Get In Her Ears Live @ The Victoria, 14.10.22

Following September’s gig at The Shacklewell Arms with the driving ethereal soundscapes of Gemma Cullingford, our October installment of GIHE live saw us return to The Victoria in Dalston for what felt like a super special night filled with the best music, best people and best vibes. Massive thanks to Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something, KIN and Trouble Wanted, and to everyone who came down to pack out the venue and helped make it a night to remember.

Here, Mandy Bang writes a few words about the night to accompany Jon Mo’s fantastic pics…

It’s Friday night and The Victoria is packed – a glass smashes on the dancefloor and is carefully kicked aside by revellers determined to have a good time. Tonight’s opening band conjure a murky dive bar on the wrong side of the tracks: the saloon doors unexpectedly swing open, everyone turns to look up at the new arrivals, jaws drop, gasps are audible… there’s a new stranger in town – Trouble Wanted.

The London-based five-piece have just one song available on their Bandcamp page, but, when it’s the “sexy, queer exchange between Lonely Cowgirl and a mysterious dyke trucker”, it’s one hell of a special treat. Live, Trouble Wanted blend menacing basslines, dreamy guitar touches, dancing drums, sexy synths and the occasional burst of alluring saxophone with semi-spoken vocals. Lucy sings of unrequited lust and dysfunctional mother/child relationships and pistol-whips songs with loaded humour. By the end of their set they have encouraged the whole room to shake off their inhibitions as we all sing “I want you in my bed” with wild abandon!

Tonight is Ritu Arya’s last gig with KIN, who played their second ever show for GIHE back in 2019. The band dedicate the drummer’s favourite song to her and later in their set proceed to initiate their first crowd sing-along during a cover of Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’.

The release of the trio’s new single, ‘Soapdish’, coincides with tonight’s gig and is a melancholy ramble through a relationship that is better to be left behind, as singer/keyboardist Grace asserts, “I’m not going to change my mind”. In amongst KIN’s atmospheric indie pop, there are sparse guitar echoes which momentarily bring to mind unexpected eerie Bauhaus vibes. Meanwhile, their 2020 single, ‘L.O.V.E.’, possesses the kind of upbeat energy that demands to drive us to sunny days spent dancing on a beach somewhere far out of reach.

Our final act of the night is Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something and Jemma’s party look this evening is demonic jester with a touch of Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke fame. The trio put on a frantic display of musicianship with psychedelic and garage rock leanings, skipping from one catchy song into the next which throws the audience into an array of shapes.

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to know”, declares Jemma before shredding so enthusiastically a guitar string breaks. Jemma conducts the quickest string change ever carried out by a musician mid-set, whilst the bassist and drummer keep an impressive backbeat flowing. One gets the impression that this rhythm section could quite happily lay down a two-hour instrumental jam as if performing at a ’70s music festival. Jemma, seemingly impressed by said bandmates’ calm professionalism, exclaims, “I don’t really need to be here“.

Jemma’s in-between song banter hints at a vulnerable front person with an awkward confidence. Lyrics are laced with self-deprecating humour and a composition from the band’s upcoming new album, ‘Miffed’, is a tale of a bad Tinder date that involved getting locked in a park – “Sounds exciting, but it’s not good”, they assure us before dedicating ‘Lump’ to “weird and petty gay people – like me!”.

Rather than the rallying ‘girls to the front’ mantra, Jemma encourages each audience member to look behind them and to move aside if those behind are struggling to see the band bathed in orange, green and blue lighting. I’ve only ever been at one other gig where the band has been this wonderfully thoughtful (namely Dream Wife) and Jemma half-jokes that it took ten years of therapy to ascertain: “I’m five-foot two-inches tall and I’m going to take up space and be unafraid“. A sentiment that gets a huge cheer from this crowd.

Big thanks to all three of the incredibly fantastic bands on Friday night! As for us, our next gig will be at the Sebright Arms next month with a lush line-up of Breakup Haircut, Piney Gir and BCOS RSNS on 17th November. Tickets can be nabbed over on Dice and we’ll see you down the front!

