Comedy and Scotland Editor James Macfarlane had the opportunity to interview Australian cabaret legend SuperGirly a.k.a Lulu McClatchy about her upcoming show Back to the Noughty 90s. They discussed all things nostalgia, the pressure to keep things fresh and some of her favourite performances.
The 90’s especially had a sunny disposition. The songs were upbeat and happy.
SuperGirly! Lovely to speak with you! How are you doing?
Lovely to speak to you too. You caught me at a great time, I’ve JUST had my morning coffee so I am doing fabulously.
You’re back with your show Back to the Noughty 90s, your first in over 20 years. How are you feeling about it?
I am excited and slightly nervous; I have to remember lyrics for some songs from 20 years ago. But going back and remembering my time in the UK and the heyday of girl bands and boys bands is such a joy. It really was a great time in pop history. Of course, this journey will be filled with some extra details I’ll add myself and some songs that may have slipped through the 90’s net, but I take poetic licence and claim that as the “noughties” bit.
How does this show compare to previous years? Is there a pressure to keep things fresh and exciting for audiences?
This is a show I have had requested many times by people. I am constantly writing new material and keeping my shows fresh, I will be mixing some new songs in with the old in this show, but fans always want to hear their old faves so I constantly get asked to perform old songs, which I still love. Some just date too much to still perform, that’s the problem. You can’t sing about Britney Spears being 16 when she’s in her 40’s.
During the pandemic, I think a lot of people turned to nostalgia as a kind of safety blanket. A lot of trends from pop culture from the 90's and 00's came back into the mainstream. What do you think it is about this type of content that people gravitate to?
The 90’s especially had a sunny disposition. The songs were upbeat and happy, so were the early 00’s. And I don’t know about you but I still think it was about 10 years ago. So when people say 30 years ago I think the 70’s not 1993! I think it just reminds people of a simpler time. So it is comforting. And not so politically correct!
This is your first show as a solo artist. Do you feel more of a sense of creative freedom creating a show as a solo artist? What are some of the main differences, creatively and logistically, of performing yourself instead of as a duo?
I guess it is one of my first big solo shows in the UK but I have been a solo artist in Australia since 2003. I always wrote the shows so, creatively, that hasn’t changed. But being solo usually means I incorporate the audience more. I find it becomes more like a musical/stand up than a cabaret. I have the chance to chat and walk around the audience and I am used to thinking on my feet and improvising in any given situation. It makes every show slightly different every night. And I can wear whatever I want and make it a bit more outrageously silly as I make my own costumes and don’t have to match someone else.
SuperGirly has performed for so many talents over the years: Elton John, The Spice Girls and Madonna to name but a few. Do you have any favourite memories or performances from your career?
To be honest there are so many. Working with Elton was and still is a highlight. From the Tiara ball to his private parties to supporting him on tour. Elton is one of a kind and I can’t tell you how much he changed my life. He is such a support and so is David Furnish. The encounters with Spice Girls were hilarious and surreal, singing their songs and having them say they would rather sing my lyrics than theirs. And Madonna is a powerful presence. She commanded attention and got it. It was a very memorable gig.
It’s been fabulous speaking to you. Thank you so much for your time and good luck with the run!
Thanks! I hope to see you there! Don’t forget you can come dressed in your favourite 90’s gear!