GIHE: Personal Highlights Of 2020

2020 has been a year unlike any other and we’ll be glad to see the back of it, but before we wave goodbye, the GIHE team would like to share some of their personal highlights. Thanks to everyone who has been following, reading or listening to GIHE this year. It really does mean the world to us and we couldn’t do this without you.

Shared Highlights

Seeing the GIHE name appear in a PHYSICAL BOOK was a landmark moment for the team this year. Music journalist Lucy O’Brien mentioned us in her 25th anniversary edition of She Bop, a fantastic book that explores the role of female artists and how they’ve helped to shape the music industry. You can buy your copy here.

Fellow GIHE Co-Founder Tash Walker was super busy recording & producing series 2 of The Log Books throughout 2020, a podcast which explores the history of the LGBTQ community via the phone archives of LGBT+ charity Switchboard. Tash is a co-chair at Switchboard and she is dedicated to celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ community through her work with them, and through her work with GIHE. She is one of the most resilient, informed and hilarious people we know and it’s a privilege to work alongside her and call her a friend. The Log Books are a truly necessary listen for all.

Now for some personal highlights…

Kate Crudgington (Features Editor)

GIHE usually takes up a big part of my life, but it was a lifeline for me during March of this year when the government text me (lol) telling me to shield for 12 weeks. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to talk to the people who were making the music that was distracting me from the panic-inducing headlines, reminding me what a huge privilege it is to have access to this amazing platform.

As our followers already know, Lockdown 1.0 instantly put a stop to our weekly GIHE new music shows on Hoxton Radio. We had 16 weeks off air, so when it was “safe” for me to go back in to the studio in July I was buzzing with excitement (which you can hear in my voice if you listen back to the show here.)

Like most platforms during the pandemic, we embraced technology and started interviewing artists over Zoom instead of inviting them in to the studio for the usual chat and live session. We managed to get time with Jessica Winter, BISHI, Lucy O’Brien, Tessa from Girlhood, Julia-Sophie, Lizzie from Bitch Falcon, Grave Goods, Problem Patterns, ZAND, Hannah from PELA, Seraphina-Simone & Penelope Trappes. It was so lovely to see Tash in person in the studio most weeks, and while we both missed seeing Mari a great deal, her weekly track contributions to the show still made it feel like a GIHE team effort.

At the beginning of the year, I was invited by Niall Jackson, one of the hosts of Riverside Radio’s The Irish Jam, to be a contributor to their New Music Sunday section. Co-hosted by Kealan, Mel and Rob, The Irish Jam is a London based radio show that celebrates and promotes music from Irish artists. The crossover of favourite bands between GIHE & the Jam is huge and something I’ve enjoyed chatting to the team about both on and off air. They’ve introduced me to the likes of CMAT, fears, Denise Chaila, Silverbacks and Celaviedmai, whilst I’ve shared tracks by Kynsy, Party Fears and CAMI with them. Listening to their show on a Sunday evening continues to be a wonderful distraction from life.

Who could’ve predicted that bandcamp would become the musical hero of 2020? When the streaming platform announced that on the first Friday of every month they’d be waiving their fees so that 100% of profits would be going directly to artists, my newsfeeds were awash with new music recommendations. Moving home to Essex from London in March meant I actually had some expendable income to buy new records, so I was furiously typing bespoke recommendation threads on Twitter every time the date rolled around. bandcamps’ generosity meant you were able to genuinely support your friends (and the artists you secretly wish you were friends with) during a truly depressing year for music.

Normally, we’d be picking our live music highlights too, but for obvious reasons, we’ve hardly been to any gigs this year. Mari had to cancel half of the gigs GIHE she had booked pre-pandemic and it’s fucking depressing to not know when it will be (properly) safe for her to book more. That’s why I feel incredibly fortunate to have wedged in one last GIHE gig before Lockdown 1.0. GIHE worked together with Sofar Sounds to put together a special International Women’s Day gig at their Hackney HQ in March, with Beckie Margaret, Amahla and Indian Queens on the bill. It was so exciting (and nerve-racking) to host the evening with fellow GIHE pal Tash too. Even if I’d had a year full of gigs, this one still would’ve made my highlights list.

One last gloat – I published some of my all-time favourite features on our website this year. My Zoom interviews with the wonderful A.A Williams, the hilarious CMAT and the ultra talented Lido Pimienta are well worth a read.

Mari Lane (Managing Editor)

It goes without saying, most of the highlights I’d normally mention at this time of year were not able to go ahead in the void of 2020. They would normally consist of the monthly gigs that I host at The Finsbury, whereas this year I was only able to put on two before Covid hit. And, in addition to having to cancel at least seven of our regular gigs, we were pretty heartbroken to cancel what would have been our very first festival, due to take place in July. However, I did manage to fit in a couple of memorable live experiences before being confined to being permanently pyjama clad; my only weekly highlight being our regular beer delivery from Croydon’s Art & Craft bar.

The first gig I hosted this year felt particularly special. Personal Best headlined a night filled with all the best vibes. Drawing the night to a memorable close, front person Katie Gatt dedicated their set closer to the queer community. As a sea of buoyant voices joined 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 was overwhelming and an empowering sense of unity took hold. The night also included the shimmering folk-strewn offerings of Athabaska, the quirky energy and sparkling charisma of Nun Habit and the sun-drenched swirling anthems of Hurtling. There is nothing quite like that joyous sense of togetherness that comes from hosting gigs filled with like-minded wonderful people.

