Review: The Gossip at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC
by Couch Sessions
Review by Michela Wariebi. Photos by Lady Glock. Please Support.
No one likes to admit that they like gossip. And prior to October 7, 2009 I would vehemently support that statement. That was the night that I was introduced to the melange of a band that is Gossip. Fronted by Beth Ditto, the indie rock band is quickly gaining notoriety for combining Ditto’s distinctly southern and soulful voice with rock instrumentals. A pretty interesting combination that left me feeling like I had attended a Baptist church revival and rock concert all at the same time; the show proved well worth the late night.
Gossip is steadily making loud bleeps on the mainstream radar thanks to front woman Ditto, who has inadvertently become an advocate of sorts for fat women in high fashion; to put it bluntly. She was an ever-present face in the front rows of shows like Jean Paul-Gaultier and Chanel at Paris Fall 09 Fashion Week, and has been known to publicly lambaste designers for their lack of larger sizes. The latter has made her the recipient of specially made plus-sized versions of runway pieces from various designers.
Ditto actually prefers to use the word fat as opposed to any other politically correct terms fed to her by PR folks! This is precisely the reason why you can’t scoff at Ditto when she sways jovially on to the stage in skin tight frocks that most women of the more ample persuasion would never consider wearing. For the 9:30 club appearance she donned fire engine red hair and a body conscious large floral print dress with spaghetti straps and minimal support. With the occasional assistance of fellow Gossip member Brace Pain to pull up her bra, she took ownership of the crowd with her amazing voice and unwavering confidence.
It only makes sense that Gossip’s crowd would be an interesting mix just like their music. I actually think I spotted a reincarnated Joan of Arc playing the bass in the opening band, Men! I’m not sure how I felt about the metallic blue catsuit, but it would be unfair to deny the appeal of the martyr headgear.
Before the show even started I spotted a fellow concert attendee sporting a pair of suede mustard-colored knee-high fringe boots that made me swoon. Admittedly, I’m not the hugest fan of fringe, but I loved this combination of punk and very literal interpretations of Native American fashion; face paint and all!
Then I spotted someone who took the idea of brand loyalty to a whole new level. Generally speaking, he looked great, but a quick and hopely inconspicuous inspection revealed his love for Yohji Yamamoto’s and Adidas’ collaborative brand Y-3 might have been a bit overboard. Shoes, hat, sweatpants and probably his heart all from the same brand; always overkill. Thankfully, he mixed it up with a Versace tee, the ever-popular Arabic keffiyeh scarf, and white personality specs a-la Kanye West.
Strange mix of characters right? But it seems that’s exactly the appeal of Gossip; unapologetically be yourself! That idea is reflected in their music, crowd and fashion. I’m officially converted. I love Gossip!