By Romy Stephens
It’s not every day a small-town Aussie band makes the big time. But when they do, it’s rare to see them up-close performing on home soil.
For Killing Heidi lead singer Ella Hooper, tearing up the stage in venues across her home state of Victoria brings back fond memories.
“It definitely feels like home and I feel like people (here) have a slight ownership over us,” she said.
“It sort of feels like how we started out, like going full circle.”
Ella and her brother Jesse formed Killing Heidi in Violet Town, a small country town almost 200 kilometres north-east of Melbourne.
They first hit the music scene in 2000 with folk-pop song Kettle through triple j Unearthed before bursting onto the national and international stage with debut album Reflector.
Smash hits Weir and Mascara helped them take home four ARIA awards and take the album to four-times platinum status.
Since taking time apart in 2006 the band has reunited and spent most of this year touring around Australia.
They will hit Victoria in August and, due to popular demand, will perform at numerous small-town venues such as the York On Lilydale in Mount Evelyn.
The group is no stranger to the venue, having performed at the Hotter Than Hell Festival last year.
Ella admitted there was something special about performing in small hotels and pubs like the York.
“You do get to know places over time. We loved it there and that was such a great festival, that was a real vibe for us,” she said.
“You get a real connection with specific people in the crowd or specific crowds.
“You can read a much more nuanced energy in the smaller crowds.”
Since getting back together, the band has been working hard to re-find the synergy it once had. After a busy year touring the country, Ella said she felt as though the group was really starting to find its feet again.
“It’s been a huge year for us, we’ve done the Baby Animals co-tour around the country,” she said.
“It’s really been the feeling of the band being back in the swing of things.
“Now I feel like we’re really pumping.”
Ella said that audiences attending the York show in August could expect a more polished performance compared to last year, as well as a few surprises.
“We’re always improving the show and adding things to it,” she said.
“Perhaps a new cover with a special guest artist…and new outfits.”
Killing Heidi will hit the stage at the York On Lilydale on 24 August.