We caught up with our favourite Brighton Litter-punx, Gulls, on the release of their new single, ‘Shame Shame Shame’.
The new single focuses on fighting fascism – always a favourite punk pastime! Can you tell us a bit more about why you feel it’s important to keep the pressure on the alt right? Are there any particular events that inspired the choice to release this song now?
The lyrics came when Johnson wrote his ‘letterboxes’ article. He’s a stain. He has a bumbling persona that detracts from how toxic his beliefs are. He said it at an incredibly divisive time and we just felt he was fuelling racists and bigots; encouraging small minded views by airing his own. While we were writing it, we were reading about his links to Steve Bannon, so our anger kept growing until we finished it. After which, he became the Prime Minister.
Brexit sowed hateful seeds of division and Johnson seemed like he was gleefully watering them. When people see a politician, supposedly well-educated and informed, spewing stuff like this, some listen. And he’s providing people who are poor or scared or struggling someone to blame for the shit in their lives. And if people turn on each other, they’re distracted from the truth: that the tories’ austerity is what’s fucked things up. Johnson profits from the division he inspires. SHAME SHAME SHAME is about saying we see what you’re doing, we’re not having it, we’re coming for you.
The current situation we’re in; watching Johnson stand outside No 10, clapping the NHS he’s been central to destroying, would be laughable, were it not so tragic.
Tell us about the recording!
SHAME had to be the next release because it felt like we were approaching Armageddon: so much bile and hate in the papers and even just on the streets and down the pub. We recorded SHAME at The Chapel in Chichester; it’s an incredible set up in a converted church. We encountered some issues balancing the size of the room and acoustics with the crunchy Gulls sound, so some big lessons learned there. SHAME was produced by Ali Gavan (Cockwomble) who is a stellar human for whom words can’t convey the extent of his audio-majesty.
What have you been up to since you last played Loud Women and what’s the Gulls plan after lockdown!
Like all of the Loud Women community, we’re negotiating the heartbreak of a summer of cancelled shows. We were so excited to play Loud Women Hastings at the Piper with ARXX, Lambrini Girls and I am Her (what a line up?!) but, along with all our other shows, it’s been put on hold. Of course we hope all the shows we had lined up will be rebooked, but there’s serious concerns about whether our favourite venues and practice/recording studios will even still exist after all this is over. We need to ensure the music scene here, and everywhere else, survives this virus but we’re far from being able to rely on this government to ensure that. So communities like Loud Women are more vital than ever as platforms/forums to keep us connected and mobilised.
Tell us about the Brighton scene right now. Any cool new bands, venues, labels etc that we should all hear about?
Things were so bloody splendid before we were all ordered inside! Genn are a near-permanent lockdown soundtrack. They are THE strut/dance-around-the-lounge band, as far as we’re concerned. We got loads of love for Cockwomble, who are acerbic and biting and as pissed off as we are. There’s no Loud Women in anarcho-feminists Austerity, but their song ‘Nice Guy’ (about the need for men to challenge toxic masculinity) is a banger. We were due to be on a mini-tour with them this weekend (sob) but we’ll do it when the world returns to normal. We shared a stage with Chuck SJ last year and marvelled at how affecting their music and performance was. The three of us were jaws-to-floor the entire set. Vehement and potent AF. Yes.