LIVE: Deep Throat Choir @ Purcell Rooms, Southbank Centre, 02.04.19

Following a breathtaking and truly immersive performance from opening act Mich Cota, Deep Throat Choir take to the stage in the intimate setting of The Purcell Room at The Southbank Centre, and my Tuesday immediately improves by 100%.

Since I first saw Deep Throat Choir here at The Southbank Centre for Women Of The World festival about five years ago, the Luisa Gerstein-lead group have grown in both size and power. What started as a small, acapella singing group accompanied by drums has now developed into a large collective of female-identifying musicians and vocalists, creating an uplifting force of nature in the sound they deliver.

Treating us to a mix of covers and originals – old and new – they start off with a dazzling new number before luscious offerings from their debut album Be OK, including the soaring harmonies of ‘The Wave’ and the exquisite soulful splendour of ‘Hey Mami’. Brightening a wet and windy evening with the matching oranges and pinks of their outfits accompanying the empowering sweeping vocal melodies they create together, they continue to take my breath away with a unique arrangement of one of last year’s innovative collaborations with Simian Mobile Disco.

Filling the intimate venue with their immense vocal majesty, I’m once again reminded that seeing Deep Throat Choir live never fails to inspire and lift the spirits. And, as they close the set with their shimmering rendition of Amy Winehouse’s ‘In My Bed’, I’m left with a euphoric sense of joy; epitomising the exceptional power of women coming together to create, they unite their voices to summon a force that is truly awe-inspiring.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Get In Her Ears w/ Bengi Unsal 14.03.19

Tash and Kate were back in the Hoxton Radio studio this week with all the new music, including tracks from Stainwasher, Dwen, Mammoth Penguins and Annavr.

They were joined in the studio by the Southbank Centre’s Senior Contemporary Music Programmer Bengi Unsal, who talked about their upcoming Meltdown festival, her re-branding of Friday Tonic and their success with Concrete Lates.

Listen back:

@getinherears
@maudeandtrevor
@KCBobcut

LIVE: Laura Gibson @ Queen Elizabeth Hall, 13.11.18

Having first fallen in love with Laura Gibson’s delicate, soaring vocals upon hearing 2016’s Empire Builder, it was an honour to be able to catch her live at one of my favourite London spaces last Tuesday.

Upon commencing her set at Queen Elizabeth Hall, a humble Gibson takes to the stage along with a trio of musicians, thanking us all for being there and revealing that when she creates music, she’s at her “most alone” but now – sharing her creations with us – she’s at her “most connected”. Immediately oozing her trademark spellbinding charm, and looping together layers of twinkling musicality, she treats our ears to a selection of offerings, from both her new album Goners and 2016’s aforementioned collection. From the majestic, folk-strewn melodies of the likes of ‘Slow Joke Grin’ and the sparkling splendour of ‘I Carry Water’ to the gentle, stirring emotion of ‘Damn Sure’, each poignant track tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways.

Despite issues with a broken cable , Gibson remains calm, maintaining her charming rapport and endearing humour with the crowd throughout – “Well, the cable has been around the world with me, I guess London will be its final resting place”. And, when recalling the difficulties of touring Goners in certain European countries where the word doesn’t quite translate, her gentle wit continues to shine through.

With the majority of the set seeing Gibson at the helm of the keys, with her new material having generally more of an eclectic, musically varied sound that older offerings, she reveals that “… it’s been good to be free from the guitar strap”, before placing it over her head once more and breaking into the gritty whirring hooks of ‘Tenderness’. Succeeding in casting her spell over the crowd, Gibson’s sweeping vocals and heartfelt emotion is showcased at its more raw and spine-tinglingly powerful in (personal favourite) ‘Marjory’; a beautifully intimate offering complete with heady, soul-stirring strings courtesy of Kyleen King.

Following the closing two tracks from Goners, ‘Thomas’ and ‘I Don’t Want Your Voice To Move Me’, Gibson draws the set to a close with the glistening, uptempo sounds of Empire Builder’s ‘Not Harmless’. And all at once it becomes crystal clear that she is perfectly suited to playing in a venue of such prestige; the exquisite cinematic splendour of each and every offering matching its subtle grandeur completely.

Although I unfortunately had to make my way home before Dan Mangan took to the stage (and apparently played some wonderful songs with Laura too), what I did see of Gibson I am extremely grateful for. In a world that’s so swamped in darkness and fear at the moment, I couldn’t help but be filled with a certain sense of hope witnessing her heartfelt, exquisite grace and dreamy allure.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

LIVE: Indian Queens – Meltdown Festival 2018, London 15.06.18

After watching Hackney trio Indian Queens perform to a packed out Purcell Room at The Southbank Centre last night, we have only one ambition: to become as skilled a guitarist as their front woman, Jennifer O’Neill. The band were hand-picked by The Cure’s Robert Smith to play his exceptionally well curated 2018 Meltdown Festival, and after their mesmeric, sharply executed, stunning performance; it’s easy to see why.

