PREVIEW: QOTSA & Friends @ Finsbury Park, 30.06.18

Anyone who knows me will know of my love of Queens Of The Stone Age. Anyone who knows me will also know of my love of championing women in music. So, although I am EXTREMELY excited about seeing QOTSA and the legendary Iggy Pop next Saturday, 30th June, in Finsbury Park, I’m also particularly looking forward to the rest of the incredible line up, which is 50% female…

Brody Dalle:
I have been wanting to see Brody Dalle since I was a 16 year old listening to The Distillers’ Sing Sing Death House for the first time, and being completely blown away by her seething, riotous power. Catch me at the front re-living my teenage angst.

Deap Vally: 
Blues-rock duo Deap Vally are the band I turn to whenever I need some motivation. Their empowering passion and glorious, gritty aggression when delivering their raging feminist anthems is really an immense spectacle to behold.

Hinds: 
Having seen the Spanish band Hinds three times before, I can assure you they will not disappoint live. Their infectious, sunny charisma never fails to put a smile on my face, and their immense, buoyant energy creates a sweeping sense of raucous euphoria whenever they perform.

Black Honey:
Fronted by Izzy B Phillips, Brighton’s Black Honey have been building quite a reputation over the last few days, receiving acclaim from the likes of The Guardian and NME for their lush, swooning vocals and catchy, jangly melodies.

Belako: 
Second Spanish band of the line up, Belako are known for delivering catchy slices of post-punk and their recent album Render Me Numb, Trivial Violence is a gritty collection of raw, swirling offerings.

Skinny Girl Diet:
Long time favourites of GIHE, it’s wonderful to see Skinny Girl Diet building their reputation and playing such big stages. I first saw them at The Shacklewell Arms a few years ago, and they blew me away with their seething, Riot Grrrl-inspired energy and rousing, grunge-fuelled sound.

Catch all these bands for QOTSA & Friends in Finsbury Park next Saturday 30th June. More info and ticket links here.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

PLAYLIST: Pride 2018

Pride. What is Pride?  

Pride is a day to celebrate but it’s also a day to remember. Remember the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967, the Stonewall riots of 1969. Remember the first official Pride in London in 1972 and remember it increasing in size during the ’80s to protest Section 28. Remember the first European Trans Pride in Brighton in 2014, and last year Sadiq Khan being the first London Mayor to lead the Pride parade.

Here in the UK we have come so far as a society but still on the streets of London I am shouted at when I kiss my girlfriend. LGBTQ+ people should not be victimised, they should not be judged, they should not be isolated. People should be free to live without fear of judgment or discrimination. LGBTQ+ people should not have to fear for their lives because of their sexuality or gender identity.

Throughout the years so many people have stood up for LGBTQ+ rights and achieved so much in the name of equality and this should be celebrated.

So wherever you are, at whatever Pride you are supporting, spread the word and make it known – equality is for everyone.

Here at GIHE we are supporting Pride Month and will be out supporting Pride in London on 7th July, and because we think everything deserves a soundtrack, here is ours for Pride Month and for all of you, whichever Pride you are supporting across the world.

Hercules & Love Affair – ‘Blind’
Their self-titled album released in 2008 was without a doubt the theme tune to me fully embracing my sexuality, feeling proud of who I was and strong enough to come out happily in all aspects of my life. (Tash Walker)

J.D.Samson / MEN – ‘Who Am I To Feel So Free
As part of my favourite trio Le Tigre, and later MEN, LGBTQ+ activist J.D.Samson holds a pretty special place in my heart. Last year I had the honour of being able to dance the night away to tunes that she hand-picked at M.I.A’s Meltdown Festival. It was a blissfully euphoric experience filled with an immense joy and sense of unity, proving that it’s more important than ever to make time to come together, dance, love, and be united against those who seek to divide us. (Mari Lane)

Peaches – ‘I U She’
Throughout history many people who are bisexual have been criticised by both the LGBTQ+ communities and the non-LGBTQ+ communities. I don’t think people realise how ingrained biphobia is within our society, which makes songs like ‘I U She’ soooo powerful and sooo important. (TW)

Fever Ray – ‘To The Moon and Back’
After seeing Fever Ray live at The Troxy this year – which was breath-taking – the memory of her fans joyfully echoing her explicit lyrics on this track still makes me smile. (Kate Crudgington)

Mykki Blacno – ‘Loner’ 
Rapper and queer pioneer Mykki Blanco delivers powerfully honest and thought-provoking social commentaries with a ferocious, fun-filled spirit. Seeing them live at M.I.A’s Meltdown Festival last year was like witnessing a colourful whirlwind, a beautifully buoyant ray of light. (ML)

