Posts Tagged ‘Orianthi’

Orianthi - Adelaide Dec 2014

Orianthi – the homecoming queen of shred – under lights – and in the rockbrat lens !

Christmas came early for the lucky few who nabbed a ticket to Orianthi’s hometown gig last Sunday 21st December, cos they witnessed some Australian rock n roll history (nope, I ain’t referring to beau Richie Sambora guesting with her either). See, Ori rarely does solo shows downunder, and this performance was by an artist at the very top of her game.
I saw her at Sydney’s Enmore as part of Sambora’s band back in  February – and although she shined, I really wanted to see her headline – which would give me the chance to see if she’s worthy of  all the accolades. After lengthy flight delays, I finally stand in this sweaty  live venue (Hindmarsh’s Gov) nursing a pint of Coopers and await the arrival of the Queen of Shred. Not being a Crow-Eater, openers –  The Stefan Hauk Band were a complete unknown to me, but I was soon very impressed. This solid three-piece belted out some quality blooze – winning over a room-full of guitar-geeks with a tight set of original tunage. Hauk is a name to file away folks. At around 9:30pm, Miss Orianthi storms the stage – kicking off a sweaty 2 hour set with ‘Heaven In This Hell’ – the title track from her most recent album. ‘What’s It Gonna Be’ from the Believe’ album is up next and it cooks. Was great to see Ori churning tunes out from that record – even ‘Think Like a Man’ with its heavy raunch chorus is played and is well received. Former Eurythmic Dave Stewart produced and co-wrote much of the material off ‘Heaven In This Hell’ – including the infectious ‘Filthy Blues’ – aired tonight to maximum effect – and the army of six-string geeks packed in this venue have smiles a mile wide. By the way, I never got around to reviewing ‘Heaven In This Hell’ but to summarize – it’s littered with catchy, guitar-fuelled tunes and is close to some of her most outstanding work.

Rumours are that next year, there is an album’s worth of material with Sambora to look forward to – but that being said, I ‘still’ do not think we have heard the best of Orianthi and am excited about what she will produce over the next 18 months or so. You can quote me on that too. The Desmond Child co-penned ‘Bad News’ gets cranked – beats me why this was never a radio hit – all the commercial ingredients are there, and is followed by Orianthi welcoming Richie Sambora to the stage. Saw him with Bon Jovi back on 87 and 89 tours and the guy is an amazing talent. His strong vocals were a massive, massive part of his former band’s sound and no matter what you may read or think, he is the real rock n roll deal. He and Ori run through the Nicks/Petty classic ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’ which was a real surprise. They also blaze through Jovi’s ‘Wanted Dead Or Alive’ which gets the place high – however it was Orianthi I came to see – so dueting on her ‘You Don’t Wanna Know’ – as they’ve done at many shows this year – was much cooler. Incidentally, the band were comprised of guys who she’d played in a covers band with at 15 – which was a nice touch I thought. You gotta admire that about Orianthi – although a world-wide star, she remains unaffected and as humble as ever – qualities which are not often found in that world of fame. Encores were the popular, but seldom-played-live ‘According To You’ and the riff-laden ‘Sex E Bizarre’ – followed by the Coop’s ‘School’s Out’ (with Sambora)  – which was a nice acknowledgement of her former boss, who she’d spent a couple of years on the road with. ‘Voodoo Chile’ closes a very memorable evening – and was the stuff guitar-nerds fantasize about.

In three decades of seeing bands – tonight’s show easily makes my top 10. Yes, Orianthi deserves all the accolades (she was once referred to as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime musician’). She is gifted and can play anything. But be in no doubt, she has rock n roll pulsing through her veins and that for me, is essentially what it’s all about.

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ImageAs a self-confessed girl-band geek, I often scour YouTube to see who is out there making waves. It is often like trying to locate your lost white cat in a snow storm – there are so many videos of shitty guitar players who feel it necesary to upload bad sounding recordings of their horrendous offerings.Some time back I struck gold – discovering a 26 year old Parisian gal who plays the meanest rock-guitar since Miss Orianthi. Her name is Juliette Valduriez – not too much is known about her. Fact is that some of her home-made video clips have attracted hits of over one million views each and she has over 70’000 subscribers. She is not just a shredder – she plays with tons of feel and emotion which cannot be learnt – it is a gift. Her 15 recordings include covers of Ozzy, Stones, Hendrix, Motorhead, Floyd and a stunning take on the Beatles’ She’s So Heavy. Points for covering the Exploited and Stooges – which is an indication she is influenced by many styles of rock. Having attracted a lot of admirers in a short space of time, you think she’d be a star, right ? Not so. She has so far remained out of the spotlight (though I note that someone has created a fan-made site) and has not upped any new material in twelve months. Would be a waste of an amazing talent if Juliette has gotten hitched and hung up the axe – which is what some followers have speculated online. If you are a guitar geek or just dig rock – check her out – I am sure you will be impressed. Juliette Valduriez YouTube page

