Years after shelving her professional career as a singer-songwriter “to get a real job” as a real estate agent, Fiona Dell will tonight launch her debut album with a 1930’s cabaret event at the Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall. Produced and arranged by APRA-award-winner Sharny Russell, Come Home explores the euphoria of romantic love, the anger of heartbreak and the agony of unrequited love through soaring guitar riffs, smouldering sax solos and smooth sultry vocals.
“Ever since I started writing music, I dreamt of recording an album,” said Fiona. “I’ve never had the pleasure of being a mother so I guess this is my first musical baby; something that I can leave behind to show the world that I lived and loved.”
After majoring in musical composition and performance at Mullumbimby High School, Fiona’s melodious odyssey took her to the Wild West where she fronted Perth hard rock cover band After Hours and performed solo in iconic venues including the Vines Resort.
“I went travelling when I was 19 because, to be honest, this area had nothing to offer me after I finished high school,” she said. “Mullumbimby was a very different place in those days and Perth had everything that the Byron Shire was lacking for me so I spent the best part of the 1990’s living in WA.”
After returning to the Northern Rivers in 2000 to pound the pavement in a pencil skirt as a local real estate agent – “It’s cutthroat, back-stabbing and ruthless; the music industry is a walk in the park!” – Fiona decided to flex her comedic muscle at Mandy Nolan’s Virgin Sacrifice workshop.
“It was the best thing I ever did to improve my skills as a performer and communicator,” she said. “Getting on stage without a guitar or a disguise, and being very open and honest exposing your flaws in public is very therapeutic. As a real estate agent, everything you say and do is monitored, judged and analysed, especially in a small town. If I were a bank teller or accountant, nobody would give a shit about what I did in my personal life. On the comedy stage, especially in Mullum, I can say anything I like and the worst thing that will happen is that nobody laughs.”
Joining Fiona tonight on stage are special guests The Sharny Russell Trio, Martha Baartz, John Hoffman, Doni Raven. Gaby Bogart will open the show.
“Music is powerful. It can change our heartbeat, our mood and take our minds on a journey the same way that reading a book can,” muses Fiona. “It’s spiritual, magical and one hundred percent organic and gluten free.”
Come Home album launch
Saturday February 14, 2015
Doors open 7:30pm. Show starts 8:00pm
Tickets – Adults $20, Concession $15
VIP Tickets – $35 per head, (pre-purchase only, limited availability) includes signed copy of album, VIP Table, champagne and canapés on arrival
Reserved table of 10 – $150 (pre-purchase only, limited availability)
BYO wine permitted. Cheese and antipasto platters, chai, coffee and cakes available for purchase
Available at www.trybooking.com, The Empire Café, Mullum Mac, and at the Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall
Photographer: Donatella Parisini