GIHE: Ones To Watch 2023

2022 saw its fair share of highs, and lows…but if there was one positive to take away, it’s the immense amount of incredible new music that’s been released, and the hope of even more sublime offerings from some wonderful new bands in 2023.

So, following our Tracks Of 2022, Albums and EPS of 2022 and Personal Highlights 2022 features, we’re now sharing our ‘Ones To Watch’ for 2023 – Just a few of the amazing bands and artists who have impressed us throughout 2022, and that we predict will be reaching ears far and wide next year. Have a read of our choices, and make sure you give them all a follow to keep track of their unmissable achievements over the next twelve months.

 

Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something
Although Jemma Freeman is certainly no newcomer to the music scene, having released their acclaimed debut album, Oh Really, What’s That Then? back in 2019, and previously played with swirling indie-pop collective Landshapes as well as featuring in Wendy Rae Fowler’s band, I feel like over the last twelve months, they have really found their stride. With the release of their new album Miffed via Trapped Animal Records, they’ve showcased their ability to create immense, kaleidescopic soundscapes perfectly, garnering support from the likes of Mojo Magazine, plus airplay from Radio X’s John Kennedy, BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Amazing Radio’s Charlie Ashcroft along the way. And they remain one of the most impressive live acts I’ve ever seen; we were lucky enough to have them headline for us back in October, and their utterly unique hypnotic majesty and psychedelic allure blew me away, just as it had done the first time I saw them live back in 2018. 
(Mari Lane: Co-Founder & Managing Editor)

Midwife
Watching Madeline Johnston aka Midwife perform to a sold out crowd at Cafe Oto for her debut London show last year felt like a privileged form of voyeurism. Fans were granted permission to enter the New Mexico-based musician’s dream-like, melancholy world, in which introverted tendencies and unrequited yearnings blur and clash with the urgent desire to find connection and understanding. Musing into her telephone mic with her soft vocals, it felt like Midwife was in dialogue with an unknown person at the end of the line, the distance between the two entities simultaneously expanded and minimised as she sang into the receiver, in front of a room of silent strangers. I was deeply moved by her music and I’ve been thinking about the gig ever since. You can read my full live review here, and make sure you check out Midwife’s most recent album Luminol too. It is absolute Gloomy Girl Heaven
(Kate Crudgington: Co-Founder & Features Editor)

Hypsoline
I’m ashamed to say I was a bit late to the Hypsoline party this year, but thankfully – due to Currls suggesting they play with them at their EP launch last month – I can now say I’m a fully fledged super fan of the Brighton band. In the run up to the gig, I was pretty much totally addicted to the fuzzy, sparkling allure of their debut single ‘Space Babe’, and afterwards I realised there was even more to love about them than I’d previously anticipated. It was a true joy to witness the twinkling, swirling energy and scuzzy charm of each of their eclectic, but equally catchy, offerings. And I can’t wait for them to continue to surprise and captivate me (and the rest of the world) throughout 2023. (ML)

Alien Chicks
Mari booked Brixton-based post punk trio Alien Chicks as one of the support bands for our faves Bad Sidekick for our final GIHE gig of 2022, and their sound knocked the hangover right out of my skeleton. Not only were they totally in sync with each other, relentlessly smashing out their angst-ridden anthems, their guitarist & vocalist was also playing with a broken hand, which is punk af. I can’t wait to hear more from them this year. Grab a ticket to their biggest headline show to date yet at The Lexington in April here. It will be worth every single penny. (KC)

Fräulein
I’ve made no secret of my huge love of London-based duo Joni and Karsten – aka Fräulein – since first being introduced to them in 2020 by Hanni from ARXX, and so it’s been really wonderful over the last twelve months to see them go from strength to strength, and get some of the widespread acclaim that they truly deserve. As well as the release of their debut EP A Small Taste, they’ve wowed us live at two of our GIHE events with their utterly unique and fiercely powerful live set. The duo have also shared stages with the likes of The Mysterines, Thee Quasi and deep tan, and – with acclaim from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and Fred Perry Subculture – it’s been fantastic to see the positive reception they’ve received and the number of new fans they’ve gained. And this year’s already looking promising with a support slot with none other than total legends Big Joanie booked for 11th January at The Garage, and – I’ve been assured – new music on the very near horizon… 2023 is going to be the year of Fräulein, and I could not be happier for this immensely talented, consistently dedicated, truly innovative (and just plain lovely) duo. (ML)