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Update: Juliette was interviewed on the Australian Rock Show Podcast in May 2017.  The interview (without the songs) can also be heard on YouTube

 

ImageWhat is there left to say about Orianthi ? Every superlative to describe her ability and talent has been written. I watch some of her performances online and they often leave me speechless. Last year, Australian Guitar Magazine offered up their ‘Definitive Top Ten Australian Guitarists of All Time’ list. Having been a rock fanatic my whole life – monsieur Rockbrat is more than qualified to offer my thoughts on this ‘definitive’ gathering of six-string slingers. Angus is at #1 and deservedly so – he has his own style and sound. No argument there folks – and there are some other amazing players is their top ten as well, such as Tommy Emmanuel, Mossy, the great Rick Brewster, the Iceman, and Lobby Lloyde. The fact that Orianthi has already established herself on the world stage – is spoken about in the same breath as Hendrix and admired by the likes of Carlos Santana and Steve Vai – yet cannot make an irrelevant list like this ! Now that is funny and downright embarrassing – especially for a couple of the people on that list. How can you look me in the eye and tell me that that card-board cut-out ‘punk’ from the Living End (who shamelessly aped the Clash and others before him) – is superior to Orianthi ? Gimme a break. Or Ross Hannaford from Daddy Cool being named above her ! Now that is amusing. That geeky fossil may’ve blown the doped-out minds of surfies back in 1971, but really – just how influential was he ? Exactly. Whatever she shoulda been on that list, but I couldn’t really care – and I bet the humble Orianthi couldn’t either. Those in the know, can recognize just how special she really is. I am not going to give you the complete history – but her first gig was as a 15 year old supporting Steve Vai in Adelaide – who clearly knew that he was witnessing a once-in-a-generation guitar player – and it all started from there. Make sure you view her 2009 Grammy Awards performance – where she performed as part of Carrie Underwood’s band. If you can ignore the cliched, long-legged nonsense which Underwood carries on with – and close your eyes and listen, you will get what I am saying. The licks she lays down during those four short minutes would make Hendrix and Clapton jump in fright. She simply smokes, and without even trying – steals the show. Although landing the gig as Michael Jackson’s guitar player not long before – Orianthi, at that time was still relatively unknown. In my opinion, this was the performance which made many people sit up and take note….including me. I knew of her as the ‘Australian guitar player who landed the gig with Michael Jackson’, but shame on me for not discovering her earlier. So again, go to that Awards performance – close your eyes and listen to her playing – listen to what is actually going on along her fretboard. The feel, flair and natural ability which she possesses cannot be rehearsed and it cannot be taught. It is a gift. An instinct. Orianthi is a visionary who has magic flowing through her fingers. Fellow-femme players like Bonnie Raitt and Lita Ford (whom I adore) – do not receive the accolades which Orianthi has received. But being female does not enter the equation – her gender and looks are indeed irrelevant – you need to look further my friends. look and listen with your ears. When you have so many young women artists nowadays all vying to be the next Kelly Clarkson or discovered on one of the many ‘talent’ programs – it’s refreshing that the ass-kicking Orianthi is around. Let me ask you this – is she the greatest guitar player since Hendrix ? – Hmmm – that’s a big call – but in time, you will add her name to Beck, Hendrix, Rhoads, Clapton, Ray Vaughan, Santana and the like. That I can assure you. Until then friends, be in no doubt – Orianthi is the greatest guitar player alive today….

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Orianthi stealing Carrie Underwood’s thunder with amazing fretwork

 

Girl bands, or rather – female musicians have long been on my rock n roll radar.  Punk, riot grrl, pop, metal, folk – you name it, Mr Rockbrat digs it and my taste  for she-powered pop/rock is wide and varied. L7, Bikini Kill, Joan Jett, Anne McCue,  Girl Monstar, Sherry Rich, Pandoras, Girlschool, Joni Mitchell, Melanie, Birtha,  Rock Goddess, Runaways, Eva Cassidy, Karen Carpenter, Lita Ford – the list is  endless. Hell I’ve even seen Elaine Paige live – and she was great by the way. Get  the point ? Some time back I zeroed in on the four super talented Findlay sisters,   who are collectively known as Stonefield. ‘Through The Clover’ won me over big time.  I loathe comparisons, specially with other all-girl bands, but, if Birtha were  around today – they would sound something like Stonefield. The drummer/vocalist Amy,  has strong pipes like Birtha’s Liver Favela – also a stick twirler. Their rise has  been swift since former because they have the tunes – the looks and chops are  obviously there, which is vital for the big time, but it’s the tunage which is  mesmerizing. If they don’t make it within the next eighteen months, then rock n roll  really is dead….

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