Same but different: Clare Bowditch and Adalita Srsen are taking their musical differences on tour.
If there is going to be a bone of contention on the national tour being undertaken by Clare Bowditch and Adalita Srsen we are assured by one of the participants that it is not likely to be over their different musical paths: Bowditch’s pop/folk/soul preference vs Srsen’s avowedly rock-based work with Magic Dirt or her two solo albums of quiet intensity (Adalita, from 2011) and not-so-quiet intensity (All Day Venus, from 2013).
Although aware of each other for a couple of decades, they met properly eight years ago when Mushroom Group boss Michael Gudinski got them together at one of his songwriting retreats and according to Bowditch, “We wrote this little song for the Veronicas but we had so much fun doing it that we forgot to give it to them ... we just get each other."
Nor is it some personality differences from the assumption that one is motherly, sweet and about to hug you if you need it (Bowditch) while the other is sharp, pungent and about to smack you if you do that again. After all, as Bowditch explains, “We seem like night and day, everyone says that about us, but we have so much in common as people”.
Logie nominated: Clare Bowditch also stars in the TV series Offspring.
“I admire her toughness and she admires my perceived softness,” Bowditch says. “But then we get in a room together and we realise both of those are just stories we tell ourselves.”
And it won’t be ego either as the Winter Secrets tour, the latest in a mid-year series Bowditch has undertaken with different female singer/songwriters in recent times, is apparently a lovefest in need of some arrogance.
"I bow at the altar of Adalita, I can't believe my luck having the play with me, seriously,” Bowditch says. “She's been a big idol of mine for a long time because she's an incredible musician, she’s won the game of atrophy, she’s only a couple of years older than me but she was doing it before me and despite all the respect and love people have for her, she's very very humble. She needs to get a bit more up herself, that's what I say."
You will be more inclined to believe Bowditch when you hear how this year’s Winter Secrets wasn’t meant to happen. Bowditch had come off a 2013 filled with not just touring and acting (in her Logie-nominated role on Offspring) but the expanding world of her project, Big Hearted Business, which brought together creatives to understand business and business types to understand creativity.
If that sounds a bit woolly to you, the three-month projected turned into a year and then into such a success that Bowditch has had to bring in a full-time general manager to take over from her. Not surprisingly she started 2014 exhausted and looking for a long break but then her husband/manager suggested Adalita as the tour buddy and “suddenly I was, ‘yes, we can do it, we can do Winter Secrets’,”.
“I think what it is, and excuse the cliche, is that I know once I’m up on stage and my audience, who I know well – there is a big chunk of my audience I actually know well and they know me well, seeing each other over the years – they will carry me,” Bowditch says.
Not just carry her, but dance with her. In Tasmania, Bowditch and Srnsn invited audience members to help out with some interpretative dance. Yes, really, interpretative dance. And so chuffed with the result is she that Bowditch pulls up some footage on her phone.
“This woman called Betsy came up and she changed my life,” she says, looking at the grainy film and moving bodies. “It was the highlight of the night."
If you’re still unconvinced and think interpretive dance and Srsen seem at stupidly polar opposites, Bowditch reveals that Srsen was a highly talented contemporary dancer in her youth.
“And,” she adds with a grin, “she’s got the streets smarts of a jazz dancer.”
Winter Secrets: Clare Bowditch and Adalita
Gig Saturday, August 2, 8pm, Factory Theatre, Marrickville
Live Pop, rock and (hopefully) interpretative dance
Best track Ask for the one they wrote for the Veronicas