Home' LOTL : December 2004 Contents EVENTS15
NIC VAN DYKE (LEFT) AND YVONNE HALL
In the 70s k.d. lang sang punk at college before answering an
ad for "a singer in a swing band". She didn't get the gig, but
the manager liked her, and the rest is history. In the 80s Melissa
Etheridge, trying to break through, sent demo tapes to every
record label, but none responded. Desperate to get a break she
called women's bars across California to ask whether she could
play for a mere 50 dollars!
This is how these lesbian icons began their careers, but for
local Aussie girls the process is easier with the phenomenon of
Dikes on Mikes. Sydney's premiere lesbian karaoke night started
when creator Yvonne Hall suggested to her local karaoke bar
owner that she needed a lesbian night "and that I could organise
one for her, not even thinking about what I'd said. All I knew was
I had a couple of friends who sang, so I grabbed the Yellow Pages
and looked up Karaoke."
12 months and many sold out nights later, not only has
Dikes on Mikes proved a hit with Sydney's Lesbian scene but
its current Lesbian Idol competition is drawing in women
from right across Australia.
The event is doing more for the lesbian community than
discovering hidden talent. It's provided a monthly night out
where you can meet, drink dance and have a great time with
other lesbians. "I think most would agree the girls have always
got the short end of the straw. Perhaps this is why I felt so
strongly about giving the community something that they sadly
lacked: a decent venue where they could have fun supporting
their friends and interacting themselves," says Yvonne.
In a city that has suffered a shortage of quality entertainment
for girls it's great to hear regulars like Pru from the North Shore
say "it's great to see the scope of singing talent in our
community. In every heat you can be hearing anything from
Alanis Morissette to Elvis to Guns 'n' Roses. Every time I go, I
wish I was black and could sing like Aretha Franklin."
This month sees the semi finals at Fox Studios with
25 contestants battling it out for a place in February's Grand
Final and to be one of six finalists who will perform the opening
song of Mardi Gras' 2005 launch. The winner of Lesbian Idol
will receive an offer of contract to record for a Lesbian Idol CD,
and a promotional trip to the US performing in Los Angeles,
San Diego, Palm Springs and San Francisco.
But being a Lesbian Idol is more than just being able to sing
in tune; it's about capturing the audience's attention for all the
right reasons. One Sydney resident who made an impact during
heat 3 was Nat Russell who blew the room away with her
rendition of Guns 'n' Roses accompanied by some impressive air
guitar. "I love DOM because it's a really fun night that everyone
in our community can be involved in. It also gives some of us a
chance to have a shot at that dream!'
Unlike the early struggles of k.d. and Melissa, Dikes on
Mikes has the stage, the microphone, the music, the audience
and the prize. All you have to do is get up and have a go!
IF YOU CAN HOLD A TUNE, STARDOM
COULD BE YOURS, SAYS NIC VAN DYKE.
DYKONS ON MIKES
For tickets to the semi final on December 17 and Grand Final
on February 11 visit www.dikesonmikes.com.au
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