Reviewed by: Joanna Bowen
Yana Alana, where have you been all my life? From the first, stunning moment of Between the Cracks, Yana Alana is a delight – a stark naked (except for some sparkles), gloriously blue and bold creature with a voice that can make men and women alike swoon.
Along with a room full of mostly women, I wanted to take Yana Alana home and install her in my house as a constant source of wicked amusement. Though what I had in mind was more verbal than what many others were picturing.
I wasn’t aware this was part of the Midsumma Festival (I like going in blind – it limits the preconceptions). I had meant to get along to the festival, so I’m glad I stumbled across it! Testament to the uh, broad, appeal of Yana Alana, I dragged my husband to the show and he utterly loved her, though he’d have to fight me and all the drooling women in the room for her.
Yana Alana is a role model for anyone who appreciates openness – complete and total openness. In her own words, she’s not a role model – she’s a model, with rolls. And a whole lot else!
Her songs are often political, often just hilarious. She makes them less strongly message-focused by her brilliant humour, the way she spices everything up with her ridiculous dance moves, facial expressions and various – again, hilarious – props. With great new tracks like “Your sexuality ain’t your identity” Yana Alana always has something important to say, though mostly it’s along the lines of “Go fuck yourself!”
Speaking of her new self-help book, Go Fuck Yourself, Yana offers us many gems of advice for living life Yana Alana style. Her emotional manipulations and self-justifications are so funny because they’re so true. We’re too busy laughing to squirm, thankfully.
Her abuse of the last remaining Parana (also her accompanist) is an amusing sideshow, and a great excuse for some audience involvement. However, she doesn’t need this theme to hang her hat on; her music is her strength, and we’d happily listen to extracts from her self-help book all night. And more of that voice. Oh, what a voice.
Whether you’re a long-term fan, or have never seen her perform, you’ll never regret seeing Yana Alana, up-close and rather personal. She is a pure force of nature (a blue one, of course), full of wit, a delightful lack of self-dignity, and laugh-out-loud moments. You just can’t help but love her, though she doesn’t want you to tell her that. Just be quiet and let her project her fantasies onto you. Oh, and above all, don’t interrupt her when she’s talking about herself!