LISTEN: GIHE on Soho Radio with Julia-Sophie 04.05.22

Tash & Kate were back on the Soho Radio airwaves playing loads of new music from some of their favourite female, non-binary and LGBTQ+ artists, and Mari offered some of her “musical musings” too.

Electronic artist Julia-Sophie joined them to talk about her latest EP it feels like thunder, and her anticipations for her Get In Her Ears headline show at The Shacklewell Arms on Thursday 1st June, with Maria Uzor and Dewey. Grab your tickets here.

Listen back below:

 

Tracklist
Sade – Your Love Is King
ESG – not my first (rodeo)
Anonhi x Hercules Love Affair – Poisonous Storytelling
Gazelle Twin – Hole In My Heart
Ethel Cain – American Teenager
Softcult – Uzumaki
Martha Rose and GRIP TIGHT – Never B Mine
Jelly Crystal & Seinabo Sey – I Tryyy
Tender – Control
Fears – Fabric
Fraulein – And I Go (La La)
Kills Birds – Cough Up Cherries
Amaroun – Orchid
Chelsea Carmichael – All We Know
Julia-Sophie – Dial Your Number
**Interview with Julia-Sophie**
Kraak & Smaak, Fred Nevché – Scirocco
Ultraista – Tin King
Shivum Sharma – Overload
Tomberlin – Sunstruck
Bitch – Hello Meadow
Ghum – Some People
Grawl!x – Hopelessness
Deep Tan – Rudy Ya Ya Ya
Breakup Haircut – Out Of My Way (I’m not getting on the night bus)
Noga Erez – End Of The Road

GIHE: Personal Highlights Of 2021

2021 has been another strange year. Live music tentatively returned after multiple Covid-19 lockdowns, which meant the GIHE team were finally able to see some of our favourite bands in the flesh. The easing of restrictions also meant we were able to physically get into a studio to record our monthly Soho Radio show together! More than ever, we were grateful to feel connected – either through the internet or in real life – to our friends and followers, and that’s what our Personal Highlights of 2021 reflect.

Read below for a recap of some of our Personal Highlights of the year. Huge thanks to everyone who has supported GIHE. Love & solidarity. x

 

Team Highlight: Moving to Soho Radio

After six years of presenting our new music show on Hoxton Radio, the GIHE team were invited to move over to Soho Radio’s airwaves. They say a change is as good as a rest, and this change certainly helped to re-energise us to get back into doing what we love: fan-girling on air about our favourite music and talking to the bands and artists who create it. Noga Erez helped us launch our debut show in May, and since then we’ve spoken to BISHI, Bitch Hunt, Fears, BLAB, Maria Uzor, Grandmas House & The Log Books’ Shivani Dave. It’s a privilege to have this platform on Soho to promote women & non-binary artists, and we’re excited to bring you more radio shows with them problem pain 2022!

 

Mari Lane (Co-Founder & Managing Editor)

Interviewing Sleigh Bells

With the release of their sixth album Texis this year, genre-defying duo Sleigh Bells have been firm favourites of mine over the last decade, and have provided many personal musical memories. From dancing the night away to the immense energy of the likes of ‘Rill Rill’ or ‘Infinity Guitars’ throughout my 20s, to watching that scene of Jessica Jones on repeat, purely because of the incredible power that ‘Demons’ adds to the narrative. It was such an honour to speak to vocalist and songwriter Alexis Krauss in September about the album, her collaborative process with producer/guitarist Derek Miller, the formation of Sleigh Bells, being a woman in the industry, and her involvement with Young Women Who Crush – an amazing sounding organisation for young women and gender expansive youth from New York City public schools, inspiring them to discover the outdoors and develop their leadership skills. You can read the full interview here.

GIHE Live at The Shacklewell Arms with Problem Patterns, pink suits & GUTTS

Hosting our first gig at The Shacklewell Arms was such a joyous experience in every way. Not only was it an honour to be able to organise an event at such an esteemed venue at which I’ve spent many a night enjoying some of the best live music at, but everyone who works there was so lovely and helpful, that it made the whole experience completely stress-free. Massive shout-out to sound engineer Sofia, a total pro who is amazing at what she does!

