writing at university but this is the first time I’ve ever taken on a narrative concert so it’s good to be working with a really experienced narrative concert writer like Jim,” admits Bowditch.

As Eva is a narrative concert, Bowditch will be performing as herself but singing Cassidy’s songs which, she says, is a break from her own material. “For me it’s an indulgence to sing these glorious old fashioned hits that people just love and can’t help but tap their toes to,” she says.

Although, she admits, hours of research went into the project. “I went through hundreds of articles about her and did a lot of talking with other people about their knowledge of her. I spoke with her record company executives and listened to every song of hers that I could get my hands on… she sang backup for 2pac and everything.”

Cassidy never received the recognition she deserved in her lifetime, but her story is one of determination and uncompromising self-fulfilment, which is what Bowditch is most attracted to. In the nineties, Bowditch explains, there was grunge and pop. However, Cassidy didn’t fit into either stereotype. She refused to bow to record company wishes and thought that wearing skimpy clothing on stage was ridiculous. “She wasn’t wanting to play the game, she just wanted to sing,” explains Bowditch. “I can definitely relate to that part of her story about just wanting to sing, without all the other bullshit.”

Similarly, Bowditch has made a name for herself within the Australian music industry for her fortitude and creativity, even while raising a young family with her husband and drummer, Marty Brown, whom she speaks of often. Although, warns Bowditch, the juggle of family and touring is increasingly difficult with her children reaching school age. This dedication to both family and music is an example of Bowditch’s own resilience in a difficult industry.

Nevertheless, she is excited about EVA and other projects on the horizon including her Winter Secrets tour, where audience members have the opportunity to play covers of Bowditch songs, and a forthcoming EP featuring Wally De Backer (Gotye) and Lisa Mitchell.

But for now, EVA will provide us with an opportunity to hear Bowditch in a different light. She explains that EVA is a celebration of life featuring some well known and much loved songs. “If people in the audience are fans of mine they’ll get to see me live, if they’re fans of Eva they’ll get to celebrate her, if they’ve never heard of either of us they can just come and be entertained.”

Clare Bowditch performs EVA – Tales From The Life Of Eva Cassidy at The Athenaeum Theatre from Tuesday August 9 until Sunday August 21. Tickets are available from Ticketaster. More info available at



Winter Secrets Comp

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The Bendigo Weekly wrote this beautiful article about Remy Juliana, one of the talented winners of Clare’s Winter Secrets Competition:


Young Bendigo performer Remy Juliana can now call national acclaimed Clare Bowditch a fan of her work.

On July 13 the 17-year-old shared the stage with Bowditch during her Ballarat concert, after the youngster won a competition which allowed local performers to submit a clip of their talents, and possibly join Bowditch on stage.

It almost didn’t happen on the night though.“We were staying at a friend’s house and as soon as we arrived there I began to feel so physically sick with nerves,” Remy says. “I crawled into bed and told my mum that I didn’t want to go because I was too scared.”

“I decided to man-up and get ready to head down to a rehearsal with Clare and as soon as I met her I immediately felt relaxed. She’s absolutely lovely.” After meeting with Bowditch’s tour manager, she found out she had to perform the third song from the set list.

“I was shaking really badly and Clare kissed and hugged me and told me that I was going to be fine and it all ran really smoothly,” she says. “It really did feel like I was dreaming.”

Remy won herself two new fans that night. “Lanie Lane (Bowditch’s support act on the night) told me that I was her favourite of all the winners and Clare told me that I was a natural and I ‘had it in my bones’,” she says.

“It made me feel really good about myself and my singing ability and it took away a lot of the nerves I had prior to the rehearsal.”

“I felt so lucky that these amazing singers were complimenting me.”

It wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for her elder sister Casey’s insistence. Remy quickly sang a capella straight into her laptop, and hit send, within an hour of the competition closing.

A few weeks later, she got the good news. “I really didn’t expect to win it at all,” she says. “My sister however, had a lot of confidence in me winning the competition.”

“The morning I read the email telling me that I had been successful in the competition, I jumped up from the laptop and squealed and considering I’m not the girly squealing type, this was a big deal.”

“It didn’t feel real at all, I was completely shocked but proud and excited.”

The Bendigo Senior Secondary College student moved to Bendigo from Hobart five years ago. A place where her music skills were first honed. “People always ask me ‘when did you start singing?’ and I find that a really odd question because I can’t remember a time when I didn’t sing,” she says.

“I’ve always been musical, whether it’s just humming around the house or singing in the shower, I’ve just always sung.” Although without any formal training, she’s received a few months of singing lessons from Bendigo music identity Albert “Skip” Skipper. “Skip really helped me to build confidence in myself and in my singing ability,” she says.” “He taught me how to project my voice properly and he also inspired me to teach myself guitar.”

It led to her first public performance at the Newmarket Hotel, a brief three song set. “It really excited me to have the experience to show people what I could do,” she says.

“I was congratulated by so many people that I had never met after my performance and it really boosted my confidence and made me want to be on stage more often.”

Juliana plans to continue her music education in Bendigo. “I’d love to sing with a band at some stage too so if anyone is looking for a lead singer,” she says.

“I guess I’ll just see where the road takes me and in the mean-time I’ll play some other gigs around Bendigo and hopefully collaborate with other musicians.”

