An Open Letter To First Timers Fest…

Dear First Timers Fest,

Thank you for existing and for the best Sunday afternoon spent at the Amersham Arms, watching new bands perform live together for the first time.

I (and the GIHE team) have been following your work as a non-profit organisation, encouraging people from all walks of life to start making music for a while now and I think what you do is vital and beautiful – and I hope you feel appreciated!

For those who don’t know, First Timers are a London based initiative who run workshops and festivals that aim to make music accessible to all. They focus on creating fun, low pressure environments for people to learn instruments, form their own band and aim to build a community of like-minded people who think access to music shouldn’t be blocked by financial or social barriers.

I have seen and felt the joy of the First Timers community first hand, having attended their Bass Workshop with Jodi earlier this year and their Festival earlier this month. Turning up alone to these events can feet a bit daunting, but from the moment I walked into an event, the team of volunteers were warm, approachable and always willing to chat. It’s a human-centered initiative designed to make you feel comfortable, and it’s always a pleasure to be in the room with other people who are seeking a connection through music.

Between sets at the festival, I spoke to volunteers and organisers about how much I was enjoying the day. They took the time to stand and talk with me, which was no small feat considering that logistically, organising stage times and supporting 15 new bands must have meant they had a truly chaotic day. My only regret is that I couldn’t stay for the full festival!

It was inspiring to watch new bands like Wormdriver, Poorly Trained Radicals, Pig City, Egg Doggs and Achers share their music with a crowd for the first time. Considering it was a festival for beginners, there were so few “mistakes” in the performances, and if any person on stage looked like they were unsure, the crowd immediately applauded or cheered them on to dissolve the uncertainty. It’s this shared supportive attitude that makes First Timers Fest such a pleasure to witness. It’s an attitude that often gets lost in the pretensions of wider, more “serious” music spheres. It’s easy to forget that everyone has to start somewhere and ultimately – so what if you fuck it up? That’s half the fun anyway, and that’s what First Timers are here for.

I grew up as a working class girl in Essex and despite secretly wanting to, I never learned how to play an instrument. I was one of four kids, incredibly shy and had no idea where to start. My brother taught himself how to play guitar and synths via Youtube videos, but I couldn’t grasp any of it through a screen. The one bass lesson I had with Jodi this year made me feel like I might actually be able to get somewhere with an instrument, if I just make the time to practice it more often. If First Timers had been around when I was a teenager, I think they would have helped me get to where I am today a little bit quicker. I’m grateful to have found them now as an adult, and I really hope others will read this and reach out and join the First Timers community too.

Keep up the good work folks and I’ll see you again soon.

Love & solidarity,
Kate x

 

Follow First Timers Fest on TwitterFacebookInstagram & their official website

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

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

LISTEN: GIHE on Soho Radio with Charlotte Adigéry

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. Sadly Mari couldn’t make it into the studio, but offered some of her “musical musings” too.

French-born, Belgian-Caribbean musician Charlotte Adigéry also joined them to talk about her debut album Topical Dancer, which she worked on with Bolis Pupul, and the power of joy and laughter when it comes to making art about your own life experiences. Baby Rocco also had his say!

Listen back below:

Tracklist
Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin – Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves
Adrianne Lenker – Symbol
Julia-Sophie – Dial Your Number
t l k – IWNU
Fraulein – Drag Behind
A.A. Williams – Melt
PET Wife – Alone
Ailsa Tully – Salt Glaze
Tomberlin – happy accident
ROBYN & Neneh Cherry ft. Mapei – Buffalo Stance
Pongo – Doudou
My Idea – Crutch
CMAT – Every Bottle Is My Boyfriend
After London – Here, Tonite
Charlotte Adigéry x Bolis Pupul – Ceci n’est pas un cliché
**Interview with Charlotte Adigéry**
Tirzah – Tectonic
Hannah Schneider – Mirror Sphere
Big Thief – Little Things
Muna Ileiwat – Stuck
Petrol Girls – Baby, I Had An Abortion
SASAMI & No Home – Squeeze
KIN – Cosmos
Amaroun – Brown Skin Beauty
Cate Le Bon – Remembering Me
Queen Latifah ft. Monie Love – Ladies First

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