December 6th, 2013
While it's summer in their hometown of Melbourne, Clairy Browne & the Bangin' Rackettes recently played some gigs here in the ice box that is America. Last Friday, on a cold and soggy night in Brooklyn, they did their best to heat things up for a crowd in need of some warm vibes. Clairy and her mates are promoting their throwback rhythm and blues album "Baby Caught The Bus", recently released here, but already an award winner in Australia. Miss Browne is a soulful seductress, belting out tunes across the spectrum of love and lust, backed by sassy backup singers/dancers and a rock solid band that includes a swanky saxophonist. While they weren't amazing from start to finish (the slower selections came off a bit generic), there were definitely superb sections where everything clicked and the Knitting Factory became one big party. The place got hot, the bartenders struggled to keep up, and the dancing got dirty. The night also included unintended comedy when a sweet gesture turned awkward. Clairy pulled a young girl, maybe 12, from the audience up to sing with her. The song? Love Letter, a naughty number about writing someone and telling them all the things you want them to do to you. The girl stood motionless with stage fright as Clairy, clad in a skin tight shimmery dress that left little to the imagination, encouraged her to sing along and the Rackettes danced around them like a sultry game of Ring Around the Rosie. The moment where the young lady loosened up and got comfortable never came, yet they kept her on stage through the entire song. I have a feeling it'll be a while before she agrees to go out with mom on a Friday night again. As for me, I'll shake a leg to Clairy and her crew any time.