Get In Her Ears Live at The Shacklewell Arms w/ The Menstrual Cramps, 06.05.2022

On Friday, we were back at The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston with the most epic of line-ups. The Menstrual Cramps, pink suits and Queen Cult treated us to an immense few hours of live music. Huge thanks to them all, and to all the lovely folk who came out to support them and fill the venue… We’re still feeling all the feels, and are extremely grateful to everyone who made it such a beautiful night.

First up, Cheshire up and coming band Queen Cult kick things off with a wonderfully entertaining set. With a swirling infectious energy and quirky charisma, they immerse us in their fiercely impassioned offerings raging against the patriarchy; cementing themselves firmly as definite ones to watch on the new music scene.

Next up, Margate based pink suits deliver an immense and truly poignant set. From the wonderfully witty ‘Are You Gay Yet?’ to the all-too-resonant seething splendour of politcally-charged anthems such as ‘Fake Great Britain’ and ‘Anarchist Wisdom’, the incredible duo just seem to magnificently capture the burning anger, frustration and sadness that so many of us are feeling right now, whist bringing us together with an empowering sense of unity.

Headlining the night, we’re extremely honoured to have Bristol’s The Menstrual Cramps deliver their first London gig in over two and a half years. Covering topics ranging from political unrest and violence against women to more celebratory anthems in favour of pleasuring ourselves, the band’s shiny new line-up blast out raging offerings new and old with a ferocious energy and joyous, chaotic force. With their immense, impassioned drive and utterly necessary message of coming together against the right wing hellscape that this country is becoming, they simultaneously unite the crowd in a cathartic explosion of angst-driven power and elated euphoria. Shouting along to ‘Cull The Tories’ has never felt more urgent.

Huge love and thanks again to all three bands who played for us on Friday, and to everyone who came out to share the music and good vibes. We’re returning to The Victoria on 24th June with Slagheap, Nervous Twitch and The Famous Daxx – get your tickets on DICE now!

Words: Mari Lane
Photos: Keira-Anee Photography

Track Of The Day: Nikki & The Waves – ‘The Phone Song’

Having recently been recommended Manchester band Nikki & The Waves by Chester trio Peaness when interviewing them for our last radio show on Soho Radio, I was excited to hear that they’ll be releasing a new EP in June. Having originally formed in Liverpool, the band have played esteemed venues such as The Cavern Club and charmed audiences at Isle Of Wight festival and Sound City, and look set to bring their joyous energy across the country throughout 2022.

Taken from the upcoming EP, new single ‘The Phone Song‘ instantly hits you with its jangly, quirky energy. Propelled by an uplifting, vibrant groove, it flows with fizzing hooks and Nikki’s lush, sugar-sweet vocals, as voicemails from those closest to the band – spanning Hong Kong to America – are interwoven into the funk-fuelled musicality. Oozing a blissful, shimmering allure – with shades of an eclectic array of influences, from early hip-hop to Lily Allen – it comes complete with swooping trombone solos, sparkling harmonies and a relatable witty lyricism, showcasing all there is to love about Nikki & The Waves. The perfect effervescent bank holiday jam to shimmy along to in the blazing sunshine (we can hope…).

Produced by Joel Pratchett (The Orielles, King Krule), songs to play tennis to – the upcoming EP from Nikki & The Waves – is set for release on 17th June.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Five Favourites: Erasers

Perth-based ‘dungeon synth’ duo Rebecca Orchard and Rupert Thomas – aka Erasers – have recently released their hypnotic new album, Constant Connection. Flowing with hauntingly captivating soundscapes evoking the raw beauty of their native landscape of Western Australia, the collection offers a truly unique and utterly immersive aural treat for the senses. Showcasing the ethereal splendour of Orchard’s vocals with a poignant, layered musicality, Erasers have created a truly stirring release.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of their new album, we caught up with Rebecca from Erasers to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have inspired them the most. Read about their choices and watch their beautiful new video for ‘A Breeze’ at the end of this article!

Pikelet – Self-Titled
I first heard Pikelet when I was around seventeen. Rupert and I spent a lot of our late teens making mixed tapes for each other, sharing favourite songs and curating playlists on cassette for drives in my first car – a 1970s Beetle. Pikelet definitely featured on one of these, because I’m sure Rupert introduced me to their music, always being ahead of the curve with artists coming out of Naarm/Melbourne. Rupert and I started playing music together in 2009 after Rupert recorded some demos in his bedroom and spent weeks convincing me to do vocals for it. As someone not trained in music-making, I took inspiration and courage from seeing Evelyn aka Pikelet perform as a solo artist – recording and releasing music. It was the first time I’d ever seen someone using a loop pedal and it blew my mind to see what they created with their voice, looper and a few instruments. All of Pikelet’s albums are iconic, releasing a steady stream over a decade or so, eventually parting ways with the persona Pikelet and releasing under their own name Evelyn Ida Morris. Sonically, their albums have been diverse, shapeshifting over the years, but always resonating with something deep in my being. Evelyn is not only a talented artist – their work in advocating for others and themself in the community is inspirational. We’ve been lucky enough to play some of our first ever shows with Pikelet when they toured Perth, as well as bringing them back over to Perth years later to play a show. I feel incredibly grateful and lucky to know, learn from and listen to Evelyn in whatever form their voice takes.


