Track Of The Day: Petrol Girls – ‘Big Mouth’

Always at the forefront when it comes to fighting for equality and fair representation; Petrol Girls have shared a powerful new video for their new single ‘Big Mouth’. Supporting the ongoing defamation case for Solidarity Not Silence – a group of women who are being silenced for speaking out against the behaviour of a man in the music industry – their new single is a necessary shout-back and a call to arms to support their activist sisters.

Vocalist Ren Aldridge explains more about the track’s context: “[Big Mouth] focuses in on voice as a physical sound that comes directly from our bodies, and also more generally as self-expression. There’s a lot of politics around who is heard and what that means, and many marginalised groups are only tolerated when they’re quiet. When they refuse this containment and control, they’re met with attempts to silence them.”

“Just one example of this is the defamation case which aims to silence the Solidarity Not Silence girls…whilst the case is ongoing, we are limited in what we can say about it, but encourage everyone to spread the word and donate to the crowdfunding campaign for their legal costs. They are determined to not allow their case to set a precedent for silencing marginalised voices in the music industry and beyond. There’s no legal aid for this kind of case – they need money to pay for their legal representation in order to pursue justice. You can get a Solidarity Not Silence t-shirt, as worn by Joe in the ‘Big Mouth’ music video, here.”

As well as Ren’s own powerful voice, the new single includes a sample of Poly Styrene’s iconic intro to X-Ray Spex’s ‘Oh Bondage! Up Yours!’- with lyrics that still resonate with activists and musicians over forty years later. ‘Big Mouth’ is taken from Petrol Girls’ upcoming album Cut & Stitch, which will be released on 24th May via Hassle Records. A companion Rough Trade Publishing ‘Edition’, written by Ren, is also available to pre-order via the band’s official store.

The band will be touring extensively from the beginning of May, including in-stores at Rough Trades in the week the album is released, tours with War On Women and La Dispute, plus appearances as festivals like The Great Escape, 2000trees and Roskilde. Watch the video for ‘Big Mouth’ below and follow Petrol Girls on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Live Highlights of 2018

Despite being a pretty scary year in the grand scheme of things, 2018 has actually been exceptionally great for new music. And seeing live music has, as ever, provided a necessary catharsis and enjoyment; forever giving us something to look forward to. 

Having witnessed an uncountable amount of women/non binary folk being awesome on stage this year, it was hard to pick out our highlights … But, from some of our DIY faves, to Fever Ray and Courtney Barnett (and – yes – Indietracks Festival features twice, it’s that great), here are a few events that stood out as particularly special for us… 

Witch Fever Live @ The Finsbury, January:
2018 has been of year of many incredible gigs, not least our own gigs that we’ve been lucky enough to host at The Finsbury. And, whilst I have a massive amount of love and pride in all the gigs we’ve hosted, the year kicked off with a pretty immense one. Manchester’s Witch Fever, who made two six hour coach journeys to be with us, treated us to their frenzied, raucous offerings with an incredible, un-matched power. As front woman Amy’s incredible, snarling energy stole the show, we were all left completely in awe of this band’s formidable intensity. And they weren’t the only amazing band of the night; joining them was the empowering force of The Nyx, the grunge-fuelled energy of ARXX and the gorgeous pop-punk of Militant Girlfriend.
(Mari Lane – Managing Editor/Co-Founder)

Fever Ray @ The Troxy, March:
Fever Ray’s fierce, focused, sold out performance at the Troxy proved she’s an inimitable talent with a vision, generosity, and energy unlike any other. In Fever Ray’s space, no-one is an outsider: everyone is welcome in her warped and wonderful world. Emerging from the lights in her trademark “I heart Swedish girls” t-shirt and bare scalp, from start to finish the sound was flawless. Each lyric, synth sequence and drum beat was more distinct and discernible than the next – if you weren’t there, you definitely missed out.
(Kate Crudgington – Features Editor/Co-Founder)

