Their band name belies the soothing melodies and intricate three-part harmonies that are the hallmark of The BITCHes.
“It stands for Beautiful, Intelligent, Talented, Creative and Harmonious,” says Megan Hadley, who plays keyboard and sings.
Together, with her wife Diane Hadley – on guitar, mandolin, trumpet, ukulele, and myriad other instruments – and Deborah McCormack on lead vocals, the women have formed a band dedicated to raising money for Sarnia-Lambton’s Sexual Assault Survivors’ Centre (SASC).
A lot of thought went into their music and name choice.
Technically, the band is called the SASC (pronounced Sassy) BITCHes.
“This is a name with a lot of meaning,” explains McCormack. “The proper meaning of the word bitch is not negative but it has come to be understood as negative. We want to take the negative connotation away.”
The Sexual Assault Survivors Centre in Sarnia is the only centre with a band in Ontario, maybe Canada, said Megan.
“It’s great awareness. People are talking about it and they are talking about the name.”
“When we walk into a room wearing these shirts with the band name across the back, some people have trouble even saying the name,” said Diane. “The initial reaction is, ‘Oh my God.’”
“But our music overrides everything,” said McCormack. “It’s not heavy or rude or offensive.
“It’s beautiful harmonies and wonderful songs. These women I’m singing with are amazing.”
The women have been rehearsing since January and are ready for their first gig at the Humane Society’s People Pet Walkathon on June 7.
They play an eclectic set list that includes everything from the music of Amanda Marshall and Anna Nalick to The Animals, INXS, Tom Waits and Alice Cooper.
Some of the music is original, written by Diane and Megan. At the other end of the spectrum is a folk tune called “The Water is Wide” that’s so old the writer is unknown.
Diane Hadley has been playing music since she was a little girl. She put herself through college (twice) by playing guitar and singing, and was a member of the defunct P-Town band.
Megan Hadley is a trained classical pianist with extensive theatre background, while this is McCormack’s first band.
“This is new to me,” she explained.” My background is musical theatre, radio and I’ve hosted three cooking shows on Cogeco.”
This fall, The SASC BITCHes plan a major fundraiser for the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Centre. They will play with invited guests onstage at the Imperial Theatre Sept. 12. But first, they’ll kick things off with their June 7 show.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: The SASC (Sassy) BITCHes premiere at the People Pet Walkathon.
WHEN: Sunday, June 7. 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Sarnia Humane Society, 131 Exmouth St.
ARTWALK IS HERE!
Tens of thousands are expected in downtown Sarnia this weekend, June 6 and 7, to celebrate the arts and environment.
Hundreds of artists, craftspeople, food vendors, live performers and environmental exhibitors will set up along Christina and Front streets from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day.
It’s the 12th annual Sarnia Artwalk, rain or shine. And there’s no admission fee.
Do you have a story idea about a great cultural activity in Sarnia? Contact Cathy Dobson at 226-932-0985 or [email protected].