Chuck SJ
Chuck SJ is a huge part of the London DIY punk community and their commitment to their art and activism is something that deeply impresses all of the GIHE team. They released their epic punk album, Resist Recharge Revolt at the end of last year, and it’s a riotous, eclectic manifesto of political and personal rebellion, spotlighting Chuck’s immense talent as a songwriter and a producer. I’ve yet to see them perform live, but that’s something I’m hoping to change in 2023! Listen to their album via bandcamp here. (KC)

Collars
Another band I’ve been a bit late to the party with, but am so incredibly grateful to have discovered over the last few months. Stepping in as main support for Currls at their EP launch last month fairly last minute, Cambridgeshire based Collars have become my new heroes. Having released their debut album Clyde in 2022, they’ve received plenty of acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing, and have been wowing crowds across the country with their totally mind-blowing live set. As Kane simultaneously pummels the drums whilst blasting out whirring hooks on guitar, Dan exudes a captivating charisma as her powerful vocals soar (sometimes with the help of a megaphone) – it’s no understatement to say it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more from them this year… (ML)

CIL
Tash and I caught enigmatic artist CIL when she supported t l k at The Jago in Dalston at the end of March last year. She’s a composer, poet and producer who manipulates sound via a motion-controlled synthesizer. Watching her gracefully move her hands around the altruistic equipment was hypnotising, as was listening to her deeply calm, soothing voice. Definitely check her out, her performance is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before. (KC)

So, even if you may be feeling apprehensive about 2023, at least there’ll be some fantastic music to accompany it! Massive thanks to all who supported GIHE throughout 2022, it really means the world. And huge thanks too to all the amazing bands and artists who’ve soundtracked it, and who will continue to soundtrack 2023!

GIHE: Albums & EPs Of 2022

After sharing our Tracks Of 2022 earlier this week, the GIHE team want to shine a light on some of the brilliant Albums & EPs that have been released during the last 12 months. These eclectic records resonated with us on many different levels, and we’ll be talking about them long into the future! Huge thanks to all of the bands and artists who submitted music to us this year.  

So, in alphabetical order, here are our top Albums & EPs of 2022 (including multiple Honorable Mentions at the end, because we couldn’t resist…)

ALBUMS

adults – for everything, always
Following the release of their EP The Weekend Was Always Almost Over, back in 2018 and the split Space Armadillo EP with fellow GIHE faves Bitch Hunt in 2020, South London band adults released their debut full length album this year, and I couldn’t have been more happy about it. Showcasing their trademark jangling melodies and buoyant scuzzy energy, and covering topics ranging from the pressures of living in a Capitalist society and mutual aid, to crying on coaches; each track perfectly juxtaposes poignant subject matter with an irresistibly blissful, catchy musicality. I just can’t get enough of adults’ fuzzy, frenetic drive, and was happy to be able to catch them live twice this year. First, supporting Charmpit at their last ever gig that we hosted back in July, and then at their own album launch at new favourite venue The Cavendish Arms last month.
(Mari Lane – Managing Editor & Co-Founder) 

Bad Sidekick – Daily Lottery
Formed of Cooper Rose, Robbie Jenner, Joe Blount and John Blount, Bad Sidekick create alt-rock anthems inspired by the nuances of everyday life. Based between London, Leeds and Bristol, the band released their debut album Daily Lottery this year, and it quickly became a GIHE favourite. Full of gritty riffs, sardonic wit and Cooper’s charming Leeds/Bristolian intonation, the record covers everything from the grind of daily existence (‘Daily Lottery’) to the love we have for our pets (‘Lemon Eyes’), and showcases the band’s talent for writing relatable, riotous guitar anthems. It was great to catch them live again, headlining for us at The Shacklewell Arms earlier this month too. The GIHE team are all big fans!
(Kate Crudgington – Features Editor & Co-Founder)