Petrol Girls @ Shacklewell Arms, April:
Mari and I were so excited to see the brilliant Petrol Girls live for the first time this year, and they did not disappoint. Loud, lethal and life-affirming: their headline show was a raw, frenzied, furious affair. The band packed out the venue with the help of their friends Pretty Pistol and Screaming Toenail (our new favourite band), and played our favourite track ‘Touch Me Again’ with all the ferocity and energy we’d come to expect from this brilliant band of activists.
(Kate Crudgington)

Indian Queens @  Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival, June:
Hackney trio Indian Queens performed to a packed out Purcell Room at The Southbank Centre this year, after being hand-picked by The Cure’s Robert Smith to play his (exceptionally well curated) 2018 Meltdown Festival. The band delivered a mesmeric, sharply executed performance that ended in a well deserved standing ovation. I felt like I’d witnessed something truly special from the Cool Thing Record signees when I left the building, and I look forward to catching them again in 2019.
(Kate Crudgington)

Indietracks Festival (and its sense of community), July:
There is the smell of long past years in the carriage as the rails clackity-clack below you, the signalman waves from the box as you pass, and behind the sidings crammed with moss-windowed rolling stock the natural amphitheatre of the main stage hoves into view.

Indietracks is hidden away but for those in the know its not just the boutique festival quietly winning at line-ups, its home. Not only welcoming and familiar, but full of friendship and love. The diversity of the billing, the cute touches and culture-clash between trains and music will delight newcomers but the community sustained between years – by the festival and railway volunteers, each band, every festival-goer – is something to be really astounded by. At a time when togetherness feels more elusive, but is ever more vital, Indietracks should be both celebrated and cherished for the community its nurtured and welcomes home each summer.
(Sarah Lay – Contributor)

Indietracks Festival (and the diversity of its line-up), July:
With our ongoing disappointment at the lack of diversity on the majority of mainstream festival line-ups this year, I was particularly excited to discover Indietracks – one that refreshingly, consistently, champions DIY bands and artists of all genders and genres. And, I wasn’t to be disappointed; the weekend – set in the idyllic Midland Railway Centre near Ripley in Derbyshire – exceeded all expectations.

Ask me about any of my favourite bands of 2018, and they were probably playing at Indietracks Festival. From an array of glorious indie-pop (Wolf Girl, Colour Me Wednesday, Happy Accidents, Worst Place), Feminist punk (Dream Nails, The Baby Seals, Dream Wife) and all the scuzzy, dreamy sounds in-between (Ghum, Sink Ya Teeth, Sacred Paws, Girl Ray), every single band I saw filled me with an empowering sense of joy and blissful gratitude. And I think all those I saw consisted of female identifying/non binary artists.

So, whilst it still seems to be unusual to attend bigger festivals these days and not encounter ingrained misogyny or disrespect of some kind, Indietracks felt like a different world; a safe, joy-filled world, and one jam-packed with all the best music (plus owls and parrots!).
(Mari Lane)

Qween Kwong @ Rough Trade East, July:
I remember this gig for several reasons. Firstly, because I arrived soaked in sweat and rain from the downpour that briefly broke the overwhelming summer heatwave, and secondly because I was lucky enough to interview Queen Kwong before her set. She was just as cool (and as cutting) as I’d imagined her to be, and her live performance was a visceral, loud, defiant example of her songwriting talent.
(Kate Crudgington)

Wendy Rae Fowler @ The Finsbury, September:
I won’t lie; prior to Wendy Rae Fowler headlining for us at The Finsbury this September I was overwhelmingly excited and a little nervous. I’ve been a huge fan of her work over the years, and to have her play for us stands out for me as a particularly special moment (or 45 minutes) of 2018. Immediately creating a captivating, cinematic atmosphere, she filled the room with a majestic sense of wonder, delivering a soul-grabbing, breath-taking set that I’m truly honoured to have hosted.
(Mari Lane)

Courtney Barnett Live In Berlin, November:
Touring her second album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, Courtney Barnett was a sight to behold this year: quite literally. I looked on with envy when the Deal sisters provided backing vocals for ‘Nameless, Faceless’ at the BBC’s Biggest Weekend Festival. But, fortunately, a trip to Berlin also included seeing Courtney live at the city’s Huxleys Neue Welt venue. Seeing the songs played on a larger scale, contrasting with the more laidback atmosphere of songs taken from her debut and early EPs highlighted Barnett’s brilliance and renewed my appreciation of her songwriting.
(John McGovern – Contributor)

