LISTEN: GIHE on Soho Radio with Cheri Percy (29.05.23)

Tash and Kate were back on Soho Radio’s airwaves playing loads of new music from some of their favourite female, non-binary and LGBTQIA+ artists! Mari offered some of her “musical musings” too. The pair talked about their highlights from The Great Escape Festival – which included spotting Courtney Love – and how much they collectively love Hypsoline after they headlined the latest GIHE gig at The Shacklewell Arms. They also enthused about the eclectic mix of tracks on the playlist, including ARXX, Ezra Williams, Touch Excellent, HotWax, GENN, SPIDER, CATBEAR, DEWEY, Midwife, Brutus and more.

Tash also caught up with author and journalist Cheri Percy to talk about her new book Come Away With ESG. Inspired by the story of ESG – one of the most under-rated and influential bands in electronic music – Cheri penned the book which features interviews with founding member Renee Scroggins, alongside cult-figures from 1980s New York and North England. Tash and Cheri spoke about all this and more. You can buy your copy of the book here.

Listen back to the radio show below:

 

We’ll be back on Soho Radio on Monday 26th June from 12-2pm!

Tracklist
ANOHNI and the Johnsons – It Must Change
Hypsoline – With You Gone
ARXX – Ride Or Die
HotWax – Rip It Out
GENN – A Reprise (That Girl)
INDIGOS – Drug Dealer, Faith Healer
FLOSSING – Switch
SOLE – en och en
Headboy – cement
Heff Vansaint – Ladder Rungs
BRUTUS – Brave
My Ugly Clementine – Are You In?
Aldous Harding – The Barrel
Ezra Williams – Until I’m Home
Janelle Monae – Lipstick Lover
jellyskin – bringer of brine
**Interview with Cheri Percy**
ESG – The Beat
DEWEY – The Janitor
CATBEAR – I’ll Meet You At The End
Midwife & Vyva Melinkolya – Hounds Of Heaven
Charlotte Carpenter – Spinning Plates
Carpenters – Yesterday Once More
SPIDER – Growing Into It
Touch Excellent – Record
pink suits – Fake Great Britain
Hole – Awful

The Great Escape 2023: Photos & Highlights

We were back at The Great Escape Festival running around Brighton catching some of our favourite female, non-binary and LGBTQ+ artists in new music last weekend! Spread across multiple venues in the city, the festival showcased an eclectic line-up of talent, and our Features Editor Kate Crudgington and official photographer Jon Mo were there to capture some of the highlights of the prolific three day event.

Of course, clashes, queues and timing issues meant we inevitably missed some artists – including Lambrini Girls, Brimheim, Cristale, Grove and Jessica Winter – but we did catch a glimpse of Courtney Love standing outside of Chalk on the first day of the festival, so that kind of made up for it? Read on to find out more about the shows we did manage to catch…

 

Alt-Pop is thriving via Sans Soucis, ARXX, Seraphina Simone and SPIDER

Alt-pop comes in many genre-blending guises and we saw it flourish in the form of four very different artists at the festival: Sans Soucis, ARXX, Seraphina Simone and SPIDER.

Catching Sans Soucis‘ set upstairs at Patterns on the seafront was a superb way to kick off our Great Escape experience. Having been fans of the Congolese-Italian songwriter and producer since they released their debut album, On Time For Her, back in 2021, it was a joy to watch them thrive on stage in spite of the technical difficulties that delayed the start of their set. Opening with the infectious warmth of ‘I’m On’, Sans Soucis filled the room with their lush vocals and genre-blending, glitchy-yet-melodic sounds.

We’re running out of ways to articulate how talented Hanni and Clara aka ARXX are. Playing their biggest hometown show to date at The Beach stage, the Brighton duo blasted their energetic blend of alt-pop and rock right across the pebbles. Their between-song banter is equally as entertaining as the rest of their performance. Whether they’re having their “Dua Lipa moment” on ‘God Knows’, getting the crowd to chant along to the anthemic ‘Ride Or Die’, or explaining that the youthful crowd on their recent tour with Yungblud didn’t know who Cher was – ARXX are masters of their comedic and musical craft. Having been long time supporters of this dynamic duo here at GIHE (they’ve headlined our gigs and been guests on our radio show) our hearts were swelling with pride as we watched them shine under the spotlight.

