Category Archives: Music news

LOUD WOMEN announces shortlist for the 3rd HERcury Prize

By Kris Smith

In 2019 the world might seem to be falling apart in nearly every respect but at least it’s only sad old men on YouTube who think that music is getting worse. If that’s your experience, you’re listening to the wrong music. In fact there’s been such a mushrooming of female talent over the last few years that a competition such as the Loud Women Hercury Music Award gets tougher to adjudicate every year. But what a great problem to have!

Our criteria differ slightly from lesser, so-called music prizes. This year Loud Women has whittled down a Top 12 from nearly one hundred albums by UK-based self-identified female and non-binary artists released in the twelve months from July 2018: that’s albums released on any format, with any level of industry distribution. 

The elected winner of the 2019 Hercury Award will be announced in September, and after tense late-night deliberations among the Loud Women team, the dazzling dozen contenders are as follows: 

Big Joanie – Sistahs (Nov, 2018)


There’s much love out there for this very necessary band, including from your actual Thurston Moore who formed side label Daydream Library just to release ‘Sistahs’, their debut album. Self-identified as a punk group, Big Joanie throw off all genre expectations with a blend of indie rock, riot grrrl and electronica, recalibrating punk as method and possibility. A unique record that rewards repeated listening.

Brix & the Extricated – Breaking State (Oct, 2018)


Second album from the latest band incarnation of Brix Smith-Start, like two of her band mates ex-of The Fall, with a sound that mixes their former band’s bass-heavy sonics with jangley Adult Net choruses and Pixies-esque melodies.


Desperate Journalist – In Search of the Miraculous (Feb, 2019) 


Three albums in to their career, the prolific Desperate Journalist have perfected a singular synthesis of British alternative rock: Jo Bevan’s vocals soar stronger and the band power more tightly than ever through anthems anchored on postpunk bass, garlanded with chiming guitar arabesques and Britpop choruses. In some moments DJ invoke Elizabeth Fraser or Siouxie Sioux fronting the Morrissey band, regarding which either of whom would of course be a colossal improvement.

Dream Nails – Take Up Space (Jan, 2019)


No-one expected the debut full length from Dream Nails to be an entirely acoustic album recorded live in a left-wing bookshop in Kings Cross, and it’s all the more perfect a statement for that. The stripped-down acoustics show off their technical skill, quality of songwriting and audience rapport to full effect. A nigh-on irresistible band taking a winningly playful approach to (mostly) serious themes.


Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics (Oct, 2018)


Nostalgic 90s triphop-style grooves on this, Neneh Cherry’s fifth album. Alternately contemplative and defiant.

Grace Petrie – Queer as Folk  (Sept, 2018) 


Latest studio album from one of the UK’s most prolific, consistent and committed songwriters, with her largest backing band so far and possibly the only Hercury-nominated album to feature bodhrán, fiddle and accordion. Perhaps an unusual choice for Team Loud Women on paper, but not if you’ve seen Grace live, where the political message is as loud as the sound of audiences alternately sobbing and cheering to her songs of heartbreak and resistance.


Little Simz – Grey Area (March, 2019) 


Third LP proper and the most concise, confident musical statement yet from one of our very finest MCs, Simbi Ajikawo. Fiercely intelligent, multilayered and politically-charged lyrics meet genre-hopping sonics over dread basslines. “I’m a boss in a fucking dress,” she declares at the start, and ten tracks later it’s hard to disagree.

Muncie Girls – Fixed Ideals (Aug, 2018)


A consistently tuneful band, Muncie Girls’ second album manages to do all the things their brilliant first album did, but better. Part of an identifiable new wave of women-led indiepop groups, MGs interweave political themes with emotional songwriting in a way that would fit firmly on Dovetown Records should they ever leave their current label.

Petrol Girls – Cut and Stitch (May, 2019) 


“This sound can’t be buried,” declares Ren Aldridge, on this epic, poetic, Poly Styrene-sampling state of the nation address. At times a humblingly powerful band with a combination of righteous political ferocity, melody and atmosphere probably not heard since Rage Against the Machine, combined with a Dischord-style skill at backing vocals; in fact, arguably the finest British post-hardcore band since Leatherface, it says on the internet. (Well, it does now).

Queen Zee – Queen Zee (Feb, 2019) 


There’s a Placebo meets early Suede meets Ste McCabe feel to the best songs on this blistering debut album from trans-fronted punks Queen Zee. Ten walks on the wild side, with a real lyrical bite in lines like “They clock my throat, stare down my lips/Do they hate me or just want a kiss/I think cupid’s arrow might have missed.” A band with vision, attitude, hooks, and in ‘Sissy Fits’ a bona(fide) anthem.

She Makes War – Brace for Impact (Oct, 2018) 


Excellent fan-funded fourth album from Laura Kidd, achieving a deserved Top 20 Independent Album Chart placing, with twelve tracks of deeply emotive hook-laden alternative rock.

Trash Kit – Horizon (Jul, 2019)


One-woman music scene Rachel Aggs returns with Trash Kit for a third album, this time accentuating their plaintive postpunk, afrobeat riffs and DIY-tribe chants with saxophone and all manner of jazzy instrumentation. Often breathtaking and beautiful, and possibly the least, and therefore the most, punk record on the shortlist.



