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Phoenix Chroi are led – awesomely so – by Elaine McGinty, the powerhouse behind Woking's Phoenix Cultural Centre and The Fiery Bird. The band wowed us at the Hope & Anchor back in November 2016, and they return to play for us at our next gig – our first at Kingston's Fighting Cocks – on 24 February, along with Anarchistwood, Salvation Jayne and Brosephine.
1. Who would you most like to cover one of your songs? 
Patti Smith 
2. If you could add one member to your band – any person, living or dead, musical or otherwise – who would it be, and what would they play?
I’d like to add a guitarist – we are between them at present. As above, Patti Smith, William Blake, Kirsty MacColl, Steve Marriott, Dusty Springfield, Vi Subversa…
3. If your music could have a superpower, what would it be?

To seep some sense into people who have a dogged view that nothing can change that we don’t do politics that it is ok to keep the status quo and everyone down and controlled with pretend rebellions.

4. What’s best: playing a big venue full of strangers, or a small pub full of friends? 

Strangers because otherwise I am watching all my friends kissing the ring of the Bishop of Banterbury and can’t join in – massive attack of FOMO ensues especially when they look like they’re having a better time without me – the bastards – oh wait this scenario has grown into a therapy session…

Actually playing a venue with anyone in it would be a great start.
5. Recommend a record and a book that you think our readers might not have heard of.

Trust  by Billy Bragg encapsulated a time. The Things I Would Tell You – British Muslim Women Write Anthology. A record people would not know? Any of ours.

6. One for the guitarists … bore us with the details of your set-up please.
Between guitarists, so it is either nothing at all or every fecking pedal under the sun.
7. What’s the best thing about being in your band? 

Having an outlet for all my passive aggression at injustice, having a voice, having an open working relationship and a family.

8. What are your band goals? 

To keep doing what we do and keep writing about what we believe in and maybe change some minds, do some enjoyable gigs and see some great music while we are at it.

9. What’s the most important thing we need to know about your band right now? 

That we are still here but still in the middle of fighting a corrupt regime and trying to build a community venue and promote all women in music and the more voices we can get behind getting communities a voice the better.

10. Give your top 5 contemporary bands

Argonaut, Jellly, Cult With No Name, The Velveteen Orkestra, Cardboard Carousel but really hard there are so many – all bands that plough their own furrow and keep at it doing their thing with integrity.


Catch Phoenix Chroi on 24 Feb at Fighting Cocks, Kingston-upon-Thames
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