Providing something totally different, London-based songwriter Seraphina Simone delivered her bittersweet musings on love, obsession and growth to attentive fans in Patterns’ basement. Performing songs from her melancholy-tinged EP, Milk Teeth, Seraphina’s sounds shimmered across the venue, aided by drummer Sophie Galpin’s tentative beats. (Self Esteem fans will recognise both musicians, as they’re part of Rebecca Lucy Taylor’s touring band).

A real highlight of the weekend was watching Irish alt-pop polymath SPIDER openly enjoy storming around the stage at The Green Door Store. Playfully taunting the “industry guys at the back” to move forward and dance along to her high energy alt-pop anthems, the songwriter and producer delivered anti-birthday anthems like ‘I’M FINE! I’M GOOD! I’M PERFECT!’, the brooding ‘GROWING INTO IT’ and the defiant grit of ‘AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL’ with vibrant and infectious attitude. Passionate about instigating change as a young black woman making genre-blending music, SPIDER’s charisma shone through between her tracks as she spoke about not letting the industry or the voices on the internet diminish her successes. She was a joy to interview on our Soho Radio for our Great Escape Special show (listen back here) and we look forward to seeing what she does next.

The Future is here in the form of HotWax

Rumour has it that these three teens from Hastings were one of the reasons that Hole’s Courtney Love was in town. Together, Lola, Tallulah and Alfie aka HotWax are a captivating blur of energy on stage, delivering their heavy grunge riffs with impressive and authentic flair. We caught up with them for a chat before their headline set at The Lexington in London back in April (read here), but their packed set at The Beach stage excelled that performance. Highlights included their visceral new anthem about the contraceptive implant ‘Rip It Out’, the riotous ‘Treasure’, and the title track of their upcoming debut EP, ‘A Thousand Times’.

CLT DRP are a live force to be reckoned with

It was one-in-one-out when we arrived at The Black Lion to catch CLT DRP (pronounced ‘clit drip’) on Thursday night, but we managed to squeeze into the venue just in time to catch their set – and WHAT. A. SET. Blending punk vocals with idiosyncratic guitar FX and truly phenomenal drumming, Annie, Scott and Daphne commanded their enthusiastic crowd from the moment the first bead of sweat hit the floor. The Brighton trio played four sets in one day across town, but there was no hint of fatigue as they tenaciously ripped through tracks from their debut album, Without The Eyes, and finished with a knockout rendition of their latest single ‘Now Boy. It feels cliché to say it, but CLT DRP truly are a band that need to be seen live to be fully appreciated. Totally unique.

The Houndstooth 10 year anniversary showcase at St Mary’s Church was stunning

Arriving just in time to see Penelope Trappes disappear in a puff of smoke behind her keyboard at St Mary’s Church, we stayed in the ornate venue to watch sets from Icelandic songwriter JFDR and electronic artist Hinako Omori. All three musicians have released albums via the Houndstooth label, which boasts an eclectic and impressive roster.

JFDR‘s clear vocals, altruistic lyrics and tender instrumentation effortlessly filled the arches of the church. Sharing stories and musings between her tracks ‘Life Man’ and ‘The Orchid’, both of which are lifted from her recent album Museum, the musician was full of gratitude to be in Brighton playing to such an attentive congregation of listeners.

Hinako Omori‘s set followed and it was truly majestic. Heavily inspired by the physiological effects that sound frequencies have on the body and the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku (“forest-bathing”), Omori’s music seeks to understand and enhance the human condition in intricate and invigorating ways. Playing continuously for thirty minutes, the London-based musician delivered a combination of sounds from her debut album, a journey…, and her warm, expansive synths and soft, lilting vocals transported listeners into a state of calming bliss.

