Article: CLIPPERTON SWINGS OUT
Swing Swing, the inaugural release from long-time Toronto indie
music sensation R. Kelly Clipperton's new band Kelly & the
Kelly Girls, is an eclectic mix of brass arrangements, soulful
baritones, theatrical pop and bluesy swing-a welcome change from
the one-sound saturation heard continuously on radio stations
across the country. "I wanted to develop a different sound,"
notes Clipperton, "I wanted variance. That sound was a conscious
choice that I made not to sound like what's currently on the air
waves." "This time I also wanted to focus on my singing
and songwriting. My lyrics come from how things personally affect
me. Usually my lyrics come first and I build a song around that.
What I say is important to me-it's not superfluous pop, there's
a message in it. My sense of inspiration comes from everywhere.
This album is probably the happiest I've made. Anger fuelled my
past releases, but this time you feel an honest sense of happiness
that doesn't sound contrived. And the sound of horns makes me
happy, and that comes through on the album."
In addition to being a musician-he's released five albums, with
now-defunct bands Merkury Burn and My Dear Heretic-Clipperton
is also an accomplished photographer, an experienced playwright,
an in-demand stylist and has even dabbled in acting. While music
remains his true passion, he does bring elements of his various
talents into his rock and roll experience. "There is definitely
a sense of theatre in my music," remarks Clipperton. "I
love dressing-up. I love characters. I really love to engage the
audience in my performances. As a stylist, I make sure my hair
is perfect. As a photographer, I do my own image control by taking
my own shots. I like to control my career as much as possible."
Clipperton's sixth album Swing Swing, released in May 2004, has
garnered impressive reviews and broke the top 30 on college radio
stations, a milestone he's proud of. But he states he's no-one
without his fans and holds a special appreciation for them. "If
nobody paid attention, I'd be in my living room playing to myself,
which would not be fun for me," he relates. "I know
what it's like to be dedicated to an artist, to buy all their
CDs and go to their shows. I've been there. When people show that
dedication to me, I'm truly flattered. It's a cherished thing
I can't take for granted."
Fans were exposed to the Kelly Girls this summer when they toured
the Pride Festival circuit in North America. They appeared at
a number of events, including Toronto, Cornwall, New York, Los
Angeles, and Hamilton. "What it meant in each city was a
fascination for me." Clipperton reflects. "It was an
incredibly diverse experience. For example, Hamilton had a small
town aspect; it wasn't located in a central area. It seemed removed
from the city. It was like that in the other smaller towns too.
My hope for Pride is to be more integrated into each city."
Kelly & the Kelly Girls return to Hamilton this week promising
a uniquely entertaining evening. "In addition to clothes
coming off here and there," laughs Clipperton, "our
sound is refreshing. Stylistically it moves from danceable beats
to driving rhythms. Expect an intense, high, and positive energy
show." Showtime is 8pm on January 22 at the Staircase Café
The View (Hamilton) JAN 2005 Sarah Cairns
^ Go to top of this page
© 2012 Kelly Clipperton.