And of course, what made the night particularly special was the bands. With GIHE having been mega fans of Northern Irish punks Problem Patterns for some time now, it was such a privilege to be able to host their first London gig. With each poignant, raging offering, the band filled the venue with their swirling, empowering energy and fierce, infectious passion, uniting the crowd with both their righteous anger and vibrant, joyous sense of fun. With the captivating, riotous force of queer Margate duo pink suits, and the angst-driven ‘sax punk’ of opening band GUTTS too, it really was a dream of a night and I’m so grateful it was able to go ahead. You can check out pics of the event here.

Talking to The Independent about Women’s Safety at Gigs & Festivals

Kate and I spoke to Elizabeth Aubrey for a feature in The Independent about the need to make music events safer spaces for women, girls and the LGBTQ+ community. A topic we feel extremely strongly about. We discussed our zero tolerance policy to sexual assault and harassment at our events, and measures we put in place at our gigs to try and ensure the safest possible environment for all. It was also the first time I’ve really properly talked about the experience of having my drink spiked whilst at university in Leeds – the issue of women and girls being spiked sadly being something that seems particularly prevalent at the moment.

I was really grateful to be given the opportunity to speak to Elizabeth about such an important issue and hope that, with an increased awareness in the public eye, more ‘active bystanders’ and with more women, girls and LGBTQIA+ folk feeling safe enough to speak out, more can start being done by the industry as a whole to put a stop to instances of abuse or harassment, and to provide the safest possible spaces. You can read the full feature here.

Interviewing Celeste Bell (Poly Styrene’s daughter)

With the release of the documentary Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché this year, we were lucky enough to talk to Celeste Bell – Poly’s daughter and co-director of the film, along with Paul Sng – about the inspirations behind the film, her relationship with her mother and the sexism that still prevails in the music industry. Based around a wonderful book by Zoë Howe, Dayglo: The Poly Styrene Story, the film chronicles Poly’s remarkable and often troubled life, including never-seen-before footage of her, telling her moving story predominantly through the eyes of her daughter.

In addition to discussing the film, it was interesting to speak to Celeste about how far the industry and society’s attitudes towards women still have to go, and the urgent need to revive some of Poly’s punk spirit. To unite, overcome adversity and bring about change, we could all do with being a bit more like her, to start to undo the bondage that binds us into this patriarchal society. As Poly says: “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!”. Read the full interview with Celeste here.

Honourable Mention: Ezra Furman

I thought I’d also give an honourable mention to Ezra Furman, who came out as a Transgender woman earlier this year and shared beautiful images of herself with her child. As Furman poignantly states in her coming out message: “I’m telling you I’m a mom now for a specific reason. Because one problem with being trans is that we have so few visions of what it can look like to have an adult life, to grow up and be happy and not die young. When our baby was born I had approximately zero examples that I had seen of trans women raising children. So here’s one for anyone who wants to see one. I’m a trans woman and a mom. This is possible.”

 

Kate Crudgington (Co-Founder & Features Editor)

Chatting to Cool Thing Records on Soho Radio about GIHE

I’ve been following Southend indie label Cool Thing Records since my Gigslutz days, so when Luke invited me on to their Soho Radio show (Cool Thing Presents) to chat about my experience as a DIY music journalist, I was genuinely chuffed. I loved reminiscing with him about landmark musical moments in my life and how we came to launch GIHE. I also managed to wedge in an impersonation of Eastenders’ Nick Cotton into our chat, which you can listen to in full here.

The Cool Thing team have supported GIHE in everything we do, and we naturally support them back. Their roster is bursting with talent – from BLAB, Mai and Beckie Margaret, to Asylums, Suspects, BAIT and The Horse Heads – I’m constantly impressed and excited to hear their new releases. There’s an immense amount of passion, commitment and empathy behind everything they do, and I look forward to working with them throughout 2022.

My first gig after Covid-19 & our first GIHE gig of 2021

When I walked in to Electrowerkz to see DROWND – aka my brother Joe – play his first gig of 2021 in August, I was tanked up on Gin & Tonic because I was nervous to be doing something “normal” for the first time in over a year. Despite my anxieties, within minutes of the gig starting, my mind blocked out any Covid-19 paraphernalia; it just let the intense, heavy sounds blasting out of the speakers spread through my cells. It was fucking brilliant. I didn’t want the night to end.

I had a similar sensation watching Schande and CURRLS perform at our first GIHE gig of 2021 at The Victoria a few months later in November. I watched from a distance as Mari worked the room, ensuring the bands and everyone who was attending felt safe and valued. 2022 is looking like another dodgy year for live music, but I hope we’ll get to attend and organise more gigs like this at some point soon.

