LIVE (Photos): Cro Cro Land, 06.04.19 (Part 2)

Last weekend saw the launch of Croydon’s brand new festival, Cro Cro Land. Organised by Croydon residents Angela Martin and Julia Woollams, the festival aimed to promote gender equality in both its line-up and staff, whilst championing a number of local bands and artists, and working in conjunction with a number of grassroots organisations and charities, including Lives Not Knives.

And what a festival it was! Paying host to SO MANY incredible bands, it was not only a day filled with all the best live music, but also a completely unmatched sense of community spirit and united joy at being part of the DIY scene. As well as all the superb bands playing on the day, we bumped into so many other bands and artists there to support their peers, as well as other key members from the community, such as Caffy from The Zine UK and staff from Croydon’s best pub, The Oval Tavern. It was like a huge family gathering, filled with all the most life-affirming vibes and, of course, the best live music.

Check out Part 1 of our review of the day here. And here’s some more fantastic photos from Jon Mo and Jamie MacMillan, who were there to capture all the action…

Following Bugeye’s impressive set, we stick around at the main Town Square stage to catch the festival’s ‘secret’ headliner – Liverpool’s She Drew The Gun. Kicking off with the politically-driven power of ‘Resister’, they treat us to an immense and utterly immersive set filled with a sincere, empowering energy.

Photo Credit: Jamie MacMillian

Photo Credit: Jamie MacMillan

Continuing the incredible performances at the Town Square stage, South Yorkshire’s Bang Bang Romeo blast into our eyes and ears with a magnificent energy. As front woman Stars completely blows my mind with her incredible compelling charisma and the soaring soulful power of her vocals, they deliver a truly breathtaking and instantly memorable set, taking full control of the huge crowd.

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Rather nervous about some of my favourite bands clashing (it’s just such a perfect line-up!), I manage to fit in at least some of all the ones I’m desperate to see over the next hour – flitting between the Concrete Playground and Town Square…

From Bang Bang Romeo, I catch a good chunk of the luscious, punk-infused indie-pop of Fightmilk. With their wonderfully raucous energy, they never fail to uplift, as I find myself singing along to each of their dreamily catchy offerings – including personal highlight ‘Dream Phone’ (and yes, sadly I am old enough to remember the game!).

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Photo Credit: Jamie MacMillan

Dashing back to the Town Square in time to catch South London duo Nova Twins, they once again succeed in completely taking my breath away with their ferocious power and biting energy. Having been following Georgia and Amy for some time now, it’s no surprise to see them achieving the success they have been (supporting Wolf Alice and Prophets Of Rage, praise from the likes of Iggy Pop, playing festivals across the world…); their truly immense, seething offerings are like nothing else I’ve heard before, and the vibrant, mighty force of their live show remains completely unmatched.

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Back at the Concrete Playground, total faves Chorusgirl do not disappoint. Another band I’ve been following for the last few years, it really is wonderful to see them develop their sound, with their incredible dedication to their craft paying off with the release of last year’s truly epic second album Shimmer and Spin. A set filled with a joyous energy and front woman Silvi’s endearing modest charm, I just can’t get enough of their scuzzy, sparkling garage-rock, and may even have shed a tear upon hearing personal favourite ‘Stuck’ live for the first time; a poignant offering from the new album, that tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways.

Photo Credit: Jamie MacMillan

Photo Credit: Jamie MacMillan

I manage to get back to the Town Square just in time to catch The Lovely Eggs. Despite a significant amp explosion moments before they’re due to start, the Lancaster duo deliver their immense punk-infused sonic fusions to perfection. With the brash, inspiring charisma and no-frills-yet-empowering presence of Holly Ross, they blast out a swirling, psychedelic cacophony and uplifting lo-fi fuzz. And, with their blunt realism and scathing retorts to all the dickheads in the world accompanying their riotous frenzied energy, they remain one of the most relevant bands around (and one of the most exciting to see live).

Photo Credit: Jamie MacMillan

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Closing the incredible day, Blood Red Shoes deliver a headline set filled with raucous anthems new and old. Oozing their trademark whirring riffs, thrashing beats and the immense, energy-fuelled interplay between Laura Mary and Steven, they fill the room with a mass of buoyant bodies, singing along to each electrifying offering.

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

HUGE thanks to Angela and Julia for organising one of the best days ever; and here’s to Cro Cro Land 2020!

Photos:
Jon Mo / @jonmophoto
Jamie MacMillan / @jamiemacphotos

Words:
Mari Lane / @marimindles

 

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ Mammoth Penguins, 12.04.19

Following a host of amazing bands playing for us lately, including ARXX, Wolf Girl, Sit Down, Fightmilk and Peach Club, we were back at The Finsbury on Friday with another dream of a line-up, for a jam-packed night of the best new music from awesome womxn.

Kicking things off is the completely dreamy, shoegaze-inspired soundscapes of Winter Gardens. Alongside high-octane riffs and propulsive beats, the soaring vocals of Ananda create an utterly captivating start to the night.

