PREVIEW: Sounds Queer: Rehearsing Utopia – An All Night Music Queertopia

Ahead of its second event this Saturday 17th September at Rich Mix, Ellie of Sounds Queer has told us about all they stand for and what to expect from the event. Have a read, and join in the fun tomorrow!

Sounds Queer is an innovative live music showcase spanning genre, expression and identity. The event will champion diverse voices and sounds from the LGBTQIA+ community, whilst providing a safe space for audiences within it.

Despite London being a cultural hub for both music and the queer community, there are few live music nights whose priority it is to provide a platform for LGBTQIA+ artists. In addition to this, there is a lack of truly inclusive events, gigs or venues for emerging music that caters to the specific needs of the community. Run by music lovers and queer creators, we aim to provide a platform for those artists as well as a safe space for the community to discover and support them.

For our next event, we are excited to announce we have partnered with the wonderful team at Rich Mix for a show called Rehearsing Utopia – An All Night Music Queertopia, this Saturday, 17th September 2022! 

A night dedicated to the celebration of queer live music, Queertopia is about giving a much-needed space for the creation of a queer live music utopia where audiences and performers alike, from the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, can enjoy, celebrate and connect around queer music and creativity. We will be launching our new season with an all night music extravaganza with the one and only Nimmo announced to be headlining.

The evening will be hosted by London’s undeniably talented and multi-faceted drag queen Barbs, who will also be giving us an extra special solo performance ahead of Nimmo’s set. Also supporting will be Amaroun (a GIHE fave!); a triple threat multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter with warm silk-like vocals that make kaleidoscopic alt-r&b. Our very own co-founder Toby Corton will also be supporting; a “charismatic queer cockney creative” who describes his sound as “a modern British take on neo-soul built on a foundation of frank queer storytelling”. We will also have the unreal DJs Bestley and D’vey taking us into the early hours with their wonderfully woozy soundscapes.

We are so incredibly proud of how far we’ve come since our first event in March and we are so excited about what’s to come. Watch this queer space!

It sounds right up our street! Nab your tickets here and check out an awesome playlist featuring the artists who’ll be gracing the stage tomorrow here.

LIVE: Charmpit @ Sebright Arms, 08.07.2022

On Friday we had the absolute honour of hosting DIY legends Charmpit’s last ever London gig at Sebright Arms. With support from total faves Bitch Hunt and indie ‘tweecore’ outfit adults, it was truly a wonderful night – with so many familiar faces from the community coming together to celebrate a band who have been such an inspiration and joy for so many. And to sellout was a a total dream – huge thanks and big love to the three beautiful bands and to everyone who joined us for this memorable night filled with all the best vibes and bittersweet emotions!

Opening the night, Bitch Hunt deliver an empowering, cathartic set. Despite not having had the simplest of weeks (graduations, minor surgeries and struggles on public transport all contributing to stress levels), they radiate a blissful energy as each scuzzy punk-pop offering – reflecting on themes ranging from being non-binary and losing loved ones, to men who take up too much space – tugs at the heartstrings and fills the venue with a joyous sense of unity. Expressing their love of Charmpit and reflecting on memories of First Timers fest in between tracks, it’s a perfect start to what turns out to be a perfect night.

Next up, South London’s adults blast onto the stage with all the fuzzy energy you could ever desire. With both vocalists donning matching Charmpit ‘Anarchism Is For Lovers’ tees, and even treating us to a cover of the beloved headliners, they deliver half an hour of glistening, indie-pop perfection. Simultaneously oozing a lilting, uplifting scuzz with a poignant, angst-driven rage at the state of the world, each track twinkles with a sparkling drive as relatable lyrics about mutual aid and looking out for each other in hard times flow with heartfelt emotion alongside infectious, jangling hooks.

And then it’s Charmpit‘s turn to play their last ever London gig… Emotions run high in the packed out space as their sparkling charisma and vibrant energy instantly flow from the stage, filling the venue with an all-encompassing euphoric splendour. As they treat us to a set of career-spanning classic DIY anthems, it’s an utter joy to see the crowd dance, sing (and cry) together to this band who have meant so much to all of us over the years. From earlier colourful offerings such as ‘Buckfast My Heart’ and ‘Margot’ (who is now 7 and president of her Climate Society at school), to tracks from their latest (and last…) album Cause A Stir, each track oozes the band’s trademark shimmering, colourful zest and playfully quirky wit, whilst touching on stirring themes such as toxic relationships, true friendship and anarchy. Despite the sadness at this being the last time we will all be together in a room dancing to Charmpit, it’s a truly joyous occasion – celebrating all there is to love about this inspiring, adorable and innovative group whose uplifting bubblegum pop tunes have healed, helped and motivated so many. Having followed their career from the start, and with fond memories of them playing live for us at The Finsbury back in 2017, it’s a total honour to host this incredibly special event dedicated to these four wonderful humans who have played such a pivotal part in the London DIY community over the last decade.