Big Joanie – Back Home
Like Angelica Ellis’ altruistic artwork that adorns the cover – which is a nod to the embroidered wall hangings popular in Caribbean homes post-Windrush, depicting drummer Chardine’s nephew at the barbers – Big Joanie tenderly and intricately weaved personal and political threads into their superb second album, Back Home. As activists and role models who formed their own musical foundations in the DIY punk scene, the black feminist punks have proved themselves to be a formidable force for change, truly devoted to creating a space for others who have felt ignored in the past. On Back Home, the trio have expanded on the lo-fi punk cacophonies and have introduced bold, bright synth textures and the altruistic violin sounds of experimental art-rock artist No Home across the record. The result is still distinctively Big Joanie, but they sound bigger and better than before – and that’s what earned them a nomination in the groundbreaking new Alternative Music category at the MOBO Awards this year. Legends. (KC)

Breakup Haircut – Punk Dancing For Self Defence
Firm favourites for a while now, First Timers Fest alumni Breakup Haircut released their debut album Punk Dancing For Self Defence this year via Reckless Yes, and I couldn’t have been happier. A collection of joyously lo-fi pop punk reflecting on themes ranging from social anxiety and break-ups, to bi-erasure and existing in a Capitalist society, the band’s colourful charisma and sparkling charm shines through each track Whether you need cheering up with some buoyant danceable anthems, or simply want to immerse yourself in the band’s raw emotion and relatable, resonant reflections on life, it will provide you with the aural comfort needed to have survived 2022. We had the pleasure of hosting Breakup Haircut live, not once but twice this year, and each time it was a total joy. (ML) 

Brimheim – can’t hate myself into a different shape
“I felt like I’d been in this black muddy place, not able to see anything and kind of drowning,” Brimheim explained in an interview with me earlier this year, when discussing the songs that formed her debut album, can’t hate myself into a different shape. Mined from a “deep depression hole” during a global pandemic, the Danish artist has crafted an intricately observed collection of life-affirming songs that chime with relatable melancholy. It’s a poignant reflection on love in all its forms; romantic, platonic and the hardest type to articulate and master: self love. It’s a beautifully bruising unravelling of vulnerability, and I have returned to it again and again over the past 12 months. I am deeply grateful to Brimheim for making this poignant piece of art. (KC)

BRUTUS – Unison Life
From the moment I heard Stefanie Mannaerts vocals on ‘Dust’, I knew I was going to be obsessed with Belgian heavy trio BRUTUS’ third album, Unision Life. It’s a visceral, deeply engaging record exploring growth, resilience, and the inevitability of change. Stefanie’s unique vocals are underscored by her phenomenal percussion, band mate Stijn’s rapturous guitar riffs and Peter’s brutal bass lines. With so many potent songs on the tracklist, it’s hard to pick favourites, but ‘Chainlife’, ‘Brave’, ‘Dust’ and ‘Victoria’ have been rattling around my skull for the past few months. I had the privilege of interviewing Stefanie about the record on the eve of it’s release, where she told me that ‘What Have We Done’ is her personal favourite, as it accurately captures the essence of what went into the creation of Unison Life. Seeing the band perform live at The Garage was further proof of their immense talent. (KC)

Charlotte Adigery and Bolis Pupul – Topical Dancer
Not only one of my favourite albums of the year, this was also one of my favourite interviews that I did back in March now on our Soho Radio show. What a debut album this was! A rollercoaster ride in the most danceable music, delivering lyrics that cover issues we need to be addressing right now. I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Charlotte, where we talked about the album, the therapeutic process of making music and the use of laughter to tackle complex topics, and her lovely little baby Rocko also joined us for the chat which was so cute! You can listen back to that interview here.
(Tash Walker – Digital Editor & Co-Founder)

cheerbleederz – even in jest
DIY ‘supergroup’ Cheerbleederz just have a knack of completely hitting my jangly indie-pop sweet spot every time, and so the fact that they released their debut album this year was a definite highlight. A collection of uplifting and relatable ‘anxiety anthems’, even in jest showcases the band’s ability to create wonderfully scuzzy, tongue-in-cheek reflections on everyday life with a fizzing energy and effervescent raw emotion. I just love how they’re able to combine this fuzzy, uptempo musicality with poignant sentiments, and album track ‘carbon copy’ may also contain my favourite lyric of the year: “I wish that I was friends with Yvie Oddly” (I really do). (ML) 

