Anarchistwood: 5 Question Interview

Pioneers of prank rock Anarchistwood are bringing their technicolour punk circus to LOUD WOMEN at the Hope & Anchor on 8 Feb and we can not wait! In the meantime, we asked mastermind Funkcutter 5 pertinent questions …

1. What  can we look forward to on 8 Feb?

The first date of our Bitch’n’wooD tour. Anarchistwood embark on a convergent / divergent tour with T-Bitch. This might be the only one where we all have voices (possibly not funkcutter, unless they shut up in good time), limbs attached, nervous breakdowns shusshed, hearing intact (except Scarlet Carsen – wood drummer – who is deaf as a post-punk, “Eh? Pardon?!”) and don’t all want to kill each other. Date two is in Lancaster on Valentines Day in the St Valenstein’s Day Massacre Weekender part one with the Crippens and Slug Butter and we’ll have to be loving on that day shurley Shirley?

2. Fill in the blanks…

Our sound is like the lovechild of your worst nightmares and CIA torture with a bit on the side from Zappa, Crass, Gang of Four (according to the review in Razorcake magazine of The Nasty Album)

3. Give us your band/artist manifesto in no more than 20 words

Omnia Sunt Communia 

4. Who’s your favourite band/artists playing on the DIY circuit at the moment? 

Without a doubt The Crippens totally flip my wig, float my boat, tenderise my meat. Every member has hep to-die-for skills – the bass is whoppingly solid and rhythmic, vocals have a perfect timbre, width and density, guitar riffs and solos are beyond sublime and the drums – the drums, oh the drums – are excessively precise and give me mega goosey moments. The Cravats tickle us pink especially as their new album is about to be released and we are supporting them at the launch. yum yum yum…. also have to shout out to the marvelous The Sinictones with whom we have several 2020 gigs. First spotted at Griffstock featuring AJ and Nat Sinic of Kiss Me Killer, plus the previously unseen (to my eyes) Jodi Super-Mare on bass, they delivered absolutely blinding music and performance. Recently shared floor space again in The Chelsea Inn in a fund raiser for the Bristolian – their permanent drummer Abi showed superb skill and tricksy little rolls that make your belly butterflies do back flips. We have rocked and rolled by P.I.G. (Perish in Glory) but not enough – we want more please! so were playing our last Bitch’n’wooD tour gig in Southend for World Kidney Day with then and also Sarah P.I.G. and funkcutter’s birthday doo back in Bristol with another firm favourite – Kiss Me, Killer their very selves! Oh frabjous day! As ever, Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something pull and stretch our ears and heart strings – we are totally and utterly on their dick.

Mustn’t forget the chunky growls of Poisonous Cxnt, especially as we have just co-released the album “Make me a Sandwich” by them on our label Ex Gratia Recordings and the huffin, puffin, gruff Jesus Hooligan who’s side project Natural Noise Natural Chaos CD/DVD we also put out. Other grand bands I could mention are the exceedingly good line up we have for our Spring Subterfuge 2020 on the 16th May with Blank Milk – Industrial-Rant-Rave with cyber sounds from Deex on the knobs and vocalist John Lee Bird, Igam Ogam – sublime psychedelia from South Wales, plus the not even publicly announced yet (shhhhh!) Army of Skanks – knickers were almost wet when this mega power trio was confirmed.

5. Draw us a picture.

Artwork by “The Wife”

Catch Anarchistwood live at the Hope & Anchor on 7 Feb with Killdren, Petty Phase, T-Bitch and I, Doris

ĠENN: DU DA DANCE – Single of the week

Review by Tony Rounce

2019 was an important year for the women of Ġenn. Three of them relocated to Brighton from their native Malta, subsequently undergoing the rebranding that led them to their new name.  The latter was a risky thing to do, given that they had forged a decent public perception as Cryptic Street, and had already released their album “Tittymonster” under that name. But the gamble has begun to pay off and Leona, Janelle, Leanne and native Brit Sofia have quickly re-established themselves as one of the busiest bands in the country – and they are starting 2020 with the release of their first tune under their still-new identity. 

As the late Irish comedian Frank Carson used to say – “it’s a cracker”.

If you have caught Ġenn’s act, you will already know ‘Du Da Dance’. A favourite from the late Cryptic Street days, it shows that while their name might have changed, their full-on, take-no-prisoners style of music is as potent as it ever was. Filled with big riffs and an uncompromisingly mainstream rock sound, and topped by a solid sing-along ‘HEY-NaNaNaNaNaNa’’ chorus, it will quickly become your next big earworm if you allow it to. (To be honest, once you’ve heard it, you might not have any other option…)

The audio is accompanied by a simple, slightly claustrophobic black & white video that successfully captures the image that goes with the music, and particularly the unflaggingly energetic personality of lead singer Leona Farrugia.  As a taster for what you might expect to see and Ġenn live, it serves its purpose admirably.

‘Du Da Dance’s message is not cerebral, for sure. But if you like a bit of jumping around the room music to get you in the mood for a night out (particularly if you’re going to see Ġenn) it’s something you ought to check out more than once. Or twice.  Ġenn are out there gigging with commendable regularity at the moment, so you should have plenty of opportunities to do so over the next couple of months…

…And what of the name Ġenn, then?  According to group co-founder and lead guitarist Janelle Borg “it means crazy”. Appropriately enough for a bunch of highly likeable women with a crazy year ahead of them.  One that’s starting as it means to go on with ‘Du Da Dance’.