Full article

Winter Secrets live review

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Clare Bowditch, Lanie Lane @ The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel Adelaide, 10 July 2011

This woman is without a doubt, one of the most entertaining artists I have ever had the pleasure of seeing perform live. I came for a music show and instead received a comedy set (coupled of course with her incredible musical talent). The unique Ms Clare Bowditch has been quite a busy woman of late, with the release date of her latest EP creeping closer and closer, combined with travelling all over the country on her Winter Secrets tour with the equally captivating Lanie Lane. On the 10th of July Clare stopped by the Governor Hindmarsh in Adelaide and treated her fans to an intimate and highly theatrical show.

This was that second time that I had seen the Melbournian play and once again, she did not disappoint. The vast floor space at the Gov was littered with candlelit tables and chairs, and it did not take long for punters to fill the seats. Bowditch stepped onto a wonderfully decorated stage adorned with all types of folk-pop goodies including a red velvet couch, gorgeous grand piano, fairy lights, deer antlers, and of course, numerous bright, colourful flowers placed all over the shop. If you didn’t know she was a folk singer before, the pieces of the puzzle were starting to come together.

A wealth of “yeahs” and “woos” were thrown at the stage as the vivacious ginger-haired songstress entered, to which she replied simply, “good to be back”. With that we were underway.

From the get-go Bowditch’s hilarious and endearing personality shone through, as she sang to her tech crew to alter certain aspects of the sound mix as she was “sounding like Darth Vader”. It was truly refreshing to see an accomplished artist have such a relaxed approach to both their performance and the music industry in general. She does not take herself too seriously and for that, I adore her.

Next up came an acoustic cover of Queen’s We Will Rock You, which got the crowd clapping in time and singling along. The energized audience bopped and swayed in their seats, with a few of the keener patrons throwing their arms in the air (because they clearly just didn’t care).

As Bowditch approached one of her most well-known tracks, Divorcee by 23, she exclaimed, “if you can talk, you can bloody well sing,” and sent an open invitation through the crowd for someone to join her on stage. A young man by the name of Chris got his hand up first and proved to be one of the highlights of the night – the boy could sing! The duet was absolutely beautiful and I would not have been upset if he stayed on stage the entire show.

Another person whose stage presence I thoroughly enjoyed was Bowditch’s ditsy compadre, Sydney songstress, Lanie Lane. The two synced perfectly, both musically and comically. Their banter was absolutely priceless, often continuing conversations onstage – so much so that at times it seemed they had forgotten we were there at all. I found myself genuinely laughing at their gags, which is not something I always expect when going to a concert. Musically speaking, the Australian duo are a perfect match, bringing together stunning harmonies and contrasting guitar riffs to melt your heart. Oh and their cover of Bruce “the man”Springsteen’s classic I’m on Fire? Don’t even get me started, I love that song and I love their cover. Vunderbar.

Wrapping up her first set, Bowditch introduced the crowd to her bizarre and outspoken cousin, Lady Bow: agent of the stars! Lady Bow, who aside from a different outfit, hairstyle and accent, looked and sounded uncannily like Mrs Bowditch herself, showed us some mind-blowing dance moves and kindly gave us her three sure-fire tips to achieve superstardom: 1. Get on TV and be brutally honest 2. You need a gimmick – such as her two pairs of sunglasses on the top of her head, and 3. “take freely” – just take a good song and record your voice over it.

Donning a large black afro, a woman suspiciously similar to Ms Lanie Lane joined Lady Bow on stage and danced as Bowditch’s accomplished cousin sang a pop track through auto tune. So much synth and so much fun. The two had the crowd in stitches, myself included. Lady Bow then left the stage, played off by her ‘theme song’ – the audio from Arnold Schwartzenegger’s work out tape – as an impressive imitation of Julia Gillard announced intermission.

Clare returned to the stage after a ten-minute intermission and the crowd let her know that they were glad to have her back. Bowditch embraced this and returned the love by inviting yet another lucky crowd member on stage to play drums for her. She continued her interactive set, instructing the mob to sing the harmony for many of her songs – even splitting the room into sections so that each sector would resonate a different part. Although highly ambitious, I must say that we sounded superb! I was very impressed with both the crowds ability to hold a note and the fact that more than three-quarters of the room were game enough to sing at the top of their lungs in such a small, intimate venue!

So yeah, I can now say that I have sung with Clare Bowditch, don’t be too jealous.

Lanie Lane then joined Bowditch on stage once again and the duo performed numerous tracks that Ms Lane had written herself – including her first single What Do I Do which she invoked the crowd to perform backing vocals. It was an absolute treat to hear Lane’s swampy blues tracks, the winner of Triple J’s Unearthed competition for Sydney’s BDO this year has been described accurately as the spirit of Muddy Waters inhabiting Doris Day. She is just lovely. Amongst the final songs, the ratbag duo took time out to answer a few questions that the crowd had written on the “Creative Questions for Clare Bowditch and Lanie Lane” board that had been passed around earlier. Questions ranged from favourite cereal, whether they would chose invisibility or flight as a superpower, to how they first got into the music business – the latter such questions giving fans a rare insight.

Leaving the performance I could not honestly tell you whether I had just seen a musical show or a stand-up comedy gig. Do not get me wrong the girls sang, and boy did they sing well, but if either ever thought about hanging up their guitars, they could easily get a gig in comedy. I cannot sing their praises enough! According to Bowditch’s website, “Statistics show that of the 255,000 people Clare Bowditch has performed for, 99% fell in love with her (or at least, they thought she was “alright”),” I would say that this is at least 99.95% (best TER you can get in SA) accurate and would include myself in that aforementioned 99%. Kudos.