DIY punk witches Dream Nails have scooped the 2019 LOUD WOMEN Hercury Prize for their album ‘Take Up Space’ – available on Bandcamp.
The prize was announced in a ridiculous DIY ceremony broadcast on Facebook live, by Cassie and her son Dylan.
The Hercury Prize is judged by Team LOUD WOMEN, who 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. This year’s shortlist was:
Big Joanie – Sistahs (Nov, 2018)
Brix & the Extricated – Breaking State (Oct, 2018)
Desperate Journalist – In Search of the Miraculous (Feb, 2019)
Dream Nails – Take Up Space (Jan, 2019)
Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics (Oct, 2018)
Grace Petrie – Queer as Folk (Sept, 2018)
Little Simz – Grey Area (March, 2019)
Muncie Girls – Fixed Ideals (Aug, 2018)
Petrol Girls – Cut and Stitch (May, 2019)
Queen Zee – Queen Zee (Feb, 2019)
She Makes War – Brace for Impact (Oct, 2018)
Trash Kit – Horizon (Jul, 2019)
Dream Nails accepted their award on tour in Madrid!
Effy Mitchell has just launched ‘Double Dare Ya’ on the world – the results of a documentary project interviewing bands and organisations that make up the UK’s current feminist punk/riot grrrl scene in 2019. It’s a brilliant piece of herstory capturing our scene right now.
LOUD WOMEN’s Cassie Fox was included (with a very sore throat at the time so she’s by far the most quiet woman in this!)
Interviewed bands / organisations : Peach Club Cheerbleederz Fresh Punks Dream Nails Penance stare Witching waves Cult Dreams Lunar Sounds Fig by four ZALU Babe Punch Farting suffragettes Suffrajitsu Noise and the naive Loud Women (Cassie Fox) Sounds for the cause ( Rynn ) Bomb the twist records ( Sarah ) Girls rock Edinburgh ( Caro and Fiona )
Featured bands + organisations + other contributors: Maid of ace Against me! Pussy liquor GLOSS FISTY MUFFS I, Doris Guttfull Petrol Girls Wet Brain Hooligans
Girl gang Leeds
Women in music Nottingham
Cramond island of punk
With the Christmas party season firmly behind us, it’s safe to say that January is a difficult month to get right. Resolutions are at risk of being broken and that person you promised yourself you’d become hasn’t yet materialised. But, you know what? Fuck that. Use these three compilation albums to reassert yourself, KonMari the hell out of your music collection, remind yourself how to say ‘no’, and make you want to start (another) band.
With a change in how we consume music, compilation albums can revive that feeling of buying a CD, rinsing the fuck out of it, listening to songs you know and finding new gems. Like: when I bought ‘Now 34’ from a shop in Sunderland just so I could listen to The Spice Girls, but then discovered Bon Jovi and Belinda Carlisle.
So, yeah, just like that, but it’s 2019, and I’m kicking off with Hell Hath No Fury Vol 2 by Hell Hath No Fury Records. El Knight has compiled 18 bangers for our aural delight. Available now from Bandcamp for £4, of which 50% of proceeds will go to Future Festival 2019, a three-dayer close to Bristol with music and performances by trans and enby artists plus practical and political workshops and more! The album compliments perfectly. Tracks selected from artists such as Wolfgirl, Gender Chores, Colour Me Wednesday, DreamNails, BigJoanie, Charmpit are definitely at the more political end of the spectrum. Listen carefully, and use these as your inspiration for 2019, create your own manifesto and don’t take any bullshit. Turn Big Joanie’s No Scrubs up to eleven and crack open your bullet journal during Dream Nails’ DIY.
HERESY by Ankara-based community, Chaos, I Am Your Mistress (CIAYM), opens with SecondhandUnderpants single ‘Your Little Bitch’. If BarbaraStanwyck started a band, this is what it would sound like. This dark and head-banging opening track is bound to annoy neighbours, so make sure to play it LOUD and LATE. The digital album is available on Bandcamp for the devilish price of €6.66. Proceeds go towards supporting women and other marginalized genders in underground music. The album also features tracks from REVULVA, CrypticStreet and TwinPigs. It’s worth emailing the address on the BC to request the CD, because then you get two extra tracks from GUTTFULL (The Power and That’s What He Said)!
Last, but not least, get your chops around Birds Of A Feather Vol 2 by Anthrax (UK). And before you ask, no, it’s not an album of duets by Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson with Lesley Joseph on the lute. Rather, it’s of the classic punk, head-banging-greatness variety. But, it’s loud, proud and inspiring, with tracks from Zombie Met Girl, Kiss Me, Killer, Bratakus, and loads more! Such a great offering from Anthrax (uk) on Grow Your Own Records, it’s out now on Bandcamp, as a digital album or CD. Don’t forget to hold it, embrace the joy and kiss it before putting it back neatly into its jacket.
So, there you have it. There’s enough here to keep you going for a few months. Go forth, find new favourites, enjoy the tracks you know and don’t forget smash the patriarchy.”
Self-described punk witches DreamNails are a band who put their money where their mouth is in terms of their activism. They were vital performers in last year’s Solidarity Not Silence benefit concert in aid of women sued for making allegations of sexual misconduct, and their chant of “all the women and non-binary people, come to the front” is a staple of their live shows. Now, giving corporations like Spotify the middle finger for their lack of financial support towards DIY artists, Dream Nails’ latest album is independent to its core. Acoustic versions of their raw vibrant tracks are now available on Bandcamp in their ‘Take Up Space!’ record.
