Back in early 2012, I was bassist for Alex Cappelli’s “The Collectables” and we launched his new version of the band at Noise Bar, Brunswick. We were supported by two bands but, of those, the one that stood out was The Divine Fluxus, an all girl three piece playing a flavour of rock I describe as Anne Wilson of Heart singing for Rush in Metallica’s studio. We were, all three bands, relatively new to the road in our line ups at the time, but TDF impressed me because they had a sound at once recognisable in known forms, but… different, unknown, edgy and a little dangerous.
We supported them at Revolver Upstairs in Chapel St for their CD launch, a month or so later, the thorns among roses, with the other support, The Anoushka, opening the show. The Collectables were the token blokes in a sandwich of bitchkrieging rock that shook the room, the night and expectations of what loud, electric music could be. All three bands blew the doors off that night and I was hooked on The Divine Fluxus, a welded-on fan.
I always knew women could rock as hard as any of the guys. Siouxsie Sioux, Joan Jett, Anne and Nancy Wilson, to name a few ladies of loudness that had rocked my stereo over the years, but there are many many more. However, until TDF, I hadn’t shared a stage with any. I’d rocked with women in bands, but none with the power Ary, Victoria and Sasha delivered.
So circumstance unfolded, The Collectables “went south”, my health took a dive and it was 2 years before I got along to a gig to see The Divine Fluxus again. Flash forward to The Brunswick Hotel, 2 weeks ago. It’s one of the last gigs with the band’s new drummer, Yahna Pal. It was everything I remembered, growling, rootsy hard rock with Victoria channeling an intriguing hybrid of Anne Wilson and Geddy Lee vocals. It reaffirmed this band’s stunning difference in a Melbourne scene overloaded with tattooed blokes doing AC DC licks like they were Iron Maiden. They rock out in a consistent style but without any of the songs sounding “samey”. The ripped the Brunswick a new one.
Then last night, sharing the bill at The Elsternwick Hotel with Dear Stalker and Saint Henry, The Divine Fluxus took to the stage with the first, and arguably most passionate, drummer, Sasha Campbell. We’d been told on Facebook there was going to be a surprise, that was it, the original and best trio was back in their best mix! With Sasha back on the beats, they ripped rock’n’roll a new one, a big one, and local live music is all the better for it! This is the original purpose of rock, this is it’s new purpose, the beginninng, the end, the alpha and the omega, Ragnarock, as the Vikings might have put it.
The “Wick’s” sound system is a little underpowered, the sound guy was OK, but struggled to get loud enough monitoring on stage. How the girls responded to this could be a lesson to some international stars, let alone local acts. They dug deep and rocked the fuck out. It was like watching a trio of acrobats run up to the precipice, flat out, and stop, teetering on the edge, no net to save them if they fell, over and over again, and every time, the crowd cheers! The music was edgy, dangerous, passionate and thrusting. They might have set fire to the stage if the performance were any hotter.
Being male is no mortgage on knowing how to rock. There are no gender divides on the hard rock stage anymore as these talented young women prove, night after night. Gender is no longer an indicator of balls in music, to paraphrase Patti Smith, The Divine Fluxus are a canon and they NEVER run out of balls. Get your ears around their tunes and get along to a gig. You’re not a real rocker if you don’t.
The Divine Fluxus on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedivinefluxusmusic
The Divine Fluxux on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/the-divine-fluxus