 

 

 

EP: Petrol Girls – ‘The Future Is Dark’

Defiant, driven, and militant in their cause to give the voices of their sisters a platform; Petrol Girls have shared their latest EP The Future Is Dark (released via Hassle Records). It’s a blistering collection of anti-patriarchy, anti-capitalist anthems that will inspire listeners to stand up, speak out, and be counted.

The EP is named after a Virginia Woolf quote that writer Rebecca Solnit uses as a starting point for her essay ‘Woolf’s Darkness’, in Men Explain Things To Me. Solnit writes about accepting uncertainty and not fearing the dark or the unknown. Her sentiments reflect Petrol Girls’ unwavering belief in the strength of sisterhood, and speaking out against oppression.

The riotous ‘Survivor’ opens the record, and is inspired by the growing movement against sexual violence. Vocalist Ren’s powerful voice declares “It was my anger that kept me alive” over thrashing guitar riffs and heart-thumping percussion. It’s another much needed shout-back track, dismantling the damage caused by pervasive and traumatising sexual assaults. The slightly softer, but equally as striking ‘Sister’ follows – championing the power of sisterhood. It’s a reminder to cherish and nurture relationships with sisters from all walks of life.

The track ordering on The Future Is Dark sends just as seminal a message as the individual songs that form it. It begins with feelings of anger and isolation (‘Survivor’), fades in to relief, support and recovery (‘Sister’), before closing track ‘Strike’ reinforces the need to keep fighting, and to persevere against forces that continue to oppress us all (even if you fuck up from time to time).

Petrol Girls are experts at taking their anger and transforming it in to a force for change, self-expression, and most importantly – reassurance for listeners who need love and guidance in such turbulent political times. The future may be dark, but with Petol Girls around, it’s certainly not void of hope.

Order your copy of The Future Is Dark here.
Follow Petrol Girls on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Petrol Girls – ‘Sister’

Soft, but striking and seminal in its message; Petrol Girls‘ latest single ‘Sister’ is a remarkable new anthem championing the power of sisterhood. The track is taken from the band’s upcoming EP The Future Is Dark, released via Hassle Records on 14th September.

The accompanying video features footage submitted by Petrol Girls’ allies and fans, as well shots of our favourites Dream Nails and Witch Fever performing live. Speaking about the new single, front woman Ren Aldridge explains:

“I’ve been wanting for us to write a song about sisterhood for a long time, because it’s these relationships that have had the biggest impact on my life and that form the heart of my feminism. I’ve got two younger blood sisters and a few very close friends that I consider sisters, as well as our family dog Skye who passed away last summer but I loved her like a sister too. All of those relationships have taught me so much. They’ve guided me, taken care of me, made me laugh til I cry and nurtured me into better versions of myself. I think society often puts too much emphasis on sexual relationships, when sisterhood is incredibly important and powerful. This song celebrates a relationship that can pose a real threat to capitalism and patriarchy because it challenges competition and is built on care and trust.”

The title of Petrol Girls’ upcoming EP The Future Is Dark, further reflects their unwavering belief in the strength of sisterhood. The EP is named after a Virginia Woolf quote that writer Rebecca Solnit uses as a starting point for her essay ‘Woolf’s Darkness,’ in Men Explain Things To Me. She writes about accepting uncertainty and not fearing the dark or the unknown, because actually we don’t know what will happen next. She describes despair and optimism both as forms of certainty that create grounds for not acting, whereas hope pushes us to act and make change in whatever ways we can.

Ren ruminates further on this point: “The dark, just like the future, is full of possibilities. It makes me think about how its only in the dark that we can see the stars and think about ourselves as just tiny parts of this cosmic system, as part of a bigger picture. I find it really grounding and inspiring to feel individually small but part of something huge.”