Together; Jennifer, bassist Katherine, and drummer Matt create thoughtful, atmospheric sounds reminiscent of bands like Warpaint and Radiohead. Performing against a backdrop of kaleidoscopic visuals – which were a fusion of live footage and urban buildings – Indian Queens played a captivating set, featuring their brand new single ‘Pretty Little Thing’, which was released via Cool Thing Records on the day of the show.

Bare-foot bassist Katherine was animated throughout, delivering her moody bass lines with stylish aplomb, whilst drummer Matt was the driving force behind it all – even after he dropped a stick, he recovered the rhythm seamlessly. Jennifer’s vocals were as magnetic as her guitar riffs; effortlessly anchoring the performance of singles ‘Save Yourself’ and ‘Get No Rest’. She confessed mid-way through that the band had accidentally their set-lists in the dressing room, but the trio moved from song-to-song with such ease and precision, this oversight was barely noticeable. Their set closed with a standing ovation, which was unsurprising, but entirely deserved.

If you haven’t caught Indian Queens live yet, a) what have you been doing? They were the secret openers for our March gig at The Finsbury earlier this year, and b) buy a ticket to their headline show at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen in October here. They’re a must-see for those who appreciate hypnotic, alternative, guitar-led tunes. We can’t wait to hear more from this compelling new band.

Photo Credit: Emma Viola Lilja 

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Indian Queens – ‘Pretty Little Thing’

Equal parts driving and delicate: the ever cool Indian Queens have shared their new track ‘Pretty Little Thing’ – and it’s as attractive to the ears as its namesake suggests. Released via Cool Thing Records today (June 15th), the single is an infectious blur of hypnotic vocals and shoe gaze guitar sounds.

“’Pretty Little’ Thing started as a childhood memory” explains guitarist and vocalist, Jennifer O’Neill. “My Nan and Grandads’s garden always sounded of birds and far off planes travelling to nicer places. It was a warm feeling and I didn’t want to be anywhere else”. This nostalgic undertone makes ‘Pretty Little Thing’ ring out with warmth and understated joy. Jennifer also designed the artwork for the single (pictured below) – titled ‘Self Portrait no.1 – Writer’s Block’ – making this release particularly personal.

Indian Queens have been championed by John Kennedy (Radio X), LOCK Magazine, they were added to Burberry’s emerging playlist on Apple Music, and they supported We Are Scientists on their recent tour. Now, they’re set to play at Southbank’s Meltdown Festival – curated by the inimitable Robert Smith – tonight, and we can’t wait to seem them live again. Listen to ‘Pretty Little Thing’ below, and follow Indian Queens on Facebook for more updates.

Grab your tickets for Indian Queens’ headline show at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen (12.10.18) here.

Photo Credit: Emma Viola Lilja 

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: June 2018

We’re mid-way through 2018, and we’re ready to share another playlist packed with fresh new sounds for your very eager ears! Take some time to scroll through our track selections, hit play on the Spotify link below, and let your ears fill up with the glorious new sounds of June…

Fever Ray – ‘If I Had A Heart’
Fever Ray were one of the headliners of Field Day this year and it could not have been a better end to the festival, hypnotic beats, terrifyingly warped vocals and an explosive stage performance. Gender bending outfits, with reverberating sound all whipped up together by the psychedelic and endorphin inducing visuals. When this track started I lost my mind – wow wow wow. (Tash Walker)

Catgod – ‘Keep My Promises’
Lead by sibling duo Robin and Catherine, Catgod’s new single interweaves swirling folk-tinged melodies with trip-hop inspired beats. As Robin’s soaring vocals are perfectly complemented by Cat’s exquisite harmonies, it showcases the band’s unique musicality in a cinematic soundscape that’ll captivate on first listen. Heartbeat In My Hand, the debut EP from Catgod, is out 22nd June. (Mari Lane)

Dott – ‘Bleached Blonde’
Galway’s Dott have released the perfect single for girls who love sunshine, surfing, and super-catchy garage pop anthems. The track is taken from their upcoming album Heart Swell, which is set to be released via Graveface Records on 8th June. It’s not on Spotify yet, but you can watch the video for it below. (Kate Crudgington)