Next up, Oxford’s Death Of The Maiden blow us away with their immense, sweeping power. Combining Tamara’s smooth, beguiling vocals, poignant narratives and a twinkling grace, they deliver a truly immersive set, leaving us honoured to have hosted their first ever London gig.

Penultimate band of the night, DUCK, return with their unique, fun-filled groove to play for us for a second time. And what a pleasure it is to host the trio again; with their wonderfully wonky noise-pop, they treat us to a whirring array of synth-filled sonic delights, getting the whole crowd dancing along to their unique, colourful offerings.

Having been a big fan of Mammoth Penguins for a long while now, it’s a real privilege to have them headline for us. And they don’t disappoint. Delivering truly dreamy indie-pop offerings old and new, I find myself singing along to every single song. As the raw, distinctive vocals of Emma Kupa flow alongside shimmering melodies and jangly, energised beats, I’m left with butterflies in my stomach at the fuzzy, scuzzy loveliness of everything this band create.

Huge thanks to the four amazing bands who made Friday night so special, to sound engineer Joe and to everyone who made it out to pack out The Finsbury! Hope to see you next time, on 12th May, when we’ll have Leeds band Crumbs headlining for us, along with Charismatic Megafauna, Panic Pocket and Rookes.

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

LIVE: Le Butcherettes (w/ Big Joanie) – Moth Club, Hackney 02.03.19

Fueled by almighty vocals, hefty guitar riffs and commanding percussion; Le Butcherettes‘ powerful sound ricocheted around the glittered walls of Moth Club last week. Celebrating the release of their fourth album bi/MENTAL, the group delivered a passionate mix of old and new material to their London fans.

Opening the night were DIY garage punks Big Joanie, who were in high spirits having just returned from playing SXSW. The trio’s understated and relatable sounds went down well with the crowd, with ‘Fall Asleep’, ‘Used To Be Friends’ and ‘Down Down’ proving to be the strongest songs in their set.

Cited as their most personal album to date, bi/MENTAL is an ode to Le Butcherettes’ frontwoman Teri Gender Bender’s Mother, and the tracks were as visceral and vulnerable performed live as they are on the record. Teri’s trademark falsetto voice was breath-taking. She flitted between screams, cries and authoritative vocals which matched her erratic but focused performance style. Her band mates – Alejandra Robles Luna (drums), Rikardo Rodríguez-López (guitars) and Marfred Rodríguez-López (bass) – performed with equal amounts of energy; switching between off-kilter sounds and infectious, rolling rhythms with enviable precision.

Teri’s howls and cries cut through the air when she broke the fourth wall and entered the centre of the crowd mid-set and laid on her back. She commanded attention wherever she stood, and spoke fluent Spanish between songs to keep listeners on their toes. As for stand out tracks, it’s difficult to pick just one – but ‘give/UP’ and ‘struggle/STRUGGLE’ stood out among the set list. Both felt like seething, buzzing explorations of grief despite their opposing tempos.

Inspired by the “the death of a living mother”, the duality of life, and the inevitable strife caused by the fluctuation of mental health; Le Butcherettes bi/MENTAL is a cathartic burst of emotive rock designed to clear the cobwebs between your ears – and the band’s live set does exactly that.

Catch Le Butcherettes on their upcoming UK live dates:
Tues 9th July – Boston Music Rooms, London
Weds 10th – Green Door Store, Brighton
Thurs 11th – 2000 Trees Festival, Cheltenham

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: Deep Throat Choir @ Purcell Rooms, Southbank Centre, 02.04.19

Following a breathtaking and truly immersive performance from opening act Mich Cota, Deep Throat Choir take to the stage in the intimate setting of The Purcell Room at The Southbank Centre, and my Tuesday immediately improves by 100%.

Since I first saw Deep Throat Choir here at The Southbank Centre for Women Of The World festival about five years ago, the Luisa Gerstein-lead group have grown in both size and power. What started as a small, acapella singing group accompanied by drums has now developed into a large collective of female-identifying musicians and vocalists, creating an uplifting force of nature in the sound they deliver.

Treating us to a mix of covers and originals – old and new – they start off with a dazzling new number before luscious offerings from their debut album Be OK, including the soaring harmonies of ‘The Wave’ and the exquisite soulful splendour of ‘Hey Mami’. Brightening a wet and windy evening with the matching oranges and pinks of their outfits accompanying the empowering sweeping vocal melodies they create together, they continue to take my breath away with a unique arrangement of one of last year’s innovative collaborations with Simian Mobile Disco.

Filling the intimate venue with their immense vocal majesty, I’m once again reminded that seeing Deep Throat Choir live never fails to inspire and lift the spirits. And, as they close the set with their shimmering rendition of Amy Winehouse’s ‘In My Bed’, I’m left with a euphoric sense of joy; epitomising the exceptional power of women coming together to create, they unite their voices to summon a force that is truly awe-inspiring.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

LIVE: Madison McFerrin @ Jazz Cafe, 08.03.19

With just a loop pedal and a small tablet, hidden behind the flowers looped around her mic stand, Madison McFerrin has got more stage presence than most four-piece bands. She’s got a gift for putting an audience totally at ease, switching up the pace between songs with chatty anecdotes about her school days and occasional self-deprecating humour.

