This is Cassie Fox here at LOUD WOMEN HQ. We can’t get together this year to hold the kind of big loud party I would absolutely love to be throwing tonight. But there’s lots to celebrate, so that’s what this video* is here for!

It’s been 5 years since the very first LOUD WOMEN gig–  it was 3rd October 2015 at the Silver Bullet in Finsbury Park. It was such a fun event, we did it again, and again, and again …

at venues all over London, at least once a month! Around those gigs there sprung up a fantastic online community, offering support, solidarity and connections for women in the DIY music scene.

In 2016 we held our first full-day festival at T-Chances in Tottenham, with bands like Vodun, The Franklys, Fight Rosa Fight, Grace Petrie … 2017 we held LOUD WOMEN Fest at DIY Space for London, with Hands Off Gretel, LIINES, Sink Ya Teeth … that one was so busy we had to turn people away on the day, so in 2018 we moved to the bigger venue, The Dome in Tufnell Park, and we hosted Petrol Girls, Dream Nails, The Menstrual Cramps and more …

We’ve also hosted some child-friendly punk matinee gigs at the Lexington and the Half Moon, which have been some of my very favourite gigs ever.   

2019’s festival shifted up another gear, with the feel of an international showcase – with The Txlips and Pleasure Venom from USA, Hello Delaware from Canada, Secondhand Underpants from Turkey, and the amazing Belgians Vaginas, What Else?

Pleasure Venom at LOUD WOMEN Fest 4 – photo (c) Keira Anee

Then we were given a rare opportunity to co-host an event at the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar room in March 2019 – featuring Ill, and Lilith Ai.

LOUD WOMEN also graced the radiowaves for a stint, hosting a show on the Women’s Radio Station, with guests like Ms Mohammed and Stephanie Phillips.

We’ve also now put out two compilation albums featuring some of the bands who’ve played for us.

2019 was also the year we saw the launch of new LOUD WOMEN chapters around the world. In February 2019 I maxed out my credit card, travelled to New York with my band I, Doris, and our awesome friends T-Bitch to play the first LOUD WOMEN NYC gig at Brooklyn’s The Well – along with Basic Bitches, and Slut Magic. Since then, more LOUD WOMEN chapters have sprung up, in LA, Canada, Australia, and Ireland.

Meanwhile in London, our regular nights have found a home at the Hope & Anchor in Islington – a venue rich in punk history, having famously seen early gigs by bands like The Clash, Dr Feelgood and the Sex Pistols. I just love how we’ve been able to add some music Herstory to the venue too.

Last year we also launched a lovely new acoustic night at the Queens Head, which introduced us to fantastic artists like Delila Black, I Am HER and Naz & Ella.

And early in 2020, just before the pandemic ruined everyone’s party, we started doing some really brilliant open mic nights at the Apple Tree in Clerkenwell.

Not that we knew it at the time, the last gig we were to run in 2020 was in our second home of Newport, Wales, at Le Pub – with Hurtling, Hot Sauce Pony and my I, Doris.

Since then, the world’s become a very different place. In the last six months we’ve kept our spirits up as much as possible. We’ve put new music on our blog every day. We’ve run online gigs with new friends like Rhiannon Scutt, Pity Party, Foundlings. And we’ve had more online gigs too in partnership with the Balcony Fest series run by the Joyzine blog.

In I, Doris, we’ve been keeping our peckers up with a Dorising podcast, shooting the breeze with some of the brilliant people we’ve met on the LOUD WOMEN scene – rapper Miss Eaves, Lorna Tieflholz, Debbie Smith, Joyce Raskin, and Audrey Campbell.