2019 Hercury runners-up include: Menstrual Cramps, Doe, Witching Waves, Cate le Bon, Jelly Cleaver, Calva Louise, Nilufer Yanya, Sacred Paws, Anna Calvi, Ray BLK, Bamboo, Rose Elinor Dougall, Neurotic Fiction, Eliza Shaddad, Personal Best, Vodun, Chorusgirl, Tuffragettes, Scrap Brain, Art Trip & the Static Sound, Tirzah, Girli, A Void, Bis, Fightmilk and Skinny Girl Diet.

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Skin and the legacy of a rock goddess

by Molly Tie

I’ve been seeing a fair bit of Deborah Dyer in the papers recently and it got me to thinking about her incredibly powerful persona and exciting career. Still relevant; still badass and still not suffering fools, Dyer (A.K.A Skin of Skunk Anansie fame) still deserves kudos for her enduring legacy and unapologetic brand of ‘clit-rock’.

We have Skunk Anansie’s Summer tour to thank for the influx of articles and interviews in which the impact and influence of the band’s musical output is re-celebrated and poured over, and in true bandwagon style I have decided to add to it. Prepare to be influxed.

Skin was born in 1967 and brought up in Brixton, South London. Her childhood was spent surrounded by music. Her grandfather ran his own drinking establishment and Skin witnessed the revelry and camaraderie that people enjoy when drinking rum and having a dance to Prince Buster. With childhood dreams of becoming a pianist, Skin was keen to pursue a career in music.

The vehicle that would propel her to worldwide fame was the band she is most famous for fronting- Skunk Anansie. Formed in 1994, Skunk Anansie were often lumped into the generic Britrock label as this was the time that ‘Cool Britannia’ was the benchmark for quality culture and British-ness was all the rage- British films; fashion and most significantly, music. Nestled in amongst the likes of Oasis, Blur and Supergrass there was a cohort of harder bands like the Prodigy who made for slightly more hardcore listening.

Skunk Anansie were widely considered to be a political band (they once declared that ‘everything is political’), a label given out due to the nature of their lyrics and Skin’s aggressive vocals. They were Britain’s answer to Rage Against the Machine. Skin has been outspoken in her belief that more musicians need to address issue of racism, sexism and homophobia and actively take a stand against it, rather than sitting on the fence. Many aspects of Skin’s image are political without even trying- she is black, she is gay and she is female. Her shaved head and flamboyant fashion was an antidote the mainstream male Brit rockers of the 1990s who intentionally cultivated a more basic, scruffy image. A strong, powerful and intelligent frontwoman was an instant inspiration for a generation of young women.

Skin was also the first black British artist to headline Glastonbury, something we all had to be reminded of when Stormzy was given the title this year.

Skunk Anansie achieved widespread critical acclaim and released a slew of successful singles including Charity; Hedonism, Weak and Charlie Big Potato. The band’s split in 2001 was not the last we saw of Skin. She went on to release two solo studio albums: Fleshwounds (2003) and Fake Chemical State (2006). As a solo artist she has supported Robbie Williams and Placebo on tour; duetted with Pavarotti in front of the Dalai Lama and was even a judge on the Italian version of the X Factor for one season.  

Skunk Anansie reformed in 2008 and have continued to be recognised for their contribution to the British rock scene. You can pick up a copy of their celebratory album 25Live@25 which was released in January this year, as well as a new single What You Do for Love – their first new single in three years.

Continuing the 25th anniversary celebrations Skunk Anansie will be touring Europe throughout the summer of 2019, headlining festivals and their own shows, finishing with a string of UK shows. For a band that have been widely regarded as one of the most exciting live bands you will ever see, it is worth trying to catch them on one of their forthcoming dates. And if you can’t get tickets to see them in person, there is still an extensive back catalogue of absolute bangers to fire you up and tear you apart.

LOUD WOMEN Volume Two compilation album: track listing revealed

Drumroll please as we can finally announce the full 22 track listing for the hotly-anticipated LOUD WOMEN Volume Two compilation album, which will be launched 14 September 2019 at LOUD WOMEN Fest 4!

1The FranklysNot Guilty
2The TxlipsThe Lost One
3I, DorisThe Girl From Clapham
4The Menstrual CrampsNo Means No
5The CleopatrasForty
6LIINESNever Wanted This
7PussyliquorMy Body My Choice
8Pleasure VenomHive
9ARXXIron Lung
10Ms MohammedNever Again
11The Baby SealsIt’s Not About the Money, Honey
12Peach ClubNot Your Girl
13T-BitchFrighty Nighty
14Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic SomethingSomeone Else to Blame
15Jelly CleaverYarl’s Wood
16Secondhand UnderpantsThe Anthem
17GaptoothPost-Patriarchy Disco
18Vaginas, What Else?Loose Tile
19GGAllan PartridgeI Feel Lobe
20HurtlingDon’t Know Us
21Personal BestRadio
22Bridget HartLet Loose Lucy

The CD is available to pre-order now for just £5 from our Bandcamp page – and as a thank you for pre-ordering, when the CD releases after 14 Sept we’ll also send you a copy of Volume One! So that’s 42 of the loudest of loud women, all for a cheeky fiver.