Guitar music is alive and well in the form of Whitelands, Coach Party, Human Interest & ĠENN

Whenever we read an article that claims “guitar music is dead” or that “guitar bands are a dying breed”, we roll our eyes and move on. Trust us when we say that it is alive and well, because we saw proof of it across The Great Escape lineup (including HotWax who we mentioned earlier)

We caught a glimpse of London-based shoegazers Whitelands at the packed Paganini Ballroom. Their hazy, melancholic guitar tones shimmered across the room, with latest single ‘Setting Sun’ proving to be a set highlight.

Isle Of Wight four-piece Coach Party played three sets across the weekend, bringing their grunge-infused cacophonies to a full crowd in the Komedia basement. The band ripped through their set, which included tracks ‘Micro Aggression’ and latest single ‘All I Wanna Do Is Hate’.

London post punks Human Interest poured their sweat and blood (literally) into a knockout set at Revenge. The four-piece delivered swaggering anthems like ‘Cool Cats’ and ‘Mixing Paint’ with impressive confidence, relishing the applause that the crowd granted them after each track.

We enjoyed the instinctive, brooding sounds of Brighton-based, Maltese band ĠENN so much, that we went to see them perform twice! The chemistry between band members Janelle, Sofia, Leanne and Leona was magnetic, as were Leona’s distinctive and powerful vocals. The band were also joined on stage by John Newton (vocalist and drummer of knockout duo JOHN) for a visceral duet during each of their shows at The Old Ship Courtyard and Zahara.

Problem Patterns are everything

Whether it’s Bev storming out into the crowd to shout in your face, Alanah staring you down with her intense glare from the stage, Ciara’s incredible bass face, or drummer Beth politely telling you to “fuck off” if you’re “homophobic, sexist, transphobic or racist” from behind her kit, there’s so much to love about Problem Patterns‘ live show.

Performing upstairs at the Prince Albert pub, the chemistry between the Belfast Riot Grrrls was a total joy to behold. Smashing through politically driven anthems like ‘TERFs Out’, ‘Who Do We Not Save?’ and ‘Y.A.W (Yes All Women)’, the four-piece switched between instruments and shared vocal duties throughout the set, not once losing the incredible momentum they’d built. Members of Fraulein, ARXX and The Oozes were all in the crowd beaming up at the grrrls as they thrashed their way through a knockout show.

We cannot wait for Problem Patterns to return to London to headline for us at the Sebright Arms on 17th November. Grab your tickets here.

We recommend you get tickets to see FLOSSING live ASAP

New York-based musicians Heather Elle and James Maclay aka FLOSSING were the final band we caught at the festival, and we were deeply impressed by their smouldering, angst-ridden sounds. Through their blend of pulverizing bass lines, experimental electronics and eclectic, heavy beats, the duo explore themes of self-acceptance, sexuality and the duplicitous nature of love and attraction. Heather – who has previously played in Bodega and The Wants – is truly mesmeric on stage. A disciplined yet expressive performer, their vocals buzzed around and resonated within the walls of the dark venue Chalk, especially during tracks like ‘Switch’. We didn’t get any pics unfortunately, so you definitely need to catch the band live next time they’re in the UK to witness it yourself!

 

Words: Kate Crudgington / @KCBobCut
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophotography

INTERVIEW: HotWax

When I caught up with HotWax before their headline gig at The Lexington in April, bassist Lola Sam and vocalist & guitarist Tallulah Sim-Savage both revealed that ‘Rip It Out’ was their favourite track from their upcoming debut EP, A Thousand Times. Today (17th May), the Hastings band have shared their visceral new anthem about contraception, accompanied by a riotous video shot at The Green Door Store in Brighton.

Having just returned from the seaside city after performing multiple shows at The Great Escape Festival, the trio – completed by knockout drummer Alfie Sayers – have been garnering a loyal following on their local live scenes of Hastings and Brighton over the past few years. They have a busy festival season ahead of them, which includes slots at Mad Cool in Madrid and Visions Festival in Hackney, as well as sharing a bill with The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs at All Points East Festival in August. This might seem like an intimidating schedule, but the three teenagers are taking things in their stride.

