Where the hell is Cheyne Coates? The Australian music scene needs her monotonous spoken vocals and inability to wear age appropriate clothing now more than ever! Cheyne is, of course, best known as the lead singer of Madison Avenue, one of the seminal dance acts in the history of Australian music. The band scored four top 10 hits between 1999 and 2001, including the international chart-topper "Don't Call Me Baby" and the Australian number one "Who The Hell Are You?". More impressively for a dance act, Madison Avenue managed to transfer their success on the singles chart to the album countdown, with their top 5 debut "The Polyester Embassy".
The mastermind behind Madison Avenue was DJ Andy Van, but Cheyne was the face of the group. She imbued their music with a degree of attitude and verve that it really didn't deserve and always found a way to wear as little as possible. Her diva turn at the ARIA Awards is now the thing of legend. Whilst performing on stage, Cheyne stopped singing half way through the song in order to have a sit down and a glass of water! Cheyne might be a bit of a skank but the woman is all kinds of fabulous!
When Madison Avenue broke up in 2002, it seemed inevitable that Cheyne would pursue a solo career. Cheyne didn't waste much time, releasing her debut solo single in 2003. It speaks volumes for the quality of the song that the most memorable thing about "I've Got Your Number" is the trannytastic cover art. There is nothing particularly wrong with it apart from the fact that it is so overwhelming similar to her work with Madison Avenue. The song sounded dated on release and lacks the edge of her early material. Nevertheless, it was a hit in the clubs and "I've Got Your Number" made the top 20. Unfortunately, everything went downhill from there. Despite being significantly better than its predecessor, Cheyne's second single, "Taste You", failed to make the top 50. "Taste You" is something of a lost gem. Ms Coates rants her way through the song, against the obligatory thudding beat, but there is more shadow and light on display than usual. If this had have been the first single, things might have turned out differently for Cheyne.
By the time Cheyne's debut album was released, the public had lost interest. "Something Wicked This Way Comes" is a surprisingly diverse and interesting album, which is definitely worth checking out. You can listen to clips of every song on Cheyne's lovely website. You can also download the scrapped third single, "Don't Do Nice". The song is quite pleasant but the video leaves a lot to be desired. Poor Cheyne looks like a she-male on crack! Since the failure of her album, Cheyne has disappeared. That is, until she recently provided vocals for Soundbluntz on "Maybe (You'll Get Lucky)". The song was released in Canada last year but is set for an international release in 2007. "Maybe (You'll Get Lucky)" is yet another return to the Madison Avenue sound. I'm not complaining, I'm just happy that Cheyne is still applying too much make-up and carrying on like a complete diva. Watch Cheyne's new song below:
If the song garners enough interest, Cheyne will hopefully be tempted to pull her finger out and record some new material. The lady might be a tart and sound like a foghorn but she has charisma and that commodity is sorely lacking on today's music scene. I hope Cheyne graces us with her fabulous presence again in the not too distant future.
Cheyne's album is becoming quite difficult to find but it does turn up occasionally on Australian Ebay. Hopefully, it will eventually appear on iTunes.