Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ ARXX, 08.03.19

Following a host of amazing bands playing for us lately, including Wolf Girl, Sit Down, Fightmilk and Peach Club, we were back at The Finsbury to celebrate International Women’s Day on Friday, with a jam-packed night of the best new music from awesome womxn, and raising money for fantastic organisation The Outside Project.

Kicking things off is the wonderfully wacky Riot Grrrl-inspired sounds of Rainbow Corp. With her twinkling electronic soundscapes and honey-sweet Le Tigre-reminiscent vocals, it’s a perfectly uplifting start to our celebrations.

Next up, South London duo Scrounge once again blow us away with their immense, gritty offerings. Blasting out their unique brand of fierce post-punk, the raw intensity of Lucy’s captivating vocals combined with Luke’s raging, pummelling beats creates a truly colossal force to be reckoned with.

Penultimate band of the night, The Baby Seals, deliver a perfect accompaniment to International Women’s Day. With their fun-filled, empowering energy, they treat us to songs about everything from masturbation to getting ID-ed in ALDI. Championing autonomy and body positivity with a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek wit, they leave us united and ready to celebrate all things female.

Having played for us in supporting slots a few times before, it’s an absolute joy to have Brighton duo ARXX headline for us on this extra special occasion. Immediately blasting out their immense, energy-fuelled offerings with a ferocious, sparkling force, their phenomenal power captures the attention of each and every member of the completely packed-out venue. Delivering their seething, punk-infused anthems, ARXX prove themselves to be the ultimate headliner for International Women’s Day; they just get better each time we see them, continuing to impress with their truly magnificent command of all they do.

HUGE thanks to all who made it down to The Finsbury on Friday, making our International Women’s Day celebrations so special. And massive love to all four amazing acts who played for us, and The Outside Project for all they do. Catch us again on 12th April when Mammoth Penguins will be headlining for us.

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

 

LIVE: Indietracks Festival 27/07/18 – 29/02/18 (PART 2)

(Part 2 of our Indietracks Festival review – read Part 1 here….)

Continuing a completely joyous Saturday, queens Dream Wife take to the outdoor stage. Having not seen them for about three years when they completely blew me away at Visions Festival, they do not disappoint. Oozing their trademark empowering force, Rakel and co. take my breath away once more; such is their immense liberating power. Sparkling with her vibrant charisma, Rakel is the perfect, engaging front woman as Alice and Bella deliver frenzied, defiant hooks. With shout outs to Alice’s super cool grandma (who I was standing next to in the crowd), and a truly stirring performance of ‘Somebody’ (“this one’s about smashing gender roles that need to be smashed”), Dream Wife prove they’re an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.

After unsuccessfully attempting to get into the church to catch Spanish band Melenas (they sounded good from the door though!), we chill out for the rest of Saturday evening – preparing ourselves for a Sunday jam-packed full of some of the best new music.

Despite a rainy start, all the lush live music on Sunday certainly brightens the mood. The first example being Brighton band Just Blankets who bring their dreamy harmonies to the indoor stage; the perfect start to the day.

And the rain doesn’t stop us heading to see personal faves Wolf Girl. Alongside many “wet jokes”, they deliver their immensely infectious, thoroughly engaging indie-pop to perfection. As the crowd unites in a buoyant, albeit damp, cheer, I find that singing along to the uplifting hooks and exquisite harmonies of tracks such as ‘Middlesexy’ causes me to complete forget the weather and drift away on waves of Wolf Girl’s sunny energy.

Heading back to shelter for our favourite Feminist Punk Witches Dream Nails on the indoor stage, the DIY spirit and wonderful music continues. Despite having seen them live many times, Dream Nails never fail to totally inspire me. Treating us to a range of songs, new and old, they deliver their message as loud and as clear as ever to an adoring crowd of near 700. With her truly captivating intense energy, Janey leads the way in raging against sexual violence, misogyny and Facism, as guitarist Anya delivers impressive racing riffs, and Mimi and Lucy complete the punk-filled power of this unique band. As they deliver riotous impassioned lyrics such as “Hey mister, get your hands off my sister”, and express solidarity with those coming out as queer with uplifting offerings like ‘Swimming Pool’, a wonderful aura of unity sweeps throughout the crowd – as girls, women and non-binary people of all ages (in front of me a mother bops with her head-phoned baby in arms) dance and sing in solidarity – and I’m reminded once again why these strong-spirited wonder-women are so essential in our lives right now.

