Berlin's finest DIY pop Queens Party Fears are touring the UK right now, hitting Brighton with our own I, Doris on Friday, and LOUD WOMEN's Birthday Party in London this Saturday at the Hope and Anchor. We had a chinwag with Maggie (vox) and Eilis (drums).
Party Fears! We loved you big time when you came and played LW Fest last year and we are so excited that you’re coming to play our birthday party! What have you been up to since we last saw you?
E: We’re so happy to be coming back to you. Loud Women Fest last year was a real treat. Since then, we recorded a new EP, which has been our main focus. The new single comes out on October 15 and is called ‘Dog Star’ and please listen! We’ve played a lot of shows in Berlin, with highlights being a youth rock music camp in the summer (so nice) and a birthday party of our very favorite community, The Open Music School, which gives free music tuition to those who wouldn’t normally have access.
We went to Bielefeld last week which was our first time playing in Germany outside of Berlin, and the crowd were wonderful. Everyone should go and play in Bielefeld.
M: Seconding the excitement to come back and play a Loud Women event!
Talk us through the creative process in Party Fears.
M: I’ll usually jog through a song (which comes from the cosmos when I’m in the shower or in that wee nook between sleeping and waking up) then quickly sketch out a demo. I try not to take it too far because so much happens organically in the practice room. So with the bare bones, we’ll then build up the track together in the rehearsal studio.
You are a glamorous international band – I believe from Ireland originally and now living in Berlin? And you have a link with Korea … what are your top 3 Korean dishes?
E: 90% of the world thinks I’m Irish. The name doesn’t help plus my Pa is Irish, so they’re not all wrong, but I’m from Australia. Maggie is undoubtedly from Northern Ireland. We met playing in our previous band (BaekMa) in South Korea, where we were both living for a number of years. One day we made a crazy friendship plan to move to Europe and continue making music together, two years in, and we’re still friends and making music, so that’s great. Korean food: Kimchi soondubu, mulnaengmyun, kimchi jeon.
M: Mulnaengmyun is lethal: ice noodles, mustardy, vingery goodness with an egg on top. I also love gamjatang (pork spine soup) and a nice classic kimchi jjigae (spicy stew) on a cold day can’t be beat.
You’ve got a huge UK tour coming up – woohoo! Talk us through how you went about booking that – all DIY? What resources did you use to find gigs? How are you travelling?
E: The UK/Europe Punk DIY database was a pretty big help!
This is our second UK tour so we already had a few go-to venues/local DIY promoters, then we asked UK friends for recommendations. It came together pretty quickly, which was exciting to see. We’re travelling via car, I’m team driver so Julie and Maggie can rock paper scissors for the front seat. Excited for all the car jams.
What items are essential for each of you to bring with you in your luggage on tour?
E: I always pack at the last minute and forget the essentials. (insert carefree emoji)
M: I’ve been really haphazard until now; just flinging things into a tiny bag at the last minute. But I’m trying to be a bit more conscious of self care, so this time it’s the usual haphazardness with a wilful inclusion of those little lavender pouch thingies and essential oils. I’d love to go on tour once when it’s not a choice between using my last serviceable minute to scratch my arse or organise my suitcase. But such is DIY life sometimes!
Finally I must ask, are you named after the song Party Fears Two?
M: We are! It’s a perfect song. Fucking perfect. A buddy introduced me to The Associates and I instantly fell in love with Billy Mackenzie’s voice and whole vibe. I could write an entire essay on Mackenzie’s vocal in that song. The lyrics of Party Fears Two really spoke to me: loneliness in a crowded space, questionable coping mechanisms, shower thoughts, haha! It then scanned quite nicely across various meanings: social anxiety, the hangover blues, the fucking DUP!
Catch Party Fears on their UK tour, dates in image …