Songs that made Angie Hart

Angie Hart is taking two on the Songs That Made Me tour.

Angie Hart is taking two on the Songs That Made Me tour. The singer/songwriter – best known as the frontwoman of 90s Melbourne band Frente and for her appearances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer – has joined fellow artist Katie Noonan on the road the last two years as part of an all-female music project which began in 2013 alongside Abby Dobson and Martha Marlow. But Hart dismisses any favouritism: “I think I was just the only one who was available again,” she laughs. The new tour will see Sydney’s Sam Buckingham and Newcastle’s Melody Pool taking the stage alongside two of the country’s most iconic artists. The four women have just kicked off a 10-date national tour, which opened in Perth last night and heads to Adelaide on Friday, November 7. “It’s great, we’re all sounding really great together; there’s lots of different voices, good tones,” Hart says. “It’s the kind of thing you hope you’ll get asked to do. You see these things happen and you sit at home and wish you were a part of it because they always look so fun.” Hart didn’t know Buckingham or Pool prior to teaming up for the tour, but says they have all grown close very quickly. “The first time I met them was when we started doing our rehearsals,” she says. “It’s been wonderful; it’s such a great way to meet other musicians and collaborate, and get to know how they approach stuff. It’s probably the optimal way to meet your peers.” This time around the tour coincides with the release of a collaborative compilation album that will see all profits directed to the Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon campaign. Noonan has assembled some of the best female musicians in the country – including Stonefield, Sahara Beck, Mia Dysonand Renee Geyer – to share and perform the songs that made them, inspired them, and soundtracked their lives. The songs are varied, traversing Nina Simone to Paul Simon to Jeff Buckley to Radiohead. “I think [Katie’s] whole aim with this tour and the album is diversity,” Hart says. “There’s a few different generations and a few different strains of music, she’s looking for things that will be complementary in a juxtaposing way. “Compared to some other compilation albums this was very collaborative and I think that makes it really special.” Hart’s album track is a rendition of Prince’s 1980 song When You Were Mine, a song that has been covered by a slew of artists including Cyndi LauperTegan and Sara and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. “It’s a good dirty betrayal song; it’s always very confusing when you love someone and they’re doing wrong by you and I think the lyrics really hit upon that human part where you’re confused and you’re not just angry,” she said. “And I think he’s always very visceral in his sexual overtones in his songs; he gets to the heart of what it’s like to be a human body.”   Hart says the 80s superstar has been a significant influence on her music. “I’m a pretty massive Prince fan; Prince was a big influence on Frente as well,” she says. “When we did Marvin the Album we asked Prince’s producer at the time [Michael Koppelman] to come and produce for us and he flew out to Melbourne and did the album with us. “I saw [1984 film] Purple Rain in my very early teens, I was probably 11 or 12. It was a very overtly sexual film that just blew my mind. My uncle and aunty took me and we had a very silent dinner afterwards. “It’s funny how you have that wonderful safety filter though; things you aren’t supposed to see you don’t absorb too heavily. I was just blown away by the drama; the outfits, the music, everyone was having hissy fits and sulking and being overt in every single way. “I’d never seen a rock n roll drama before; that was my first concept album type experience and I ate the whole thing up.” In addition to Prince, Hart has also chosen to sing The Cure’s In Between Days. “I think I must be obsessed with menage a trois…considering Bizarre Love Triangle is probably my biggest song – that’s a pretty massive menage trois,” she laughs. Frente fans will not be disappointed, with Hart pulling out the band’s iconic 90s hit. “I’m doing Ordinary Angels because that song made me; that song definitely made my life,” she says. “People love it, and Katie and the girls all sing with me on it, it’s so lovely to share that song. “I think if you’re going to do a show like this it would be a waste not to collaborate with all these beautiful singers.” Despite being her second time around on the Songs That Made Me tour, these shows are a whole new experience for Hart, who is currently pregnant with her first child. “It is a bit different, and I probably wouldn’t have come on the road if it wasn’t for a tour like this,” she says. “I feel like everyone is very mindful of that and I knew I’d be in good hands.” The shows have become a family affair, with husband and wife rhythm section – Evan Mannell and Zoe Hauptmann – touring for the first time with their new baby boy. “Being on the road with Katie is a very conducive environment for when you need a bit of TLC and to be looked after a bit. It’s not a bad vibe.” While Hart, Noonan, Buckingham and Pool come from different generations and musical backgrounds, Harts says it has been great to connect as women. “There is something about being with your fellow musicians, just in general, but you’re often surrounded by a bunch of blokes so it’s really nice to be on the road with a bunch of ladies,” she said. “On this tour we have a husband and wife team who have just had a baby, there’s me with one on the way, one girl who is in her 20s, and one just 30, so there’s something about those different kinds of mentorships and it’s refreshing for us to look at how people approach it when they’re just starting out. “So there’s a lot of crossover influences; it’s inspiring.” The tour wraps up on the Gold Coast on November 23, when Hart will take some well-earned time off. “By the end of the month I probably won’t be allowed to fly anymore…I’m nearly 27 weeks and I think you can’t fly after 32 weeks.” Songs That Made Me Friday, November 7 The Gov thegov.com.au  

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