From the Rockbrat Archives: Girl Monstar – Esplanade Hotel St Kilda (1992)

Girl Monstar – Esplanade Hotel St Kilda 11 July 1992

girl_monstar_hoptounAfter a wretched ’91 which saw many a guileless critic write them off for dead, 1992 promises to be the year of Girl Monstar, when their unique semi tough addictive brand of rock “n” roll is at
last made communicable to the hungry world at large. With their debut album “Monstereo Delicio” finally in  circulation, and ace plucker Janene Abbott filling the rhythm gulf left by Damian beyond all expectations,  things are very much on the up and up. I just can’t figure why they’re not gainfully employed superstars already.
Monstar Maniacs from every corner of Melbourne have converged on St Kilda’s (in)famous Espy for tonight’s she-rock shindig and I can sense a welcome dose of Monstar medicine on it’s way. What I haven’t anticipated is the very palatable pairing of Sherry and Anne,  arriving on stage in their mellow, acoustic guise – The Honeybees. The punters are provided with a half hour set of easy listening favourites as a prelude to the Monstarous main course. Citing highlights from The Honeybees set is much like splitting hairs, but I’ll chuck in my two bucks worth. Their duet on Neil Young’s ‘There Comes A Time’ rates honourable mention, as does the passionate rendition of “I’m A Believer” .  Sherry’s handling of “These Boots Are Made For Walking” renders every other version – Nancy Sinatra’s
included, obsolete. And I’d sell my left lung and buy a Hawthorn membership ticket to hear Anne McCue’s  one in a million voice illustrate the dreamy lyrics of “Ventura Highway” one more time.

The sensitive, wistful stuff done with, Melbourne’s own rock “n” roll wet dream cum queens  of noise – the mighty Girl Monstar – crash the stage opening with a tumultuous version of Alice Cooper’s  definitive road song “Raped and Freezin”. A couple of old favourites follow, the dramatic bitch anthem,  “Maneater” and Anne’s rueful soap opera, “Johnny”. “Are You Ever” is nothing less than a three minute invitation to salvation, a priceless cut of melody from the wizard ink of Sherry V – it sticks in the brain in the  nicest possible way. Another ace from the Valier deck – the telling ballad “If Only You Knew”, also carries the mark of Monstar magic.
The David/Bacharach classic “Walk On By” receives special treatment from lead guitarist  Anne. After the way the dirty old Stranglers mauled it in the late 70’s, it’s a delight to hear Anne’s angelic  vocal delivery give it fresh life. Her own composition “Higher Than High” is white hot pop and proves that  she can write ’em as good as she can sing ’em. A juiced up “Egomaniac” (Surely one of the best tunes ever committed to a B – side) is further evidence of her creative merits. “Surfing On A Wave Of Love”, dare I say their signature tune, is the night’s fitting finale,  but if it hadn’t been for the house lights coming on at such a rude interval, we may have seen the Bardot of percussion, Susie World take the mic for “Headbanger I Luv U”, the only track from “Monstereo Delicio”  not to get an airing tonight. This band has well and truly transcended the novelty status imposed on it from its earliest day. If Girl Monstar don’t make it logic is hopeless. (Archive Source: Monstar Maniacs Issue 1 – July / Aug 1992) by Bruce Earl

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