After sticking around to dance in buoyant joy to the utterly uplifting and twinkling calypso-like musicality of Tigercats, the empowering mood continues with (yet another GIHE fave), The Baby Seals in the church. With their uplifting charisma and triumphant wit, they champion autonomy and body positivity with wonderfully tongue-in-cheek (and amazingly entitled) offerings such as ‘My Labia’s Lopsided But I Don’t Mind’ and ‘Nipple Hair’, as well as mighty tracks celebrating Masturbation Month. Apologising for mentioning “tits” in a church, The Baby Seals celebrate all things female and break gender boundaries in all the right ways with their superb insightful humour and catchy musical prowess.

Sticking around in the intimate setting of The Church, we’re welcomed by another band who’ve wowed us at one of our nights at The Finsbury – the immensely impressive Sink Ya Teeth. Oozing their addictive, pulsating beats and ‘80s-inspired dance-pop hooks, they continue to prove themselves to be one of the most exciting bands around. As Maria Uzor’s smooth, intoxicating vocals soar, Gemma Cullinford’s pounding, funk-fused bass-lines provide a perfect, groove-ridden soundscape.

As the sun shines once more, we head back to the outdoor stage for North London’s Girl Ray. With their sweet, sunny charisma, each offering is a truly uplifting delight. Flowing with smooth, swooning vocals and catchy jangly melodies, they deliver their dreamy slices of gentle garage-rock with a sparkling grace, and – despite appearing to miss my personal favourite ‘Stupid Things’ – continue to cement their place firmly in our hearts.

After another welcome interlude with the owls and parrots (still not over how amazing this festival was!), final band of the weekend, Scotland’s Honeyblood, soothe our ears as the sun goes down. With a shimmering grace combined with their scuzzy garage-rock anthems and subtle empowering energy, the duo draw an end to the live music with all the perfect uplifting colour and fiery finesse we could have hoped for.

And that’s it; after spending a few more blissful hours dancing away in The Marquee, my first Indietracks is over. The most refreshing and enjoyable of weekends; one which exceeded all expectations. It was simply so wonderful to be a part of an event that so triumphantly champions DIY bands and artists of all genders and genres, in a beautiful location that’s not only family friendly, but a safe space for all, however you may identify.

Unfortunately, it still seems to be unusual to attend bigger festivals these days and not encounter ingrained misogyny or disrespect of some kind, but Indietracks felt like a different world; a safe, joy-filled world, and one jam-packed with all the best music (Also, did I mention there are owls and parrots?!). So, huge thanks to the organisers for creating something so beautiful, and I can only hope that more events start to take a leaf out of your book very soon!

Until next year, Indietracks…

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Interview: FemRock

Here at GIHE HQ we’re currently counting down the days to FemRock‘s DIY not-for-profit gig night in Brighton on 30th June. Kindred spirits of ours, they are all about putting girls to the front and promoting women in music. We caught up with FemRock to get the low down on what to expect this year, the meaning behind their manifesto and the artists they’re loving right now.

Hi FemRock!  Congratulations on your second annual female-fronted festival! FemRock is a PR company, so can you tell us a bit about how you began?  What inspired you to setup FemRock?
Thank you so much! So, FemRock began in February 2013 in response to a lack of women’s representation in the music scene. I’d grown up with a passion for going to live shows and eventually noticed a real lack of line ups that involved women, let alone bands that were fronted by women and especially bands fronted by women being higher on the line-up than an opening slot. I was sick and tired, and questioned why there was such a lack of diversity in these line-ups. At first I thought that maybe women weren’t as involved in music as men were, due to the sexist nature of the music industry, but soon discovered that it went deeper than that; women were involved in music but all male and male-fronted bands were prioritised. So, when I moved to Brighton I decided to create what I believed the music scene’s I had been involved in before were lacking. Thus FemRock was born!

