The Beverly Bombshells – Utterly Original

Monday night, the Los Angeles based Beverly Bombshells exploded into New York packing Birdland with YouTube groupies the likes of which the club rarely sees. Buzz was electric. Clearly familiar with unique song stylings I found a revelation, the crowd infectiously whooped and applauded, later surrounding the vocalists for collective gushing and selfies.

Tiffany Dissette, Heather Lundstedt O’Neill, and Leah Sprecher are done up to the nines as a dishy, 1940s girl group. They have the genre down. Band Leader/Arranger David Lamoreux skillfully utilizes harmony, period scat, counterpoint, and the speed- up/slow-down mode embraced by popular musical groups back then. The ladies create happy synergy, not only bouncing off one another vocally, but theatrically, each singer acknowledging her cohorts as frequently as the audience. They react, confer, sympathize, and flirt.

We are not, however, listening to The Boswell Sisters’ “That’s How Rhythm Was Born” or The Andrews Sisters’ “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?” Instead, the group taps contemporary pop numbers by Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Ingrid Michaelson, Christina Aguilera… Swept away by crosscurrent and vibe one suddenly hears “You screwed me over” or a suggestion of bipolar disorder. Feminism, sex, and colloquialisms pepper relationship-centric songs that once would have disturbed or shocked. Diction ranges from crisp to molasses. Phrasing plays with intention and expression emphasizing or downplaying like an editorial. Everything arrives fetching and fresh.

Tiffany Dissette, Heather Lundstedt O’Neill, Leah Sprecher

…I got issues/But you got ’em too/So give ’em all to me/And I’ll give mine to you… the ladies sing almost shrugging. (“Issues”- Julia Michaels/Justin Tranter/Benny Blanco/Mikkel Eriksen/ Tor Erik Hermansen) Each has a performance persona: Tiffany is wide-eyed but aspires to worldly, Heather is, so far, nubile, innocent, Leah’s a tougher, more sophisticated cookie… With my feelings on fire/Guess I’m a bad liar…(“Bad Liar”- Selena Gomez/Julia Michaels/Justin Tranter) features easy bounce, knit eyebrows, tuneful humming and oo ooing.

“Send My Love” (Adele/Max Martin/Shellback)…to your new lover/Treat her better…delivers a more mature emotional take. Vocal acts to punctuate, underscore. Lyrics curl out and back making sentiment flexible. Free arms gesture on the outside of the triumvirate, hips swivel. “Hey, girls, I have an idea! Why don’t we sing another chorus, except in a round!” (Cue implicit giggling.) It works.

An argyle-sweatered David Lamoreux joins the group on able vocal and brushed drum. The cottony “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Gotye) …do dee ohde oh…is followed by Ingrid Michaelson/Trent Dabb’s “Time Machine”…If I had a time machine/And if life was a movie scene/I’d rewind and I’d tell me/Run…with synchronized dip and an Eartha Kitt sound. Lady Gaga/Hilary Lindsey/Mark Ronson’s “Million Reasons” is a slow dance that evolves into mini-scene with Tiffany bemoaning a series of male jerks she’s known. It’s clever and sassy.

Tiffany Dissette, Heather Lundstedt O’Neill, Leah Sprecher, David Lamoreux

“I got my eye on you,” Leah coos to a bald man in the audience…Ain’t no other man that can stand up next to you/Ain’t no other man on the planet does what you do… You got soul, you got class, you got style, you’re bad ass…(“Ain’t No Other Man”-Christina Aguilera/DJ Premier/ Charles Martin Roane/Kara DioGuardi/Harold Beatty) R & B meets the 40s. Teasing the stranger she elicits that he’s, in fact, gay. “If any body can turn you straight, it’s this…” she purrs running her hands down her seductive corpus. The audience loves it. Sax is low, suggestive; Leah’s gaze a hot lazar.

Praising New York, the ladies’ encore is nonetheless “Los Angeles” (The Bird and The Bee), an appreciative ode filled with la las: Touch yourself and get yourself/Come alive, just driving it around/I love you more than anyone/Stop asking me where I come from…Now imagine that 1940s style. Vocal is smooooth, accompaniment cool. It’s as if we’re watching bubbles emanate from the stage – in slow mo. Ebullience pervades. Watch for them.

Photos by Steve Friedman
Opening: Tiffany Dissette, Heather Lundstedt O’Neill, Leah Sprecher

The Beverly Bombshells:
Tiffany Dissette, Heather Lundstedt O’Neill, Leah Sprecher
David Lamoreux- Arranger/Bandleader/Drum/Vocal
Jordan Lamoreux-Bass, Mike Rosengarten-Guitar, Josh Plotner- Saxophone/Clarinet
Birdland     August 7, 2017    http://w
Bombshell web site
September 28 see The Beverly Bombshells at The Edison in Los Angeles http://www.edisondowntown.com/
A CD is in the works

About Alix Cohen (754 Articles)
Alix Cohen is the recipient of eight New York Press Club Awards for work published on this venue. Her writing history began with poetry, segued into lyrics and took a commercial detour while holding executive positions in product development, merchandising, and design. A cultural sponge, she now turns her diverse personal and professional background to authoring pieces about culture/the arts with particular interest in artists/performers and entrepreneurs. Theater, music, art/design are lifelong areas of study and passion. She is a voting member of Drama Desk and Drama League. Alix’s professional experience in women’s fashion fuels writing in that area. Besides Woman Around Town, the journalist writes for Cabaret Scenes, Broadway World, and Theater Pizzazz. Additional pieces have been published by The New York Post, The National Observer’s Playground Magazine, Pasadena Magazine, Times Square Chronicles, and ifashionnetwork. She lives in Manhattan. Of course.