I have a soft spot for Narooma on NSW's south coast. It's down the road from Dalmeny, where I spent many Christmas holidays as a budding surfin' teenager. So I smiled to myself when I saw that this demo from Claudia Woods came from Narooma. The "brains" behind Claudia is Gary Crapp, who has chosen to remain anonymous - well, in cd cover head shot mode anyway. We presume that's Gary on cover playing guitar, minus a head.
What Gary doesn't lack is talent to write a catchy pop tune and in 'No One's Knocking On My Door' he's come up with a top-shelf beauty. Starting with a neat guitar riff reminiscent of those great mid-70s Top Forty hits (eg. Pilot's 'January') and launching into Claudia's yearning and loveable 60s girl-group vocals, this song is one of those special ones that could have been a smash chart-topper for some cute one hit wonder back in 1976.
The title track 'Isn't It Funny' is marred slightly by Gary's spoken word section which makes it a bit naff but that's about the only thing that bugged me about this disc. The majority of all nine songs are ballads aimed at the mainstream and all are well-written and sung with soul and passion by Claudia. Despite the home-recorded demo sound of the songs, they are all still very enjoyable to listen to and for the purpose of getting on the desks of major label talent scouts they do their job perfectly.
Claudia isn't just the pretty face to the faceless wonder. She also co-wrote two of the songs 'Moving On' and 'Missing You'. One more thing: Don't be shy, Gary! Come out of the shadows! - ND