Which is witch?
Melissa Fyfe - 6th December, 1997 -
'WE ARE both witches in our own way," says Wendy Rule,
the gifted Melbourne singer-sorceress. Rule is talking
about her partnership with Kerri Simpson and their December
show at the Continental Cafe called Witches Christmas.
Rule, who has released two albums, practises Wicca,
a nature-based witchcraft "that makes me a Wiccan witch,
as opposed to a wicked witch". The highly acclaimed
Simpson is a voudou hounsis, or initiate, one step below
With their shared belief in spirituality and exploration
of the soul through songwriting, Rule and Simpson have
fused their considerable talents many times, but this
time they have invited 12 of their singing sisters to
Monique Brumby (voted best female artist at the 1997
ARIA awards), Rebecca Barnard (of successful Melbourne-based
band Rebecca's Empire), Lou Bennett (of the three-piece
vocal group Tiddas) and the country-guitar-pop singer
Tanya Lee Davies, will be among the guests bubbling
the broth with Rule and Simpson. At $2, it will be one
of the cheapest serves of Christmas cheer around.
They will play each Tuesday night in December, with
different guests every night. "We are strong believers
in women being in control of their own creativity,"
says Rule. "And this is an expression of that solidarity
between female artists."
As Christmas is a healing and caring time - which ties
into their own beliefs - the two singers are asking
people to bring along offerings of food, toys or gifts
to place at their Wiccan/Voudou altar as donations to
the Salvation Army. "I don't think you can just call
yourself a witch and that's it. It is a communal role
and it seems, as with music, that it goes beyond yourself
and into doing something for others," says Rule.
Both singers draw heavily on their beliefs in their
songs and are sometimes misunderstood as artists because
their beliefs are generally misunderstood by the public.
"Both of our faiths suffer from a lot of prejudice.
They are badly represented in the movies and the press,"
says Rule. "Naturally we come up against walls when
people cannot overcome their prejudices."
* Witches Christmas at the Continental Cafe, Greville
Street, Prahran, tickets $2 at the door, 8.30pm; 9,
16, 23 and 30 December. Kerri Simpson and Wendy Rule
plus guests: Tanya Lee Davies, Rebecca Barnard, Monique
Brumby, Lou Bennett, Edwina Preston and Diane Peters,
Kirsty Stegwazi, Nichaud Fitzgibbon, Rosie Westbrook,
Megan Bawden and Penny Ikinger and Rose Baby Wemus.