You Ready for This? The Sisters of Invention.
Performed by Aimee Crathern, Michelle Hall, Annika Hooper and Caroline Hardy. Presented by Tutti Arts Inc. The May Wirth at Gluttony. February 25th. Adelaide Fringe.
Reviewed by Peter Wilkins
It is impossible to leave a Sisters of Invention concert not uplifted and empowered. It doesn’t matter whether you regard yourself as disabled or not, normal or not, binary or non, the original songs and music will transport you to a plane where, as Aimee Crathern says “We’re not normal. We’re amazing!”
|Caroline Hardy,Annika Hooper, Michelle Hall and Aimee Crathern|
And they are! The Sisters of Invention are an all-female pop group determined to challenge society’s pre-conceived ideas about who can be a pop group. The only disabled female pop group in the world took the audience in The May Wirth at Gluttony by storm, and by the end of the concert the four performers, Aimee Crathern, Michelle Hall, Annika Hooper and Caroline Hardy had the audience wildly applauding or dancing in their seats.
Opening with It’s A Brand New Day forecasting that things are going to be different and change is on the way and closing with a triumphant rendition of John Farnham’s You’re the Voice, the Sisters of Invention are the prophets of inclusivity - “Inclusivity Rocks” Their songs lift the spirits; the music opens the heart and the four women sing out their songs of inspiration. This is the sound of goosebumps and tears.
You Ready For This? combines song with anecdote and like all good stories there is a moral and a meaning for those who may not be familiar with their songs of acceptance. It is Aimee who provides much of the commentary while each member of the group has her solo number that is inspired by her particular disability. Throughout the one hour show, Aimee reminds us “We’re not that different.”, “We can make a difference”, “We’re not novelty. We’re women.” “We’re trendy now!” After a lifetime of confronting prejudice and being told they will never succeed at school, the Sisters of Invention have found solidarity in their sisterhood (“Birds of a feather we stick together”) Aimee, who was a singing jukebox at home, lost her voice at school and has found it again with her three sisters. Annika being told she will not be able to succeed has found her strength in the books in braille. Each member of the group has “turned the pages over”.
With many of the songs by long time collaborator Michael Ross and with Musical Director Carol Young at the helm on Keys, Kathie Renner on Keys and Guitar, Nick Sinclair on bass and Steve Todd on percussion You Ready For This? is a pop concert with a difference that teaches us that we are all the same. The girls’ Songs of Experience come straight from the heart.
It seems appropriate that You Ready For This? should have been staged in The May Wirth at Gluttony. Wirth was a bareback rider who took risks, faced challenges and overcame a dreadful accident caused while leaping from the back of one moving horse to another. From Austtralia’s Wirth Circus to America’s Barnum and Bailey this remarkable woman proved that anything is possible. As Aimee said |”Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” Being at a Sisters of Invention performance is too good an opportunity to miss.