Do-Re-Mi’s reunion after 30 years for By The C has been a big winner for the music festival.
Do-Re-Mi have performed By The C shows in Wollongong and Coolangatta and well play their final By The C shows with the all-new female line-up this weekend in Geelong and Adelaide.
The new Do-Re-Mi features founding members Deborah Conway and Helen Carter with new members Clio Rener, Julia Day and Bridie O’Brien.
“Clio Rener is an artist in her own right,” Helen Carter tells Noise11.com. “She has material that she has released. She is a Melbourne based songwriter and pianist. She also works with Deb regularly in Deb’s live band.
“Julia (Day), me and Stephen (Philip) played in a 1990s in a three piece band,” she added. “Julia had heard of Bridie so we got her to audition and she is incredible, an amazing guitarist. The one thing that I’m thrilled about is that we are sounding like a band, not just three other people supporting Helen and Deb. That is really important to me because Do Re Mi was a collective at the time. It was important to have that same vibe”.
The two other members of the original band Dorland Bray and Stephen Philip are not along for this journey but fully support the reformation. “Stephen and I have been partners for 40 years so he is up to speed on everything I am doing,” Helen says. “Dorland is living in New Zealand. It became impractical for him but he knows Julia’s work, he has seen her play and he is really happy we are working with Julia”.
Stephen has even been training up Bridie with a few of his Do-Re-Mi secrets. “Bridie and Julia have been up to my place and Stephen has been showing Bridie some of the unusual chord progressions and the formations of the chords he was using in the days. There has been no animosity. I wouldn’t want to do it if there was,. Helen said.
Do-Re-Mi broke up after just two albums when Deborah Conway decided to go solo. “30 years ago record companies, labels and management controlled everything quite tightly for an artist’s direction and career,” Helen says. “It’s different today because you can now do it from your bedroom. There were competing factors around Deb doing solo stuff. I guess in hindsight if we could get more mature advise we wouldn’t have quit. At the time Deb was getting lured to do solo stuff and at the time we thought ‘well thats the end’. Today that isn’t the case these days. There is a lot of opportunity for collaboration. We see everybody collaborating now and it doesn’t mean the end of anything. It just means something else. But for back then, being such a tight band, we felt ‘well thats just the end’. Spending 80% of your time together and travelling it becomes intense. Having Deb say she wanted to do solo stuff to us back then felt like ‘that’s it’.”
Do-Re-Mi play By The C Geelong at Leura Park Estate on Saturday 9 February and Glenelg Beach, Adelaide on Sunday 10 February.
By The C is presented by Zaccaria Touring and features Icehouse, The Sunnyboys, The Church, Do-Re-Me and Mental As Anything.