Story last updated at 2:44 p.m. Friday, August 9, 2002

Down Under Fruit returns to peninsula
by Carey James
Staff Writer

photo: entertainment
Fruit, Austrailian acoustic pop  
Plug your headphones into a CD by Aussie band Fruit, and you'll hear mammoth harmonies, heavy rock and pop interspersed with horn sections somewhat appropriate for a sitcom soundtrack. And that's just one song.

There's no doubt the four women and one man in Fruit are having fun experimenting with sound.

Fruit, which played in Homer and Seldovia last year, formed in Australia in 1995, and has developed from an acoustic-dominated sound to a band full of surprises, comparable to 4 Non Blondes and the Indigo Girls. But comparisons only go so far with this band, with every song containing its own flavor.

Fruit, Australian acoustic pop

Where: Alice's Champagne Palace

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Tickets: $21 advanced general admission, $19 advanced KBBI members

Call: 235-1921


However you de-scribe the music, Fruit is taking off. Last year, they were named "Best Up & Coming Live Act" at the 2001 Australian Live Music Awards, and a global touring schedule has kept the band hopping from South America to Europe and North America, not to mention some gigs closer to home.

Reviewers have been kind to the band, with The Daily Herald of Salt Lake City describing the music as "an explosion of jazz, a splash of funk and a spritz of grooving harmonies. They are the next big sound from the land down under."

The Scotsman, of Edinburgh, referred to the sound as "spanning the register from warm sensuality to soaring, searing passion, quick-fire rap to a belly-deep bluesy growl. Irresistible all-round entertainment."

The band's most recent CD, "Here for Days," released last year, has sold well, and the U.S. agency SRO Artists recently signed the Adelaide, Australia, musicians.

The band consists of three songwriters (guitarist Susie Keynes, horn-player Mel Watson and guitarist Sam Lohs) along with bassist Catherine Oates and drummer Yanya Boston.

In a New York paper, the group noted its experiences during a recent trip to Alaska, a far cry from the typical touring concept of rental cars and generic hotels.

"Our trip this time involved arriving in Anchorage and being picked up by the show's promoter in a Winnebago that blew smoke for the three-hour trip," recalled Keynes. "And the headlights weren't working. It was quite a bizarre experience."

On an Alaska upnote, however, the band wowed crowds with performances on both sides of Kachemak Bay, and managed to take in the scenery at the same time. The appreciation is mutual.

"The audiences here are different from the ones in Australia. Americans wear their personalities on their sleeves," said Keynes.

"They're very enthusiastic people -- very eager to be part of an experience that's uplifting."

In addition to the Homer concert, Fruit plays tonight in Seldovia at 8 p.m. at the Seldovia Village Tribe Tent. Tickets are $15 at the door. Call 234-7614 for more information.