by Catherine Blanch.

There’s a bear in there, and a chair as well. There are people with games and lots and lots of blood….”

When Beautiful Turns Bad is the latest performance concept from avant-garde Adelaide band Horrahedd, who, over the last 20 years, have produced 15 full albums and a film soundtrack, yet have remained virtually invisible to the mainstream punters in the live music scene.

Most gigs have been secretive affairs away from the beer halls and liquor establishments where most live music finds itself. Horrahedd’s ‘Music as Art’ sees itself in the back rooms of old wineries, art galleries and haunted houses rather than front bars. Hence the Wildwood Art Gallery is the venue of choice on the 14th of February.

The last two years have seen many interesting adventures for Mr Glenn, Horrahedd front man and mainstay. 2013 and 2014 saw him playing evil monster music live at a haunted house – which was his introduction to the horror theatre – and then a year long stint performing in a children’s entertainment troupe when his daughter and fellow Horrahedd, Kyiesha, introduced him to the bizarre world of pantomime. It was an easy step to combine the two and instead of singing about planting trees and saving water, a show based on the concept of beautiful turning bad was born.

Funky Nature Time - Mr Glenn and Sha - The Clothesline


Although not officially a part of the Adelaide Fringe, When Beautiful Turns Bad probably should be, so we speak with Mr Glenn, via email and ask him to tell us about the kids’ show, how it came about and what happens in it.

“Kyiesha and I travelled all over South Australia performing a kid’s show under the banner Funky Nature Time. It was a 30-45 minute show that taught the kids about sustainable forestry’s. We did a similar show but changed the content to cover water conservation which was based on live Play School shows. We re-enacted books like Where The Wild Things Are using teddies and dolls, we printed our own children’s books about water pollution and deforestation and read them out along to piano accompaniment, just like Play School, we put on puppet shows. The shows were peppered with traditional and original kids’ songs, and a touch of pantomime.”

What made you move this from a kids show to an adult show?

A night of reflection while creating inside the Horracave. I wanted to do a Horrahedd show but really didn’t want to just play songs. Then I had a brainwave. The kids’ shows were awesome fun to do and after a year Kyiesha and I performing them, we were pretty slick. Kids really enjoyed the Funky Nature Time pantomime format, and Adults are just older versions of kids. So I thought, why not?”

How different/similar are the two shows?

“The format is exactly the same. The show starts off with traditional pantomime intro, and then we do some drawings, play some songs, do a puppet show and read a book… Except the theme is about ‘beautiful turning bad’ so the music is taken from the last 15 Horrahedd albums and is played by a full-terror rocking band. The Horrahedd show has more violence, slashing and blood than the kids’ shows.”

Horrahedd - Mr Glenn The Organ Man - The Clothesline

Horrahedd consists of Mr Glenn or organ and vocal, Kyiesha as The Ringleader and vocals, bass player Kevin Perks, drummer Trent Heneker and Mazolla on guitar and puppets. We ask Mr Glenn to explain the style of music they perform, for those that have never seen a Horrahedd show.

“Horrahedd has always skimmed across many genres from electronic, psychedelic, prog-rock, punk and horror movie soundtracks. The show will incorporate all of these. The performance and the music is all about reflecting on what beauty is, who tells us what beauty is and what happens to people when they believe in the media version of beauty.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“Horrahedd have been around for 20 years. In that time it has seen many line up changes, yet the philosophy has always remained the same. Musically, it exists in its own world devoid of pressures of the commercial or alternative music worlds. Fashion is for clothes and not art.”

Horrahedd performs When Beautiful Turns Bad at Wildwood Art Gallery, 14 Grenfell St, Adelaide, from 8pm on Sat Feb 14.

Ticket available at: Horrahedd 9 Full Album – Vultures And Churches – Stabbie The Clown – Live on TV

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