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Boom! Bap! Pow!

Novak Bull, a lady named for '60s screen siren Kim Novak, is extremely upbeat about yet another seemingly arduous return to east from her Perth home. On the way out the door to her other gig as a social worker, the frontwoman of the thrillingly titled Boom! Bap! Pow! band gushes, "We just can't keep away from Sydney. We're all uber excited to be heading east again. How could you possibly not be pumped? I mean, the tours just keep on coming!"


The tours do indeed keep on coming for the West Australians, with separate jaunts throughout 2011 in support of US artists Royal Crown Revue and Eli 'Paperboy' Reed. "We were lucky with those shows: there's a little bit of us being happy to fit a similar product, but we're also having an absolute ball on the road," Novak says. Showcase performances at Brisbane's BigSound went down a treat, but Novak is particularly excited about being able to play a venue in Sydney's Kings Cross on the upcoming tour. "We have talked about The Cross," she says, "and we all reckon that there's something special about having a show on in a place with that kind of history. It almost seems a bit taboo to us, to be making tunes and making havoc in the red light district…I actually haven't told my mum," Novak confides. "Not that she'd care. I mean, it's not as if she's a hooker or anything. She's pretty cool, for a mum, and she'd probably just go, 'Oh, that's a bit naughty - have fun.'"

 

Novak's band creates swinging tunes bursting with serious musicianship and severe lashings of fun, but the upbeat style isn't necessarily for the cynical. "We are a bit different," Novak acknowledges. "There's probably [some people] who hear us and think, 'Who are these pop pieces of shit?'" And while the band can write apparently cheerful tunes to get feet-a-tapping, she says, "We're actually not all that clean. A lot of what we do is very off-the-cuff, and when people see us live they're usually pretty surprised at how out of control the show can get…We all lose our shit on stage," Novak says before drily adding, "Rather, band members lose their respective excrement - only figuratively, of course!" You'll be able to partake in this mess-free environment when the group launch their latest double-A side release Never Mean Nothing/Furniture, which is being released on vinyl. "At last the cool kids are digging [vinyl] - but now I've got an entire house filled with compact discs...It's okay though, 'cause I've got a bunch of tapes too, and the word is that's coming back in next."

 

Being the only female in such a hard-touring band comes with certain pitfalls. "For most of the time, it's fine - I just become part of the boys' club. But then I start waking up in the hotel, having nightmares from some of the stuff they've insisted on showing me on their phones…" I ask if such hardship ever eventually leads to thoughts of home. "Oh god, yes! Sometimes I just wanna get back and finish the garden," Novak confirms excitedly. "The yard's nothing too fancy, certainly no water features yet. But if Jamie Drurie wants to come over he can... He might be a bit old, but he's kind of got that whole friend's-hot-uncle-at-a-wedding thing going on. You'd probably brush your breast against him after a few wines."

BY BENJAMIN COOPER

 

Boom! Bap! Pow! play The John Curtin Hotel on Friday November 25 and Queenscliff Music Festival from Friday November 25 - Sunday November 27.