“We did our first ever mini tour recently, just to get a taste of it,” Tallulah tells me. “We’ve been gigging for years, but we’ve never gone away and played more than three gigs in a row. It was really nice spending time travelling together and bonding. Playing live is our favourite thing ever. I never feel happier than when I’m playing live. We’re just really enjoying everything, it’s so much fun.”

Tallulah and Lola have known each other for years and have the unshakable bond that comes from surviving school together. Tallulah explains that the pair played in a band called The Kids when they were fifteen years old. “I played guitar, Lola played bass and we had a singer and another drummer. When that band ended, we formed HotWax and I decided to sing. I would never sing usually, but I thought ‘I’m just gonna do it’, because we got on really well and we didn’t really have another friend at school to invite into the band.” She laughs at that last part, and I do to. It’s hard to believe that the pair struggled to find friends to play along with them, as they both seem modest, but truly passionate about being in a band making music together.

Drummer Alfie can’t remember a time when he wasn’t playing drums. It seems like an act of serendipity that he met Lola and Tallulah, completing the HotWax line-up. Together, they create the type of guitar music that other bands take years to master. Their sound is raw, but self assured, visceral yet melodic. Each time I’ve seen them play, I’ve felt an overwhelming rush of joy, because I know I’m witnessing something truly special. But maybe I’m just projecting and being sentimental? I wish I’d been in a band like theirs when I was eighteen.

So what influenced HotWax’s sound? Lola says she remembers listening to CDs in the car with her Mum – “stuff like The Beatles, Amy Winehouse and Destiny’s Child” – before she discovered rock music in her early teens. For Tallulah, it began with a love of Lady Gaga, before her Mum played Blondie’s Parallel Lines album at a family party, and she became totally obsessed with it. “I was listening to that album for a whole month,” she smiles. “I remember feeling kind of guilty about it in a way, that rock music was ‘bad’ – I don’t know why? I was quite an anxious child. I was like, ‘Oh, this feels really bad, but it’s really good!’. That’s probably when I got into heavier music and was inspired to play electric guitar, rather than acoustic.”

Through these eclectic influences and an endearing rebellious streak, Lola and Tallulah wrote the eponymous track from their upcoming debut EP, A Thousand Times. “The reason why we called the song and the EP ‘A Thousand Times’ is because Lola and I have gone through complicated relationships together, but it’s also about being just everything to each other,” Tallulah explains. “It’s sort of like we’ve had this argument a thousand times. It’s all about growing up and the things that come with that. Dramas, arguments, heartbreaks, everything. It’s celebrating us growing older and still being friends.”

The track is now a staple in the band’s live shows, but it took a while for it to sound the way that it does now. “It took us ages to record it,” Lola explains. “We didn’t record it until Alfie was in the band. The music video for it is made up of clips from then until now. So it’s like this photography project. With the song and this EP, it has been a collective effort from us and our producer as well. I’m really happy with it. I think that we went into it with the view of ‘this is what it sounds like now, live’, then we when you go into studio, you have more options of where the song can go and it can end up sounding different, but in a good way.” The band worked alongside Kid Kapichi’s Ben Beetham to bring their record to life. “He’s a great producer, he was so enthusiastic,” Alfie adds.

With their debut EP released in just a few days (May 19th), some stellar live shows lined up, and their recent signing to Transgressive Records, I ask how the band are feeling about these impressive feats. Tallulah is quick to respond: “It’s weird. It’s all I’ve ever wanted and I’m so happy, but everything’s happened so quickly. It’s kind of hard to process it and not to feel the pressure a bit. We’re writing our second EP and it’s like ‘Oh, people are actually going to hear these songs now,’ it’s a weird shift from just being a small town band. Yeah, it’s quite overwhelming sometimes.”

“It’s not just us that we have to impress anymore,” Lola adds. I caveat that with the fact that people seem to already be deeply impressed by what they do, which they smile at. We close our conversation with some recommendations on what to listen to. They all chime in enthusiastically, especially Alfie: “There’s a band called Lime Garden who we really like, they’re from Brighton. Kid Kapichi are really great. We’re good friends with a band called Mindframe, they’re really cool. Our local music scenes are great. We also love a band called Congratulations and Honey Badger too!”

