Words and photos by Keira Anee

Last night at The Social in central London was special. Not only was GIRLI so on fire she did indeed set the fire alarm off, and not only was GIRLI so on fire there was indeed a mini power cut, but the fire of a room full of women and non-binary (only!) singing along and dancing really – can I be this obvious?! – warmed my heart.

Having a night such as this isn’t easy. In even attending, I have had to justify myself and the ‘women only’ criteria to a few people. I’m not going to. 

But I will say, from the atmosphere alone it is well worth having these spaces, that we ourselves I think even underestimate the need for sometimes. 

I was able to speak to Matilda Eyre briefly before her support set. Matilda’s music sounded really big in this small room (Check it out!).

We spoke a little about how in the past there has been this feeling that if you’re a singer, or sing onstage with a backing track, then you’re not necessarily seen as credible as a musician, or even, music maker. In the last few years at least, I’m happy the view on this is changing. With acts such as PREGOBLIN and Lynks Afrikka performing with a backing track and their sets and performances being outstanding; as was the case with GIRLI tonight. I particularly enjoyed her song ‘Hot Mess’. Definitely check that one out. …It’s my new trying to brush my hair song.  

A few songs into her set, GIRLI says she had been feeling down today. The room sat down with her. “I feel like this is a small enough room that we can use this as a sort of therapy session!” And that’s exactly what it felt like.

I felt a lot of strength in the room coming from feeling included, and being ‘real’.

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