Typically at the start of a gig, there’s a shift in the atmosphere of a room as the artist begins their set and the audience decides whether or not they’re on their side: this audience are instantly on Madison’s. Her songs develop seemingly from scratch, using the loop pedal to build increasingly complex vocal harmonies that, despite their soulful pop melodies, have a jazzy undercurrent of progression and improvisation.

She’s supported by new London artist Rahaven and R&B duo S4U, in an all-female line-up curated by gal-dem for International Women’s Day. Jazz Café usually does a great job of booking a diverse range of acts (as I recently grumbled about on Twitter, they were at the time of writing the only London venue to have booked a non-male act for Piano Day), and this collaboration with gal-dem is a master stroke. Hats off to them, and here’s hoping for more Jazz Café takeovers in the year ahead.

Apropos of not much, I’ll also mention here that it’s apparently one of the few venues in London where it’s still possible to vape indoors (a fact I’ve learned from my boss, Sam, an enthusiastic vaper): the DJ backing one of the support acts, keen to keep things casual, had a quick vape on stage in the middle of a song.

In my old age, I’m increasingly grumpy about weeknight gigs where the headliner doesn’t come on stage til after 9.30: it’s not very punk-rock of me I know, but I love an early bedtime. Madison McFerrin’s jazzy a cappella and witty banter are worth getting the last train home for, and that’s saying something.

Frances Salter
@goodcanarymusic

LIVE: Our Girl @ The Southbank Centre, 06.03.19

Following last year’s debut album Stranger Today, we’ve been massive fans of the lush, fuzzed out sounds of Our Girl. And so last week, having already supported Bill Ryder Jones in Queen Elizabeth Hall last year, we were excited to catch them live in The Purcell Room, at my favourite place in London – The Southbank Centre – last week.

Immediately captivating the intimate seated crowd, Soph, Josh and Lauren kick off the set with the delicate, twinkling romanticism of ‘I Really Like It’, and that’s me gone – instantly welling up to the fuzzy, scuzzy loveliness flowing into my ears. I should point out I’m feeling a little fragile lately, but I’m sure I’d have been overcome with emotion regardless…

Continuing with the sparkling charm of ‘Being Around’, the trio ooze shades of the other-worldly splendour of Warpaint, whilst retaining their own unique command of all they do, as Lauren’s thrashing beats complement the interplay between Soph and Josh perfectly. Employing a completely immersive energy throughout, Our Girl continue with the atmospheric scuzz and scintillating riffs of ‘Two Life’, before building with a sparkling intensity to the raw, raging climax of ‘Josephine’.

Treating us to songs from both Stranger Today and The Bedroom Record, the band showcase their ability to fluctuate between a gritty fuzz-filled energy and a luscious dreamy haze seamlessly. And, whilst some bands may not have found the prospect of performing to such an intimate, seated crowd appealing, Soph assures us that they’re happy with it: “It’s nice and quiet… I like it. It’s calming, but scary at the same time.”

From the beautifully delicate tenderness of ‘Sub Rosa’ to the swirling energy of ‘In My Head’, or the seething whirlwind of sound flowing from ‘Boring’, Our Girl’s ethereal majesty is a true delight to witness; leaving each one of the seated audience members utterly spellbound.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ ARXX, 08.03.19

Following a host of amazing bands playing for us lately, including Wolf Girl, Sit Down, Fightmilk and Peach Club, we were back at The Finsbury to celebrate International Women’s Day on Friday, with a jam-packed night of the best new music from awesome womxn, and raising money for fantastic organisation The Outside Project.

Kicking things off is the wonderfully wacky Riot Grrrl-inspired sounds of Rainbow Corp. With her twinkling electronic soundscapes and honey-sweet Le Tigre-reminiscent vocals, it’s a perfectly uplifting start to our celebrations.

Next up, South London duo Scrounge once again blow us away with their immense, gritty offerings. Blasting out their unique brand of fierce post-punk, the raw intensity of Lucy’s captivating vocals combined with Luke’s raging, pummelling beats creates a truly colossal force to be reckoned with.

Penultimate band of the night, The Baby Seals, deliver a perfect accompaniment to International Women’s Day. With their fun-filled, empowering energy, they treat us to songs about everything from masturbation to getting ID-ed in ALDI. Championing autonomy and body positivity with a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek wit, they leave us united and ready to celebrate all things female.

Having played for us in supporting slots a few times before, it’s an absolute joy to have Brighton duo ARXX headline for us on this extra special occasion. Immediately blasting out their immense, energy-fuelled offerings with a ferocious, sparkling force, their phenomenal power captures the attention of each and every member of the completely packed-out venue. Delivering their seething, punk-infused anthems, ARXX prove themselves to be the ultimate headliner for International Women’s Day; they just get better each time we see them, continuing to impress with their truly magnificent command of all they do.

HUGE thanks to all who made it down to The Finsbury on Friday, making our International Women’s Day celebrations so special. And massive love to all four amazing acts who played for us, and The Outside Project for all they do. Catch us again on 12th April when Mammoth Penguins will be headlining for us.

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto