Today, 12 September 2020, is the day we had originally planned to hold LOUD WOMEN Fest 5! We have moved the festival to 20 March 2021 so let’s keep up those positive vibes and hopefully we’ll get to see our wonderful bands in London then.
In the meantime, to keep our peckers up, we made a gorgeous playlist of the LW5 bands we’ve announced so far. Get these stunners in your yurrs right now …
And if you’re so inclined, you can get yourself a ticket for the Festival right here:
DIY collective Loud Women has been championing women in music since 2015 and on Saturday 12th October will be celebrating their 4th birthday with a gig at legendary Islington punk venue The Hope & Anchor with sets from Hagar The Womb, Rabies Babies, The Menstrual Cramps, I, Doris, The Other Ones, Mindframe and Smalltown Tigers.
We got in touch with LW’s Cassie Fox to talk about the upcoming anniversary and why, four years on we still need promoters like Loud Women on the DIY scene.
When did the idea of Loud Women first arise and why? Was there a particular incident that sparked it?It started as a one-off gig in 2015. Having played on the gig circuit for a little while, I was feeling frustrated at the amount of ‘man-band’heavy’ lineups all the time, and macho crowds. I was particularly tired of my all-female band always being the token women on the bill, and wanted to put on a fundraising gig with my friends’ bands that could be relaxed and inclusive and fun … so I did! Since then, a whole heap of media activity and community has organically grown around the events, but that ethos is still at the heart of what we do – putting on events full of awesome music and a no-bullshit atmosphere with womxn and non-binary people at the heart.Have you noticed any change in the representation and treatment of female musicians in the four years since LW began?On a small scale, yes – a bit! Certainly in the cosy bubble of the London gig circuit there seem to be loads of new opportunities for “bands who are not cis het white dudes” to play, with seemingly new promoters springing up every day, which is brilliant. Outside of London though, I’m still often told by touring bands playing LW gigs that it’s the first time in ages that they’ve not been the only women on a lineup. And outside of DIY music… there’s plenty of conversations being had about major festivals supporting female artists, but still very little noticeable difference in the gender balance on bigger stages.Can you take us back to the very first Loud Women gig? Who played and what was it like?It was 3rd October 2015 at the (sadly now closed) Silver Bullet in Finsbury Park. The headliners were Blindness (featuring our awesome friend Debbie Smith), with my then-band The Wimmins’ Institute, Argonaut, and Dream Nails. I didn’t know what to expect, and feared we’d be playing to an empty room … but was delighted to find the room full for the first band, Dream Nails, who were playing their first ever gig and had brought all their friends! It was the first time I’d been at a gig with a majority-female crowd – and oh the luxury of being 5’3″ and able to actually see the stage! There was a really fun atmosphere, and we raised a decent amount of money for Women’s Aid too. So it was a no-brainer to keep the momentum going and put on more gigs … and here we are!There have been hundreds of bands playing countless Loud Women shows over the past four years, are there any nights that particularly stick in your memory?The Little LOUD WOMEN gigs we’ve done for families have been by far my favourite! I’m a mum of two, and also a big kid myself, so I love any excuse to get extra glittery, get the balloons out, and start a little toddler moshpit! I loved seeing the kids enjoying music up close, invading the stage, seeing what the instruments feel like, and what their voices sound like down a microphone. And parents really appreciated getting to see ‘proper music’ without having to pay out for a babysitter. At one gig there was a particularly humbling moment when a little girl of about 9 grabbed the mic and gave an impromtu speech about how important it was for everyone to be included – I can’t wait to see if she reappears fronting a punk band in a few years!Aside from the gigs, what else has Loud Women been involved in?Our music blog loudwomen.org and monthly ezine have really taken off in the last few years, I’m really proud of those – we have a lot of contributors, so a lot of different voices and opinions and experiences, and they really help spread the word to audiences and influencers. We’ve also released compilation records – the latest of course being LOUD WOMEN Volume Two! Between the two albums there’s over 40 different bands – all killer – £5 each to you! loudwomen.bandcamp.com
With four years under your belts, what does LW have in store for the future? More of the same I guess, until there’s no need for LOUD WOMEN any more! Keep an eye on the LOUD WOMEN socials for news of exciting 2020 events …Loud Women’s 4th Birthday Party takes place on Saturday 12th October at The Hope & Anchor. More information and tickets, priced £8 + booking fee, can be found here.Check out Cassie’s Loud Women playlist featuring 49 artists who’ve played LW shows over the past four years:
How excited are you about LOUD WOMEN Fest 4 on 14 September? However excited that is, prepare to times that by 110% and add an extra million to that too, as this Spotify playlist featuring bands playing the Fest is about to take over your ear holes and your very soul. Play it loud on repeat, and don’t forget to grab your tickets for the big event right here!
Miss Eaves, TV Face, Feral Five, I, Doris, The Noise and the Naive, BbyMutha, The Shangri-Las, Rico Nasty, Argonaut, Billie Eilish, Janelle Monae, Kero Kero Bonito, GUTTFULL, Leikeli47, Le Tigre, Sisteray, Lizzo, Miss Red, Chaka Khan, SAULT, Ibibio Sound Machine, ILL, Party Fears, Sink Ya Teeth, Christine and the Queens, Neneh Cherry, Pom Poko, The Breeders, The Lovely Eggs, Velodrome, Pip Blom, GGAllan Partridge, Cid Rim, Tacocat, Mo-Dettes, X-ray Spex, The Slits, Missy Elliott, M.I.A., Ana Tijoux
Massive thanks to Abby/Doris Werth for the particularly choice selections ❤
The 2018 LOUD WOMEN album of the year is therefore shared by five artists; and if that wasn’t enough we’ve inaugurated a spanking new LOUD WOMEN People’s Vote Readers’ Choice Award chosen by LOUD WOMEN readers themselves (who are clearly better at making decisions!)
Without giving too much way at this stage let’s just say that it’s been a good year for block capitals: here goes!
With stellar gigs performed all over the London-based DIY scene that they call home and extensive radio play on shows like BBC Music Introducing, it’s been a big year for Big Joanie. The feminist punk trio have certainly ended 2018 with a bang thanks to the acclaim that’s already been given to their debut album Sistahs…By allowing their true feelings to be at the forefront of their songwriting, the band create tracks that truly empower the listener; not only to rebel but to check their own activism, to continue growing, and to do better. [Read full review here]
“An irrepressible sense of fun runs through Tits and Nails, in spite of everything its lyrics address. GUTTFULL has created a brilliant and uncompromising summation of the trials of being ‘other’ in 2018 and they’re ready to shout down their oppressors – with wit and with groove.” [Read more from this review]
They write songs which are both silly and serious, and they attack them (as well as each other) playfully. You can make a case for pretension in art, but there’s none with ILL; like so many of the best bands they seem like a gang you’d love to join, but ILL go one better and make you feel like you’d be welcome: friendly if not quite family-friendly (unless the family in question is more Addams than Partridge, perhaps). … A perfect storm of enigma, whimsy and controlled violence, and a genre-straddling state-of-the-nation address. With added bear growls. [Read more from this review]
‘Long-awaited’ might be a cliché, but in the case of LIINES‘ debut album, it’s a fitting description for a band that’s evolved steadily from fin-de-siecle Manc post-riot grrrl stalwarts Hooker: the tightest, heaviest rhythm section in DIY supports Zoe McVeigh’s emotional vocals and haiku-like songwriting, together conjuring an atmosphere of taut, claustrophobic menace like a UK postpunk time capsule. [Read more from this review]
A perfect ten tracks of no wave-disco electropop on a brilliant debut album from this Norwich duo. Described by The Guardian as “Thrillingly chilly, perfectly funky, no-wave straight out of early 80’s NYC…except that Sink Ya Teeth are a duo from Norwich. In a different era they’d have been all over TOTP” 4/5
The LOUD WOMEN People’s Vote Readers’ Choice Award:
The Menstrual Cramps is an anti-capitalist feminist band, therefore expect direct attacks on Tories, Neo-Nazis, big brands, business owners, famous idols who shouldn’t be idols anymore, and of course, “boyz-who-will-be-boyz”. The songs are so catchy that half of the album will get stuck in your head after giving one listen to the whole album. They produce music rapidly, though diligently. This rapidity actually shows itself in the guitars as fast riffs, playful strokes and abrupt small silences and it just sounds so good and steady. [Read more from this review]
The Top Twenty in full:
Big Joanie – Sistahs
The Breeders – All Nerve
Colour Me Wednesday – Counting Pennies in the Afterlife
*As voted for by members of LOUD WOMEN’s wonderful reviews and events team, including: Cassie Fox, Kris Smith, Abby Werth, Abigail Brady, Vicki Thompson, Hannah Kessler, Marissa Schlussel, Stacy Norman, Charley Stone, Kitty Fedorec, Sarah Lay, Phil Whaite, Gemma Gompertz, Alex Sarll, Jess McPhee, Tegan Christmas, Richard Archer, Jenny Bunn, Keira Cullinane, Hannah Wright. Thank you all for your time! x
Julie Hawk, front woman of Hawk, has created a beautiful multimedia project called ‘Female Fronted, Drawn Together’. This is very much LOUD WOMEN’s cup of tea! A playlist of inspirational female musicians, past and present, with an illustration to accompany each song. Julie has kindly written a piece exclusively for LOUD WOMEN explaining her work on the project.
I don’t know where I’d be without the musical women who have influenced me. I started Female Fronted, Drawn Together as a project that combines music and illustration in a way that celebrates this; that allows me to share their music and give a little back to say thank you.
There wasn’t really a plan at first in terms of what I would base each drawing on. But I think that’s led to a really organic and personal process of pin-pointing where my feelings lie, because each artist has affected my life in a totally different way. Some of these women I admire for their message or for their musical creativity. Some of them have given me unforgettable live experiences. And some of them I associate with significant memories, whether happy or sad – the right place at the right time.
I don’t think believe that anyone hears the same piece of music in the same way. Each connection that an artist makes with a listener is unique and complex. On top of this, female fronted music is so often lumped together as a single genre in a way that doesn’t acknowledge the diverse voices and talent and ideas that each woman brings to the table. I feel like in many ways, girls grow up to feel competitive to one another, but there’s been an amazing and positive backlash against this in music lately. I’m seeing so many girlbands looking out for each other and starting up amazing collectives together. I wanted Female Fronted Drawn Together to be a little contribution to this movement, and a space through which I could thank each of these women and just share a little love.