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They are women, hear them roar on all-female tour

The Weekend Australian - February 21-22, 1998
by Jody Scott

Sarah & Wendy
Sarah & Wendy
An all-female pop concert sounds like a dream to singer Wendy Matthews, who is tired of being told she cannot tour with another female artist.

"I am always told you can't put two women on the bill, just like you can't put two women back to back on the radio," Matthews said. "It is such a mind-set I don't know that they even question it anymore."

But she is looking forward to helping organise an Australian version of Lilith Fair - the successful all-women pop concert that toured the US last year playing in 35 cities to mixed crowds of up to 33,000.

"I think it Is something every woman performer would love to do," Matthews said. Canadian singer-songwriter and Lilith Fair founder Sarah MeLachlan said she hoped to bring the idea down under next summer. Lilith Fair's US line-up included music heavy-weights Sheryl Crow, Sinead O'Connor, Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega, Emmylou Harris, Jewel, Shawn Colvin and Joan Osborne.

McLachlan founded Lilith Fair to give exposure to female artists who could not get a place on the male-dominated rock festivals. "There is all these women out there making music and I felt they weren't being fairly represented," she said. "It became a reaction thing that if they (the industry) weren't going to do it we would do it ourselves.

"For me it was quietly political quietly feminist," But her main motivation was a "selfish desire" to go on the road with an all-female show. Along with billing big names, Lilith has been a launching pad for lesser-known artists in eachregion that it played.

However, McLachlan said the attention was often diverted away from the music when she was forced to defend the politics of an all-female show which has been tagged sexist by its detractors. "It is all about finding a balance, it is egalitarian," McLachlan said.


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The Netherlands, Europe
you can E-mail me at: jad @ bart.nl