Stockist Spotlight: The Femmes

How did you get started as a group? 
We all met whilst studying Musical Theatre at the Guildford School of Acting and discovered our love of all things 1940 / 50s, from the iconic music and dance, to the unique fashion and hair and so we decided to put the band together so we could join in!

How would you describe your sound?
We like to try out creating the authentic sounds of the 40's by artists such as The Andrews Sisters, but we also like to create new vibrant and fresh material by bringing that sound into the modern day by with exciting "mashups" of popular songs in the current charts.

Where did the name "The Femmes" originate from?
This wasn't actually the first name we started with! We began as 'The Violet Valentines' but soon decided that it was a bit of a mouthful to say, so we wanted something a bit more elegant and catchier, so we came up with 'The Femmes'.  

What is it about the 1940’s era that you love so much and that influenced your look?
Despite the hardships of WW2 and its aftermath, the post war era created an unrecognisable and iconic fashion style that cannot be mistaken. Women everywhere created a more utilitarian yet chic look and we have been particularly inspired by the Hollywood Golden Age in their glamorous gowns. Also the vintage fashion is just flattering to any figure. With the 1950s especially, it celebrates women and their curves which we love!

Who are your inspirations?
Oh there are just too many to list! As we studied musical theatre, we all have a passion for acting and so have been inspired by the Hollywood greats of the 1940s, such as Ava Gardner, Doris Day, the exquisite Katherine Hepburn and the truly stunning Grace Kelly. And of course, we can't forget, the wonderful Andrews Sisters!

Could you list some of your favourite hits that you like to perform and explain why they are your top picks?
One of our favourites is 'Chattanooga Choo Choo'. Its a classic song that most people know one version of or another and can hum along to with the tune. We love the effortless style that the song emits and the story it tells of meeting that someone special on board the train - something we may relate to a little differently these days - it's like when someone catches your eye on the tube! We also love the modern songs that we do when sung in the 1940s style. A particular favourite is 'I Will Survive' originally sung by Gloria Gaynor. We really enjoy watching as the audience slowly realises what the song is and how they often join in and sing along. 

If you weren’t performing as part of The Femmes what would you guys be doing?
We perform with The Femmes alongside our current acting careers, so we are very lucky and manage to juggle both things. When we're not performing, you will find us on stage somewhere in a play or musical, behind the piano writing music or in the studio choreographing!

What do you think makes a great wedding?
Great dresses, great entertainment and great prosecco!

Could you tell us more about the packages that you offer for parties and events?
We provide entertainment for all kinds of events, from light background music or music to get guests up and dancing! We have tailor made sets to accompany any style and happily take requests - if you want it, we'll sing it!

What has been your highlight so far as a group?
We recently performed at a Harvest Fayre in Bristol and whilst there, we met an elderly gentleman who was 93 years old! After listening to our first set, he came up and spoke to us about remembering all the songs we performed when he first heard them as they were released by the original artists and how much he enjoyed the performance as it brought back great memories for him growing up. This was so special to us as we managed to create this wonderful experience for Jack and being able to witness the joy that the music brought to him and to watch him join with my many numbers was an experience that I'm sure we will never forget.

What are your aspirations for 2015?
We have a few wonderful projects and performances lined up for 2015 that we are already excited for, so you will just have to keep an eye on our twitter (@femmesthe) to keep up to date!

Do you have any other advice for performers who are looking to turn their talent into a profession?
We would say to trust in your ability and go for it! We are having so much fun in doing what we love and would encourage everyone to turn their thoughts into a reality - you have got nothing to lose! 


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