Rocking on for ‘Christmas’ at the Sphinx

JOLLY GIG: Penni Perrin comes to the Sphinx for Xmas in July.

By Luke Voogt

The Rockelles will bust out the tinsel and mistletoe when they bring Christmas to North Geelong next week.

Penni Perrin, one half of the Melbourne cover duo, returned to performing ten weeks after giving birth to her fourth child, who is now a year old.

“My first gig back was actually at the Sphinx,” she said.

“I was meant to have a longer break after the birth of my last child but I ended up going back earlier than planned.”

Perrin got the call up from her ABBA tribute act SOS last year and has continued to sing since.

Her weekend gigs allowed her to be a full-time mother throughout the week rather than juggling parenting with a 9 to 5 job, she said.

“Although I only do gigs near Melbourne now. I used to be able to jump in the car and drive to Albury.”

SOS is just a part of Perrin’s tribute repertoire.

She also sings in a Fleetwood Mac act and 90s cover group Cherry Lips with her guitar-playing, train-driving fiancee David Jones.

“Cherry Lips is our passion project,” she said.

“There’s very little money in it but we’re playing all the stuff that we love.”

She has even sung as Stevie Nicks and Frida in the same night.

“I do have a knack for being able to change my voice,” she said.

“To thrash your voice as Stevie Nicks and then have to get rid of the husk – Frida’s voice is quite clean – I found that really challenging.”

Perrin met her Rockelles partner-in-crime Rosie Conforto singing backup vocals in a concert tour dedicated to Australian ’60s TV series The Go!! Show.

“We sing really well together,” she said.

“She and I got together and worked out a medley of early ’50s and ’60s songs.”

Perrin was keen to belt out some Christmas classics when the duo brings Xmas in July to Morning Melodies at the Sphinx Hotel on 25 July.

“Morning Melodies are fun already anyway,” she said.

“The Xmas in July is always pretty jolly. They dress the place up with tinsel and there are raffles and giveaways.”

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