LIVE: Charmpit @ Sebright Arms, 08.07.2022

On Friday we had the absolute honour of hosting DIY legends Charmpit’s last ever London gig at Sebright Arms. With support from total faves Bitch Hunt and indie ‘tweecore’ outfit adults, it was truly a wonderful night – with so many familiar faces from the community coming together to celebrate a band who have been such an inspiration and joy for so many. And to sellout was a a total dream – huge thanks and big love to the three beautiful bands and to everyone who joined us for this memorable night filled with all the best vibes and bittersweet emotions!

Opening the night, Bitch Hunt deliver an empowering, cathartic set. Despite not having had the simplest of weeks (graduations, minor surgeries and struggles on public transport all contributing to stress levels), they radiate a blissful energy as each scuzzy punk-pop offering – reflecting on themes ranging from being non-binary and losing loved ones, to men who take up too much space – tugs at the heartstrings and fills the venue with a joyous sense of unity. Expressing their love of Charmpit and reflecting on memories of First Timers fest in between tracks, it’s a perfect start to what turns out to be a perfect night.

Next up, South London’s adults blast onto the stage with all the fuzzy energy you could ever desire. With both vocalists donning matching Charmpit ‘Anarchism Is For Lovers’ tees, and even treating us to a cover of the beloved headliners, they deliver half an hour of glistening, indie-pop perfection. Simultaneously oozing a lilting, uplifting scuzz with a poignant, angst-driven rage at the state of the world, each track twinkles with a sparkling drive as relatable lyrics about mutual aid and looking out for each other in hard times flow with heartfelt emotion alongside infectious, jangling hooks.

And then it’s Charmpit‘s turn to play their last ever London gig… Emotions run high in the packed out space as their sparkling charisma and vibrant energy instantly flow from the stage, filling the venue with an all-encompassing euphoric splendour. As they treat us to a set of career-spanning classic DIY anthems, it’s an utter joy to see the crowd dance, sing (and cry) together to this band who have meant so much to all of us over the years. From earlier colourful offerings such as ‘Buckfast My Heart’ and ‘Margot’ (who is now 7 and president of her Climate Society at school), to tracks from their latest (and last…) album Cause A Stir, each track oozes the band’s trademark shimmering, colourful zest and playfully quirky wit, whilst touching on stirring themes such as toxic relationships, true friendship and anarchy. Despite the sadness at this being the last time we will all be together in a room dancing to Charmpit, it’s a truly joyous occasion – celebrating all there is to love about this inspiring, adorable and innovative group whose uplifting bubblegum pop tunes have healed, helped and motivated so many. Having followed their career from the start, and with fond memories of them playing live for us at The Finsbury back in 2017, it’s a total honour to host this incredibly special event dedicated to these four wonderful humans who have played such a pivotal part in the London DIY community over the last decade.

What more can I say… Thank you to the three truly wonderful bands, to all who came out and – most importantly – thank you to CHARMPIT! We love you so much; thank you for all the music and the inspiration that will stay with us forever. It was a joy to host this event and to see so many lovely familiar faces!

Join us in a couple of weeks when we’ll be back at The Shacklewell Arms with total faves ARXX, with support from Fräulein and Lusa Morena – tickets selling fast, so make sure you get yours on DICE now! And then we will be at The Victoria on 12th August to dance the night away with Nikki & The Waves, BAXTR and Panic Pocket – you should also nab tickets for that soon too!

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photo Credit: David Harris / @chopstick68

LISTEN: GIHE on Soho Radio with Julia-Sophie 04.05.22

Tash & Kate were back on the Soho Radio airwaves playing loads of new music from some of their favourite female, non-binary and LGBTQ+ artists, and Mari offered some of her “musical musings” too.

Electronic artist Julia-Sophie joined them to talk about her latest EP it feels like thunder, and her anticipations for her Get In Her Ears headline show at The Shacklewell Arms on Thursday 1st June, with Maria Uzor and Dewey. Grab your tickets here.

