Black Cherry

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Black Cherry


The night takes place this Friday at The Royal Melbourne Hotel across two stages, with all kinds of bands, circus burlesque artists and DJs. With a playlist that ranges from alternative music with attitude, from the ’50s to today, co-promoters Danielle and Carla Hatton have created a show to please even the most obscure of tastes. “Think a Tarantino soundtrack on steroids,” says Danielle.

Until now, Black Cherry has been a strictly bi-monthly occurrence in Sydney for the past five years. With a solid reputation in the alternative scene up north, they have come to Melbourne for a ‘one night only’ event. “We’re selling out up [here],” says Danielle, “so we wanted to see how Melbourne would handle us.”

So what does Black Cherry have to offer Melbourne? “Cheap drinks, boobs, and generally a messy, but awesome night out,” says co-promoter Carla. “We are very lucky to have Mark Winmill, the world’s best male burlesque performer, performing as an exclusive for us.” Winmill currently holds the title of ‘King of Burlesque’, beating female competitors to ‘Most Dazzling’ in Las Vegas earlier this year.

The lineup for Black Cherry is hand-picked for each show. “We’ve definitely got a formula that works really well,” says Carla. “The beauty of [the show] is that we can be really flexible with the artists we choose too … On the burlesque front, we use artists who are skilled, comical, and understand the meaning of ‘tease’. And yes, there’s no denying it, [performers] who are hot!”

Having such a mix of artists and types of performances ensures that a wider audience is bound to be drawn to the show, which adds to the feel-good vibe of the night. “We attract punters who are all there to dance, drink, socialise and have a massive night out together,” says Carla. “We offer at least two rooms of music and a huge licensed outdoor area, and we carefully put our lineups together so they have wider appeal. We also don’t overlap bands and make sure there’s something different being played in each room.”

Black Cherry has been constantly working to combine different rock genres and crowds, ever since its first show in 2006. “Danielle and I started a club together as we were both restless and frankly pretty bored with the other punk-rock-rockabilly nights on offer in Sydney,” Carla says. “We ran our first night in a dodgy basement venue with DJs, cult visuals, $2 drinks and a motley crew of about 200 people in attendance.”

The Royal Melbourne Hotel, or RMH the Venue (formerly known as The Palladin) is a perfect choice for the event. “[It] has everything we could wish for,” says Carla. “Two stages, cheap drinks, huge outdoor licensed area straight off the dance floor, the best sound and lighting and big screens. Best of all, it is a former police barracks with original bluestone cells to hang out in!”

It seems they’ve picked a busy night in Melbourne, as Black Cherry will coincide with The Burlesque Ball and Mad Sin’s Hi-Fi bar gig, all happening this Friday. Those attending either of these events can get half-priced entry (proof required, and doors are open until 4am). But you don’t need to be in the burlesque scene to appreciate what the show has to offer.

“Black Cherry appeals to various alternative subcultures, and to rock-lovers in general,” says Danielle. “Punks, rockers, rockabillies and psychobillies, mods, goths, glam rockers, burlesque artists, whatever, whomever – as long as you’re there to have fun and aren’t wearing sports gear or visible thongs we will probably let you in.”