Chorusgirl – Collapso Calypso
Following 2015’s self titled debut and 2018’s Shimmer and Spin, Chorusgirl made her much-anticpated (by me especially!) musical return this Autumn with her latest album, Collapso Calypso. As each electro-tinged swirling soundscape flows with a sweeping majestic grace, the album reflects on poignant, heartfelt subject matter with glistening celestial charm. With the lilting allure of the likes of The Cure or Cocteau Twins, but maintaining an utterly unique shimmering splendour, it’s a truly captivating collection. Silvi has said that she wanted the album to be like a “hug in sonic form”, and that’s just what it is: a beautifully immersive catharsis. (ML) 

Ethel Cain – Preacher’s Daughter
I’ve been obsessed with the runaway rogue narrative of Ethel Cain since I heard her single ‘Crush’ at the end of 2021. After playing her EP, Inbred, on repeat, I was thrilled to see that the American songwriter was releasing her debut album, Preacher’s Daughter, this year. Permeated by a palpable sense of lust, her evocative lyrics, reverb-heavy instrumentation and stunning vocals make for truly divine listening. From opening track ‘Family Tree (Intro)’, through to the sultry ‘Gibson Girl’ and stunning ‘Ptolemaea’, it’s the most sensual of sermons that absolutely sets my cells on fire every time I listen to it. Seeing Ethel Cain perform live at Heaven earlier this month was also an experience I will never forget. Long live Mother Cain. (KC)

Hinako Omori – a journey…
Differing from her 2019 EP, Auraelia – which was inspired by her experience of intense migraines that were accompanied by auras and other visual distortions – London-based musician Hinako Omori’s tranquil debut album seeks to further understand the physiological effects that music and sound frequencies have on the body. This exploration includes field recordings with binaural heads, tampering with mood-altering frequencies and inspiration from the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku aka “forest-bathing.” Her music seeks to connect with and understand the human condition in intricate and invigorating ways. She’s crafted a series of beautiful soundscapes that are underscored by patience, empathy and kindness. a journey… is a gift to listeners who need respite from the overwhelming stresses of daily life, and it was a pleasure to interview Hinako about it, and hear her play the record live at the Purcell Room at Southbank Centre this year, accompanied by the London Contemporary Orchestra. (KC)

Jockstrap – I Love You Jennifer B
Jockstrap’s brilliant debut album, I Love You Jennifer B, includes one of my favourite songs of 2022, ‘Greatest Hits’. The whole album is a kaleidoscopic soundscape that bounces from genre to genre, twisting and turning in your ears, showcasing the true musical talent of the duo. Nodding to the 70s, the 90s, and it all gets shaken up appropriately by two kids of the 00s. (TW)

Porridge Radio – Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky
One of my favourite albums of 2022! There is so much emotion in each song, in each guitar string, in each drum beat, in the strained-by-the-weight-of-it-all vocals. It calls to me and my inner teenage emo, and I answer every time by pressing play and turning up that volume dial|! It is so rich and I have not yet had my fill, so I will keep bathing. I also got to see Porridge Radio this year at End of the Road Festival and they more than delivered. Consider this an all time favourite album, and not just for this year. (TW)

Real Big Sky – Real Big Sky
Full of reverb drenched riffs, enigmatic vocals and shiver-inducing cymbal smashes, Real Big Sky’s debut album is a swirling collection of heavy guitar tunes that brood with quiet intensity. Beginning as a form of distraction during the Covid-19 lockdowns for songwriter Sara Kleppe, Real Big Sky was initially a solo project which she worked on in her bedroom in Hackney. Sara relocated back to her native Sweden in 2021, but with the help of friend and long-term collaborator Luca Romano – who also played drums and was on recording, mixing and production duties for the record – she has developed Real Big Sky’s sound to its fullest and most fluid yet. It’s a blissful mix of melodic noise that I wholeheartedly recommend. (KC)

SASAMI – Squeeze
From the moment I heard SASAMI’s industrial-tinged “rage dance” anthem ‘Say It’, I thought “this is a bit of me”. Taken from her second album, SQUEEZE, it’s the perfect introduction to her thrilling mix of metal, folk and grunge inspired sounds. “I feel like everyone has a dark metal side that they don’t know is there, until they find the right access point,” the L.A based musician told me in an interview earlier this year, and I couldn’t agree more. With heavier music genres being predominantly populated by white male faces, SASAMI’s SQUEEZE is an authentically heavy record, which offers a fresh take on the diversity and intricacy of metal music. The title track features GIHE fave No Home as well! (KC)

