Review by Tony Rounce
Born out of one talented woman’s anger at the continuing rise of male violence towards women, and the hopeless situation that far too many still find themselves in at the hands of an abusive (usually) male partner, LOUD WOMEN’s ‘Reclaim These Streets’ pretty much chooses itself as Single of the Week no matter what else is in contention for that accolade. Understandably LW has been building for some weeks towards the release date today, with a series of postings on socials that should have piqued the interests of everyone who is now reading these words.
Could it be? Yes, it could, something’s coming, something good – and here is is!
A magnificent, marathon musical undertaking, ‘Reclaim These Streets’ gives the concept of the ‘Charity Single’ a long overdue and much-needed overhaul. For a start, it benefits Women’s Aid, and hopefully will help this worthy close-to-home organisation continue to “build a future where domestic violence is not tolerated” as their own mission statement proclaims.
Then there’s the fact that it’s great. Nah, scratch that – it’s actually fan-blimmin’-tastic! A thumping groove, a massively catchy tune and a big old shouty, sing-along chorus do everything you would expect them to do to sell the song’s straightforward and rightfully angry lyric. It’s a shame that we live in a world where it’s necessary to underline the gravity of a situation with a song like this, but as soon as you hear it – even once – you will be glad that several somebodies did.
There are 64 women involved in the making of ‘Reclaim These Streets’. You might not be able to pick out the individual contributions of the majority of them – although you can have fun putting names to the faces in the video, shot by LW’s favourite photographer (and why wouldn’t she be?) Keira Anee – but everybody who contributed gave their time willingly and with maximum commitment. I’m proud to be a colleague to several of them on Team LOUD WOMEN, none more so than our beloved leader Cassie Fox who moved this from ‘wouldn’t this be a great thing to do’ to ‘here we are in the studio, let’s make a record’ in a shockingly brief period of time. Like the baseball field in the film “Field Of Dreams”, our Cassie built it, and ‘they’ came.
If I listed everyone who did their bit here there would be no room to extol the virtues of the music, so in the interests of parity and equality I won’t – although I would like to mention that one of the less familiar voices here is that of Patsy Stevenson, the woman who suffered the ignominy of being – literally – manhandled by the police at the Clapham Common vigil for the late Sarah Everard. I’ll otherwise level the field by saying everyone’s contribution was vital. If you have been keeping up with the aforementioned LW socials, you will know who was on board anyway. They all deserve three cheers from those of us whose contributions were spiritual out of necessity rather than physical, and a thunderous round of applause for all who helped to make it happen. My hat and my whole head are off to each and every one of them.
Hopefully the day will eventually come when it will not be necessary to write and record songs like this – and I mean that in the most optimistic way, of course. Until that day arrives, those who fight against domestic abuse in all its forms can be proud to have ‘Reclaim These Streets’ as their anthem, and their call-to-arms. Although it’s one Loud Woman’s initiative, it would be a Record Of The Week (and of the Year) whoever instigated it.
I write this review as one of Team LW’s brace of cis-males-in-residence, but I have a wife and teenage daughter who I love very much, and who I would be prepared to kill for if either ever found themselves on the receiving end of male violence. Even though I am unlikely to be on the receiving end of such a thing myself, I can fully get behind everything that “Reclaim These Streets” stands for. Please buy it, stream it, play it, talk about to anyone who is prepared to listen (and given that it’s already been played enthusiastically on many radio stations, a lot of people WILL have been listening already), but most of all love it and continue to support the sentiments within the song.
It’s been described as ‘a feminist Band Aid’ – but it’s not. It’s better than Band Aid. Tonight be glad it’s them, instead of Bono…
‘Reclaim These Streets’ is out now on all streaming platforms.