Praise for LOUD WOMEN Volume Two:

“Scabrous riffs, inventive songcraft and full force in-your-face woman power from all bands involved. Loud Women festival shows up the mainstream by exhibiting the very best of women in rock.”

– Paula Frost, Vive Le Rock

“LOUD WOMEN are inspiring social change”

– Kerrang!

At a time of toxic masculinity in the industry, platforms like Loud Women are a brilliant, and brazen, beacon of hope shining a floodlight on marginalised musicians. Turn it up LOUD.

Cheri Amour, Soho Radio / She Shreds magazine

LOUD WOMEN rock!

DJ John Kennedy, Radio X

LOUD WOMEN: Volume Two – available to pre-order now!

Launching in time for LOUD WOMEN Fest 4 on 14 September, we are massively excited to announce the hotly anticipated LOUD WOMEN: Volume Two compilation album!

Featuring 21 of the loudest women who’ve played our gigs and festivals … full track-listing to be revealed soon, watch this space …

… and help us pay for the pressing by pre-ordering today! ❤

As a thank you for pre-ordering, for every Volume Two CD you order, we’ll also send you a copy of Volume One! So that’s 42 of the loudest of loud women, all for a cheeky fiver. 

Personal Best: What You At – album launch 14 June

The soundtrack to my day today is Personal Best’s hot AF second album, ‘What You At’ – and it can be yours too from this Friday! Jam-packed with deliciously retro indie-pop bangers and punked queer rock love songs, the record comes with the wonderful tagline ‘Classic Rock for Tragic Lesbians’. Out Friday 14 and available to pre-order now from Dovetown Records and Sheer Luck Records in the US.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Kate delivers powerfully poignant, often bittersweet, totally endearing lyrics over giant guitar riffs, taking the tropes of “classic rock”, aka “Dad rock”, re-appropriated for womankind and delivered in a shower of glitter. See ‘Near to the Wild Heart’, which deserves a medal for the, I assume, deliberately over-stretched outro; an increasingly complex array of instruments taking turns to solo. Actual lolled when a trumpet appeared from nowhere – I hope that was the intended response!

Stand-out tracks for me were ‘You Don’t Call Me Baby Anymore’, which instantly had me singing along to the chorus and dancing round the kitchen at LOUD WOMEN HQ. And title track ‘What You At’ is a triumph; I don’t often use the word ‘anthemic’ as a compliment, but seriously, if Personal Best don’t get to perform this queer rock anthem on an enormous stage some day there’s no justice in the world.

In the meantime, make sure to catch them on any size stage they play! Can’t wait to hear this live, this Saturday, when the band launch the album with a headline show at London’s The Victoria. Support comes from The Spares (the spin-off of our faves Spare Rib) and our own mummycore punk dinnerladies, I, Doris. Good times guaranteed. Facebook event deets here.

Stay tuned too for more exciting news about Personal Best relating to a festival close to our hearts … wink wink etc. Announcement coming this weekend!

Find Personal Best on facebook and bandcamp

loud women oz – launching June in perth and fremantle, WA

So excited that our beloved LOUD WOMEN, having started in a London pub 4 years ago, now has chapters across the US and Australia! The latter launches with a bang this June with our aussie mastermind Elle Cee dishing up two gigs to get things started down under …

The first is 8 June at The Bird in Perth, featuring:
Honestly , Oosterbanger , Tanaya Harper and HUSSY. Details here.

The next is 20 June at Mojos in Fremantle, featuring:
Cryot Girl , Grunge Barbie. JOYS and The Psychotic Reactions. Details here.

For the full scoop head to the LOUD WOMEN OZ Facebook group – and please tell your like-minded friends in Australia to do the same!

LIINES: On and On – new music

Manchester’s LIINES are on fire right now. Having just hopped off a 30+ date tour with Sleaford Mods, and just about to embark on their own headline tour, they’re releasing a blinder of a new single, On and On, out Friday 24 May on Reckless Yes records next Friday 24 May. It’s a frenetic but ultimately satisfying 2 and a bit minutes of the driving dissonance that have made us weak at the knees for LIINES since they first graced a LOUD WOMEN Fest back in 2017. Sigh. Anyway. Here’s a sneaky peak of the new goodness:

On and On is LIINES’ first new material since releasing stunning album Stop-Start last May – it will be released digitally next Friday 24 May, via Reckless Yes. It can be pre-saved on Spotify and pre-ordered on bandcamp.


Catch LIINES live:

London (30 May, Thousand Island, upstairs at The Garage) – with Chorus Girl + Art Trip and the Static Sound
Nottingham (31 May, The Bodega) – with Pet Crow, I am Lono and Dacodac
Manchester (1 June, Yes) – with Blanketman and Pet Crow
Kendal Calling (Tim Peaks Diner)
Cotton Clouds Festival (Saddleworth, Tim Peaks Diner)
Confessional Festival (Blackburn).


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