Watch the video for ‘Rip It Out’ below.

HotWax Live Dates 2023
17th May – Brighton, The Prince Albert (Pearl Harts tour)
18th May – Portsmouth, The Edge of the Wedge (Pearl Harts tour)
19th May – Bristol, The Lanes (Pearl Harts tour)
20th May – Hastings, Printworks (support from Snayx and Borough Council DJ set)
1st June – Manchester, 33 Oldham St (Alien Chicks support)
2nd July – Newport, Rebel Fest
7th July – Madrid, Mad Cool Festival
22nd July – Hackney, Visions Festival
25th August – London, All Points East Festival
9th September – Torquay, Burn It Down Festival

Follow HotWax on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook

Photo Credit: Holly Whitaker

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

 

GUIDE & PLAYLIST: The Great Escape Festival 2023

Event: The Great Escape

Where: Brighton (various venues)

When: Thursday 10th – Saturday 13th May 2023

Ticket Info:
Full Weekend ticket: £105 / 2 Day ticket: £80.00 / Day ticket: between £40-55 (ticket link here)

General Info:
We’re excited to be heading back to The Great Escape Festival to tread Brighton’s pebbled beach and trek around the city trying to catch some of the best female, non-binary and LGBTQ+ new music talent! Spread across three days, the festival aims to showcase an eclectic array of artists to excited fans and music industry members. There’s also conferences and other music events running alongside the main festival.

In the lead up to Brighton, there’s a series of showcases in Glasgow and Dublin for The Road To The Great Escape. They will run from the 6th-9th May. Full info here.

Running parallel to the main festival is The Alternative Escape! Check out the venues that are getting involved and the full line-up for it here.

The Late Escape will also kick in once everything else is in full swing. It will feature after hours sets from dance and electronic artists at a number of Brighton venues on Friday May 12th and Saturday May 13th. More info here.

Who’s Playing: Full line-up & timetable here

GIHE favourites ARXX, Brimheim, Problem Patterns, Human Interest, Seraphina Simone and CLT DRP will all be singing by the seaside over the long weekend, but we’re excited to discover some brand new artists too. Below is a list of acts we’re keen to catch at the festival.

You can get to know them better by listening to our accompanying Spotify Playlist at the end of this feature, or you can listen back to our Soho Radio x Great Escape special show with SPIDER here.

Who GIHE recommend you catch:
Whitelands, Brimheim, Problem Patterns, Phoebe Go, JFDR, Cristale, ARXX, Girls Of The Internet, Alice Low, Blondshell, DEBBY FRIDAY, Witch Fever, CLT DRP, Coach Party, SPIDER, SPRINTS, Alice Longyu Gao, Gena Rose Bruce, Cumgirl8, Nuha Ruby Rah, Seraphina Simone, cumgirl8, CATBEAR, Trout, Lambrini Girls, Berry Galazka, GROVE, PVA, Delilah Holliday, Moonchild Sanelly, Mandy Indianna, Jessica Winter, PVA, Maeve, NikNak, King Hannah, The Oozes, FLOSSING, Heartworms, RUTI, Bobbi Lu, Amrit Kaur, King Isis, Baque Luar, Alien Chicks, GENN, Projector, Helen Ganya, Rauchen, O., LUCI, Gen & The Degenerates, NEY LIQA, Sans Soucis, October & The Eyes, Hinako Omori, Penelope Trappes, Jessie Marcella, Marysia Osu, CIEL, Dull, English Teacher, Flip Top Head, Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers, Mindy Meng Wang & Tim Shiel, Boyish, HANYA, HotWax, Human Interest, Lime Garden, Nice Biscuit, The Big Moon, The Last Dinner Party.

Download the official Great Escape app for the full schedule & line-up

For more information visit The Great Escape’s official website

Check out our Great Escape Festival Playlist below!