Words: Mandy Bang / @mandybang
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophotography

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Cavendish Arms, 20.08.22

For the second of our August gigs this year, we were at The Cavendish Arms in Stockwell for the first time to host immense Aussie duo Mannequin Death Squad, with support slots from two exciting new bands Maya Lakhani and Dogviolet. And what a lovely night it was at this cosy venue south of the river… Thanks so much to the three incredible bands, and to everyone who made it down to join us for this pretty special night!

Kicking things off, it’s the debut gig for brand new ‘supergroup’, Dogviolet. Formed of members of GIHE faves Naz & Ella, as well as The Dead Zoo and Suggested Friends, they deliver a stirring set to an adoring crowd. As swirling shoegaze-tinged melodies and a gritty grunge-infused energy flows, front person’s Naz’s raw, heartfelt vocals ooze an immersive shimmering emotion.

Next up, it’s another first gig for Maya Lakhani and her newly formed band. With a sparkling energy, their impassioned alt-rock blasts out as ferocious riffs swirl alongside her rich, compelling vocals. Reflecting on poignant themes such as violence against women, and including a spellbinding cover of the Kate Bush classic ‘Running Up That Hill’, it’s a truly impressive first outing for this exciting new project.

Closing the night, it’s a true honour to be hosting the London leg of immense Aussie duo Mannequin Death Squad‘s UK tour. Propelled by a gritty, angst-fuelled drive as riotous riffs and relentless thrashing beats rage with intensity, they deliver a truly exciting set. As Elly and Dan swap between drums and guitar every few songs, they treat us to their seething grunge-rock offerings with a fiercely captivating energy.

Biggest thanks to the three incredible bands who played for us last night, to everyone who came out to support them, and to The Cavendish Arms for being such a welcoming and lovely venue. Make sure you don’t miss our next gig on 10th September at The Shacklewell Arms with a joint headline set from Gemma Cullingford and Alice Hubble, plus support from Yay Maria – get your tickets on DICE now!

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Paul Dawes / @paullikesrobots

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Victoria w/ Nikki & The Waves, 12.08.22

Following a heartwarmingly fantastic July in which we were able to raise £500 for Abortion Support Network from our sold out gigs with Charmpit and ARXX, we returned to The Victoria for the first of our August live events. Hosting Manchester based Nikki & The Waves with support from Birmingham duo First Frontier and GIHE faves Panic Pocket, it may have been a hot night, but it was full of all the coolest vibes with these three wonderful bands and the lovely folk who came out to support them!

Kicking things off in the refreshingly air-conned venue, duo Sophie Peacock and Natalie Healey – aka Panic Pocket – deliver their uplifting, synth-driven indie-pop with all the twinkling charm and tongue-in-cheek wit we’ve come to know and love. With subjects ranging from gatecrashing boyfriends to the anxious British need to apologise, each shimmering offering lilts with sugar-sweet harmonies and the duo’s infectious charm, and – being treated to some new numbers that I’d not yet heard – it’s a perfectly smile-inducing way to start the evening.

Next up, Birmingham based duo First Frontier deliver their fuzzed-out garage-rock with a an immense, driving energy. As Paul’s scuzzy hooks whirr alongside Helena’s fierce, thrashing beats, they’re able to create a swirling sense of optimism with each empowering offering and their vibrant charisma, and I can’t wait to hear more.

Headlining, we’re super thankful that Nikki & The Waves have made the long, very sweaty journey from Manchester to play for us tonight! With a vibrant, retro charm and joyous energy, they create unique funk-fuelled indie-pop as each of the seven band members contribute to a shimmering musical cacophony. Oozing a blissful allure – with shades of an eclectic array of influences, from early hip-hop to Lily Allen – the set comes complete with swooping trombone solos, colourful keys, sparkling harmonies and a relatable witty lyricism; perfect for shimmying along under the air-con, and showcasing all there is to love about this truly magnificent collective.

Huge thanks to three wonderful bands who played for us on Friday and to anyone who made it out to support them! We’re back at it this coming Saturday 20th August at The Cavendish Arms w/ phenomenal Australian duo Mannequin Death Squad, with support from Maya Lakhani and brand new ‘supergroup’, Dogviolet – nab tickets here!

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Paul Dawes / @paullikesrobots

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