Lady Bonestripper – Awaken The Snake Hips: EP Review

Lady Bonestripper serves up an EP of soothing balm to take out a troubled year. Behind that warmth is some fire and burning passions.

Lady Bonestripper are husband and wife Scott Nicolson, guitars drums and gadgets, and Caitlin Kennedy voice. Playing in and around Auckland with Nicolson taking the drummers chair for local projects. Time also spent in the music mecca of London.

Always on my Mind opens the show and immediately Kennedy’s mellifluous singing is enchanting. Soul Jazz and sweet as honey. Sounds like a trained voice and her background is choir music. Close to pitch perfect. A little Hawaiian echoing twang starts this cover of a Tiki Taane tune. A relaxing massage of a groove.

Lady BonestripperAn Echo That Never Fades. The Seventies Soul Sonic Force continues in the voice. A little Funk guitar colour is added. Think Ernie Isley’s playing on Summer Breeze.

Aurora Borealis is where thing get interesting and sparks fly. From the synths comes a didgeridoo drone to conjure up the energy field of lights. A flute joins to soften the atmosphere. The singer is invocating the sunrise. Starts with Folk cadences before sliding back into Soul.

Middle-Eastern rhythms add colour inside the music. Production has an appropriate light touch and as a consequence becomes expansive. Like spells being cast.

Avalanche. A chance to hear Kennedy sing in the mezzo-soprano high-floating upper register. An acoustic guitar behind her.

Awaken the Snake Hips and everything gets busy one more time. Congas and tambourines, Latin beats analogue and digital. The hypnotic Snake dances. The beautiful psychedelic line-drawing of the cover portrays fertility and the Earth spirit. Juan Da Boy (Ben Bamford) takes a break with some Old-Skool Rap, going right back to the sound of the Grandmasters. Flash, Melle Mel, Sugarhill Gang. A sensual dance groove.

The voices a nice blend of Soul Jazz with R’n’B Rap. Finishes with bird calls. A more relaxed Sister to Help Me Somebody on Byrne and Eno’s classic My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. You could even trace it back to Slim Harpo via Exile on Main Street.

A promising debut from Lady Bonestripper. The Snake has been aroused.

Rev Orange Peel