Singer Nikki Nicholls never seems to stop. She is one of that special breed of artists who is constantly reinventing herself and creating shows that appeal to an ever-expanding audience. Aside from her regular gigs with Jam the Funk who work consistently around Melbourne, filling the dance floors wherever they go, Nikki also performs with other ensembles in various shows including, most recently, her tribute to Carole King, ‘You’ve Got a Friend – The Songs and Story of Carole King’ at The Palms at Crown in Melbourne. The show was well received by her fans and peers and allowed the singer’s more mellow side to shine and shine it did, brilliantly.
But, while Nikki concedes that her voice is well suited to the music of more laid back artists like Carole King, she does love a good rock song and her latest show, ‘Ritual of Rock Volume I’ is the perfect showcase for Nikki the Rock Chick to do her stuff. “I do love to do a screamer,” she admits. And she will have her chance in this show which pays tribute to the rock goddesses of the 70s, 80s and 90s, with the music of some of the greatest women in rock such as Suzi Quatro, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Pat Benatar and many more.
For the Ritual of Rock show, Nikki will be joined by singer Lisa Bade who, Nikki says, is “An amazing rock singer. Lisa is renowned for being the Janis Joplin of Australian music. She’s just incredible doing Janis.” The two singers have worked together before so there is plenty of history there between them. “We had a trio called the Lovestars in the mid-80s to 90s and we had a bit of a cult following in Melbourne. We worked for about ten or twelve years. It was a trio that changed the mood to songs by changing the lyrics and making them funny. It was a comedy show with the three vocals. The harmonies were great. It was just one of those things that really worked. We clicked and it all sounded fantastic so we had a winner there for many years.”
Also joining Nikki on stage will be a band of superb musicians featuring, on bass, Rick Petropolous (The Ferrets), guitarist Paul Gildea (Icehouse), Nik Pringadi on keyboards and drummer Davey Porter (Electric Mary).
Nikki has worked with some amazing performers throughout her career, including the undisputed Queen of Rock, Suzi Quatro, in the 80s. “I toured all around Australia with her for a couple of months which was great fun,” she says. “She’s so talented and she just keeps on going. I don’t think she’ll ever stop.” And to back up that claim, Nikki relates one particular story from the tour. “When I was with her, she was pregnant with her second child and nobody else knew. She had morning sickness and, at one gig, she was in the middle of playing a bass solo but she disappeared off stage and we looked around and here she is sort of leaning over the bass, throwing up into a bucket but still playing the bass solo which I thought was pretty amazing. That’s rock ‘n’ roll.” And Nikki will most definitely be paying homage to Suzi in her show.
Melbourne music fans can catch Nikki’s Ritual of Rock Volume I at the Flying Saucer Club in Elsternwick tomorrow night, Friday 26th May and again at the Satellite Lounge in Wheelers Hill on Saturday 15th July.
by Sharyn Hamey
Copyright © Sharyn Hamey 2017. All rights reserved