What more can I say… Thank you to the three truly wonderful bands, to all who came out and – most importantly – thank you to CHARMPIT! We love you so much; thank you for all the music and the inspiration that will stay with us forever. It was a joy to host this event and to see so many lovely familiar faces!

Join us in a couple of weeks when we’ll be back at The Shacklewell Arms with total faves ARXX, with support from Fräulein and Lusa Morena – tickets selling fast, so make sure you get yours on DICE now! And then we will be at The Victoria on 12th August to dance the night away with Nikki & The Waves, BAXTR and Panic Pocket – you should also nab tickets for that soon too!

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photo Credit: David Harris / @chopstick68

LIVE (Photos): Slagheap @ The Victoria, 24.06.22

On Friday, we were back at The Victoria in Dalston with a very lovely line-up. Slagheap, Nervous Twitch and The Famous Daxx treated us to a fun-filled few hours of live music. Huge thanks to them all, and to the lovely folk who came out to support them!

Opening the night, The Famous Daxx treat us to their swirling, emotion-filled offerings, each delivered with an immersive, spellbinding allure.

Next up, Leeds trio Nervous Twitch deliver their retro rockabilly riffs with an infectious surf-pop musicality and colourful, uplifting groove.

Headlining the night, Bristol band Slagheap fill the venue with their quirky, vibrant charisma and jangly post-punk fuzz. Oozing an infectious joyous energy, they deliver each offering with a shimmering playful spirit and cheeky tongue-in-cheek wit.

Massive thanks to the glorious three bands who played for us on Friday!
We’re now super excited that coming up in July, have not one but two incredible nights of live music in store for you: 8th July at Sebright Arms we have Charmpit’s last ever London show, with support from Bitch Hunt and adults – tickets here. And 22nd July we’re back at Shacklewell Arms with total faves ARXX, plus Fraulein and Lusa Morena – tickets here. Tickets for both are selling super fast, so I advise nabbing yours asap!

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Neil Anderson / @wildblanketphotography

Get In Her Ears Live at The Shacklewell Arms w/ The Menstrual Cramps, 06.05.2022

On Friday, we were back at The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston with the most epic of line-ups. The Menstrual Cramps, pink suits and Queen Cult treated us to an immense few hours of live music. Huge thanks to them all, and to all the lovely folk who came out to support them and fill the venue… We’re still feeling all the feels, and are extremely grateful to everyone who made it such a beautiful night.

First up, Cheshire up and coming band Queen Cult kick things off with a wonderfully entertaining set. With a swirling infectious energy and quirky charisma, they immerse us in their fiercely impassioned offerings raging against the patriarchy; cementing themselves firmly as definite ones to watch on the new music scene.

Next up, Margate based pink suits deliver an immense and truly poignant set. From the wonderfully witty ‘Are You Gay Yet?’ to the all-too-resonant seething splendour of politcally-charged anthems such as ‘Fake Great Britain’ and ‘Anarchist Wisdom’, the incredible duo just seem to magnificently capture the burning anger, frustration and sadness that so many of us are feeling right now, whist bringing us together with an empowering sense of unity.

Headlining the night, we’re extremely honoured to have Bristol’s The Menstrual Cramps deliver their first London gig in over two and a half years. Covering topics ranging from political unrest and violence against women to more celebratory anthems in favour of pleasuring ourselves, the band’s shiny new line-up blast out raging offerings new and old with a ferocious energy and joyous, chaotic force. With their immense, impassioned drive and utterly necessary message of coming together against the right wing hellscape that this country is becoming, they simultaneously unite the crowd in a cathartic explosion of angst-driven power and elated euphoria. Shouting along to ‘Cull The Tories’ has never felt more urgent.

Huge love and thanks again to all three bands who played for us on Friday, and to everyone who came out to share the music and good vibes. We’re returning to The Victoria on 24th June with Slagheap, Nervous Twitch and The Famous Daxx – get your tickets on DICE now!

Words: Mari Lane
Photos: Keira-Anee Photography