Scrounge – Sugar, Daddy
I still remember the first time I saw Scrounge perform live so clearly. Mari booked them as the opening act for a GIHE gig at The Windmill, and I was mesmerised by the South London duo’s gritty, relatable anthems. Their debut mini album, Sugar, Daddy, showcases all that they’ve achieved to date, with their cutting lyrics, intense riffs and fraught percussion reflecting the everyday hardships vocalist Lucy sings about. I found myself a bit choked at the end of the record, with tracks like ‘Starve’ and ‘Forward’ really hitting a nerve. Lucy & Luke are dedicated to making music on their own terms, and it’s been a joy watching them achieve so much over the past few years. Please, please buy this album. All of the GIHE team endorse it. (KC)

Sudan Archives – Natural Brown Prom Queen
I’ve been lapping up Sudan Archives’ album Natural Brown Prom Queen all year. It’s an amazing ride showcasing her incredible talent, with my particular favourite track being ‘Selfish Soul’. She is also an incredible performer, smashing out her skills on the violin in a consistently mesmerising performance. Black women artists so rarely receive credit deserved for technical innovation in music-making outside of vocal talent, and I hope we’re seeing a shift in that now with the likes of Sudan Archives, Lizzo and reflections on historic talents from music made by ESG, to Ma Rainey. (TW)

VERO – Unsoothing Interior
Creating anthems with shades of 90s alternative icons like Sonic Youth, VERO’s aim is simple: “write the best fucking songs, have the best energy and show people that we’re having fun.” Saturated with brooding bass lines, swirling riffs, stinging lyrics and sultry vocals, that’s exactly what the Stockholm-based trio achieve on their debut album, Unsoothing Interior. From the anxious ‘She’s Scared Of Everything’ to the defiant ‘BEG!’, to the yearning ‘Heather’, the band juxtapose these energies across the record with distinctive flair. Get. It. In. Your. Ears. Now. (KC)

EPs

AGAAMA – Wandering Worlds
I took a real shine to this EP from Birmingham-based artist, composer, vocalist and producer AGAAMA after hearing her captivating single ‘Sarehole Mill’. Reflecting on everything from physical locations to our relationship with A.I (‘Blackbox Oracle’), Wandering Worlds is a brooding, meditative blend of atmospheric electronics, jazz-inspired orchestral arrangements and AGAAMA’s evocative vocals. This EP is as vast and altruistic as the collective memories that informed it. Definitely immerse yourself into AGAAMA’s unusual universe of sound. (KC)

Beckie Margaret – CIAGA Vol. 1
An unassuming, poetic collection of songs that ruminate on the shifting nature of love, Essex-based songwriter Beckie Margaret’s EP, CIAGA Vol.1, is a carefully crafted and deeply affecting listen. Released via my favourite label Cool Thing Records, these songs beautifully showcase a young woman learning how to fully express her feelings, not shying away from the pain or frustration that often accompanies the process. Through her emotive lyrics, distinctive vocals and tender, melodic guitar sounds, Beckie gently exposes her most intimate and passionate thoughts across the record, learning to trust her instincts when it comes to romantic infatuation. I cried the whole way through my first listen. (KC)

Currls – Hello, My Name Is
It was a total honour to host Currls’ EP launch earlier this month at the Shacklewell Arms, especially having hosted their first London headline London show back in November last year – to be involved with launching such a fantastic EP into the world was a real privilege! With a colourful charisma and rich, empowering energy, each track offers a catchy slice of twinkling, scuzz-filled rock, with the band’s own unique zest and soulful allure. With a gritty power, each enlivening offering proves Currls’ worth as a compelling band on the rise. (ML)

Dayydream – Bittersweet
An intuitive, affecting collection of songs that drift through the exquisite highs and intangible lows we experience on the path towards emotional resilience, Chloe Trappes aka Dayydream’s debut EP is a comforting and blissful ode to feeling in all of its intensity. Filled with delicate guitar strokes, dreamy vocals and affecting lyrics, the Glasgow-based songwriter ruminates on distance and desire across five tracks, and the way these things can shift our perspective towards others, and towards ourselves over time. ‘Wasn’t’ is my favourite track. (KC)

