The soundtrack to my day today is PersonalBest’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 TheSpares (the spin-off of our faves SpareRib) 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!
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 …
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:
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).
Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something ‘s latest single Helen is a Reptile is out now, and you can bid for a copy of a very special edition vinyl pressing in aid of a cause close to Loud Women’s hearts and minds, Music Support UK.
Each 7” single could be described much
like a Masterchef dish as vinyl served three ways! Each disc has been hand
lathe-cut in real time by Brightons 3.45 vinyl. There is a mixture of clear and
black vinyl and the run out groove is engraved with Teabar records Berties’ catch
phrase and mantra for life “Take it easy, but take it!”
The charity copies are available to
bid for from Thursday 00:00 until 23:59 and the winners notified and announced
on Friday 3rd May.
The band are raising money and awareness for Music Support –a registered charity founded and run by people from the UK music industry, for individuals in any area of the UK music industry suffering from mental, emotional and behavioural health disorders. Jemma says:
As a band we feel strongly about raising awareness and understanding of mental health issues on both a personal and structural level within music. It’s important the conversations about mental health can be continued and that practical help is available at the point of crisis and training given to help educate others. A lot of the content of the Cosmic Something deals with mental health issues, specifically Helen is Reptile which deals with intrusive thoughts and suicidal ideation. Members have benefited from the help of music charities to enable us to continue working as musicians so Music Support seemed like the perfect cause.
There are ten 7” singles available to buy online via this blind auction
The ten largest bids submitted to the auction will be the winners
You can only bid once in this auction, but if you’re interested in buying multiple copies please also say how many you’d like to buy at the price you bid. If your bid ends up in the top 10 we’ll try to accommodate your request for multiple copies, subject to availability.
Auction begins at midnight on 2nd May and ends at 23:59 (UK time) the same day. Bids received outside of these times will not be entered into the auction.
Send your bid to us in a private message via the JF&TCS Facebook page. All bids received via other means (public comments on fb posts, email, other social media, carrier pigeon) will not be entered into the auction.
Bids must be placed in £GBP.
JF&TCS will keep the retail price of the single to cover manufacturing costs (£10), plus P&P expenses from each winning bid. The rest of the money bid will be donated to Music Support
All bids placed are binding commitments to pay the price bid for one copy of the 7” single. Please don’t bid more than you’re prepared to pay
Winners will be notified as soon as possible via email after the auction ends. We’ll also send you a PayPal invoice for the amount bid so you can pay for your 7”.
The names of the winners will be published by JF&TCS in a FB post as soon as possible after the auction ends, once sales have been finalised (unless you prefer to remain anonymous – please let us know if so)
Legendary independent record label Kill Rock Stars have launched a podcast miniseries celebrating the 25th anniversary of Potty Mouth – the seminal album of Bratmobile. Separated into five bite-sized parts, Girl Germs charts the musical journey of AllisonWolfe, ErinSmith and MollyNeuman, who came together during the early days of Riot Grrrl – the underground feminist punk movement that defined much of the DIY music scene of the 90s.
For anyone already interested in the feminist punk scene of the 90s, mentions of the landscape where Bratmobile formed will already sound familiar, as references to Evergreen State College, the town of Olympia and the scene that surrounded Oregon at that time crop up continually to define the environment Bratmobile was born out of. From the first episode it becomes clear that there were no bystanders in the thriving punk scene of Olympia during this time, and to fit in you needed to be actively contributing and creating – whether it was setting up feminist art gallery like Reko Muse, creating zines to spread awareness of social issues and underground activists, or organising spoken word open mic nights. For Bratmobile, this meant starting a band and, as Molly Neuman explains, their band was pretty much as DIY as you could get – they learnt to play as they went along, decided to play their first gig with BikiniKill as a dare, and recorded their debut album in 24 hours – which explains the unrestrained often primitive sounds that encapsulates much of Bratmobile’s music.
The story of Bratmobile in Girl Germs is punctuated by reflections not only from the band, but their peers and a generation of bands they inspired. Contemporaries such as Tae Won Yu of KickingGiant reflects on the DIY elements of the band being a catalyst for a new way of making music, believing Bratmobile ‘changed what people thought was worth doing in punk rock’ by refusing to copy other bands to figure out the next steps to take, instead creating and honing a sound that seemed entirely unique to the current music scene.
Girl Germs tracks not only Bratmobile’s rise to fame, but the rise of Riot Grrrl in general – CorinTucker of Heavens to Betsy speaks to this as she reminisces on her place in the scene, and the sometimes negative pressures that affected many women in the movement. Tucker explains that many Riot Grrrl bands were making music before bands like Nirvana broke, so the underground scene was something the media wasn’t often interested in – or worse still, something they trivialised entirely. Tucker reflects on her own efforts to distance herself from the Riot Grrrl scene, which often became a trap for women in punk music, to constantly only be asked what it’s like to be a woman in punk, not someone in a band making great music. And though the Riot Grrrl era is long gone, the idea of being a woman in a band as a novelty is still something that is perpetuated in much of the music industry today.
It’s important to remember the flaws and criticisms of the Riot Grrrl movement – by no means perfect, the scene was often rightly accused of not being diverse and inclusive enough, and fights within the scene itself about policing the right way to be a ‘Riot Grrrl’ is discussed in the podcast as being a major reason for Bratmobile’s initial break up on stage in 1994. This is worth noting, because the nostalgia that often surrounds these movements and scenes often does not reflect what the music scene actually needed, and still needs today – for all women to be part of the movement, for it to be any kind of movement at all.
From Riot Grrrl icons Bikini Kill announcing their first
tour in over 20 years, to NME fronting an entire series of women in music
nights using the ‘Girls To The Front’ tag line, the spirit of Riot Grrrl ethos
captured so neatly in the Girl Germs podcast is clearly something that still
has a huge relevancy in music industry today. Towards the end of the podcast,
there is hope that the continuing legacy of Bratmobile will inspire more women
and girls to pick up an instrument, claim their space, and whether they think
they are ready or not, do it anyway.
Our alltime favourites Petrol Girls have just announced a new album coming out 24 May – Cut & Stitch – and they’ve released a banging first single here, ‘The Sound’, capturing the essence of DIY punk. We are just so into this. The band explain more:
“We are not claiming our own music to define ‘The Sound’ – the track is more like an appreciation of sound as something that’s constantly evolving, and that everyone can use and develop in their own way. It’s a kind of manifesto for the political potential of sound… Make your own noise! Disseminate!’
The album Cut & Stitch is available to preorder now from Bandcamp.