Squaw rock

FOUR young women in a small camper van on a road trip up and down the east coast, sleeping two to a bed, surrounded by guitars drums, saxophone…and knickers.

Nobody said the music industry was easy.

“Once we started touring it was a test…you get a good idea early on whether you can survive together,” says Tommyhawks bass player Ness Thornton (Jedediah).

Three years after forming, the all-girl band has gone from strength to strength and was nominated in the best song category at last year’s WAMIs.

• The Tommyhawks. Photo supplied

With the success of their single Bedroom, they upgraded to a winnebago—with more beds and a loo.

“Our last tour was luxury, but we felt we’d earned it,” Thornton says.

The opening trumpet riff of Bedroom sets the mood for a song about the complex transition to young adulthood, with plenty of electric guitar to grunge up the laid-back melody.

The all-girl quartet—fusing blues, folk, indie and grunge—formed when Addison Axe was asked to write and perform songs for a cabaret show at Fringeworld.

She asked Thornton to help, and they had such a good time together they decided to form a band, recruiting North Perth drummer Jess June and saxophonist Thea Woodwood.

At the Fairbridge Festival The Tommyhawks caught the eye of Ben Elton, who liked them so much he included their song New Friends in his film Three Summers (filmed at Fairbridge), released later this year.

The Tommyhawks are heading to Perth for the release of their third EP This is Not a Desert Island, which explores the idea of trying to control one’s own state of mind and mental health: “And often failing, as well as focusing on trying to grow up and figure out who we are and who we want to be,” says Thornton.

You can catch The Tommyhawks at Badlands, 3 Aberdeen Street, Perth on September 22, with special guest Felicity Groom.


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