Video Premiere: Bitch Hunt – ‘Spaceman’

Since first meeting at Roller Derby, London based all queer/non-binary band Bitch Hunt formed at First Timers Fest, and have been going from strength to strength ever since; last October impressing us at GIHE us with their immense live set at The Finsbury. Now, ahead of the release of a split cassette with fellow GIHE faves adults, the band have shared a brand new video.

Filled with catchy, scuzzy hooks, a subtle tongue-in-cheek wit and the gritty deadpan vocals of front person Sian, ‘Spaceman’ is an observational and relatable slice of punk-pop. With Bitch Hunt’s trademark impassioned energy and swirling harmonies, it’s a spot-on reflection on the sickening arrogance of all those cis male ‘splainers and ‘spreaders we so often have to endure in our day to day lives. An uplifting raging anthem inspiring us all to take those men down a peg (or four).

Watch the fantastic new DIY video for ‘Spaceman’ here:

The adults / Bitch Hunt split cassette is out now via For The Sake Of Tapes. Order from Bandcamp.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

 

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ Personal Best, 10.01.20

Following a host of amazing bands playing for us throughout 2019, including Screaming Toenail, Salad, GENN, Chorusgirl, Witching Waves and CLT DRP, we were back at The Finsbury on Friday for our first gig of the year, with another dream of a line-up, for a jam-packed night of the best live music.

Kicking things off is the dreamily delightful ‘heartland rock’ of newly formed Athabaska. Alternating between the impassioned, crystalline vocals of Faith Taylor (Suggested Friends) and the delicate emotion of those of bassist Roxy, they treat us to a heart-warming shimmering folk-strewn musicality and luscious sweeping harmonies.

Next up Nun Habit deliver their fuzzy, infectious garage pop with a unique, quirky energy. With shades of the jangly synth-driven soul of the likes of Young Fathers, whether guitarist Gregory or bassist Kate is leading the vocals, they ooze a vibrant spirit and immersive, sparkling charisma.

One of my ‘Ones To Watch’ for 2020, London trio Hurtling are third band of the night. With their sun-drenched whirring hooks and the swirling subtle power of Jen Macro’s (My Bloody Valentine) distinctive effervescent vocals, they deliver their fuzz-filled noise-pop anthems with a captivating, psychedelic haze.

I’ve been keen to see headliners Personal Best for a while now, and they definitely don’t disappoint. With a joyous punk-rock energy, their “classic rock for tragic lesbians” fills the venue with adoring fans as immense, frenetic riffs are blasted out alongside pure pop harmonies and a sparkling energy. Drawing the night to a memorable close, front person Katie Gatt dedicates their set closer to the queer community. As a sea of buoyant voices joins in with “I wanna kiss you in the street, where everyone can see… ’cause this is what we look like”, the poignancy of the lyrics in these uncertain times is overwhelming, and an empowering sense of unity takes hold as the crowd heaves with bodies dancing and singing in solidarity. A really special end to what’s been a night filled with the most life-affirming vibes.

Massive thanks to the four incredible bands who played for us on Friday, and to all who came down and completely packed out the venue! Be sure to join us next month on 14th February, with Piney Gir, Grawl!x, Captain Handsome and I Am Her.

 

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

 

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ Screaming Toenail, 13.12.19

On what was a pretty devastating and terrifying day for most of us, on Friday 13th December – the day it was announced that we have to live under a Tory government for another five years – many of us ventured out, despite feeling emotionally drained by it all, for a night of live music. And what a special night it was; like-minded people coming together to share music, rage and love at a time when we need it the most.

Kicking things off, Foxcunt deliver their immense punk spirit and catchy tunes. Rallying against the patriarchy, ACAB and the home office, their energy-fuelled anti-establishment anthems are just what we need right now.

Next up, Manchester’s Dollie Demi lift our spirits with their sassy, vibrant spirit. As front woman Demi wows us all with her sparkling confidence, incredible classic-rock inspired riffs and driving beats are delivered with a swirling, fun-filled energy.

Third band of the night, Brighton’s LibraLibra, completely blow me away. Delivering their immense dance-punk creations, it’s utterly impossible not to become completely captivated by front woman Beth’s incredible dazzling magnetism as the full-force of her impassioned vocals blasts out alongside tribal beats and whirring hooks. A colossal cacophony that empowers and enlivens.

