Many recognise Ella Hooper as the punk-rock poster girl from muchloved Aussie band Killing Heidi.
Performing live shows since the tender age of 13, there’s no denying Ella is one of the country’s late 90s/early noughties crystal gems.
But when the band broke up in 2006, not many fans, including Ella herself, thought Killing Heidi would reform.
Luckily for her followers, both old and new, Ella’s continued to make music as a solo artist since the split. Playing a set with her band at Geelong’s Furphy Hall earlier this year, Ella will return to the city next month as part of the Spiegeltent at Johnstone Park.
“I feel like I’ve got a strong foundation in Geelong, and I’m really excited to get back there,” says Ella.
“At Furphy Hall, the audience wouldn’t let us leave. It’s (live shows) a bit different every time, the magic of it… you never know what to expect.”
While Ella’s Spiegeltent performance won’t include songs from Killing Heidi, in an unexpected turn, the busy 36-yearold is back fronting the band alongside her brother, Jesse Hooper, nearly two decades since the release of Weir, as they tour the country with Baby Animals.
For Ella Hooper, performing shows as a solo artist is an entirely different experience.
“It’s much more intimate, a bit more personal, and a lot more me. People get a sense of who I am in storytelling and oversharing, and apparently that’s pretty entertaining,” she laughs.
“I’ve tried my hand at everything – pop, rock, alt-rock under my solo umbrella, and I’m growing every year as a solo artist.”
Ella says although Killing Heidi was asked to return to the stage for years after the Hoopers called it quits, it wasn’t until an offer rolled in from Queenscliff Musical Festival in 2016 that the siblings decided to take the stage together again.
“It’s a lot to get the wheel turning after 10 years. You have to be pretty committed,” she recalls of Killing Heidi’s ‘16 QMF performance.
“But I was just hanging out with Jesse more and more again and we were talking about music… an offer came through from QMF, which is such a gorgeous, amazing, well-respected and brilliant festival, and we thought, ‘this could be amazing’ so we tried it and the tent was packed. The gig was incredible.
“I never thought I’d do it again. It’s funny, though, time passes, and you slowly feel different about the music and the songs.”
Ella showcased her latest release Data Dust at this year’s Eurovision in Tel Aviv, Israel. She says the performance was unlike anything she’s ever done.
Data Dust, as well as a string of new songs, will form Ella’s set at the Spiegeltent on June 16. Tickets are $38 per person. To get yours, visit spiegeltentgeelong.com/what-s-on/ella-hooper.