S4U – ‘Heart’
‘Heart’ is the latest single London-based duo S4U (Something For You) taken from their upcoming Mixtape Heart 2 Say, which will be released via Different Recordings on 6th July. Looking forward to that a lot… I’m loving S4U’s new low-slung R&B experimental electro with some heavy 90s influences. Of the track S4U says “Curved, Parallel conscious, sub conscious, the synergy of heart and mind generates wise choices that benefit all. In other words as you appreciate that which is appreciating you. It is a wonderful thing to hold someone as your object of attention while you feel that G force Roses in Britain” Lovely. (TW)

The Menstrual Cramps – ‘Make Girls Feel Good’
Combining activism with musical prowess, The Menstrual Cramps provide a captivating force that we all need now more than ever.  With their fist-clenching ferocity, racing catchy hooks and a tongue in cheek wit, they create truly infectious punk-rock anthems. And this track is no exception – an epic dose of empowering energy, with lyrics like “you always look like such perfection that you don’t even need to try”, it’ll leave you feeling good and ready to take on the world. And we CANNOT WAIT to see The Menstrual Cramps headline for us at The Finsbury on Friday(ML) 

Slowcoaches – ‘Found Down’
Having previously captured our hearts with the totally epic, anti-toxic-masculinity anthem ‘Complex’, Slowcoaches are back with a new single. Racing with a seething energy, ‘Found Down’ hits your ears with its scuzzy riffs and the raw, angst-driven vocals of Heather Perkins. Oozing an immense, punk-fuelled power, it’s a perfect blast of raging honesty that we need now more than ever. (ML)

Placebo – ‘Scared Of Girls’
I scored tickets to Placebo’s Meltdown gig at Southbank Centre (curated by Robert Smith) and although this will be the fourth time I’ve seen them (quit bragging Kate), my heart is still beating double time with joy at the prospect of potentially hearing this track live. I imagine this song title accurately describes how most men feel when they see me dancing to it on a night out… (KC)

The Joy Formidable – ‘Dance Of The Lotus’
This is the band responsible for getting me in to alternative music a decade ago, so when I heard new single ‘Dance Of The Lotus’, my inner 18 year old imploded. They’re playing Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival on the same day as NIN, and they’ll be playing at one of my favourite venues, The Lexington, in August. I missed out on tickets for both, so if anyone wants to help a girl out…I write good reviews… (KC)

Hilary Woods – ‘Inhaler’
‘Inhaler’ is the first single from Hilary Woods’ upcoming debut solo album Colt, which is set to be released via my favourite label Sacred Bones Records on 8th June. It’s a pensive, delicate, melancholy track about her struggles with homesickness, and it’s going to sound beautiful live when ringing out against the walls of St Pancras Old Church on 11th June. (KC)

VTR – ‘Soul To Skin’
‘Soul To Skin’ is taken from Brixton duo VTR’s recently released EP of the same name via Dream Diary. So sultry, so smooth, so seductive. This track reverberates around my ears giving me so much audible pleasure, very excited to hear more from these two in the future. (TW)

Barrie – ‘Tal Uno’
The new single from Brooklyn’s Barrie, ‘Tal Uno’ is filled with jangly hooks and swooning vocals, creating a totally dreamy, twinkling soundscape. As glistening synth-filled melodies glide alongside glitchy beats, it’s impossible not to float away in the shimmering, psychedelic haze that Barrie create. (ML)

ELA Lindsey – ‘Healing Me Slow’
This is the debut track from Nashville’s singer-songwriter ELA Lindsey who found her musical passion later in life starting at the age of 29. She says that by releasing this single she hopes to inspire other women to start their artistic journeys later than the typical industry standard usually allows. ‘Healing Me Slow’ has been firmly stuck in my head over the last couple of weeks, starting with her sweet and gentle vocals, then breaking down into this dark electro synth laden TUNE. With all the hooks and loops I could ever want. INTO IT. (TW)

Tigercats – ‘Candy’s Tailor’
Tigercats’ new single ‘Candy’s Tailor’ is filled with twinkling, jangly melodies and uptempo, calypso-like beats. Flowing with raw vocals and rich layers of sound, it’s an utterly uplifting summer anthem, and I’m already getting pretty excited about seeing these guys at Indietracks Festival next month! Pig City, the new album from Tigercats, is out now. (ML)

Nine Inch Nails – ‘Ringfinger’
I only discovered the true glory of NINs last year (always late to the party, when will I learn?) but I’m seeing Trent Reznor & co twice this month – at Meltdown Festival & The Royal Albert Hall – and I am nerve-shreddingly excited. ‘Ringfinger’ is one of my favourite tracks on 1989’s Pretty Hate Machine, and although they’re unlikely to play it live – I’ll still be bouncing off the walls in anticipation leading up to the gigs. (KC)

Photo Credit: Slowcaoches shot by Priti Shikotra