A month of great Grrrl power gigs and there’s more to come
Wednesday 2nd November 2016
Cassie Fox: Loud Women – Dispatches from the front line of feminist music
THERE’S been a heap load of great grrrl gigs on in London in the last few weeks.
LOUD WOMEN and Who Run the World’s joint fundraiser, part of the We Shall Overcome festival, went down a treat with The Empty Page, Dream Nails, Little Fists and Charmpit each providing top-class entertainment and raising cash for Women’s Aid.
Last Friday I wanted to clone myself so that I could simultaneously attend Dream Nails playing a Music Against Bruises benefit, the Empty Page and Foxcunt launching records at Nambucca and Dolls headlining Clitrock, a fundraiser for female genital mutilation awareness.
But what made missing out on these great gigs worthwhile was hosting Bratakus, a new punk duo from the north of Scotland, for LOUD WOMEN at the Hope & Anchor in Islington. They put on an amazing show and everyone in the room went home their biggest fan.
They’re a prime example of how social media helps female musicians, whether it’s working mums like me who can keep in touch with the world around their squillion other commitments or talented youngsters like these two, living on a hill in the wilderness, getting the chance to play a rocking show at an iconic London venue because of an exchange of Facebook messages.
The band is definitely one to watch, combining awesome energy with technical perfection and catchy songs. Check them out at facebook.com/Bratakus.
Closer to home — much closer — I hosted an acoustic gig with Lilith Ai last week in my kitchen. Lilith is very much at the top of my “should be playing the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury next year” list (if you’re reading, Ms Eavis, take note), so it was a huge honour to get to hear her play across the table from me.
Her perfect pop songs, powerfully sung with a beautiful voice, deliver poignant commentaries on the world of a young working-class woman of colour.
She joined me talking to BBC London in the run up to LOUD WOMEN Fest, so I returned the favour in interviewing her about the Fight Like a Girl project she’s spearheaded which is creating a network of female musicians across England and France who are working together on a compilation album and tour.
The video from Lilith’s Kitchen Session will be available in the LOUD WOMEN ezine at loudwomen.org/ e-zine.
Enough about London. Manchester’s post-punk LIINES are top of my booking wish list at the moment and they’ve just released a double-A side Disappear/Be Here ahead of a short tour (Stoke November 11, Liverpool November 17, Derby November 18, Manchester November 26 and Leeds December 2).
Deux Furieuses, another Scottish duo with a huge sound, played for us this summer and blew us away. My LOUD WOMEN colleague Kris Smith described it as “a scathing punk/rock assault on the senses” — in a good way, obvs.
Their album Tracks of Wire delivers the same impact as the live set, with some more atmospheric songs providing balance and contrast. This record, along with the upcoming Petrol Girls debut, is one of the most important albums of 2016 and you should seek it out immediately if you haven’t already. You might find it filed under Uneasy Listening.
The next LOUD WOMEN show is November 18, again at the Hope & Anchor in London, where we’ll be hosting a night with a more of a rock vibe than usual. The line-up includes Thunder on the Left, Phoenix Chroi, Lilith’s Army and Slags, with the latter a later addition to the bill.
They were booked instantly upon hearing their song Oh! Janine about, that’s right, Janine of Eastenders. Slags are my new favourite band already since Bratakus, I just know it.
And for your Yuletide diary, on December 2 LOUD WOMEN will be turning the Veg Bar Brixton’s cellar into a punk rock grotto with live performances from The Nyx, Baby Seals and my own brand-new band, GUTTFULL — think Downtown Boys meets X Ray Spex for a punk sax-off.
There’ll also be a festive DJ set from indie legend Debbie Smith on the decks and mistletoe aplenty. I love Christmas, can’t wait to get those chestnuts roasting.