Janelle Monae (feat Grimes) – ‘Pynk’
A perfect pop song from Janelle Monae – who spoke about her pansexuality in a recent Rolling Stone interview – which champions female pleasure. What’s not to like? (KC)

Shamir – ‘On The Regular’ 
The frenzied joy of Shamir’s ‘On The Regular’ is a must-have for any celebration, particularly one for Pride. His uptempo, playful pop puts a smile on my face without fail, and a hug from him at Visions Festival a few years ago was a definite life highlight. (ML)

King Princess – ‘1950’
The latest generation of LGBTQ+ people continually amaze me with their openness and their acceptance of how others identify in their sexuality and gender identity. King Princess’ ‘1950’ is an excellent example of the progression we have made throughout the last 60 years.(TW)

St Vincent – ‘Birth In Reverse’
A believer in gender fluidity, Annie Clark seems incapable of creating a song that isn’t completely wonderful. A particular favourite of mine, ‘Birth In Reverse’ is a vibrant example of her ability to make even the most mundane of subjects utterly intoxicating. (ML)

Partner – ‘Woman Of Dreams’ 
Canadian duo Partner are queens of jangly guitar fuzz, sparkling harmonies and witty lyrics. Seeing them live at The Victoria (with Suggested Friends and Charmpit) recently was a night of pure queer-pop perfection. (ML)

Ms Mohammed – ‘Pandora’
As a champion of cross-cultural tolerance and an out queer artist who advocates for LGBT rights and visibility, Ms Mohammed challenges prejudice through her music. Her video for ‘Pandora’ is another superb example of this. (KC)

Suggested Friends – ‘I Don’t Want To Be A Horcrux For Your Soul’
I just can’t get enough of the perfect, immensely infectious ‘tweemo’ punk-pop of Suggested Friends. Filled with racing, catchy hooks and luscious harmonies, Faith Taylor’s witty charm and exquisite vocals fill me with joy on each listen. (ML)

Bikini Kill – ‘Rebel Girl’
A personal choice for me, this song made me feel a lot less isolated when I was growing up, not quite knowing who I was or where I fitted in. (TW)

Dream Nails – ‘Bully Girl’ 
An uplifting queer anthem from our favourite Punk Witches. Yet another sparkling creation from the formidable force that is Dream Nails. (ML)

Gossip – ‘Where The Girls Are’ 
Beth Ditto, what a legend. (TW)

Sleater Kinney – ‘Dig Me Out’
Sleater Kinney’s third album Dig Me Out is filled with explosive emotion. Following the break up of Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein (and Brownstein then being famously outed by Spin Magazine), it’s a defiant and important collection – with anger and frustration used to fuel something wonderful. A necessary and motivating listen. (ML)

Madonna – ‘Vogue’
Inspired by the iconic Paris Is Burning documentary and recorded at the height of America’s AIDS crisis, this song has become an essential to any LGBTQ+ playlist. (TW)

Bronski Beat – ‘Smalltown Boy’ 
Released in 1984 at the height of the AIDS crisis by openly gay Bronski Beat, Smalltown Boy is a heartbreaking story given an empowering beat. (TW)

Princess Nokia – ‘Tomboy’ 
A feel-good body image anthem and general all-round banger, Princess Nokia’s ‘Tomboy’ asserts that we should be proud of our bodies (“my little titties and my fat belly”) whatever shape they may be. A snarling ode to her small frame and ‘masculine’ ways, it’s a perfect celebratory playlist must-have. (ML)

Kim Ann Foxman – ‘Creature’
Growing up I don’t remember any out famous LGBT+ women in music, so when I discovered Kim Ann Foxman who was so confident in her sexuality, it made the biggest of impressions on me. The music isn’t bad either. (TW)

Ultra Nate – ‘Free’
This song’s chorus speaks for itself, “Cause you’re free to do what you want to do / You’ve go to live your life / Do what you want to do.” (TW)

Perfume Genius – ‘Queen’
I don’t really have the words to describe my love of Perfume Genius. The first time I saw the video for ‘Queen’ it broke me. Filled with the emotion-filled power of Mike Hadreas’ heartbreaking vocals alongside luscious pop melodies, it’s a song inspired by “gay panic”, and the power one can derive from knowing their mere being is making everyone around them extremely uncomfortable. A powerfully poignant offering from this unique and truly beautiful artist. (ML)

Antony and the Johnsons – ‘For Today I Am A Boy’ 
A stirring and powerful ode to the journey of transitioning. With the immense passion of Anohni’s distinctive, soulful vocals, ‘For Today I Am A Boy’ is a simply exquisite creation. (ML)

Listen to our ‘Pride 2018’ playlist here:

If you have any questions or would like to discuss issues around sexuality and/or gender identity Switchboard – the LGBT+ Helpine is available to listen and support.