Fräulein – A Small Taste
Having first come across Joni and Karsten aka Fräulein via an online festival that Hanni from ARXX hosted during 2020’s lockdown, I was instantly utterly obsessed. Having finally released their debut EP, A Small Taste, this year, the duo have gone from strength to strength throughout the last 12 months, and deservedly so. I just can’t get enough of the gritty power of Joni’s raw, sweeping vocals and Karsten’s immense beats. They’re able to combine abrasive, grunge-infused hooks with a mysterious allure, creating something truly unique and fiercely powerful. Fraulein are one of the most impressive bands I’ve ever come across, and I cannot wait to see what they do next. (ML) 

Julia-Sophie – Feels Like Thunder
I have Tash to thank for introducing me to the wonderful Julia-Sophie. Feels Like Thunder is a hypnotic, poetic listen that profoundly moved me the first time I heard it. Julia-Sophie’s wonderful blend of soft vocals, haunting electronics and altruistic beats makes for perfect listening, with ‘Dial Your Number’ being the stand out track for me. She’s been a guest on our radio show twice, and each time she’s been so open and earnest about the emotions and processes that go into creating her art – something the GIHE team always appreciate. (KC)

Me Rex – Plesiosaur
Having been fans of Me Rex for a few years now, it was wonderful to finally catch them live at Deer Shed festival this year; and they were just as lovely as I could have hoped for. And this year’s EP Plesiosaur is also extremely lovely. Following last year’s innovative album Megabear, throughout the EP, a swirling raw emotion oozes alongside jangling melodies and luscious harmonies, creating a rich, soothing catharsis. With each track offering a stirring lyricism and impassioned energy, I could immerse myself in Me Rex’s glistening musicality forever. I am VERY excited that Me Rex will be headlining our next live show at Shacklewell Arms on 10th February, with support from Dream Phone and Jen Denitto. Get your tickets here! (ML)

t l k – Strength In Tenderness
Independent Bristol-based artist & producer t l k’s ethereal EP, Strength In Tenderness, is an intoxicating blend of ambient, melancholic, jazz-inspired sounds. Creating the record gave the artist space to process their experiences of trauma, loss and selfhood, providing a beautiful backdrop for listeners to do the same. Tash & I saw t l k and CIL perform live in Dalston and we were both in awe of their effortless ability to captivate their crowds. I always return to the track ‘IWNU’, but the whole EP is worth your attention. (KC)

Honourable Mentions

Berries – How We Function
The Big Moon – Here Is Everything
The Bug Club – Green Dream in F#
Chuck SJ – Resist, Recharge, Revolt
CMAT – If My Wife New, I’d Be Dead
Forever Honey – Could I Come Here Alone (EP)
HALINA RICE – ELISION
Horsegirl – Versions of Modern Performance
Kee Avil – Crease
Maria BC – Hyaline
Muna Ileiwat – Twenty-Seven
No Home – Young Professional
Nova Twins – Supernova
Partner – Time Is A Car
Peaness – World Full Of Worry
Pearly – Silver Of The Mirror
Proper. – The Great American Novel
SEA CHANGE – Mutual Dreaming
Sprints – Modern Job (EP)
Stainwasher – The Outer Layer
Tomberlin – i don’t know who needs to hear this
Wet Leg – Wet Leg
x/o – Chaos Butterfly

GUIDE & PLAYLIST: Decolonise Fest 2022

Event: Decolonise Fest

Where: Signature Brew Haggerston, London

When: Friday 16th – Sunday 18th September 2022

Tickets: Full Weekend ticket: from £31 / Day tickets: from £15.50 / Click here for info on affordable ticket schemes

General Info: Decolonise Fest – the UK’s only DIY punk festival created by and for people of colour – was founded in 2017 to provide a much-needed space for punks of colour from across the world to come together and celebrate the multiplicity of their identities, and acknowledge the influence people of colour have had on punk and alternative music genres. While the festival focuses on people of colour, white allies are welcome to attend.

Now celebrating its fifth year, Decolonise Fest have put together another eclectic line-up to showcase and celebrate the talent of underground punks of colour. This edition is the festival’s first in-person event since 2019, after it had to adapt to an online event during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The festival will also feature music-related panels and activities, including workshops on the Black history of the banjo, reproductive justice, how to make your own modular synths, and more. For more information on these events, visit the official website

Who’s Playing: Grove, BISHI, Racehl Aggs, Gurnal Gadafi, Fraulein, Miss Jacqui, Breakup Haircut, Passionflower, Break Fate, Marigold Spitfire, incaseyouleave, Dystopia, Swaraj Chronos, Spirit Sigh and Currls.

