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

Guest Blog: Potpourri (‘Love Letters’ to Sisters Uncut)

In the wake of events such as the murders of Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, and the recent passing of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, organisations such as Sisters Uncut have been doing vital work in uniting people to fight injustice, providing a strong voice to highlight diminishing funds and government representation that leave people vulnerable, protecting those in need.

Sheffield band Potpourri have recognised the immense of importance of Sisters Uncut, and so wanted to show their gratitude and love for the organisation by putting together ‘Love Letters’: a compilation of beautiful tunes by DIY artists who feel strongly about the cause. Including favourites such as PINS, Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business, Y.A.Y MARIA and The Crystal Furs, amongst many others, it’s a heartfelt ode to not only draw attention to Sisters Uncut’s vital work, but to raise funds for them at a time when they need it the most.

We spoke to Lauren from Potpourri about the decision to release Love Letters… Have a read and buy on bandcamp now!

Sisters Uncut is an incredible British feminist direct action group that has catalysed a current of empowerment, creating accessibility for people to come together, find the confidence to open dialogue, and express their right to be free and equal citizens. The Kill The Bill coalition established consciousness of the danger against Roma, Traveller, and Gypsy communities, and unveiled the increase of tools of state violence against communities that already bear the brunt of a racist, sexist criminal justice system.

It felt important to send love and gratitude to the people working tirelessly to end violence against women and non-binary people. Their graft couldn’t go unnoticed and we felt that if there was a way we could use our art to stand in solidarity, we would.

The lockdown meant that a fundraiser gig couldn’t take place, but we could still contribute and act in a different way to fight the rollback of human rights. I wanted our first Love Letter compilation to reflect the Sisters Uncut feministo, reaching out to female and gender-variant artists who themselves are creating gorgeous music with a DIY ethos and building their own pockets of togetherness. It was a blessing to connect with fellow bands, especially when bands haven’t been crossing paths for the last year, and together support a movement we feel so dearly about. Everyone who contributed to the cassette condemns the awful systemic violence that Sisters Uncut work so hard to draw attention to and fight against.

Massive thanks to Lauren for talking to us about this vital and beautiful compilation. Buy Love Letters on bandcamp now, and find out more about Sisters Uncut here. And below see the accompanying ‘love letter’ from all the bands involved to Sisters Uncut.

LISTEN: Dream Nails – ‘Payback’

A rallying cry against the lack of justice for survivors of sexual violence; GIHE favourites Dream Nails have shared their powerful new single ‘Payback’. Taken from their upcoming self-titled debut album, set for release 3rd April via Alcopop! Records, the track is accompanied by a poignant video showcasing the work of UK feminist activist group, Sisters Uncut.

With it’s mantra-like lyrics – “Hey mister, get your hands off my sister” – and abrasive guitar riffs, Dream Nails have created an aural call to arms that vehemently protests the rights of domestic violence survivors. The track is heavy in terms of volume and context, but as is the case for so many of Dream Nails tracks, it’s also tear-jerking because of the depressing reality behind their catchy lyricism.

Vocalist Janey Starling provides further insight: “In the UK, only 1.5% of rape cases lead to a charge or summons. ‘Payback’ is a song about how the UK criminal justice system fails survivors – and we’re angry about it. This is a country where two women are murdered every week by a partner or ex-partner. So many women have lived through sexual and physical abuse, and carry the scars and memories of that – but will never see justice for it.”

Drummer Lucy Katz adds that the single is “fuelled by fury borne from our experiences and the stories we hear from our peers, from the news, and in our day jobs. We are sick and tired of being failed and gaslit again and again by a state and a system that does not care about the continued abuse of women.”

Whilst there is a necessary and underlying rage throughout ‘Payback’, Guitarist Anya Pearson reminds us that it provides time and space to blow off some steam: “This is a tune to mosh to, throw yourself around with your sisters and non binary babes in the pit and scream the chorus: “One day we’ll make you pay””

Dream Nails are a vital force in both musical and activist societies, and their refusal to accept sub-standard treatment for their fans and their allies is why we keep returning to their music time, and time again. Watch the video for ‘Payback’ below, and follow Dream Nails on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Dream Nails UK Tour Dates 2020
10 April Cardiff, Wales Goes Pop!
11 April Leicester, The Shed
22 April St Albans, The Horn
23 April London, Oslo – Album Release Show
24 April Bristol, Louisiana
25 April Reading, Are You Listening? Festival
26 April Southampton, Heartbreakers
29 April Leeds, Oporto
30 April Manchester, Castle
02 May Edinburgh, Stag & Dagger Festival
03 May Newcastle, Hit The North
09-11 July Cheltenham, 2000Trees Festival
31 Jul – 01 Aug Oxfordshire, Truck Festival

Photo Credit: Marieke Macklon

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Gaptooth – ‘Sharp Minds, Raised Fists’

Gaptooth – singer, songwriter and producer Hannah Lucy – wears her influences on her sleeve (quite literally, if you check out the video for ‘Post-Patriarchy Disco’). And, like the feminist punk bands she loves, Sharp Minds, Raised Fists has purpose and a pure punk attitude. Yet the poppy synths, crunchy guitars and electro beats make it feel accessible, too.

And accessibility is everything when your message is so important. Gaptooth’s impassioned lyrics are a call to arms; a rallying cry against the patriarchy and capitalism. It’s hard not to get fired up by them. In ‘Red flags’, you feel and share her anger: “We wanna stay sexy and not get murdered,” she sings, “We’re still walking home with our keys in our fists.”

‘They Cut, We Bleed’ is peppered with samples from marches arranged by the feminist direct action group, Sisters Uncut. It feels ground-breaking and powerful. Meanwhile, ‘I Am Not My Productivity’ is an anti-capitalist anthem for anyone who feels like work is sucking the life out of them. And God, there’s a lot of us!

Sharp Minds, Raised Fists includes some more personal songs, too. ‘Mixtape Song’ and ‘Why I Left You Standing Outside Pizza Express’ offer an insight into both Hannah Lucy’s life and what it means to be a woman or non-binary person today.

This is an accomplished, important record. It sounds great; a real triumph of song-writing, performance and production. But more than that, it feels like Sharp Minds, Raised Fists could really inspire and empower people. It could soundtrack a movement.

You know the old adage about how everyone who attended the Sex Pistols gig at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester started a band? Similarly, perhaps this record will make people start a revolution.

Sharp Minds, Raised Fists is out 11th October. Pre-order on Bandcamp now.

Vic Conway

Photo Credit: Keira Anee Photography