The Rescue Rooms archives: 2012

Dear Prudence, Dear Prudence live at Stealth vs Rescued

  • Saturday 21st April 2012
  • Supported by: TBC


DEAR PRUDENCE - as part of our multi-award winning clubnight Stealth vs Rescued!

“I‟m not a girlie-girl,” claims Madi Poncia, sitting before me with an armful of body art, a nose stud and Dr Marten boots. The founder and front person of Brighton-based punk-pop/new wave band Dear Prudence is a disarming mix of feisty noir-ish pop songstress and charming girl-next-door. At her side are Rick Ahir (guitar/backing vocals), Alexis Nunez (drums), Paul Egan (bass/backing vocals) and Andy Highmore (keyboards).

“At school, when everyone else was listening to chart music, I got into Siouxsie, The Cure, Depeche Mode,” Madi says. “I was looking for something different and those groups struck a chord with me. Their legacies are such an inspiration.”

Clearly a band with big ambitions, Dear Prudence is named after the „80s version of the song by Madi‟s heroes, Siouxsie and The Banshees. “I love Siouxsie Sioux‟s dark glamour and feisty attitude,” Madi explains. “I really admire her.” It‟s this attitude that is likely to draw Madi a crowd of her own female admirers, as well as cement her allure for a male audience.

Powerful and dark, their recordings have a modern, mainstream pop flavour, underpinned with a strong undercurrent of moody ‟80s electro. It subtly reflects other inspirations, too, such as Pulp, Blur and The Smiths, and more recently Biffy Clyro, Lower Than Atlantis and Twin Atlantic.

Lyrically, the songs have a bittersweet, lovelorn feel, a fact Madi ascribes to events in her personal life. “Songwriting was a form of escape for me. I grew up in a very quiet coastal town where I‟d spend hours imagining the future. As I got older songwriting also became a way of dealing with the difficulties of things like love and loss.”

Unsurprisingly perhaps, another of her idols is Tim Burton. “I love his films, they‟re so dark and gothic. They tend to feature obscure love stories and are about people that don't "fit in", which is something I relate to, yet there's always a light-hearted playful theme running through them too.”

One of Madi‟s most remarkable features, of which there are many, is her extraordinary, spellbinding voice, a giant, soulful siren that crackles with heartbreak and sadness, irony and elation, and which suffuses songs like Coming Apart Again, Belong and My Brittle Heart with genuine emotion.

Madi was raised in Worthing, near Brighton, and fronted a band in her late teens called Red Man Red. When they fizzled out three years ago, the singer decided to focus on her own material and crafted a set of instant classics, including the sorrowful Mourning After and Brittle Heart, the poppy Kiss & Break Up and euphoric Belong (“a great pop song, our festival banger!”).

With their debut album due and a hunger to get out on the road, 2012 looks set to be an exciting year for the band and Madi intends to keep them all focused. “I‟m the responsible one,” she smiles. “I don‟t really drink. I think I‟m a good role model, though parents might not like my „full-sleeve‟ tattoos. Actually, I‟m not very rock‟n‟roll at all…” But we‟ve seen her on stage and we beg to differ.

So, Dear Prudence – won‟t you come out to play?