Massively excited to be hosting the amazing GGAllan Partridge from Newcastle this week – punk goddesses with the actual best band name ever. Come see them at the Hope & Anchor on Wednesday 24 April, along with their geordie chums The Noise and the Naive, and the fab Ich bin Finn. In the meantime, we asked them 10 questions …
1.Who would you most like to cover one of your songs?
Dan: Genuinely, yeah. Or MIA.
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?
Han: It was Bird, but then she joined and started playing keytar.
Dan: If Bird ever couldn’t make it though, Delia Derbyshire on analogue electronics would be nice, and maybe I could do a cute duet with Captain Beefheart.
3. What was the last song you wrote, where were you when you came up with the idea, what inspired it, and how did it turn out?
Han: ‘Hometown Boys’ is inspired by some pretty wretched shared experiences of dating guys in Middlesbrough and the surrounding areas who like the idea of being with a girl in a band but don’t much like the reality of us then not idolising their musicianship. It’s somewhere between jaunty post-punk and Cali surf rock.
Dan. It’s a banger. I’m excited. Writing massive fun radge-pop about things that have made me miserable is one of my favourite things. Hometown Boys started as a concept about a week ago, when I was annoyed about summat and needed to just write a 2 minute shouty punk pastiche song for catharsis, I sorta daydreamed a bit of it on the bus and laid down a really bare demo. Now we all have that and are writing our own parts. It’s been so nice to work on it together and realise we have all these shared experiences of rotters telling us we don’t deserve to be in bands, or nicking our ideas and records.
4.Which was your favourite gig you’ve a) played and b) watched?
Han: supporting Warm Drag at the Cluny in Newcastle. Everything went right, they’re beautiful people, the crowd loved it and we get to play with them again very soon.
Dan: Yeah that was a real life affirmer. They’re cool as hell; I’ve loved Vashi Windish since she was in K-Holes and Paul drums in the flippin’ Oh Sees. They had no obligation to hang with us plebs but they were more down to earth and friendly than most bands we meet! My favourite gig I’ve ever seen was the Cramps in Nottingham in 2003. It was unbelievable. I got some of Lux’s spit in my mouth, it changed me. They were everything I love in a live band; funny, sexy, menacing, wild, and powerful, and it came from a place of genuine love for their shtick, music, and each other.
Soph: I go to a lot of gigs so I’ve enjoyed them all differently, local gigs are usually my fave, support your local music scene yo.
5. Recommend a record that you think our readers might not have heard of.
Soph: The Julie Ruin album by Kathleen Hanna (ace DIY bedroom album and the reason I bought a drum machine)
Dan: Thankyou Kathleen Hanna for brining Soph and her drumming into our lives! I choose Nature by Valet – dreamy stoner pop from 2015. I struggle to listen to ‘nice’ music but this is gorgeous.
6. What’s your best piece of advice for young musicians?
Han: find what you love – not what’s popular or easy – and keep doing it. Listen and learn from those around you but ultimately follow your gut. Try not to be discouraged by negativity, for every neggy melt who puts you down, there’ll be five people lifting you up. Stick with them.
Dan: Don’t spend ten years hiding behind other people in bands if you have your own ideas. Don’t wait to be told your ideas are good enough to deserve being heard. You have to be brave and just get out there. Pick the people you work with based on who they are as people more than how good they are at playing instruments. But also – put your mental and physical health first. Art and expression are so vital but doing band stuff can be stressful and at the end of it all, it’s just a band. Keep some perspective for the sake of your sanity.
Soph: Tell boys to fuck off.
7. Your top 3 most beloved albums ever – go.
Dan: This is an evil question. Off the top of my head…
The Cramps – Off The Bone
X Ray Spex – Germ free Adolescents, uhhh
Sophie: The Slits – Cut
8. What are your musical goals?
Han: To take up space, be weird and get Han’s Skips dance on Fortnite.
Soph: To always have fun.
Dan: I’m really eager to get Liv doing an obscene five minute sax solo. And I want us to see each other more so we can get some Shangri-Las harmonies perfected. We’ve got new songs getting bounced around all the time, plenty of gigs and festivals to play, a split 7 Inch in the works, along with a small UK tour and hopefully another EP in the bag before the year is up.
9. What’s the most important thing we need to know about your band right now?
Dan: Other bands – we aren’t your competition! Especially if you aren’t in the boy’s club too. We are working hard and keeping busy and having the best time and we always have one eye how we can be helping each other in the bigger picture, whether that’s to encourage and embolden other people and ourselves, or to start difficult conversations with promoters and venues to try and bring positive change. We don’t talk about it loads and it’s not massively present in our songs but we have a range of sexualities and disabilities in GG and those issues are important to us too. At the moment we mainly just share those issues with each other. This band has become so vital to all of us and at the moment we are just getting to grips with allowing ourselves room in our lives to experiment, perform, write, drink and shout like our male peers have enjoyed for years, but if we could ever extend that outwards into influence or action that would be amazing. We aren’t in this to get on the radio or whatever so it baffles us when other bands take us the wrong way because we’re a bit gobby, weird and flamboyant. We’re on your side and should be working together to get things moving. I think there’s some concern that most regular promoters will only dare put one female-dominated act on any bill and that we have to all compete to be that band. Let’s put our own gigs on if that’s the case!
Soph: Soundguys: we know how to play our instruments and we know what we should sound like and we know that Dan’s laptop works fucking fine.
10. Give your top 5 contemporary bands/musicians
Dan and Han: Duds! Wonky, class live, Northern, matching shirts, horn section. Get in.
Dan: Cate Le Bon can’t do anything wrong, Warm Drag, Moon Duo and Snapped Ankles. All doing their own thing in slightly bizarre ways.
Soph and Liv: BTS!