Listen back below:

 

Tracklist
Sade – Your Love Is King
ESG – not my first (rodeo)
Anonhi x Hercules Love Affair – Poisonous Storytelling
Gazelle Twin – Hole In My Heart
Ethel Cain – American Teenager
Softcult – Uzumaki
Martha Rose and GRIP TIGHT – Never B Mine
Jelly Crystal & Seinabo Sey – I Tryyy
Tender – Control
Fears – Fabric
Fraulein – And I Go (La La)
Kills Birds – Cough Up Cherries
Amaroun – Orchid
Chelsea Carmichael – All We Know
Julia-Sophie – Dial Your Number
**Interview with Julia-Sophie**
Kraak & Smaak, Fred Nevché – Scirocco
Ultraista – Tin King
Shivum Sharma – Overload
Tomberlin – Sunstruck
Bitch – Hello Meadow
Ghum – Some People
Grawl!x – Hopelessness
Deep Tan – Rudy Ya Ya Ya
Breakup Haircut – Out Of My Way (I’m not getting on the night bus)
Noga Erez – End Of The Road

INTERVIEW: First Timers Fest

First Timers are a London-based DIY community of musicians and activists who believe that having access to creating & playing music should not be a privilege, it should be a joyful and social experience that empowers everyone. They encourage people from all walks of life – particularly those who identify as non-binary, LGBTQ+, disabled or female – to attend their workshops and gigs in order to experience and create music in a non-judgemental, low pressure environment. They aim to build people’s confidence, as well as forming a community of like-minded individuals who feel empowered to tackle the lack of diversity in larger music industry spheres.

Their next event, First Timers Fest, is happening this Sunday (8th May) at the Amersham Arms in New Cross. 14 newly formed bands will take to the stage for the first time to perform in front of a crowd, and we’ll be there cheering them on and witnessing this brand new talent!You can grab a ticket for the First Timers 2022 Showcase here: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/first-timers-fest-2022-tickets-309402048857

We spoke to Deena, Ishani, Sian and Ripley from the First Timers team about how the initiative began, what they’ve learned from being part of the team and what we can expect from this year’s showcase…

 

Hello folks! Please introduce yourselves and explain how you joined the First Timers team & what it is that you do…

At the moment the core First Timers organising team is Deena, Ishani, Sian and Ripley. None of us founded the fest – that was Bryony who now runs the Good Night Out campaign – and all of us got involved through playing it! Making the fest happen is a fairly big endeavor, and involves booking teachers and workshops, publicizing, finances, liaising with teachers and bands, and a million other little things that crop up.

It’s a lot of work, but it seems to be paying off. You’re a fantastic grass roots organisation and you do so much for the DIY music scene.

First Timers Fest itself was a big thing for us and got most of us into playing music! Also, its easier to be what you see, so seeing other London initiatives like Girls Rock London and Decolonize Fest flourishing is super inspiring.

They’re both great organisations too. What would you say are the highlights of being involved with organising First Timers Fest?

Jam on your hands is one of our favorite bits, even though its probably the most difficult thing to bring together and is always chaotic. It’s a workshop where people get to try out a bunch of instruments then learn a song then we play it all at the same time – so you have three drum kits and five basses and guitars and a tonne of people singing – it’s fantastic! Seeing people having fun at workshops and then telling us they never thought they’d be able to play an instrument and now love it is also amazing.

I attended your Bass Workshop with Jodi this year and I felt the same, it was such a fun day. Tell me about the other teachers and volunteers who are involved with the workshops. I know that Joni from Fraulein ran your guitar workshop and Chuck SJ taught songwriting this year. How do you connect with teachers and get them involved?

Our workshops this year have been really very good and luckily it’s been easy to find great people to run them. Sometimes we put call outs for teachers on our social media, sometimes we source them from the pool of people we’ve got to know over the years, or musicians we rate, or even people who have played the fest before! We love it when our teachers are First Timers at teaching too!

What are your anticipations for the First Timers 2022 showcase on Sunday 8th May? Tell us all about the bands on the bill…

It’s going to be fairly eclectic- it always is! Floralis is bringing us art pop influenced by goth rock and hip hop. Achers will be playing hardcore. A N T I A are putting harmonicas into grungy punk. Melhole are combining synths and ukelele, and there will be THREE kinds of hand percussion in ROAD. Many of the the main food groups really.

Because of Covid, for most of us this will be the first Fest we’ve organised from start to finish so we are just really excited to see them all up there!