The Dorising Podcast – episode 11 with Piney Gir, Hannah Rose Kessler and Allison Wolfe The Dorising Podcast

Doris, Doris and Doris of the band I, Doris host the 11th episode of the Dorising podcast. With guests: Piney Gir Hannah Rose Kessler Allison Wolfe Dorising about protecting your singing voice, Riot Grrrl herstory, and generally raging against the patriarchy. With music from I, Doris, Piney Gir, Hannah Rose Kessler, Bratmobile, Cliquey Bitches and 7 Year Bitch.
  1. The Dorising Podcast – episode 11 with Piney Gir, Hannah Rose Kessler and Allison Wolfe
  2. The Dorising Podcast – episode 10 with Terry Tyldesley, Julie Hough and Jen Macro
  3. The Dorising Podcast – episode 9 with Charley Stone, Helen McCookerybook and Jo D'Arc
  4. The Dorising Podcast – episode 8 Christmas Party Special!
  5. The Dorising Podcast – episode 7 with Dunstan Bruce, Chris Fox, John Szymanski and Jon Langford

The 5th annual LOUD WOMEN festival was planned for last month, but we’ve moved it ahead now to March 2021, at the new-to-us venue 229 in Central London. With funding in place from the Arts Council, it’ll be bigger than ever. We’ve already announced 13 of the 20 bands that will be playing – including Bang Bang Romeo, ARXX, Hagar the Womb, MIRI … and we’ll be making our next announcement next month.

Ooo! Forgot about the Hercury Prize! This has become an annual alternative award – won so far by The Menstrual Cramps, Ill, Dream Nails, and this year by the brilliant Nova Twins.

So lots and lots to celebrate over the past 5 years, and lots of brilliant people to thank. Team LOUD WOMEN help me run all of the fun things that we do. We are a team of around 70 volunteers from around the world – musicians, journalists, photographers, and music lovers who write for our ever-growing website, advise on new bands, and help out at events. I’m massively grateful to each and every one of them for helping keep the LOUD WOMEN community thriving and growing.

Petrol Girls at LOUD WOMEN Fest 2016 - (c) Keira Anee
Petrol Girls at LOUD WOMEN Fest 2016 – (c) Keira Anee

Since starting out with that one gig back in 2015, we’ve hosted around 100 events, featuring around 300 acts. We’ve helped DIY bands get played on national radio, and get signed by record labels. And we’ve provided some bright ideas for other promoters and festivals looking to make their lineups more diverse. Most importantly, we’ve had lots and lots of fun.

And there’s lots more to come. The LOUD WOMEN community is unstoppable, even in a pandemic, and we’re finding lots of way to keep in touch, keep the music playing, and keep women’s voices getting heard. Like this video! We’ve been sent some awesome contributions and messages from bands and friends on the LOUD WOMEN scene, including some excusive new music. So please enjoy this video and join us in wishing everyone involved with LOUD WOMEN – the bands, the venues, the DJs, the writers, and the music lovers, and you! –  a very happy birthday.

*PS here’s a lil index of the birthday video:

00:00 – Message from Cassie Fox
01:42 – Delila Black – ‘You’re So Common’
05:33 – Message from the Fox Bros
06:07 – Message from Kat Five of Feral Five
06:14 – Footage of Rabies Babies performing ‘Girl Band’ at the LW 4th Birthday party at the Hope & Anchor, October 2019
08:02 – Message from Tony Rounce of Team LOUD WOMEN
09:05 – Exclusive premiere of Charley Stone performing ‘Does She Mention Me?’
13:35 – Message from MIRI
13:52 – Footage of The Noise and the Naive performing at LOUD WOMEN at the Hope & Anchor, 24 April 2019
16:39 – Message from Jemma Freese
17:11 – Jelly Cleaver and her band performing ‘The Mirrors’
19:23 – Footage of Ill performing at LOUD WOMEN at the Hope & Anchor, 9 Feb 2019
20:36 – Exclusive preview of Lips Choir performing ‘Dancing on My Own’
25:37 – Message from GENN
25:53 – Rhiannon Scutt performing ‘My Farewell’
30:30 – Footage of Slut Magic performing at LOUD WOMEN NYC at the Well, Brooklyn, 1 Feb 2019
31:14 – Footage of Lilith Ai performing at LOUD WOMEN at the Royal Albert Hall, 17 Mar 2019
32:58 – Message from Shannon from Sister Ghost
33:13 – Footage of I, Doris performing at LOUD WOMEN at the Royal Albert Hall, 17 Mar 2019
36:46 – Maddy Carty performing ‘Future Daughter’
40:41 – Message from Donald Strachan on the radio
41:11 – Exclusive premiere of The Twistettes performing ‘Tory Cunts’