After a playfully chatty introduction, drummer Lucy’s roll leads into the vibrant empowerment anthem of ‘Landlady’. Frontwoman Janey sweetly delivers defiant messages of self-confidence and independence with witty metaphors on the level of their previous singles like ‘Tourist’. This record is also home to some of their most beloved singles, including the aforementioned ‘Tourist’ and concluding single ‘Deep Heat’, which has all the ferocity and sass of its delivery on a live stage but feels even more intimate. Hearing the audience participate on tracks like this, as well as their clicking along on ‘Cookies 4 U’, makes for an unexpectedly immersive experience that puts you directly in the welcoming and supportive crowds that Dream Nails conjure on a regular basis.
As well as revamping some of their singles, the album is also the first chance to hear some of their biggest live successes like ‘Jillian’ and ‘Time Ain’t No Healer’ at your fingertips. A personal favourite of mine from their live sets, ‘Jillian’ becomes a folksy trip into the art of fangirling. The harmonies are still slick, the lyrics are still an absolute delight, and it’s so clear how much fun they’re all having with it, particularly in Janey’s vocal performance. The raucous attitude Dream Nails are known for, their exposure of every emotion without ever apologising for it, and their potent chemistry never seem to waver.
Here’s a beautiful example of badass musical sisterhood in action.
London’s Oslo will host a benefit show on 5 December, featuring live performances from super-sheroes of the DIY punk scene The Tuts and Dream Nails, plus DJ sets from Girli, and Alice Go of Dream Wife.
Proceeds for this not-to-be-missed event will go to the Solidarity Not Silence Campaign, which seeks to help a group of women defend themselves against defamation claim made by a man in music industry for statements that they made concerning his treatment of women.
In the wake of #metoo, with women coming together online to share their experiences of abuse, the campaign has received strong support – with over £20,000 raised so far.
What better way to fight back against the silencing of women than a night of badass women with guitars and turntables.
Here’s the statement from the Solidarity Not Silence campaign site:
WOMEN FACING DEFAMATION CASE
We are a group of women who are fighting a claim of defamation made against us by a well-known musician (hereon referred to as A). We refuse to be silenced and we need your solidarity to fight this case. Read on to find out more.
Who are we?
Our group includes one of A’s ex-girlfriends, one of several of his former partners who are facing a libel claim, and feminist musicians who spoke out in support of these women. Legal papers have been served against all of us. By coming together as a group, we have managed to personally fund our legal defence through the various stages up until the claim was finally served against us in court on 2 August 2017. Not only has this lengthy process been very expensive, there has also been tremendous emotional and psychological impact. Most of us have suffered severely with our mental health as a result, but we refuse to give up.
This is why we are reaching out to you for support. We risk losing everything and potentially bankrupting ourselves in the process. If you help us, we can continue with proper legal representation which will give us a strong chance of winning this case.
In 2016 we each independently made a number of public statements about A’s behaviour towards women. This was in protest against unacceptable behaviour in the music community, a cause we all speak about regularly, and to promote safety. Soon afterwards, we received letters from A’s solicitor and came together as a group in order to support each other.
The nature of this legal battle means that we are already limited in what we can share with you, and we would encourage our supporters not to publish anything more than is in this statement for the time being.
What is defamation and why are we being accused of it?
A defamation claim is a claim brought in a civil court for compensation for publications which are said to cause serious harm to someone’s reputation. We will be defending our statements as we believe they were in the public interest. We are represented by Bindmans LLP – a well established legal firm with expertise in defamation claims.
What are A’s demands?
A week before Christmas we received the first correspondence from his solicitor where we were advised to find legal representation and ordered to comply with a series of demands by 4 January 2017 (over the holiday period), including demands for compensation, legal costs, removal of our statements, apologies, and agreement not to repeat these allegations, or similar ones, even when they concerned our own experiences.
Why can’t we get legal aid?
Sadly there is no legal aid for defamation cases.
Why do we need so much money?
Our initial target of £9,000 will contribute towards the cost of drafting our defences: the stretch target would cover our legal costs for the next stages of our defence.
Why don’t we just give up?
We cannot agree to these terms and do not want our case to set a precedent for silencing marginalised voices in the music industry and beyond. We need to keep fighting even though we do not have the same power, fame or financial backing as A, as we do not believe that money should be a barrier to accessing justice. We refuse to be silenced and we believe we must pursue justice.
The EP features 4 of the festival’s most exciting punk women-led bands, namely:
Dream Nails – “punk witches from hell here to hex the patriarchy”: a London all-grrrl 4-piece who have established themselves as queens of the DIY punk scene in the 3 years since their first gig (which was also the first ever LOUD WOMEN event), fresh from storming sets at Rebellion and Boomtown Festivals.
Ms Mohammed – “clit rock”: an awesome artist, recently featured in The Guardian following a stunning headline set at this year’s Decolonise Fest.
You Want Fox– “a shot of adrenaline to the UK music scene”: a Nottingham duo playing ‘glamorous punk and sleazy garage’, hotly tipped.
Guttfull – “dirty sax punx”: London’s queercore heroes – set to launch their debut album this Autumn.
Our fave punk witches Dream Nails released new single “Merkury” from their second EP, ‘Dare to Care’ this week, and the Earth flipped! With plays this week on BBC Radio 1, and Radio X, and Twitter love from the NME, it’s awesome to see Dream Nails getting big time attention. Their next London gig is, of course, LOUD WOMEN Fest on 15 September!