‘Du Da Dance’ will be available from all the usual streaming sources from January 27th and will be accompanied by a number of live shows around the country. Follow Genn on Facebook or Instagram for further updates on when and where…

Penny Diving: Nineteen– track of the day

Starting the week with a lush track of the day from Montreal’s Penny Diving – the dreamy fuzz-pop-punk story of ‘Nineteen’.

The band say:

“This song is about living in a teenage bubble of delusional pursuits and having tunnel vision about pursuing a career in music. A pipe dream with the best of intentions, but that can also turn out to be detrimental to growth.”

Say it ain’t so!

Find Penny Diving on Instagram

T-Bitch: 5 Question Interview

T-Bitch are the loudest, sparkliest, most FUN, and most important bands on the DIY punk scene right now – LOUD WOMEN hearts them big time. So how blimmin excited are we that they’re coming to play our next gig! 8 Feb at the Hope & Anchor, joining a riotous lineup of Killdren, Anarchistwood, fellow Southenders Petty Phase, and our ‘house band’ I, Doris. A night not to be missed – grab your tickets quick! And have a read of T-Bitch’s 5 question interview while you’re at it …

1. What  can we look forward to on 8 Feb?

Enterfuckingtainment.

2. Fill in the blanks…

“Our sound is like the lovechild of The Clash and Nirvana with a bit on the side from Minor Threat

3. Give us your band/artist manifesto in no more than 20 words

Make up, make noise, dress up, be pretty, fuck the patriarchy…

4.Who’s your favourite band/artists playing on the DIY circuit at the moment? 

I, Doris

5. Draw us a picture.

Catch T-Bitch live at the Hope & Anchor on 8 Feb for LOUD WOMEN – tickets £8 in advance, £10 on the door.

The Ice(landic) Queen: Bjork and the method behind the madness

Molly Tie continues her Music Herstory series

Björk is one of those artists – no, in fact, one of those humans – who defies all previously existing knowledge and sense. She still looks 18 years old but she’s actually 54. On paper, her music doesn’t seem like the sort of sound that would get worldwide, mainstream success but she’s one of the most recognisable and successful female artists of all time. Her switch to acting should have gone the way in often does when singers turn to film – a bit shaky. But instead, she won the 2000 Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actress for her role in Dancer in the Dark. She’s a creative powerhouse; a style icon and considered a little bit on the kooky side. Is there anything she can’t do?

First a bit of background. Björk Guðmundsdóttir was born in Iceland in 1965 to two very politically active parents – her mother was a prominent political activist and her father was a local union leader. She has always had a flare for music and has trained classically on instruments such as the flute and piano. Her talent for vocals was spotted at an early age – she had her first recording contract at 11 and released her first album at the same age (self-titled Björk in 1977).

Björk has been experimenting with different genres from the beginning- in the 1980s she dabbled in punk (in all-girl band Snot) and jazz (Exodus) as well as performing more avant garde style experimental spoken-word scores with Icelandic poets.

Björk’s career has been one of collaboration. She has been in numerous bands (other than those mentioned above, she was notably in a band called The Sugarcubes in the late 1980s) and spent her early career working with various Icelandic producers and musicians on a variety of projects.

However, in the early 1990s, Björk left the Sugarcubes, moved to London and pursued a solo career. Her debut solo album Debut was released in 1993 and was widely well-received. So much so, that in 1994 Björk won two Brit Awards – one for Best International Female and one for Best Newcomer.

Björk has been prolifically producing music since then. She has made 10 solo studio albums as well as countless other collaborations, guest appearances, bespoke experimental projects and writing credits. Some music has charted, other releases perhaps only known to those who follow her particularly closely. Either way, she continues to record, release and perform and 99% of the time, to much critical acclaim.

Björk is an artist who is perhaps better known by most people for her visuals and aesthetics than for her musical nuance. Her videos are surrealist and trippy; her outfits are bold and expressive (of course we all remember the Swan dress at the 2001 Academy Awards – the Lady Gaga meat dress of its time) and her image and sound changes with the wind. I have always considered her to be a more futuristic, abstract Kate Bush with the musical range of a PJ Harvey and a slightly cuddlier weirdness than Grace Jones.

Her private life has been, for the most part, just that- private. She’s not one for giving heartfelt tell-all interviews to OK! Magazine whilst sprawled on her sofa clutching her children but we do know some basics. She is politically active and supports a variety of left-wing, progressive causes such as environmental protections, self-determination for various nations fighting independence struggles such as Kosovo and Tibet. She has used her platform to raise money for several disaster relief appeals following natural disasters such as the Southeast Asian tsunami in 2004.

Björk’s career has had a major impact on European music and her eclecticism runs through both her musical output and visual style. Björk broke ground in the electronic scene by pushing the boundaries and interweaving other musical styles as well as her impressive soprano vocal range. Unapologetically weird, Björk encouraged and celebrated all forms of creativity through all mediums, acting as a mentor to several musical acts including Iranian producer Leila Arab and Inuit throat-singer Tanya Tagaq. Björk champions diversity via the projects she pursues and her fearless striving for effortless individuality has made the musical world a little bit more magical.

For all those who support putting women on stage, and turning up the volume