I’m excited too! If someone was considering coming to a First Timers event, but felt a bit too nervous to get involved, what advice would you give to them?

We are all really very nice and we also all understand how scary it can be to take those first steps! Advice? Bring a friend, or reach out to us before you come.

And if a musician reading this is interested in volunteering for the next set of First Timers Fest workshops, what should they do?

Keep an eye out on social media as that’s where we tend to put out calls for artists, teachers, photographers, and other volunteers. Aside from Jam on your Hands, the workshops are paid for teachers, but the rest of us are volunteers. We are always needing more hands on deck with organising so do get in touch if you’re interested in getting involved – it’s good fun and very rewarding!

Finally, any bands or artists that you’ve been listening to recently that you’d like to recommend?

Here’s a link to every First Timers Fest band ever! 

Lots of them are still going. Breakup Haircut are playing their album release gig on the 22nd of July, Big Joanie are touring soon, Charmpit released an amazing album over lockdown, Bitch Hunt, Whitelands, Panic Pocket, Irn Brunette and Trouble Wanted have been playing live recently. If we’ve missed anyone out please do add your current stuff to the spreadsheet!

But we are equally as in awe of every band that played the fest the one time then dissolved or morphed or started other projects. We’re proud of them all!

Thanks to the First Timers team for answering our questions!

Follow First Timers Fest on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

International Women’s Day 2022

Happy International Women’s Day!

IWD is a time to celebrate the achievements of women and a time to reflect on and evaluate the work that still needs to be done to achieve equality. As you already know, these are some of the core values of GIHE. We champion women & non-binary folk who make the music that we love daily!

So, this IWD, we’re asking everyone to continue supporting the artists that we promote on GIHE and to take a look at some of the incredible organisations who work tirelessly to make local music scenes and the wider music industry a safer, more enjoyable place for women to create their art. We’ve also included links to some UK based charities who stand up for women’s rights too.

If you need an IWD Playlist, feel free to visit our Spotify – there’s plenty of good music waiting to get in your ears there!

 

Decolonise Fest

“A London-based festival created by an for punx of colour.” Visit their website

First Timers Fest

A DIY music festival encouraging people to pick up instruments for the first time and learn how to play in a low pressure, friendly environment. Visit their website

Girls Rock London

A charity based in Hackney who focus on increasing access to music for young and adult women, trans and non-binary people. Visit their website

LOUD WOMEN

London-based promoter “putting women on stage and turning up the volume!” Visit their website

Girls Against

Organisation fighting against sexual assault at live music events. Visit their website

Safe Gigs 4 Women

“An initiative established by regular gig goers with the aim of creating a safer environment for women at gigs. Visit their website

OMNII Sound Collective

A London-based collective ” aiming to inspire women, trans and non-binary sound enthusiasts to operate in all aspects of audio production.” Visit their website

Music Production For Women

“A global movement, community and online education platform which aims to encourage and empower women who are taking their first steps into music production.” Visit their website

Ladies Music Pub

A London-based community open to all women, non-binary and gender variant people in music. Visit their website

WXMB 2

A “community of womxn connecting and coming together with a shared mission: to take on inequality within the music industry.” Visit their website

WITCiH

“An inclusive platform supporting Women in Tech. WITCiH is an online and real world platform for research, creation, performance and networking.” Visit their website

Content Is Queen

A “podcasting agency and community that’s been amplifying minority voices since day dot.” Visit their website

The Log Books

An award-winning podcast telling the untold stories from Britain’s LGBTQ+ History. Founded by fellow GIHE babe Tash Walker. Listen here

We Wear Black

A podcast that focuses on what it’s like for women & non-binary people living an alternative lifestyle, talking about everything from “sex, racism and gigs to Myspace and emo fashion.” Listen here

Girls Twiddling Knobs

A podcast “for female identifying musicians eager to start self-recording their music” hosted by Isobel Anderson. They’re launching their third series on 24th March 2022, featuring interviews with Gazelle Twin, Jessica Paz and Emily Nash. Listen here

Sisters Uncut

UK based charity “taking direct action for domestic violence services.” Visit their website

Level Up!

“A growing community of UK feminists whose mission is to interrupt all forms of gender injustice.” Visit their website