Who GIHE recommend you catch: We’re already big fans of grunge duo Fraulein, DIY punks Breakup Haircut, multi-talented musician BISHI, the amazing Rachel Aggs and garage rock trio CURRLS, so make sure you catch their sets. We’ve heard great things about Grove, Miss Jacqui, Spirit Sigh and Dystopia too!

Check out our Decolonise Festival Spotify Playlist below, featuring some of the line-up

 

Artists not on Spotify also playing Decolonise Fest:

 Gurnal GadafiRachel AggsMarigold Spitfire Spirit Sigh | Swaraj Chronos

 

Follow Decolonise Fest on TwitterFacebookInstagram

 

 

 

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Shacklewell Arms w/ ARXX, 22.07.22

For our second gig of the month, following our emotional farewell to DIY pioneers Charmpit a few weeks ago, we returned to The Shacklewell Arms to host long-term faves ARXX! Support came from incredible up-and-coming duo Fräulein and fierce new band Lusa Morena. It was truly an honour to host three such exciting bands – it was such a beautiful night filled with not only immense music blasting from the stage, but all the nicest vibes and loveliest people. And to sell out the night was a dream come true – we’ve raised another £300 for vital organisation Abortion Support Network, so huge thanks to all who came along!

I’m struggling to put into words just how wonderful the night was, but I’ve written a few sentences to accompany some fab photos, courtesy of Harry Levin…

Opening the night is Portuguese, London-based band Lusa Morena. Blasting out an immense, swirling energy as impressive relentless riffs roll out alongside front woman Bárbara’s immersive charisma, they cement themselves as definite ones to watch.

Next up, one of the most exciting bands around – duo Joni and Karsten, aka Fräulein – deliver an utterly impressive set. Having headlined for us at The Victoria back in January, it’s wonderful to have them play for us again delivering their gritty grunge-fuelled anthems. I’ve seen Fräulein live a few times now, and each time is even more incredible than the last – as Karsten’s frenzied pummelling beats accompany Joni’s raw, impassioned vocals and swirling hooks, they really are a truly unique, captivating force to be reckoned with. It’s also particularly lovely to have them on the same bill as ARXX, as I first fell in love with them a couple of years back at an online festival that Hanni curated.

To top off the dreamiest of line-ups, total long-term faves ARXX take to the stage to Shania Twain’s ‘Man, I Feel Like A Woman’. And then Hanni and Clara blast into our eyes and ears with that perfect balance of raucous energy and joyous charm that we’ve come to know and love over the years. As they treat us to an eclectic set, offering some of their more poppy recent releases alongside the grungey edge of some of their older songs, they fill The Shacklewell Arms with a euphoric sea of admiring fans – smiling and singing along in blissful unity. New or old, each track is delivered with the duo’s trademark colossal anthemic musicality as the sassy allure of Hanni’s vocals soar over immense catchy hooks and Clara’s buoyant beats and witty between-song chat. With all the colourful, empowering vivacity that you could ever hope for, ARXX once again prove themselves to be a band consistently honing and developing their sound to create the freshest, most addictive of tunes. Impossible to pigeonhole into one genre, they continue to impress with everything they do (including the surprise ‘Sk8r Boi’ cover with special guest vocalist Beth White!), and remain truly one of the most exciting – and completely lovely – bands I’ve ever come across. It’s such an honour to host them at one of our nights again that I notice silly little tears (of joy and pride) trickling down my cheeks as the set draws to a close.

Massive thanks again to the three AMAZING bands who played for us on Friday, to all at The Shacklewell Arms and to everyone who came along and sold out the night, raising £300 for Abortion Support Network. A really special night!
Next month we have another two gigs in store for you: 12th August at The Victoria with Manchester band Nikki & The Waves, First Frontier and Panic Pocket – tickets here, and 20th August at The Cavendish Arms with Australian duo Mannequin Death Squad, Maya Lakhani and Dogviolet – tickets here!

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Harry Levin / @harrywlevin