You can contact Switchboard via the telephone, instant messenger and email.

Open from 10am to 10pm, 365 days a year.

0300 330 0630

 

Tash Walker / @maudeandtrevor
Mari Lane / @marimindles
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut

Guest Blog: Gez Smith (Lips Choir / Girls Rock London)

For the past three years, Girls Rock London has put on a night of music to raise funds to support their programming year-round. This year we are presenting a special edition of our annual summer party on 30th June, showcasing some awesome DIY acts led by women.

If you haven’t come across us before, Girls Rock London creates opportunities for women; girls, trans and gender non-conforming folk to learn and perform music. We work with youth and adults, mainly through our ‘rock camps’, where participants learn the basics of an instrument from scratch, form a band, write a song and perform it at a live gig in just a few days. We’re all about demystifying music-making and making it accessible to as many people as possible, and our work with young people is also focused on improving peoples’ confidence and self-esteem.

Girls and trans youth in this country face real challenges in terms of their mental health, and we are trying to do something positive to address that. This year for the first time GRL! wants to continue working with young people all year round, and not just at the camps, and the money raised at our summer party will go towards helping to make that happen.

So, you probably want to know who’s on the bill…! There will be two bands that were formed at our rock camps – Concrete Bones and Judi Hench. Judi Hench were the first band to start making music as a result of Girls Rock so hold a very special place in our hearts, and Concrete Bones are going from strength to strength, having formed at last year’s women’s camp – they have done loads of gigging over the year and have just recorded an EP!

Charmpit are our headliners. They were formed as part of the First Timers programme which takes place at DIY Space for London, and one of their members is also a volunteer with Girls Rock London – they are one of the most fun bands I’ve seen in ages!

And completing this all-woman bill is Lips Choir, of which I’m a founding member. Lips was formed by a small group of people back in 2009. We were looking for a musical outlet but we couldn’t find anything that felt right for us. As we were all working on social justice campaigning, it felt natural for us that Lips would be a space for anyone who self-identifies as female – and we wanted to sing music that we listen to now, and grew up listening to.

It started with eleven people in a room singing a song that we had arranged the week before, and very quickly grew. We now have 100 members and a waiting list of 400!! We were really surprised by its popularity – it seems lots of people feel the same as we do about wanting to sing with other people, but haven’t found a place to do that. Communal singing is something that people have always done, and until recently in this country, people would do mainly do in church. Now that church attendance has fallen dramatically, many of us feel that need to carve out new spaces where we can come together and sing. We’re also really lucky that we’ve had amazing musical directors over the years who write really original arrangements that we absolutely love to sing!

We’re no different to any other DIY band putting on shows ourselves at venues like The Coronet, Union Chapel and St John at Hackney. We’ve gone from strength-to-strength, performing to sold-out audiences and appearing on the main stage at Bestival. We’ve collaborated with Goldfrapp and performed at the Royal Albert Hall with her, gone to Shut Down Yarl’s Wood Demonstrations and sung in solidarity with detained women there; sharing our stage with women refugees and asylum seekers are just some of the amazing experiences we’ve had so far.

So what can you expect if you come along to the GRL! Summer Party…? Plenty of women onstage singing their hearts out, playing instruments and having fun! Women are so underrepresented on and off the stage in music-making and performance, so it’s always inspiring to see them not waiting for permission and just cracking on with doing what makes them happy, and making amazing music along the way.

Expect accessible, excellent music – pop, punk, dance, rock and some amazing covers – and The Lips set is going to be a completely new set full of dance classics, to take us into the final part of the evening. And, as well as all the unmissable music, it’s also a chance to contribute to a project that directly tackles sexism in music and wider society.

It will also be hosted by the comedian Kemah Bob and there will be DJs afterwards, so expect to see plenty of Lipsters on the dance floor… We’ll see you there!

Huge thanks to Gez Smith for writing for us! Find out more about Girls Rock London and all their amazing work here. And make sure you head down to their Annual Summer Party on 30th June!

WATCH: Low – ‘Quorum’ / ‘Dancing and Blood’ / ‘Fly’

Marking the 25th year of their career, in September, Low release Double Negative, their bravest and most experimental album to date.

