Raunchy songstress Shirley Gnome is bringing her bombastic variety show back to the Kootenays for the third year in a row. Teaming up with local talent, she will host shows in Ymir, Kimberley and Nelson.
Gnome said her act can seem deceptively innocent at first.
“When you walk in you’ll see a lady with a guitar who’s singing really beautifully. But once you start paying attention you’ll realize the content is very explicit, sexual and hilarious.”
Her songs mostly revolve around love and sex.
“I’ve got one about two friends who are pretending they’re not in love. They’re in total denial about their feelings while the whole time they’re sleeping together. They’re like ‘we’re just friends’.”
And the humour ranges from high-brow to slapstick.
“There are some that are a little more subtle, where you have to read between the lines. And then I have a song about how great it is to have sex with a really, really elderly man.”
Much of her content is unprintable and unmentionable in a newspaper, and that’s something she’s proud of.
As Gnome puts it, she’s found a way to monetize “being gross in public”.
“It started when I was about 20 I’d get drunk and start playing songs to make my friends laugh. I’d play these songs in living rooms at parties, that sort of thing. But it was those people who encouraged me to start putting my stuff out there.”
She performed her first show as the character Shirley Gnome in 2009, and has been developing the act since. Recently she released her debut album Ho Down.
Gnome said her sensibilities are a good fit for the Kootenays.
“A friend of mine in high school came from Nelson, and man, what a crazy character. And then when I got there I realized ‘wow, there’s a whole bunch of people like this here’. I like how laid back it is, how everyone is super chill and welcoming.”
Gnome’s first show will be at the schoolhouse in Ymir on Sunday, May 10. Doors will be at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m..
Gnome will perform in Kimberley at the Green Door on Wednesday, May 13. Doors will be at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m.
That will be followed by an outdoor garden party performance at the Blue Mule Espresso Bar on Thursday, May 14 with the Circus Act Insomniacs, Rosie Delight and the Skeleton Band.
For more information visit shirleygnome.com.