We’re definitely proud to share Petrol Girls’ sisterhood ethics. Watch the video for ‘Sister’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Pre-order Petrol Girls’ The Future Is Dark EP here.
Available on limited etched 12” vinyl with hand-screenprinted sleeve.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: Petrol Girls – Shacklewell Arms, London 25.04.18

Loud, lethal and life-affirming: Petrol Girls‘ headline show at The Shacklewell Arms on Wednesday night was a raw, frenzied, furious affair. The band (who recently signed to Hassle Records) packed out the venue with the help of their friends Pretty Pistol and Screaming Toenail (aka our new favourite band).

Adorned in a Dream Nails band tee, Petrol Girls’ front-woman Ren was energy incarnate: pushing girls to the front through her lyrics, electrifying stage presence, and her attire. Fans of Dream Nails’ may have noticed the familiar face of their vocalist Janey in the crowd too – she was stood at the front alongside several other girls, all of whom had their eyes fixed on the stage.

Together; Liepa, Joe, Zock & Ren tore through a set-list that included tracks ‘False Peace’, ‘Treading Water’, ‘Restless’, and ‘Phallocentric’ – all taken from their 2016 debut Talk Of Violence. The songs topics range from militant disregard for oppressive patriarchal values, to a refreshingly loud promotion of female sexual pleasure. On new single ‘Survivor’, the band continue to tackle the issue of sexual violence, and Ren prefaced the track with words of solidarity to survivors of this abuse, and urged them to remember that just because something bad has happened to you – you are not a victim, and your life is not defined by your trauma.

Between songs, Ren also spoke of her activism – which includes an essay in a collection titled ‘Nasty Women’ – and told her crowd that it’s okay to say “NO” to fascists and oppressors – whether political or personal. It seems there’s no differentiation between the two for Petrol Girls, and closing song ‘Touch Me Again’ proved how vehemently they believe this.

The track’s visceral message and live delivery made it impossible not to chant in unison with Ren as she repeatedly screamed the line “Touch me again, and I will fucking kill you!”. She finished the gig on her knees, sweating, smiling and probably exhausted – but the crowd around her and her band mates lit up with rounds of congratulatory applause.

Petrol Girls are a talented collective of individuals with an uncompromising ability to motivate, entertain, and inspire listeners to speak out against all forms of injustice. Their furious blend of aggressive, cathartic, punk and metal songs had more than the desired effect on their crowd at The Shacklewell Arms, and we can’t wait to catch them live again. See you at the front next time…

Follow Petrol Girls on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Petrol Girls – ‘Survivor’

Inspired by the growing movement against sexual violence, PETROL GIRLS have shared their riotous new single ‘Survivor’. It’s another much-needed anthem from a band who are dedicated to shouting back against the damage of patriarchal oppression.

Produced by the band’s vocalist Ren Aldridge, the accompanying video for ‘Survivor’ is a collaboration between Andrew Northrop and painter Mariah Pearl. Ren explains: “The way that Mariah’s paintings play with the surface of the canvas gives me a really strong feeling of a clandestine power that refuses to be captured or identified. For me, this reflects whisper networks and the erupting movement against sexual violence. It’s like the tree roots that push up through the tarmac.”

Ren and her band mates’ passion for social justice has resulted in PETROL GIRLS being signed to UK-based independent label Hassle Records, and the band will head off on tour this month to share new track ‘Survivor’ with their fans. Anger is a gift, and PETROL GIRLS know how to use it.

Watch the video for ‘Survivor’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

PETROL GIRLS UK TOUR DATES & FESTIVALS
Apr 20 – Glasgow @ St. Lukes w/ Propagandhi
Apr 21 – Edinburgh @ Girls To The Front Fest
Apr 22 – Liverpool @ Sound
Apr 23 – Sheffield @ Picture House Social
Apr 24 – Nottingham @ The Bodega
Apr 25 – London @ The Shacklewell Arms
Apr 26 – Cambridge @ The Portland Arms
Apr 27 – Bradford @ 1 In 12 Club
Apr 28 – Newport @ Le Public Space
Aug 24 – Reading Festival
Aug 25 – Leeds Festival

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut