FIVE FAVOURITES: Sarah P.

Sarah P. (former front-woman of Keep Shelly In Athens) has shared her new EP Maenads with the world, and it’s a record that openly explores the theme of female power in all its magic, strength and “imperfect perfection”. The record is a triumphant return for the artist, who has been busy championing public conversations about mental health through the creation of her monthly zine EraseRestart, which aims to wipe out the stigma that surrounds it. 

We caught up with Sarah P. to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five artists or albums that have influenced her songwriting technique. Check out her responses below…

1. Sad Lovers & Giants – Les Années Vertes
This record is everything to me. Pure 80s sound, conscious-but-mysterious lyrics, eerie vocals. I’ve always loved the “hopeless romantic” vibe of the post punk-scene. Les Années Vertes is a classic, timeless piece of art. Even if the sound is now considered vintage, the lyric themes are easy to connect with. This album is a manifesto for the youth – I believe every generation can relate to it. I put on this record when I need a push in my life. It makes me feel powerful and confident. It takes me back to being a suburban teen with dirty converse shoes trying to grasp from the complexities of coming of age. And whenever I’m playing it, I think of this awkward child (that grew up to be an even more awkward adult), her tough years and how she overcame the hardships.

2. Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth
I guess I’m naturally attracted to haunting melodies, thought-provoking lyrics and quirky vocals. This is my favourite Nine Inch Nails album and one of my top records of all time. I remember listening to With Teeth for the first time and being genuinely impressed by the arrangements and how every sound is right where it belongs (pun intended). Also, it’s safe to say that NIN are the most amazing band I’ve seen performing live. The production of everything they do is so detailed-oriented and perfect, and always leaves me in their awe. ‘Right Where It Belongs’ is perhaps my most favourite song in the world. It’s so raw, authentic and honest – a truly inspiring composition. Most of the things I strive to be, I’ve learned courtesy of NIN and With Teeth.

3. Tim Buckley – Goodbye And Hello
When I was around 6 years old, my dad made me a mixtape and included ‘Phantasmagoria in Two’ on it. Boy, didn’t I fall in love? I asked him “who’s Tim Buckley?”, he showed me a picture and I was ready and committed to get married to him. Dad told me that Tim Buckley had died, but that didn’t matter, because he was set out to be my forever crush. An angel for me – a tortured soul, regardless. Goodbye And Hello is too pretty to be man-made. Vulnerability was Buckley’s strength. ‘Pleasant Street’ is a truly moving song about addiction, but there are far too many gems in this album. Buckley wrote from his heart – he never took a vocal lesson or cared for chords and song structures. To me, he’s one of the greatest artists to have ever walked on earth.

4. Anne Clark – Joined Up Writing/The Sitting Room
POETRY! Anne Clark, the ultimate siren – she’s so intense. ‘Our Darkness’ is obviously her most popular song to date, however the whole record is pure beauty. She’s one of the most fascinating artists, I’ve ever come across. I love how committed she’s always been to her artistry. I point that out knowing how tough the industry is with women who are not making what they like to call “mainstream music”. But Anne Clark is a true badass and never shied away from speaking truths on her songs. Beautiful arrangements, leaving room for majestic spoken words that make you shiver.

5. Dionysis Savvopoulos – Vromiko Psomi
‘Zeimpekiko’ is one of the songs that makes me very emotional. My parents played it every time they had their friends over – it brings back memories of their parties at home, the smell of cigarettes and whiskey, the breeze coming in from the open window, the muffled sound of philosophical conversations, music and the sounds of cars passing by. I’ve reconnected with this record while in Berlin – away from home. This record was released two years before the fall of Greece’s military junta. Savvopoulos was jailed twice during that time – the song ‘Dimosthenous Lexis’ is about him in jail thinking how life would be if he got out of jail (apparently, not too bright, because democracy seemed like a dream at the time). In times where fascism slips through even the tightest layers of our societies, it’s important to look back and learn from our recent history. Democracy shouldn’t be taken for granted and neither should artistry and talent that’s bold and brave to address topics
that our societies may not be ready to hear about.

Follow Sarah P. on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: George Geranios

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Women In Film at Doc ‘N’ Roll Film Festival 2018

Having been going since last Thursday, this year’s Doc ‘N’ Roll Film Festival is running an exciting line-up of music documentaries running at various cinemas across London over the next couple of weeks. As if that didn’t sound exciting enough, this year in particular is showcasing the contribution of women to both the film and music industries, with a wide variety of talents both in front of and behind the camera being celebrated.

One of the films being showcased is the story of poet and electro pioneer Anne Clark, I’ll Walk Out Into Tomorrow. Anne Clark turned punk’s creative heat into eloquently cool soundscapes, whose influence, three decades on, is still felt among musicians in Europe and beyond. Via her groundbreaking use of samples and analogue synthesizers in tracks such as ‘Sleeper in Metropolis’ and ‘Our Darkness’, the Croydon-born artist would become a forerunner of the techno generation. This intimate portrait of a famously reticent figure attests to the patience and keen eye of filmmaker Claus Withopf, whose camera accompanied Clark for nearly a decade. Along with compelling live footage dating from the 1980s to the present day, I’ll Walk Out Into Tomorrow focuses on Clark’s recollections of her school days, London’s punk scene, the music industry’s manipulations and deceits, the wilfulness of the human heart, and her enduring love affair with the creative process in all its doubts, detours and discoveries. I’ll Walk Out Into Tomorrow will have its UK premiere at The Barbican Centre at 3.30pm on Saturday 10th November. 

Also screening will be the story of Sweden’s most outspoken Feminist LGBTQ rapper Silvana Imam, Silvana. Silvana is screening on Saturday 10th November at 6pm at Curzon Soho. 

Another film we’re particularly excited about, Stories From She Punks tells the story of women who wrote songs and played instruments in bands in the ’70s, and is made by Helen Reddington of The Chefs and Gina Birch of The Raincoats. The world premiere of Stories From She Punks is screening on Saturday 10th November at 7pm at Genesis Cinema


Lesley Woods, from the film Stories From She Punks.

And perhaps the most poignant of the festival’s offerings, So, Which Band Is Your Boyfriend In? explores gender in the DIY punk scene. So, Which Band Is Your Boyfriend In? sees its London premiere on Saturday 17th November at 6.30pm at Genesis Cinema. 


Marcia of The Skints, from the film So, Which Band Is Your Boyfriend In?

Of the festival, founder Colm Forde explains:

Our 5th London edition is the culmination of five years of relentless DIY spirit – blood sweat and tears from ourselves and a passionate volunteer group of independent film and music fanatics. Along the way, we’ve grown an ever expanding young audience of underserved fans across the UK, while inspiring many flattering imitators and upsetting the industry dinosaurs! Our programme of 28 premiere films includes 16 first-time directors who champion the power of music and film as universal languages of hope and inclusion.

All info and a full listing of films on offer at Doc ‘N’ Roll Film Festival found here.