Home Interviews Interview: ALLY FOWLER (THE CHANTOOZIES)


12 min read


The Chantoozies earned themselves a legion of fans across the country in the 80s and 90s with hits like ‘Wanna Be Up’, ‘Witch Queen’ and ‘Kiss and Tell’ and became known for their high energy live performances, having toured with some of the biggest names in the music business. And they want to let their fans know that they are back together again and still delivering those high energy shows. I caught up with Chantoozie Ally Fowler recently to talk about the girls’ upcoming show at the Wonderland Spiegeltent at Melbourne’s Docklands this Saturday and she says she is very excited to be playing in such a magnificent venue. “They’re the most beautiful spaces,” she tells me. “I’ve never been to this particular one but I’ve been to many shows over the years in various places.  “I can’t wait. I’ve always wanted to play at Spiegeltent since they arrived in Australia years ago. If you’ve never been to see a Spiegeltent, it’s worth coming along just to see the tent! But the show will be a lot of fun. It’s always the same with us. It’s high energy but it’s very chilled out. We have an enormous amount of fun and we have a great band. We do covers, a lot of our hits and album tracks and because we’ve been together so many years, we have so much fun.  We get on really well. We’ve been such great friends for so long that I think that really comes across on stage and comes across to the audience.”

It certainly comes across in the film clip they made last year to promote their most recent single, produced by Pseudo Echo frontman, Brian Canham; a cover of the old Promises’ hit, ‘Baby It’s You’. “We got some famous friends to be in the film clip and it was more of a means to an end,” explains Ally. Those ‘famous friends’ included Hugh Jackman, Eric Bana and Anthony LaPaglia. Not a bad supporting cast. “It was a way to just promote the band and let people know that we are back together and that we’re doing gigs and to come along and see us.”  She points out that getting a No. 1 song on the charts was not their objective.  “We got a lot of gigs and that was what we were really after and now, just for the fun of it, we’ve got a song that Tottie recorded years ago that she wrote and she did the vocal on it and we thought ‘it’s sitting there; why not?’ so we’ve done a bit of a ‘videography diary’ kind of clip to it. A lot of it is on hand held phone. It’s just a bit of fun; us on tour, at gigs, on trains, planes, automobiles. A bit of that kind of thing, intercut with audio footage of her singing the song and we’re just going to put that on our Facebook page and on our website and You Tube and stick the song on iTunes so it’s not really a big media release but just something for the fans. We might as well give it a bit of an airing instead of leaving it sitting in the cupboard.  As I said, it’s not the same sort of ‘flash’ clip like we did last time. We’ve got it sitting there so we thought we’d do a bit of visual to it for a bit of fun and put it on the website. That should be out in the next couple of weeks. It was meant to be out for the beginning of February and it got delayed a little bit with the editing of the clip but it will be out soon.”

While The Chantoozies are kept busy right now, Ally says that things will quieten down for the band for a couple of months towards the middle of the year while the girls work on their individual projects.  “Then we’ll be back with a vengeance,” she promises.  Ally says that the band will probably go into the studio at the end of the year to record some more material.  “We’ll see where we’re at and what we’re doing. It’s not that we’ve come back on to the scene to be a big recording band or anything. It’s more that we just felt that there’s an opportunity out there for us to reform and do some gigs and have fun and enjoy each other’s company and enjoy the music and while that opportunity is still there, let’s do it. Let’s make hay while the sun shines. We all have other things that we do. Eve works in production as well and we sing with other bands; Tottie’s a marriage celebrant. We’ve got other strings to our bows and it’s just working it all in together.”

One of Ally’s ‘other’ projects, of course, was working on the TV series Wentworth which, she says, she finished filming late last year.  “It’s a great series and I really enjoyed doing it,” she tells me. “Great bunch of girls and I just think it has been really well done. I think they are going into another series.”  After wrapping up filming on the series, Ally then performed in a trilogy of plays for a well-known theatre company in Sydney, keeping her busy in between Chantoozies gigs and the girls are more than happy to keep those gigs coming.

Ally assures me that the girls all put everything they have into what they do but, she says, they don’t take it too seriously.  “We take the show seriously, of course, and we put our heart and soul into it but we’re not all stitched up and huffed about dotting every ‘I’ and crossing every ‘T’. We’re not neurotic about it. We’re relaxed and chilled up there. We have a really fun time and I think that really washes over into the audience. There’s nothing quite like watching people have a really nice time. It puts a smile on your face. And The Spiegeltent is a beautiful setting to do it in.”


by Sharyn Hamey


Copyright © Sharyn Hamey 2015.  All rights reserved

The Chantoozies

Saturday 21st March 2015 | 8.30pm

Wonderland Spiegeltent, DOCKLANDS VIC


For more information on The Chantoozies and further gig dates,

please visit http://thechantoozies.com

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