Ahead of the release of the album, the band have shared a a triptych video for the opening three songs, ‘Quorum’, ‘Dancing and Blood’ and ‘Fly’. A trippy amalgamation of eerily captivating footage, it’s a poignant and subtly disturbing watch, charting memories of life and near death. Oozing a truly beguiling, majestic power, this first taste of the new album signals quite a step away from the band’s previous offerings, but something that’s no less beautiful in its dark, spine-tingling splendour. A haunting, thought-provoking work of art introducing’s Low’s most empowering work so far. 

Watch the video for ‘Quorum’, ‘Dancing and Blood’ and ‘Fly’ here:

Or watch all three videos separately:

‘Quorum’ [link here]
Directed & edited by Ben Chisholm
Filmed by Karlos Rene Ayala

‘Dancing and Blood’ [link here]
Directed, filmed & edited by
Karlos Rene Ayala

‘Fly’ [link here]
Directed by Mark Pellington
Edited by Jen Kennedy

Produced by B.J. Burton (Bon Iver, Lizzo), Double Negative is out 14th September. Catch Low live:

19th June – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
20th June – Queen Elizabeth Hall, London (for Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival)

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Shelly Mosman

 

 

PREMIERE: La Lune – ‘Love/Sick’

Brighton song-writer La Lune has released her ear-melting new single ‘Love/Sick’, which you can listen to below. We’ve been keeping track of this elusive newcomer since she shared her debut EP Bliss with us in February, and her latest offering is equally as dreamy.

La Lune’s material is mainly autobiographical, but on ‘Love/Sick’ she approached songwriting from a different angle. Speaking of the inspiration behind the track, La Lune says: “I was giving a friend of mine some advice, as they were having relationship-troubles. They said to me, “we’ve got a lot to undo,” and that phrase really stuck with me, and inspired the chorus of the song (we often joke that I should give them lyric credits). I think ‘love/sick’ sounds a bit different to what I’ve released before, which was my intention. I wanted the subject matter to be kind of sad, but to juxtapose this with a relatively upbeat song. I really like it when songs do that”.

Inspired by the likes of The Japanese House, Lorde, James Blake & Bon Iver, La Lune has been creating her own music for just over a year. ‘Love/Sick/ marks a more “summery” direction for the songwriter, but her sharp production skills ensure she’s still creating her trademark understated, gentle, cleanly produced sounds.

Listen to ‘Love/Sick’ below, and follow La Lune on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Indian Queens – ‘Pretty Little Thing’

Equal parts driving and delicate: the ever cool Indian Queens have shared their new track ‘Pretty Little Thing’ – and it’s as attractive to the ears as its namesake suggests. Released via Cool Thing Records today (June 15th), the single is an infectious blur of hypnotic vocals and shoe gaze guitar sounds.

“’Pretty Little’ Thing started as a childhood memory” explains guitarist and vocalist, Jennifer O’Neill. “My Nan and Grandads’s garden always sounded of birds and far off planes travelling to nicer places. It was a warm feeling and I didn’t want to be anywhere else”. This nostalgic undertone makes ‘Pretty Little Thing’ ring out with warmth and understated joy. Jennifer also designed the artwork for the single (pictured below) – titled ‘Self Portrait no.1 – Writer’s Block’ – making this release particularly personal.

Indian Queens have been championed by John Kennedy (Radio X), LOCK Magazine, they were added to Burberry’s emerging playlist on Apple Music, and they supported We Are Scientists on their recent tour. Now, they’re set to play at Southbank’s Meltdown Festival – curated by the inimitable Robert Smith – tonight, and we can’t wait to seem them live again. Listen to ‘Pretty Little Thing’ below, and follow Indian Queens on Facebook for more updates.

Grab your tickets for Indian Queens’ headline show at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen (12.10.18) here.

Photo Credit: Emma Viola Lilja 

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Hanne Leland – ‘Stay’

Husky, melancholic vocals against a soft piano line form the foundations of Norwegian born singer-songwriter Hanne Leland’s latest single ‘Stay’.

So far within her musical journey, Hanne Leland has taken a daring leap from the world of country music to her own style of electro-pop in addition to being the support act for the legendary All Saints on their comeback tour. Produced by Jim Eliot – who was behind Ellie Goulding’s ‘Anything Could Happen’ – ‘Stay’ is a passionate plea to love. The emotion is strong within Leland’s soaring vocals, as a tinge of electronica underpins the poignant pop soundscape. Hanne Leland expands: “…the recording process was really emotional as the song is very personal to me”.

It is this raw expression that establishes Leland’s mark upon the pop scene and makes ‘Stay’ a track which deems us eager to hear more from the London-based singer.

 

Nicky Lee Delisle
@Nicky___Lee

Photo Credit: Mariann Vik