Rockin’ Women Wednesdays – Eve von Bibra
Winter sees the return of our weekly Rockin’ Women Wednesdays – a regular blog spot that profiles the talents of Australian women in music, food and the arts.
To celebrate the comeback, I’ve asked the beautiful Eve von Bibra to share her story and a few of her favourite flavours with us. The best thing about RWW is that I get to go in to the audience and discover so many secret talents of girls I know, may have met backstage at a gig, or booked to sing on the little old stage at Gowings Grace Darling way back when. Some I have never met.
In the case of Evie, I met her many, many moons ago. I was nineteen and I lived on Murphy Street in South Yarra and worked for a beautiful woman named Robyn who owned an uber chic costume jewellery shop called Tinsel Trading. The year was 1986 and the Australian music scene was enjoying a heady brew of big bands who were breaking into the US. Think Russell Mulcahy VDOs, big hair, shoulder pads, Levi’s 501s, Haynes white T-shirts and Ray Ban Aviators.
A sizzling hot band full of spunks called Australian Crawl had management offices upstairs from the shiny little shop where I worked by day – by night I wore a kimono and cooked Sukiyaki at a Japanese restaurant around the corner on Toorak Road – but that’s another story. Whenever there was a management meeting you could pretty much guarantee that every single woman in the neighbourhood would be preened and primped pretending to shop nonchalantly in the hope of meeting the band as they descended on Murphy Street.
These days you’ll find James Reyne touring with his awesome band including RWW favourite Tracy Kingman.
Now these Aussie Crawl admirers included my aforementioned boss, and a dear friend that owned a shop next door we named Aunty Cath who sadly passed away suddenly last year. Cath was a real character who taught me many things – most of them illicit – may she rest in peace. In addition to the local shop owners, there was a tribe of goddesses who were more beautiful than you could ever imagine. Collectively they formed the all girl band The Chantoozies, and in the beginning included said Boss, Evie, Tottie Goldsmith and Ally Fowler. Back then they were supported by four male musicians including Brett Goldsmith and David Reyne. Evie co-wrote many of the songs that appeared on their albums. She penned their biggest hit ‘Wanna Be Up’ in collaboration with fellow band member Brett Goldsmith, which peaked in the top ten on the national charts twice.
Eve von Bibra – Wanna Be Up
Cocktails, cowboys and groovy grown ups
So Brett and Tottie Goldsmith are brother and sister; their father is former restaurateur and nightclub owner Brian Goldsmith, their mother is actress Rhona Newton-John, sister of Olivia, co-owner of Gaia Retreat & Spa. See? It all comes around to wellness! In 1986 Brian Goldsmith owned The Melbourne Underground nightclub on King Street – a mystical cavern of cocktails and cowboys for groovy grown ups that we would flock to, flashing our poorly forged fake IDs to gain entry. One Friday night I was lucky enough to witness the debut of Melbourne’s shiniest all girl band with oozes of style and sassy – The Chantoozies. In 2014 the band are back with a cover of Baby It’s You, a 1979 song by Canadian pop group Promises and is The Chantoozies first single since 1991.
The Chantoozies – Baby It’s You
All about Eve…
In more recent years, Evie segued into production, working with Princess Pictures on Angry Boys and Sporting Nation. She joined the Rockwiz team for SBS where she works as the Rock Star Wrangler. And this is where this episode begins, at the Rockwiz Byron arrival dinner, in town for Byron Bay Bluesfest. This easter we spent some joyous moments together as my best friend Vika was in town singing with the Rockwiz crew. So much fun was to be had that after much Rosé at dinner, I invited the entire cast and crew come to my house for an Easter Saturday dinner party. Just a lazy 50 for tea. No pressure! The night was made even merrier when Evie walked in the door.
On screen, she starred as ‘Jackie’ in the box-office smash Kenny opposite Shane Jacobsen – a delightful fella who I met one night at a bar (funny that) with my great mate Brett Kingman. Shane, like the former Melbourne Lord Mayor John So, serenaded our meeting with old Kevin Dennis songs. Top bloke.
Evie is a classically trained singer who also studied at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. She has the distinction as being the only Chantoozie to have worked alongside a British Prime Minister (Tony Blair), attend the same drama school as Joan Collins (RADA) as well as turn down a romantic advance from Shane Jacobsen.
Clearly she is far too canny for Kenny!
The food I love – Eve von Bibra
This recipe is one that came to me via my Mum. It’s the one thing I love to cook when I feel like going home, or being around my family (BIG on family) when they are not there, I can cook this and it smells, tastes, feels like being home. It’s a dish I always have post tours, especially in winter. The measurements are all approximate ‘cos it’s a ‘feel’ thing!
Mama’s Emotional Rescue Casserole Serves 6
1-2 tablespoons very good quality olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into 2 cm pieces
A couple of chicken wings – to make it fly!
140g tomato paste – or fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1-2 brown onions, peeled and chopped any way you like
Fresh sprigs of rosemary, thyme and parsley
350 ml of white wine (that’s about half a bottle, if you need more liquid add chicken stock if handy)
1 cup mushrooms, sauteed – optional
- Preheat oven to 180 C
- Heat oil in a have based casserole dish. Add chicken pieces and cook over a moderate heat until brown
- Remove chicken and set aside while you add tomato paste to the browning juices in the same pan
- Add onions, garlic, herbs and Herbamare to taste, then add white wine
- Cook it to a good brew, then add the browned chicken and let it simmer on a low heat for about ten minutes
- Place into oven and cook for 1 hour
- Add some sauteed mushrooms on top
- Add a sprinkling of parsley and serve it with a yummy butter lettuce salad
Asian chicken soup – an anywhere, anytime easy yummy dish!
The other dish I love, love, love – and is probably more healthy – is a recipe that was given to me by my girlfriend Melissa Rutherford. Again with the chicken!!! This is girlfriends’ Soup of Love – just like Asian penicillin.
You will need…
Poached or cooked chicken
Asian rice noodles of any kind, cooked
snow peas – or any yummy greens
stock – veg or chicken and best to use home made chicken stock if you have it
- Cook all ingredients in pot, add chicken, stock and noodles and serve soup with coriander on top
A final note from Eve…
I have the privilege to live in Melbourne and know inspiring creative and magic people like Sam Gowing!
I have watched Sam G from a distance for the last ten years grow create inspire and follow her passion and dream….and I always feel like I’m breathing in pure oxygen full of inspiration and possibility when I am with her…. Sam is a gem and I thank the powers that be that she is in our world!!!
Thanks for having me onboard Sam!
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