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Duvall’s alter ego

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Solo artist has ‘working holiday’ doing Blondie tribute

What: Rapture, a Blondie Tribute

Where: The Shack

When: Dec. 21

When Blondie is in demand, know who to call.

"A good friend in the Black Halos compared my voice to Debbie Harry’s, and Pat Steward and Doug Elliott (of Car Crash Love band The Odds) approached me to do a Blondie cover tune for a Park Royal ad, so we went and recorded at Greenhouse (Studios) on the spot," says Siobhan Duvall, former member of Bif Naked’s band and current lead singer for Rapture: The Blondie Tribute, which plays tonight at The Shack.

This second performance in Whistler from Rapture features Duvall, Sherry on drums, George on keyboards, Jason playing guitar, and Dan on bass, offering one more chance to sing like you mean it while the Tide is High, made No.1 by the Brits in 1979.

Three 40-minute sets take you through hits like One Way or Another and Call Me, theme song from the 1993 stud film American Gigolo. Duvall wears the white number straight from the cover of Parallel Lines, complete with choker necklace.

"Blondie’s not much of a stretch because some say my voice sounds like hers – not the songs or lyrics from my solo album, but the way I sing sounds similar," says Duvall.

"Doing Blondie is really fun for me and the band. When I perform under my own name there’s always that added pressure, so Rapture is like a working holiday for me," she says.

Blondie, created by Debbie Harry and ex-art student Chris Stein, together with drummer Clem Burke and keyboardist Jimmy Destri, became part of the music mayhem of New York’s punk scene from 1974 through the ’80s. Blondie’s Heart of Glass went number one on U.S. charts in 1979, as audience preference shifted from disco to the girlie punkish alternative that still offered a touch of glam.

Since Bif Naked, Duvall has been performing solo, often in this town. She played this year’s Playstation concert, and the World Ski and Snowboard Festival in 2000. She still plays her original acoustic Larrivee,.

"Of course I keep a second (guitar) around, in case I break a string!" she adds. Highly probable with those energetic covers from the diva, who remade the shade platinum blonde and the voice of punk rock over the course of seven albums.

For solo artist Duvall, writing music is an unstructured activity.

"Songwriting almost happens by accident to me, because I started out as a guitar player," says Duvall. "Because of that, I write the music first when I’m playing around, maybe play a riff, and then a month later I include the lyrics for the song. I don’t write down poetry, and then match it to a melody," she says.

Next for Duvall is the U.S. music market. She will tour through California in April, where her producer, Vincent Jones, lives.

"When I was with Bif we travelled all over the Canadian Shield, but it’s really a trip to go south, the distances you have to travel (between gigs) are not as far as in Canada. And on the West Coast you can hit five centres and several college towns as well."

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