Friday night saw an extra special event at Ding Dong as Melbourne’s first ladies of acapella, The Nymphs, said goodbye to one of their members. With support from The ReChords and featuring some very special guest appearances, it was a night to remember and a great note for the ladies to go out on.

Everything seemed to be running super early and, while I had no intention of showing up anything beyond fashionably late, when I arrived The ReChords should have been hitting the stage but they were just heading into second last song ‘Don’t Know Much’. The rockabilly trio already had the crowd well and truly moving on the dancefloor, their 50s inspired sound really resonating with the vintage loving audience. I was disappointed I only ended up catching two songs, but at least they killed it in the 10 minutes I saw them on stage.

Emotions were running high as the fabulous ladies from The Nymphs took the stage, with everyone in the group and the crowd being acutely aware that this would be the last time for a long time that the quartet would be singing together. Jane Hendry gave a wonderful introduction to the show, announcing that her sister Clare was leaving for London and quoting Jeff Goldblum declaring that “life finds a way,” regarding the future of Nymphs shows.

Opening with their version of the 1940s hit Paper Doll’, The Nymphs showed off their sublime arrangements, demonstrating the doubled melodies and brilliant harmonies that have made them so popular over their nine year career, while the Bek Chapman penned ‘Lookin For Love’ shows their comedic and somewhat cheeky side, garnering more than a few giggles from the crowd. References to 2Pac and Wayne’s World were funny but the pop culture highlight of the night was easily the transition from The Chordettes’ hit ‘Mr Sandman’ to Metallica’s similarly titled track, as the ladies performed the best acapella version of a metal song I’ve ever heard.

As the set got closer to the end, The Nymphs invited some special guests to the stage to perform a few songs. The wonderful Cash Savage made an appearance before Henry Wagons made his way to the stage, performing ‘Deep Storage’ as a duet with Kelly Day, before partnering with Clare Hendry to perform ‘Islands In The Stream’ with Long John Guscott on guitar. To close out the set, The Nymphs teamed up with The ReChords for a spectacular rendition of Lesley Gore’s hit, ‘It’s My Party’. The crowd called them back for an encore and they closed the night with their version of ‘Shoo Shoo Baby’, and Kelly and Clare had a bit of fun with it making the song about Clare leaving.

With no outlook for new shows, The Nymphs definitely made the most of the evening and, despite them playing at least 20 minutes longer than they’d intended, everyone in the crowd would most certainly agree that we could have listened to more and the ending came too soon. If it so happens that they never reform they will certainly be missed on Melbourne’s musical landscape, but at least they went out in style.

Wes Fahey

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