Talking to NME about Women’s Safety at Gigs

With the return of live music, unfortunately, came the return of the all-to-familiar reports of sexual harassment and assault at gigs and festivals. It’s something we have experienced first hand at GIHE, and we know many of our friends and followers have also lived through these grim and debilitating experiences. That’s why we feel it’s important to push forward with our own policies at events to keep women & non-binary people safe, and to keep the conversations about women’s safety in the public eye.

Mari & I spoke to NME journalist Charlotte Krol about this and how we think things can be improved earlier this year. You can read the full feature here.

Favourite Interviews of 2021

One of the main things that’s kept me going this year are the conversations I’ve had with bands and artists about the music they make. It’s such a privilege to have access to someone’s creative processes, and I am humbled every time an artist shares their own thoughts and influences with me. I also love it when bands consistently crack jokes about how bored they are of hearing their own music, like Cork art-punks Pretty Happy did when I spoke to them back in September.

My conversations with Circe, Nadia Javed, Breakup Haircut, Sian O’Gorman (NYX Choir), Lilith AI, Softcult, Nova TwinsBleach Lab and Divide & Dissolve all left a lasting impression on me in 2021.

 

Victoria Conway (GIHE Contributor)

Helen Love @ Sheffield Pop Weekender Sidney and Matilda (first gig after lockdown)

I’m not sure if this was my first gig after lockdown, but, woah, it was the most memorable. After over 18 months without live music, Helen Love took me back, headfirst and in glorious technicolour. They fired up the drum machine and powered through a set of glitter-fuelled bubblegum punk pop with swagger and smiles. The legendary Ms. Love, still looking badass after fronting the band for almost 30 years, stood in front of a dizzying video collage and blasted out the hits to a crowd who roared their appreciation by shouting along to every word. ‘Does your heart go booooom?’ was a standout; it was the musical equivalent of someone shaking up a can of Monster Energy and letting it spray absolutely everywhere. I’m talking pure, giddy caffeinated joy! It was beautiful to reunite with a band I’ve loved for over half my life, and to do it on a dancefloor packed with much-missed gig buddies.

Thanks for everything folks. We’ll see you in 2022!

 

INTERVIEW: M(h)aol

Currently based between Dublin, London and Bristol, M(h)aol (pronounced “male”) are formed of Róisín Nic Ghearailt, Constance Keane, Jamie Hyland, Zoe Greenway and Sean Nolan. Together, the band aim to rattle the male dominated post-punk scene with their urgent, gritty sounds, with previous singles ‘Laundries’, ‘Asking For It’ & ‘Gender Studies’ being the perfect instigators for this pursuit. They’re set to release their debut EP Gender Studies tomorrow (29th October) via TULLE, which further cements their statement against toxic patriarchal standards.

Ahead of their gig with Club The Mammoth at The Shacklewell Arms next week on 4th November (tickets here) which GIHE will also be DJ’ing at, we caught up with Róisín, Jamie & Sean for a quick chat about the band’s new EP, the history & themes that informed it, and their anticipations for their London headline show…

Can you remember who, or what first inspired you to start making music? And can you tell me how you all met & become M(h)aol?

Jamie: I grew up with the radio always on, it would be a very odd moment to not have music playing in the background at home throughout my childhood. I would have heard everything between Bach madrigals, Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, early blues records, Duran Duran albums in passing. I’ve a very vivid memory of watching MTV as a child and hearing Shanks & Bigfoot and that music video, that really sparked something.

I’d been learning piano on my grandad’s very old, very out of tune piano for a while before I got bored of it and my older brother got a guitar and showed me the Pixies and how to play a few guitar lines from those tunes. The simplicity of how to actually play them, but then the musical complexity/impact of them in context was amazing. I first met Connie after a soundcheck eating almonds and playing cards in the back of the Twisted Pepper in Dublin. It took a few years but now she can’t get rid of me and she’s subjected the rest of the band to me as well.

Róisín: Myself and Connie were obsessed with The Punk Singer when we were 21 and she ended up shaving my head and that was the catalyst for M(h)aol. It was a total shock to me that I was in a band. For the first year we just practiced in her gorgeous rehearsal space in Rathmines. For an entire year we just tried to figure out what we were saying and why.

Sean: I was shanghaied by Connie while at work, and joined the band under protest.

It sounds like Connie is the mastermind behind M(h)aol, fantastic. You’re set to release your debut EP, Gender Studies, on 29th October which you recorded in just 3 days. What are you most proud of about this record?