I was also lucky enough to fit in seeing one of my all time favourite bands with a few of my all time favourite people. The last time that Tash, Kate, Paul and I were all together pre-Covid was for Sleater Kinney at Brixton Academy – a pretty special night. Not only did I get to see the legendary Carrie Brownstein deliver her distinctive gritty, scuzz-filled riffs alongside Corin Tucker’s unmistakable swooning vocals in the flesh, conjuring up massive feelings of awe and nostalgia, but they were supported by one of our favourite current bands. The second time we’d seen Big Joanie on the Brixton Academy stage (the first being opening for Bikini Kill last year!), they showcased just how deserving they are of their rising success; with their unique, raw, post-punk soundscapes and poignant lyricism, they delivered an absolutely incredible set. A truly memorable night.

My last ‘outing’ before lockdown was to the BBC 6Music festival for International Women’s Day at The Roundhouse. An epic line-up consisting of some incredible women and non-binary folk that I’m incredibly grateful I got to witness before everything fell apart. In addition to the immense poignant power of Jehnny Beth, the utterly beguiling splendour of Nadine Shah (who I fell in love with there and then), and the completely mind-blowing presence of hero Kim Gordon, Kae Tempest delivered a fiercely moving, truly breath-taking headline set.

And then gigs were gone. To be replaced by online streamed “events” which I think have had mixed reviews over the last few months – they’re of course no replacement for the “real thing” and it’s hard to feel motivated to “attend” things when you’ve been on the sofa in your pjs for weeks. However, I have managed to organise a few GIHE Instagram ‘Takeovers’, featuring some of our favourite bands and artists. From ARXX’s drum and guitar lessons, LibraLibra’s quirky tele-sales style feature and Tiger Mimic’s interviews with others on the scene, to inspiring chats with Amaroun, Eckoes, Foundlings and Husk, beaut “live” sessions from Gold Baby, Scrounge and KIN, and King Hannah’s EP run through, I feel grateful that so many creatives have wanted to be involved.

It’s a strange time, no doubt, but one which is made that much better by a sense of togetherness within the community. One positive from all this really has been the mutual support and genuine care that I’ve seen musicians and those within the industry show for each other.

John McGovern (Contributor)

On the one hand, there’s been almost no gigs, no festivals, much fewer physical releases and closed record shops. On the other, BBC 6Music’s response helped me stay indoors and make the most of my furlough life. Lauren Laverne‘s show was extended to cover the late morning, running to nearly double the length of most of the other shows on the station and basically saw her appointed as chief mood-lifter for the BBC’s flagship alternative music station. Amongst the days of uncertainty, where even leaving the house offered the risk of serious illness, with no guarantee of a job at the end of the summer, having Lauren there to soundtrack breakfast/brunch made a world of difference. It produced a kind of odd stasis: the background radiation of a pandemic, but an excellent range of music, usually featuring a smattering of classics, new music and obscure gems. The only disappointment was when the schedule reverted back to usual come the end of lockdown. Hopefully, that same semblance of normality will be back for us all, soon.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read our highlights!

You can read about our GIHE Albums of 2020 here and our GIHE Tracks Of 2020 here.

Keep an eye out for our Ones To Watch in 2021 feature next week!

Get In Her Ears talks #TransAwarenessWeek 14.11.19

Kate was back in the studio this week playing loads of new music from the likes of PINS, The Dolly Shakes, Chartreuse, Despicable Zee, Big Joanie, Alessi’s Ark & HAVVK.

To highlight #TransAwarenessWeek, Kate & the GIHE grrrls also chose tracks from some of their fave trans artists, including Planningtorock, Queen Zee, Shea Diamond, ANOHNI & Jackie Shane.

If you identify as trans and are seeking advice or support, you can contact the UK-based charity Switchboard LGBT+ on their helpline: 0300 330 0630

Listen back:

Tracklist
Queen Zee – Boy
Le Butcherettes – Tunisia
Noga Erez – Off The Radar
The Dolly Shakes – Deep Fat Fryer
Planningtorock – Transome
The Mysterines – Who’s Ur Girl?
Lucia And The Best Boys – Good Girls Do Bad Things
Big Joanie – Fall Asleep
Alessi’s Ark – Born Free
Shea Diamond – I Am Her
Chromatics – Move A Mountain
PINS – Ponytail (Orielles remix)
HAVVK – Operate
Gazelle Twin – Glory
CN Lester – Heroes (David Bowie cover)
Chartreuse – Woman, I’m Crazy
Siv Disa – Moths
Anohni – 4 Degrees
Argonaut – Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Piss Kitti – Girls In i-D
Captain Handsome – I Wish I Had A Dog
Despicable Zee – Counting Cars
Lucy Barton – Roadrunner
Salsola – Cass
JAAYNS – Natural Born Enemies
Mariuk – The Sword
CRISP&CLASSY – Suffocate
Weekend Recovery – Going Nowhere
LibraLibra – Tongues
ILL – Kick Him Out The Disco
The Joy Formidable – Austere
Jackie Shane – Any Other Way

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 (Co-Founder of GIHE & Co-Chair for Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline)

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