Xen Amaterasu in full flight as Chrissy Amphlett in Divinyls tribute act Davinyls.
The passing of Divinyls frontwoman Chrissy Amphlett in 2013 left a hole in Australian music that a new generation of performer is avidly trying to fill.
One of those performers is Adelaide's Xen Amaterasu who takes on the role of Chrissy in tribute band Davinyls. As part of Adelaide Fringe this year, Xen and Davinyls present their new show 'Pleasure & Pain'.
The show is part theatre, part rock concert and all love for the timeless music created by Chrissy and her bandmate Mark McEntee, with a focus on the life and times of Chrissy. “With this show in particular we want to highlight more of Divinyls' journey, particularly with Chrissy Amphlett and some of the stuff she went through,” Xen says.
“With all of us taking the opportunity to read her autobiography [also called 'Pleasure & Pain'] we were able to determine bits and pieces that not everyone tends to know about Chrissy… she went through a lot and had to pull herself out of it, just trying to get the band going.
“A lot of the show is Chrissy as a young girl in Australia really wanting to be a rock star and struggling to get that as well as being taken seriously. She went to prison when she was in Spain for busking, so it was a very strong passion of hers and she was determined.
“In the end, she definitely got what she wanted but it took a lot of struggle. So this show is to really highlight that and to let people know that despite her struggles she accomplished a lot.”
Divinyls formed in 1980 when Chrissy and Mark were introduced to one another in Sydney by Chrissy's Batonrouge bandmate Jeremy Paul, formerly of Air Supply. With her brash attitude and highly sexualised stage persona, Chrissy helped define the quintessential 'rock chick' image.
For Xen, who grew up idolising Chrissy and her music, 'Pleasure & Pain' is a loving tribute that has a little bit of everything for fans of Divinyls. “We don't want to get up on that stage and look like we're rock stars trying to be actors,” Xen says.
“I feel like it's quite ironic to have the name 'Pleasure & Pain' because we are balancing that line in between actors and musicians. We want to have that narrative that tells the story but at the same time while it is theatrical and playing up a part, we're not selling it as something it isn't.
“So you're still going to get quite a rock experience, we're still going to play a lot of songs and the show is going to follow a linear line in regards to how the storyline goes.”