Headliners Screaming Toenail bring the night to a poignant end. Despite letting us know that they’re feeling emotionally drained by the awful revelations of the day, front person Jacob leads the band in uniting us in love and rage with their resonant, cathartic creations. Whether we’re being encouraged to scream ‘No’ in the face of any racism/homophobia/ableism we encounter, share names of powerful women we love, or simply acknowledge how cute we all are, Screaming Toenail ooze a a frenzied, raw emotion and vibrant spirit. And, with powerful – and all too resounding – offerings such as ‘Swarm’ and ‘Sever’, they soothe some of the day’s pain, filling the venue with a comforting sense of unity, as like-minded people come together to dance and sing in solidarity against the forces seeking to crush our spirit.

Massive thanks and love to the four incredible bands who powered through devastating times to come and play for us on Friday, and made it such a special night. We’ll be back at The Finsbury on 10th January 2020, with headliners Personal Best.

 

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

Track Of The Day: Screaming Toenail – ‘Sever’

Having first been introduced to London’s anti colonial queer punks Screaming Toenail when I was completely blown away by their live show supporting Petrol Girls last year, I was happy to discover that they’d shared a new video with the world yesterday.

Taken from their upcoming new album, ‘Sever’ is propelled by a dark, visceral drive as jangling hooks and the impassioned vocals of Jacob V Joyce envelop the ears with stirring resonance. With shades of the anthemic, emotive energy of The Cure, it’s a poignant slice of post-punk. A compelling and affecting offering that demands multiple listens. Of the track, the band explain:

‘Sever’ is written in response to the never ending saga of getting your hair cut as a gender non conforming person. Or is it our response to the displacement so many of us feel as black and brown people in the diasora? Or maybe building queer community and resisting shame...”

Filmed in Trinidad (by Arnaldo James) and London (by Nichola M J Davis), watch the new video for ‘Sever’ here:

Catch Screaming Toenail live:

19th September – Pop, Brixton (AFROPUNK Battle Of The Bands)
13th DecemberThe Finsbury, London (for Get In Her Ears – we can’t wait!)

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

 

 

LIVE: Peaches @ Royal Festival Hall, 28.08.19

Wednesday, 28th September 2019: another day of exceptionally soul-destroying news about the state that the country/the world is in; a day when I particularly need a lift, something to restore my faith in humanity. I feel extremely grateful, then, that it is tonight that I get to see the legendary Peaches. All round pop and punk icon, pioneer of sex positive queer feminism, multi-media artist and exceptional musician, I’ve been wanting to see her live for years, and this mind blowing experience couldn’t have come at a better time. 

It also couldn’t have happened at a better venue; though it may not be considered the most ‘punk’ of places, the Royal Festival Hall is the perfect setting. With its epic, old time grandeur, high quality sound, and accessible, spaced out seating, you’re guaranteed a clear view and hearing from any angle, so all the usual gig worry of getting squashed, not being able to see/hear, and generally being uncomfortable or slightly stressed is taken away. I feel very honoured to be there, even before the show starts. 

And then the spectacle begins – an all womxn band filled with strings, brass and percussion begin to play as dancers (aka ‘Clusterfuck’) appear in skin tight bodysuits dressed as sperm and vaginas. Peaches isn’t even on the stage yet, and the euphoric sex-positive vibes are already flowing.

Introduced by vibrant performer ‘Anita Drink’, Peaches takes to the stage, covered in layers of hair, for masturbation-celebration anthem ‘Rub’. Whilst a fantastic, stimulating start, it is only when Peaches urges everyone to “rise with me”, asserting “don’t let the stiffness of your seat stop you doing anything”, that we’re really able to climax. At her direction, the crowd immediately loses inhibitions and is able to fully immerse themselves in the incredible, unifying experience that is There’s Only One Peach With The Hole In The Middle

As a fleet of living vaginas strut alongside her for ‘Vaginoplasty’, Peaches sheds her hair suit and commands our absolute attention with her flamboyant energy and magnetising charisma. Only a few songs in, and already the utterly inclusive and hugely empowering spirit oozing from Peaches has encompassed the entire venue, a sea of fans of all genders/ages/preferences celebrating the immense sense of freedom that being in the company of this performer induces. And no more so than when the modified lyrics of ‘I U She’ are chanted in unison – “Gender Fluid Make Some Noise”. 