Sean: I’m still impressed that we got as much crammed into those 3 days as we did.

Jamie: It was all written in those three days too.

Róisín: That’s not 100% true, I’d written the track ‘Gender Studies’ almost a year before in a fury on my way home from work at 2am. It started as more of a poem than anything. I only write the lyrics, I don’t have any kind of input to the music, so for the EP it was important for me to have some kind of overarching narrative. That narrative being how gender influences how one moves through the world and how it doesn’t just impact your physical landscape but your emotional one too.

Do you have a favourite track, and if so, why? Also, please tell me how ‘Kinder Bueno’ came to life. It’s 52 seconds of savage wit…

Róisín: Against all odds my favourite is ‘Desperation’ which was almost an after thought. It makes me laugh, its also based on my favourite book of 2021, Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan.

Jamie: Some people need to be called out for being jerks. I don’t think that always needs to be prolonged into numerous verses and I feel like Róisín did a great job of condensing the sentiment into just a few lines on ‘Kinder Bueno’.

Sean: From what I remember, Róisín wrote that one kind of off-the-cuff and we had the take that’s on the EP pretty quickly.

Róisín: I always knew I wanted a super petty song about this really bad hook up I’d had and like Jamie and Sean said, it really just came together really quickly.

There are universal themes within your music (reflections on misogyny and gender-based violence) but there are also strong connections to Irish history too (your band is named after Grainne Mhaol, the context of your track ‘Laundries’), so talk us through the significance of these histories how they’ve informed your song-writing…

Jamie: Irish history is fascinating, at every turn there is something incredible, be that incredibly painful, interesting, or empowering.

Róisín: Growing up in Ireland has shaped us so much for better or worse. There’s so much intergenerational trauma in the country, stemming from clerical abuse etc, but also intergenerational pleasure stemming from our rich history of rebellion and literature.

What are your anticipations for your headline show at The Shacklewell Arms?

Jamie: We are all very aware that our demographic lines up far too closely with Pillow Queens, who have a London gig the same night. Not that I want to start a beef with them but I think they are intentionally sabotaging us.

Róisín: Jamie is OBVIOUSLY joking. The Shacklewell was where we were supposed to have our first proper return gig in March 2020 so I’m hoping that it will feel suitably triumphant.

Sean: We’ll have played 3 shows over the previous 3 days so we’ll either be at our most polished or most exhausted, hopefully the former.

Thanks to Róisín, Jamie & Sean for answering our questions!

M(h)aol UK Tour Dates
1st November – Rough Trade, Bristol
2nd November – The Hug And Pint, Glasgow
3rd November – The Talleyrand, Manchester
4th November – The Shacklewell Arms, London

Follow M(h)aol on SpotifybandcampFacebookTwitter & Instagram

 

Photo Credit: Susan Appleby

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: HIDE – The Shacklewell Arms, 03.10.19

A primal, urgent, gripping performance: Industrial/electronic duo HIDE unleashed a torrent of brutal sound upon their Dalston crowd as part of their co-headline tour with Kontravoid on Thursday night.

Opening with ‘Chainsaw’, taken from the band’s latest album Hell Is Here (released on Dais Records), vocalist Heather Gabel and percussionist Seth Sher performed their aural exorcisms beneath frantic strobe lights.

The lyrics to ‘Chainsaw’ are informed by the street harassment Gabel has received in real life. Dressed like a misogynist’s nightmare with her unhinged grin and heavily blackened eyes & lips; she violently screamed the words “Smile! Bitch!”, throwing their abuse back in to the ether with scathing vitriol.

HIDE’s originality as a band lies in their undermining of patriarchal forces through powerful lyrical statements and abrasive noise. The pair transform fear and vulnerability in to distracting industrial tunes, and the impact of their efforts are best appreciated when seen and heard in a live environment.

Gabel’s frenzied, intense performance style perfectly accompanied Sher’s pulverizing beats. Between songs and blackouts, she removed articles of her clothing and continued to dominate the stage with her jagged movements and inescapable stares. By the time the duo performed ‘Raw Dream’, Gabel’s battle cries were fully fleshed – perfect for an anthem that tackles the imbalance of power.

Despite the brevity of their set, the impact of HIDE’s performance is one that lasts long after the strobes have finished flickering. Their thought-provoking, caustic, vital shows are a much needed antidote to the hellish reality they challenge through their art.

Follow HIDE on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@kcbobcut