And what kicked things off for the FemRock Fest last year?
By the time we decided to create FemRock Fest we had been running for 4 years. It was around this time that the lack of diversity in festival line-ups was in the spotlight, and I’d built up a strong team around me to run FemRock together. So rather than waiting for existing festivals to correct this problem, we decided to create our own festival with a line-up that showed just how many amazing bands had women members and frontwomen!

As part of the FemRock Manifesto you make an emphasis on being feminist, d.i.y. and unapologetically political – can you expand on these for us and what they mean to you?
Feminism runs through everything we do, as individuals and as a team running FemRock. It felt important to state that explicitly in our manifesto – not only are we creating spaces for women to make and share music, we’re also placing that within the broader world of activism and the significance of lifting up the voices of women and other oppressed groups. We invite feminist groups to display flyers and petitions at our events, and work alongside local campaigns whenever possible. At our festival we always fundraise for relevant causes and provide spaces for organisations to display their information and talk to attendees. We don’t shy away from our politics, and we work hard to ensure that an accepting and loving culture is created at FemRock for people of all identities while recognising that we are all learning and growing. We don’t tolerate hatred and harassment, and we hope that our girls to the front ethos helps to create a night where everyone feels safe, heard and can have a great time too.

Here at GIHE we have massive respect for all those D.I.Y. artists out there, so it’s great to see an organisation supporting them by putting so many of them on your line up!  A couple of our favs are on there – in particular Charmpit, Militant Girlfriend and The Baby Seals – how did you go about picking the bands for the final line up?
It was a combination of us approaching bands we’ve watched and admired from afar and inviting back bands who are FemRock favourites that we’ve worked with in the past. A festival is a great way of bringing together all those bands together to create one stellar line-up and we’re so excited to have them all on one line-up – we feel so spoiled to have them all!

How do you all feel about the general lack of female headliners at a lot of big festivals at the moment?  
I don’t think there’s any excuse for the lack of diversity or lack of adequate representation on big festival line-ups and I don’t think it’s good enough to make a promise of correcting this by 2020, as many festivals have pledged, when there are so many talented bands involving women out there right now and who have been there for a long time, and simply gone unnoticed. We have a long way to go, but hopefully we’ll get there soon.

The festival is not just about music either is it?  You’ve got 2 vegan food stalls and a feminist marketplace – can you tell us a bit more about that? 
We’re very fortunate to have Cactus Kitchen Gals and Vegasmic catering our festival! Cactus Kitchen Gals do super tasty vegan junk food which is the perfect festival-fuel! Vegasmic will be selling delicious vegan sweets and treats! Our feminist marketplace was a huge hit last year so we decided to do it all over again! The marketplace is held in the courtyard of the venue and is made up of stallholders selling artwork, illustrations and creations and community organisations and activist groups. We also have DJ sets outside throughout the day to give a real festival vibe.

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any particular new bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Some of our favourite bands that you’ve not already mentioned include Sit Down (YES! We LOVE them!), who are a Brighton-based garage-punk two piece whose frontwoman is also their drummer, she is a force to be reckoned with! We’re also HUGE fans of The Nyx, The Menstrual Cramps, Bloom, Jellie Rolls, The Great Malarkey and CLT DRP among SO many more. We could keep going forever…

Huge thanks to FemRock for answering our questions! 

Femrock’s second annual female-fronted festival returns to Brighton on Saturday 30th June at The Green Door Store. There’ll 10 female-fronted bands, 2 vegan food stalls, a Feminist Marketplace full of creatives and activists and outdoor DJ sets throughout the day. Ticket info here.

Full FemRock line-up:

The Baby Seals
Sit Down
Militant Girlfriend
Bitch Theme
Hussy
Charmpit
Hexmaze
Suburban Death Twitch
Gullsband
Quim Smashers