Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Ginja Roe at the Carringbush Hotel

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On Sunday afternoon I took the opportunity to go and see once again the girl duo, Ginja Roe, perform live at a small hotel in Richmond. This excursion was only the second time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them perform live.

You may recall that I was very impressed with them when I first saw them at about this time last year.

Since then they’ve released a new CD called Polished which I ordered as soon as I heard it was in the works and it is just as good, if not better than their debut CD Home Made, a more layered recording than the simple arrangements on the earlier record.

It was certainly a pleasant way to spend a cold winter Sunday afternoon/evening in the cosy Carringbush Hotel.

Ginja Roe are Megan Doherty and Pamela Wouters, childhood friends from the outer suburban town of Pakenham. Meg writes the music and lyrics, but both girls take turns with the singing. They each have lovely distinctive voices which individually sound beautiful, but in harmony, are really heavenly.

They now have a band, adding a drummer, Bindy Cohen and a bass player, David Kidd to the line up. Meg and Pam each play a guitar, Meg plays harmonica and Pam contributes tympanic effects on a type of hand drum. One of the things I’ve always liked about Ginja Roe is their gutsy sound, so the additional band members add a bigger, fuller bodied dimension to their live performance.

Their performance is assured and lively and they have an engaging stage presence. My friend and I stayed for two hours, but had to leave before the third set. The two hours we were there passed at the speed of light. It was engrossing on a visual and aural level.

Playing a mix of original and cover songs, Ginja Roe demonstrated the diversity of their musical influences over the course of the afternoon. It rocked one minute then quietened to sweet & slow the next. They did a great cover of I’m A Believer made famous by the Monkees back in the 1960s though it appeared to be a medley with a Dire Straights song. Their own compositions are nothing to sneeze at and are up to the best of what’s on offer today.

Pam did a wonderfully sultry, sexy rendition of Sweet and Divine one of Meg’s songs from Home Made.

Another winner was the lovely Flowers from the new album where their two voices in harmony sounded truly divine.

Each time I have seen Ginja Roe – and it is only twice – I have been tremendously impressed. They just get better and better. I shall certainly go and see them again, hopefully in the near future as I don’t intend to wait a year for the next time - this time around.

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