After a costume change into what seems to be a rather fetching pink swimsuit, Peaches is greeted to the stage once again by some snazzy keytars for ‘Talk To Me’ and, as she climbs into the crowd, taking a sip of a fan’s drink, she exudes all that admirable uninhibited sense of quirky cool, before climbing back onto the stage. Joined by none other than Iggy Pop (in virtual form on a screen), she bounces into ‘Kick It’ with a relentless, angsty energy. 

Surrounded by raging guitars for ‘Rock Show’, the stage suddenly bursts into a frenzy, as dancers of all kinds swirl around her; a surrealist, truly joyous celebration of total inclusivity. From utter euphoria to the sound of discordant screeching strings, Peaches then reappears from an inflated, epic dress, in which dancers are squirming, for heartstring-tugging anthem ‘Free Drink Ticket’; showing herself capable of fusing together a rock show with an art installation; a classical ballet with a hip-hop battle. She is beyond genre, beyond gender, and beyond even my wildest expectations. 

Joined once again by Anita Drink taking Kim Gordon’s place for ‘Close Up’, Peaches then comes in for her ‘Diva Moment’. Sharing that it’s not the first time she’s been here – she’s supported Suede at David Bowie’s Meltdown event in 2002, seen Grace Jones perform, and even sung alongside Yoko Ono – her nostalgic interlude reminds us that she certainly has every right to a ‘Diva Moment’ or few, and now that she’s here in her own right for her own mind-altering show, she deserves every single bit of attention possible. 

Following the throbbing energy of ‘AA XXX’, Peaches swaps her hair suit for some cool shades and we’re treated to the utterly immersive, hypnotic hold of ‘Take You On’ performed on what looks two giant theramins (but are probably just lights). And, as she sings “you can’t mess with me”, I firmly believe this strong, impassioned performer standing before me. 

And just when you think things can’t get any more totally breathtaking, an aerial gymnast is elevated up into the rafters, spinning and balancing impressively, all the while mesmerising the crowd with the lasers shooting out of her bum hole – a perfect accompaniment as Peaches belts out “I’ve got light in places you didn’t know could shine”, leaving us questioning if there’s anything this innovative artist hasn’t got in store to wow us with. 

Then there’s the energy-fuelled boxing match-inspired dance moves of ‘Boys Wanna Be Her’; the all encompassing screeches of an incredible violinist’s strings as she’s carried off stage by a group of dancers; an absolutely immersive performance by one flexible male member (no pun intended..) of Clusterfuck to ‘I Feel Cream’; the totally unforgettable sight of two giant inflatable penises with someone dancing inside to ‘Dick In The Air’. There simply isn’t a moment when something completely spectacular isn’t taking place. 

Whether Peaches is being joined once more by Anita Drink as we all shake our tits along to ‘Shake Yer Dix’, or we’re witnessing a breathtaking tower of dancers as Peaches blasts out ‘I Mean Something’, every single second blows me away. 

I’m relieved, then, that there’s an encore. Peaches re-emerges as sparkly and spectacular as ever, plus a snazzy hat, for an impressive delivery of ‘Dumb Fuck, before going on to introduce every single person involved in the production of the show, including all stage managers and technicians; an admirable gesture for a performance of this scale, and one which only goes to demonstrate Peaches’ dedication to complete inclusivity. 

With everyone on stage together, the show closes with celebratory anthem, and perhaps Peaches’ most well-known offering, ‘Fuck The Pain Away’. And so ends the most innovative, empowering, inspiring and utterly joyous show I think I’ve ever seen. Restore my faith in humanity, Peaches certainly has. Whether surrounded by spangling dancers, living vaginas, a marching band, or simply standing alone, chest bare, Peaches encompasses a perfect celebration of everything queer, wonderful, weird and totally life-affirming.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Lydia Daniller

Track Of The Day: Suggested Friends – ‘Cygnets’

Having been completely addicted to Suggested Friends‘ eponymous debut release over the last couple of years, and having being utterly charmed by them at numerous gigs in that time, I couldn’t be more excited to hear that they have just announced the release of their second album.

To coincide with the announcement, Suggested Friends have shared new single ‘Cygnets’. With totally dreamy harmonies and the distinctive heartfelt crystalline vocals of Faith Taylor, it’s filled with an infectious jangly scuzz and stirring raw emotion, complete with some impressive rollicking riffage. Of the track, Faith explains:

This song documents the uneasy process of learning to trust yourself and therefore also trust other people. It refers to ‘digital birds’ because my bird-sound alarm clock mixed in with the sounds of the actual dawn chorus and became a metaphor for discerning which messages and voices to believe.”

