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L.A. Beat

Brazen Hussies add modern twist to burlesque

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Local burlesque duo, the Brazen Hussies, are always up for doing something different.

“We don’t do traditional burlesque, because it’s all been done before, so we add fire and metal grinders, said Trisha Condon, who met co-Hussy Brittany O’Neill at local dance club, Club 54, and quickly bonded over their love of burlesque, rockabilly music and  doing  something wild and different.

Trisha Condon and Brittany O’Neil look forward to performing as the Brazen Hussies, Sept. 17 at Average Joes. Photo by Richard Amery


“We’re like a freak show for Lethbridge,” she continued adding  the group is looking forward to a big show at Average Joes, Sept. 17 with local musicians Mr. Personal, Berserker, Hot Pie, Smokestack Jacks, Double Jack and the Phantom Creeps.


“We have a lot of local bands who want to perform with us,” said O’ Neill adding this show,  “the Dirty Stache Bash” is just an excuse to get out of the house and have a good time.

The duo lost contact for about a year after their initial meeting , then O ’Neill enrolled in a burlesque class in Calgary whilst in the midst of contacting  Condon again.


“They had us dancing to things like Danke Shoene, and I said ‘that’s not what I want to do. We aren’t that graceful and we were paying to do it,’” said Condon, who was already immersed in the Calgary rockabilly scene. She said the duo chose to do something on their own that was a little more edgy.


“We’ll dance to everything from Tom Waits to the X-Ray Spex,”  she continued adding they spend  almost as much time choosing music to dance to as they do designing a new show each time so things don’t become stale and repetitive.


“Rather doing the same thing over and over like dancing  with a  feather boa, we thought  it would be cool if those feathers lit on fire,” Condon added.


They have been performing for a year as of last Halloween, when they debuted at Dickens’ Pub,  and have since performed several shows in Calgary including twice at the Punk Rock Rodeo and a couple in Lethbridge.

“It’s a little more aggressive than burlesque,” Condon described.

“It’s fun, because it is just the two of us finding new ways to take our clothes off messily,” O’Neill added, noting they perform a 20-odd minute set of their own rather than with a band like other burlesque groups do.

“We don’t want to be like Big John Bates and the Voo Doo Dollz, ” stated O’Neill, noting that is why they don’t perform  on stage at the same time as bands, though that was discussed.


While they have a rudimentary knowledge of burlesque dancing, learning  to incorporate fire into the act was a completely different challenge.


“We ordered fire batons from Hong Kong. We rehearse outside in Lethbridge where it’s windy. And we have hairspray all over our hair,” Condon observed.


“There are a lot of different people at tattoo conventions (where the Brazen Hussies also perform) and a lot of people just don’t know how to react when they see us because they have never seen burlesque,” O’Neill added, noting she is looking forward to the “Dirty Stache Bash,” which features sets by  Mr. Personal, Berserker, the Smokestack Jacks and the Phantom Creeps followed by a 20 minute set from the Brazen Hussies performing a 20 minute solo set at midnight followed by Double Jack and Hot Pie after midnight.


“We have a little bit of everything— metal, rockabilly, rock and blues,” O’Neill described.

“There is so much going on here, people need to come out and support it,” she added.

“It’s so much  fun to watch people who don’t know  how to react to what we do,” she said.

“There will be a lot of good metal, punk and rock songs and fire of course. We’re full of surprises. You’ll have to come out and see,” Condon concluded.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

A version of this article also appears in the Sept, 15 of the Lethbridge Sun Times

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 September 2010 10:01 )  
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