Love Of Diagrams – Mosaic
Name a more iconic trio! Post-punk from Naarm/Melbourne released in 2007. I can’t remember when I first heard this album but it was around the time I turned eighteen and could legally go and see live music. There’s so much I love about Love Of Diagrams – the interplay between vocalists, Monica’s captivating drumming, catchy melodies, juicy bass-lines and winding grooves. The lyrics in their songs remind me of art school. I remember being inspired by Antonia’s powerful vocal delivery – almost yelling or chanting, with that amazing reverby tone. I’m sure I took inspiration from this in how I use my voice and the repetition of words and phrases. This was from an era where anyone creative from Perth moved to Melbourne, which was seen as the ‘arts capital’ of Australia. I have strong memories of going to Amplifier Bar with Rupert and friends, the only place in Perth at the time that played more alternative music. The DJ played from upstairs on this platform, which you could access via a dodgy ladder that we would drunkenly climb to request ‘Pace Or The Patience’ by Love Of Diagrams so we could sing and dance to it obnoxiously on the dance-floor with our friends. We were so lucky to have formed Erasers around a time that Love Of Diagrams were touring, and got to play one of our first ever live gigs supporting them in Boorloo/Perth. Seeing them live, playing together in both cities and later inviting them back to Perth for a show was a musical highlight. Once again, all their albums are too good to miss and they are each amazing artists in their own right, whether playing in other music projects, being visual artists or writers.


Mei Saraswati – Hypermeditations
It’s so tough to pick one Mei Saraswati album to talk about, because they’re all so damn good in different ways! I’ve chosen this one because it was released in 2013, probably around the time I first saw Mei perform live. Mei is one of my favourite artists from Boorloo/Perth and, although she hasn’t released new music for a little while, hearing her bedroom recordings still gives me the shivers. Mei Saraswati effortlessly fuses soulful vocals, sounds and themes of the northern suburbs, sampling, field recordings, electronics, Eastern instrumentation and influences, spirituality, RnB, drifting somewhere between meditation and music to groove to. Mei produces everything herself and is not only an incredible musician, also a visual artist, exploring weaving and printmaking, while also being a mother. I always admired Mei’s humble nature, she is effortlessly herself – often hilarious in her down-to-earth stage banter and in the way she would casually release whole albums for free download. On Bandcamp she describes Hypermeditations as “many different windows of philosophies open all at once – like when you have a hundred tabs open and you keep opening more”. Each of her albums is like opening little windows into her world and discovering fascinating ponderings, thoughts and feelings. Her anti-capitalist attitude to creating and producing art is something I truly admire. We’ve been lucky to play many gigs together over the years, as well as an exhibition a few years back called Deep Heritage. It always blew my mind that more people hadn’t heard Mei’s music because it’s too good to have not reached the furthest corners of the globe. Highly recommend the deep dive into Mei’s back catalogue on Bandcamp, it will not disappoint!


Enya – Oceans
Rupert and I both had very different musical upbringings. Rupert was brought up listening to music like Joy Division, Brian Eno and recalls long road trips around Australia listening to Ministry of Sound annuals on CD – his dad in particular was an avid music-lover and listener. I have distinct memories of my parents having Enya and Sade on CD and the rest of my musical upbringing was mostly listening to commercial radio, until I reached my angsty – but formative – teen years. I can’t remember exactly which Enya CDs my parents had, but I remember listening on long drives to visit grandparents and selecting either this or Sade from the CDs and cassettes we owned. I can’t pinpoint what particular influence this has had on me, but I’m sure it soaked somewhere into my subconscious. I like the resonating, angelic vocals, whole albums based on environmental themes and the opening track just feels iconic if you grew up in the ’90s.


Pauline Anna Strom – Trans-Millenia Music
I bought this on vinyl for Rupert a few years ago after discovering it and completely falling in love with the often melty and warm, often weird and intriguing, otherworldly sounds. Recorded in the 1970s or ’80s, gaining popularity in recent years with its re-release, I love the blurring of lines between this new age synthesizer music, fusing with Pauline’s other interests of spirituality and healing practices. These were recorded in single takes, with synthesizer manuals being read out to Pauline before recording, as she was born blind. There’s something so magical and healing about the depths of these sounds – like little shooting stars out into the cosmos. What I find so inspiring is not only the music itself, which is like a journey through time and space, but the fact that she made these albums in isolation at home – in the company of her reptiles, using influences from her areas of interest and fusing them into the sounds to create a healing, therapeutic body of work. Diving deep into her senses and letting intuition guide her creativity; the type of authenticity I hope to have in my own music, creative practices and life itself.


Massive thanks to Rebecca from Erasers for sharing their five favourites with us! Watch the band’s latest video for ‘A Breeze’ below:

Photo credit: Karl Halliday

Track Of The Day: deep tan – ‘rudy ya ya ya’

Following last year’s creeping speedwells, London trio Wafah, Celeste and Lucy – aka deep tan – have now announced the release of an upcoming new EP, diamond horsetail. Having been captivating us with their spellbinding post-punk for a few years now, we’re super excited to see what they have in store for us next.

Taken from the EP, latest single ‘rudy ya ya ya‘ offers a bizarrely witty ode to the former mayor of NYC. Maintaining all the wonderfully wacky yet seductively dark sentiment we’ve come to know and love from the band, it’s propelled by an instantly catchy, jangly drive. Beset with haunting, glitchy hooks and sweeping, sultry vocals, the track oozes a swirling discordant allure as it builds with an immense frenzied tension. A strangely addictive, fizzing cacophony, driven by a fierce post-punk energy reminiscent of the legendary The Slits.

Of the meaning behind the track, the band explain:

Caught with your pants down, brown ooze slides down a furrowed brow as sacha interrupts — ! (aka the rudy giuliani diss track you never asked for)…

diamond horsetail, the upcoming new EP from deep tan, is set for digital release on 6th May and physical copies will be available on 22nd July.

Mari Lane
@marimindles