Cygnets‘ is accompanied by a home-taped video filmed in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, on the band’s recent 2018 US tour date. Watch now:

I just can’t get enough of Suggested Friends, and cannot wait for their new album Turtle Taxi, which is set for release on 4th October. Catch Suggested Friends live:

26th September – Metronome, Nottingham (supporting Camp Cope)
9th October – Shacklewell Arms, London (album launch show)
12th October – The Old Cold Store, Nottingham (Nottingham Pop All-Dayer)
25th October – DIY Space For London (Weenfest)

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Playlist: 50 Years Of Pride

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots which triggered the modern LGBTQ+ liberation movement in the US and beyond. On the 28th June 1969, the bar’s patrons clashed with police officers in a raid that was not uncommon during that era. However, this time they’d had enough, this time the patrons fought back. Two people in particular made a significant impact that night but the history books often forget – two transgender women of colour named: Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.

This night lit a match underneath the modern LGBTQ+ movement we see living on worldwide in Pride celebrations, protests and marches today.

So much has happened in the last 50 years both in favour and against the LGBTQ+ communities; in my lifetime alone I’ve seen the World Health Organisation declassify same-sex attraction as a mental illness, I’ve seen Section 28 being repealed, and equal marriage being passed into law but I’ve also seen a significant increase in the levels of isolation and loneliness within the LGBTQ+ communities, and the number of homophobic, and especially transphobic, hate crimes more than doubling in the last 5 years.

50 years on from the Stonewall Riots we have seen progress, but we are not at the finish line yet! As trans activist Charlie Craggs said “trans women of colour need you to fight for them the way they fought for you 50 years ago, there is still more to be done, the battle is not over.”

Which is why at Pride this year as I march in the parade, I will be marching to celebrate everything we have achieved and I will be protesting for everything that is to come because our mantra is: we’re here, we’re queer and yes sometimes we’re afraid, but we are never ashamed because we are proud of who we are!

– Tash Walker

To mark this momentous anniversary, Tash, Mari and Kate have put together some tunes to celebrate LGBTQ+ liberation, as we continue to push for progress. Read about our chosen tracks and have a listen below! 

Hercules & Love Affair – ‘Blind’
Taken from their self-titled album released in 2008, the same year I attended London Pride for the first time, this is without a doubt the theme tune to me fully embracing my sexuality, feeling proud of who I was and strong enough to come out happily in all aspects of my life.
Tash Walker

Le Tigre – ‘Keep On Livin’
Pioneers of queer culture, Le Tigre’s ‘Keep On Livin’ remains a motivational anthem to anyone going through a hard time. Inspired by the feelings surrounding both ‘coming out’ as a survivor of sexual abuse, and coming out as gay, lesbian, bi or trans, it’s a pure cathartic release of emotion.
Mari Lane

Robyn – ‘Dancing On My Own’
Robyn is an outspoken ally for LGBTQ+ rights. I think it is important to recognise the role that allies play within LGBTQ+ history and the movement’s continued fight for equality.
TW

Lady Gaga – ‘Born This Way’
A dance-floor filling anthem that celebrates self-acceptance.
Kate Crudgington

RuPaul – ‘Sissy That Walk’
Pioneering drag queen RuPaul’s message of self love and motivation is encapsulated in this uplifting anthem, as she sings one of her classic mottos: “Unless they paying your bills, pay them bitches no mind.”
ML

Planningtorock – ‘Non Binary Femme’
This track summed up 2018 for me, a year that gave with free abundance in good music, in particular Planningtorock’s album Powerhouse. Any album that uses the language Non-Binary Femme in the title of the song is unarguably paving the way for not only a greater/better understanding of what these words and this sort of language means, but also for it to become a fully accepted part of everyday conversation.
TW

Princess Nokia – ‘Tom Boy’
Openly queer rapper and all round inspiration, Princess Nokia writes powerful, feminist anthems promoting self love and body positivity, refusing to fit into stereotypical gender norms.
ML 

