Looks like they made it in the end, through all the twists and bends.
It’s been 20 years — two whole decades! — since Triple J unearthed the Hooper siblings, Ella and Jesse, and their disarming folk pop song, ‘Kettle’.
Killing Heidi soon burst onto the national and international stage with their breakthrough debut album, Reflector, in 2000. Power pop singles ‘Mascara’ and ‘Weir’ made the album a massive success, with ‘Weir’ placing #2 and ‘Mascara’ #14 in Triple J’s Hottest 100.
Reflector went on to take out four ARIA awards and reach 4x platinum status, and even won the Hooper siblings the APRA Songwriters of the Year award. Somehow, though, the album has never gotten a digital release (an oversight that will be rectified on Friday 24 March).
Alas, Killing Heidi ran its course some time ago. How long ago, you ask? Well, they posted on their MySpace page that they were taking a break way back in 2006. Since then, the siblings formed a folk duo, The Verses, while Ella has had a career as a radio and TV personality and Jesse has been working as a producer and music teacher.
In 2013, Ella Hooper seemed to kill any possibility of a Killing Heidi comeback when she told It’s My Kind of Scene that the group “really did just run its natural course” and that she thought “it would be very unnatural to start it up again now”.
But lately, there were signs of life in the Killing Heidi camp. The band re-formed to play the 20th anniversary of the Queenscliff Music Festival in November last year (celebrating 20 years since the siblings first performed together as Killing Heidi), and in February, they performed as part of the Zoo Twilight concert series at Taronga and Melbourne Zoos.
After tentatively dipping their toes in the pool and finding the water quite welcoming, the duo have now announced their first national tour in over a decade.
“Killing Heidi live was always where it was at for me,” Ella says. “I feel we’re better than ever now as we’ve never stopped playing music and we can dial it up to a whole new level. But the essence is the same. It’s exciting and emotional for both us and the fans!”
“Killing Heidi was a big part of my youth and I can’t wait to perform these songs live for the people who loved them too,” Jesse says. “We’ll play all our biggest hits, from our first singles ‘Weir’ and ‘Mascara’, through to our later releases like ‘I Am’ and ‘Calm Down’.”
Killing Heidi will play The Tivoli (52 Costin Street, Fortitude Valley) on Saturday 10 June. Tickets go on sale at 11am on Tuesday 21 March, preceded by a Telstra Thanks pre-sale on Sunday 19 March from 12pm to 4pm. For more info and tickets, visit livenation.com.au.