Mykki Blanco (feat. Princess Nokia) – ‘Wish You Would’
This is a song from an artist who I feel needs no introduction, a queer pioneer who is doing amazing things for LGBTQ+ rights as well as being open about their positive HIV status. Mykki Blanco is an incredible artist and I love his music.
TW

Syd – ‘All About Me’
One of my favourite tracks from Syd who is openly LGBTQ+ and you may know from the excellent collective The Internet.
TW

Shura – ‘2shy’
I just love this track from London artist Shura, who has been consistently challenging stereotypes since she came out as a lesbian a couple of years ago and helping to “queer the mainstream”. Bring on the blurring of gender and sexuality in pop!
TW

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
A pioneer for transgender rights in the late 60s, Jackie Shane lived her life as a woman in the spotlight, during a time when compassion and acceptance were not always reciprocated towards those who identified as trans.
KC

Cyndi Lauper – ‘True Colours’
An uplifting anthem often associated with the LGBTQ+ community, ‘True Colours’ openly asserts for us to love ourselves for who we are. Lauper has often dedicated the song to a friend of hers who died from HIV/AIDs, and has since co-founded the ‘True Colours’ fund – a non-profit that educates people on LGBTQ issues and helps to end homelessness for LGBTQ youth.
ML

King Princess – ‘1950’
Something that I am really proud of here in the UK is the latest generation of LGBTQ+ people, who continually amaze me with their openness and their acceptance of how others identify in their sexuality and gender identity, so different from when I was growing up. ‘1950’ by King Princess is an excellent example of the progression we have made throughout the last 60 years.
TW

Anna Calvi – ‘Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy’
Anna Calvi describes this track as being “beyond definition”, because queerness is beyond definition. Her whole Hunter album celebrates what it is to be queer in a wonderfully honest, binary-destroying way. Summing it up, she explains: “I want to go beyond gender. I don’t want to have to chose between the male and female in me.”
ML

Bang Bang Romeo – ‘Shame On You’
Fronted by loud and proud lesbian Stars, Bang Bang Romeo completely blew us away with their immense soulful power and compelling charisma when playing Cro Cro Land earlier this year.
ML

Dream Nails – ‘Deep Heat’
A hex on Donald Trump and the patriarchy in general, our fave DIY punks Dream Nails know how to boost up their community in times of need.
KC

The Menstrual Cramps – ‘The Smash’
Combining activism with musical prowess, and fully embracing queerness, The Menstrual Cramps provide a captivating, empowering force that we all need now more than ever.
ML

T-Bitch – ‘Dressing Up’
Southend riot grrrl punks T-Bitch celebrate all things trans, queer & glam!
KC

T-Bitch EP by T-Bitch

Queen Zee – ‘Boy’
One of the most relevant (and joyful) bands around at the moment. I’d put them on every playlist if it was up to me!
KC

Ezra Furman – ‘Suck The Blood From My Wound’
Openly bisexual and androgynous artist Ezra Furman’s latest album Transangelic Exodus really knocked my for six in its spine-tingling beauty and raw emotion. This track is particularly stirring, its concept serving as a metaphor for queer liberation and the defiance of the underdog.
ML

Grace Petrie – ‘Black Tie’
Addressing the damaging effects of enforced gender norms, this is an empowering and uplifting offering, addressing a younger self with reassuring lyrics such as “I swear there’ll come a day when you won’t worry what they say, on the labels, on the doors, you will figure out what’s yours.”
ML

Janelle Monae – ‘Pynk’
A brash celebration of creation. Self love. Sexuality. And p-ssy power!  Need I say more.
TW

Frank Ocean – ‘Chanel’
Such a great song. As you may or may not know, Frank Ocean came out back in 2012 to mixed but mainly positive responses.
TW

Queen – ‘Love Of My Life’
Just a heartbreaking love song written by the legendary Freddie Mercury. Once, when asked about his sexuality, Mercury replied with “I’m gay as a daffodil, my dear!”. A brave statement to make back in 1974.
ML 

Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy’
This track was released in 1984 at the height of the AIDS crisis by openly gay Bronski Beat, ‘Smalltown Boy’ is a heartbreaking story given an empowering beat.
TW

Anthony & The Johnsons – ‘For Today I Am A Boy’
A stirring and powerful ode to the journey of transitioning, a simply exquisite creation.
ML

Have a listen to, and follow, our 50 Years Of Pride playlist, here:

 

Tash Walker / @maudeandtrevor
Mari Lane / @marimindles
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut