Tag Archives: lilith ai

Lilith Ai: Bare Radical – EP review

Review by Kris Smith, Photos by Keira Anee at LOUD WOMEN Fest 2019

First – a confession. ‘Bare Radical’ by Lilith Ai was released during the summer of 2019 and I was not paying full attention. Despite catching her set three years ago at the first Loud Women festival, the artist had fallen off my radar a little during the three years since her first ‘Riot’ EP of that September. But she has my attention now, and as the only solo performer at this month’s Loud Women Fest 4 she had the attention of an entire room armed only with acoustic guitar and electric charisma. The Loud Women audience is in the main a respectful one, to be sure, but it’s still quite a feat to get any crowd to shut the fuck up for the token quiet song in a set, let alone a whole performance. Lilith held us in, and eating out of, the palm of her hand, while hanging on her every word. 

Lilith Ai – photo by Keira Anee at LOUD WOMEN Fest 2019

Luckily her words are worth hanging on to, and likewise the music. January’s excellent EP2 ‘Native Tongue’ was self-described “lo-fi indie folk with soulful flavour,” albeit far more varied and produced than that soundbite suggests, but EP3 ‘Bare Radical’ defies presumption/classification/limitation and represents a further step forward for this DIY singer, songwriter and artist (the brilliant artwork is all hers too).

‘Warrior Queen’ is built around a huge chorus seemingly aiming for pop anthem status but still has the chutzpah to segue into a furious punk denouement. The succeeding title track is part plaintive defiance (“I’m sorry, I’m not sorry”), part ‘I Will Survive’ rap and an ellipsis where a final chorus would be if the artist needed to milk it and hadn’t yet learned the power of leaving the listener wanting more. ‘Blue Jeans’ throws a further curveball with an idiosyncratic take on indiepop – and the EP is only getting started. ‘Long Way Down’ gilds a polyrhythmic reggae skank with snatches of JA toasting and British slang like a lost guest-vocal track from Sandinista!, while final song ‘Underdogs’ is heartfelt glitch-gospel meets kitchen-sink R&B ballad, showing off – as does each preceding track – the versatility of Lilith’s mellifluous vocals. 

Touching on political and personal narratives, and exploring multiple genres and heritages without once feeling forced or tokenistic, this EP demonstrates a breadth of creative potential crying out for the wider reception and greater attention that a full-length album and attendant media exposure could provide. Do your bit and just buy the EP already, because this is, Lilith is, the real deal. To quote the first song here, she comes correct.

Bare Radical is out now. EP4 is due later this year.

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Lilith Ai: Pre-LOUD WOMEN Fest 5 Question Interview

Lilith Ai is going to be a megastar pretty soon, so can we just state for the record that we loved her very much before she was famous? We loved her when she first came and played for us in a smelly basement in Brixton, we loved her big time when she turned up to play LOUD WOMEN Fest 2 with a cake she baked for us, and you’ll all love her when she plays the hello out of LOUD WOMEN Fest 4 on 14 Sept – catch her at 5pm on the Boston Music Room stage. (Also – Fun Fact – Lilith’s mum is doing our catering this year. Vegan Creole food – and if her mum’s gumbo is as good as Lilith’s cakes, we’re all in for a massive treat.) Here’s her pre-Fest 5 Question Interview.

1. For people who’ve not seen you play live before, what can we expect from you at LOUD WOMEN Fest?

Chill vibes. I try to make connections when I play so people see me within themselves. And we can be like “same”.

2. Fill in the blanks…

“Our sound is like the lovechild of Tracy Chapman and Lauryn Hill  with a bit on the side from Sonic Youth

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

I do the best I can till I know better, then I do that.

4. Who are you most looking forward to seeing play at LOUD WOMEN Fest? 

There are so many bands this year coming from abroad. I wanna see all of those because I may not get the chance again.  And also Hurtling, because I’ve never seen them.

5. What made you want to play at LOUD WOMEN Fest?

Because it’s awesome.

LOUD WOMEN Fest 4 – final lineup revealed!

14 Sept 2019 at London’s Dome and Boston Music Room looks set to see the biggest (and best?) LOUD WOMEN Fest yet! Here’s the news we’ve been dying to tell you for months … our final* lineup, in no particular order …

Plus afterparty DJs, food, zines, records, and all manner of fun things we’ve not even thought up yet – get in touch with us on loudwomenclub@gmail.com if you’d like to get involved!

Earlybird tickets are now sold out but you can still grab regular advanced tickets from here.

*I mean, as final as anything is that could possibly have slight changes here and there in cases of sickness, injury, best friends throwing last-minute weddings, that sort of thing. But pretty damn final I’d say!

LOUD WOMEN at the Royal Albert Hall: ILL, Nun Habit, Lilith Ai and I, Doris – 17 March 2019

ILL at the RAH

Join us on 17 March for a LOUD WOMEN takeover at London’s Royal Albert Hall! Headliners ILL will be performing a one-off “witchy queer cabaret”, with a collage of dealing with the topic of identity (with added bits from ILL videos) on a loop as a backdrop to their killer set. Here’s a sneak preview of the video:

Support on the night will come from:

* Nun Habit – London-based five-piece, whose fuzzy garage rock sound places a heavy emphasis on loud noises, pop-y tunes and having a good time.

* Lilith Ai – a DIY singer-songwriter, who performs poignant tales of modern city life. Born in northeast London Ai grew up streetwise. In her early teens with only £70 in her pocket, she ran away to America and spent the next few years living on the streets Queens New York which has heavily influenced her music.

* I, Doris – Mummycore riotpop kitchenpunx. “One of the most radical and fun bands we’ve ever seen … they take a glittering disco punk meat cleaver to the gender challenges that no-one else is talking about. Armed with a keytar, a wealth of wit, and a communal I, Doris pledge, you can imagine these Londoners going down a storm at any kind of event.” – Kitmonsters

The event is part of the Royal Albert Hall’s Unstoppable Voices series of events, in partnership with LOUD WOMEN and The Quietus.

Tickets £13.50 / £5 concessions

Advent Galendar Window no. 5 – Lilith Ai

Window number 5 of the LOUD WOMEN Advent Galendar is creeping open, and who’s that peeping out?

Stone me, it’s Lilith Ai!

LWgal5

LOUD WOMEN just can’t get enough of Lilith Ai! This amazingly talented artist played several of our regular nights, has played LOUD WOMEN Fest two years running, she contributed an awesome track, Riot, to our Volume One compilation album this year, AND she played the first of our LOUD WOMEN Kitchen Sessions!

Lilith Ai has had a great year – playing at Glastonbury, touring Italy, and gaining new fans all over the world. Here’s hoping we see lots more of this bright star in 2018. Keep an eye on her website and Facebook page for updates.

LOUD WOMEN album launch

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What a day, and what a night! Our LOUD WOMEN Volume One compilation album launch party was a massive success. Undeterred by a last-minute venue switch, 13 of our awesome CD contributors rocked the very awesome New River Studios, played to a (at times) full capacity crowd, and thoroughly launched what is looking set to be a hugely successful album.

Pre-sales and launch day sales of the album now mean that we just need to sell 4 more CDs to break even on the cost of manufacture, then after that all profits will be going to Women’s Aid!

If you missed out on the launch party, here’s a quick round-up of goings on …

Lilith Ai and her new band opened the show with a poppier new sound. It’s Lilith’s stunning vocals that still makes your ears prick up and your hair stand up, so we can’t wait to see her playing again solo on the bar stage at LOUD WOMEN Fest in September.

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Janine Booth gave a poetry set full of characteristic bite and warmth, opening with a brand new poem about the ‘Disaffected middle-aged woman’ which really hit home with this one! Janine is such an inspiration – travelling across London to give her time to our cause (for which she donated her fee to Women’s Aid), not complaining for a moment about her early slot in the line-up, and telling me moments before she went on stage that her boob was ‘still cooking’ from the course of radiotherapy she’d had that week. Massive love and solidarity with our shero Janine.

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Madame So played next, accompanied only by a drummer, giving a stunning and heartfelt performance. She then stuck around to enjoy the rest of the day’s music – an artist who knows the importance of supporting her fellow musicians. Awesome attitude.

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(Sorry Solange, I failed to get a photo of you – instead, here’s Bagel, the resident cat at New River Studios.)

Fightmilk joined us next, having stepped off another LOUD WOMEN stage only 16 hours previously! They’re always a joy to watch – they’re a rocking party and everyone’s invited. Top fun.

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GUTTFULL played next – my band! We were on great form, if I say so myself … our singer, Moe, is proving herself to be a total natural at the front of a stage. She left the audience  raised-up/chastened as appropriate, and also covered in ‘cum’ from her party cannon orgasm. Dead proud of my new band!

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The Tom Boys from Japan were a last-minute addition to the bill, as they happened to be over in the UK staying with friends of friends and were looking for a gig. What a treat! They gained a lot of new fans in London yesterday.

The Potentials hopped on next and, bouyed up by the Tom Boys’ awesomeness, decided to scrap their planned set list, and instead play all of their old favourites that they haven’t played for ages. They announced this as their “disaster set” … but it worked brilliantly!

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Nervous Twitch came all the way from Leeds, in the rain, with a dodgy windscreen wiper, to play a stonking set. I’m always blown away watching Erin playing bass and singing *so brilliantly*, such a hard thing to do and she makes it look easy.

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Little Fists played next, reminding us all why we love them so much. Alternating catchy tunes with fierce rock;  and alternating melodic vocals with visceral, well, shouting. They switch between instruments with ease (well, ease, apart from Soph falling off the drum stool a few times, but done so elegantly of course!)

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The Ethical Debating Society were introduced by Scene Queen Pearl Pelfrey, who rightly described them as her favourite London band. TEDS were on top form – possibly the best I’ve ever seen them play – and they debuted some very exciting brand new material.

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DOLLS joined us next with their storming pop-rock, catchy tunes, stunning vocals, infectious smiles, and perfect teeth. How are these two not playing stadiums yet? We’ll just make the most of getting to see them in small venues while we can because it seriously can’t be long before they go stratospheric.

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Argonaut were also on top form – playing as a full band for LOUD WOMEN for the first time in too long! Lorna wowed us with her powerful voice and tigger-like dance moves, and Abby won herself a LOUD WOMEN ‘multi-tasking’ badge by playing keyboard, guitar, singing, and shouting down a megaphone during their set. Top work.

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Gladiators Are You Ready? however, won the badge for most memorable live show. Jose and Ste entered wearing terrifying masks, and if that didn’t scare the shit out of us all enough, a bare-chested, kilted bagpiper entered from the far end of the hall, playing through the room and on to the stage, then piping in the entrance of ‘Vulvarine’, aka Hana, looking hot AF in an outfit that looked like she’d just rode in on some kind of winged fetish pony. She then produced a cape emblazoned with several pairs of pants, with letters on spelling out ‘TOO LOUD FOR TOOTING’. They could have just stopped at that, to be honest, they’d made their point. But they then played an awesome set of spectacular songs. Couldn’t really tell you what they’re about – between the masks, the bagpipes, and the corsetry, I was pleasantly distracted – but we all had a bloody good time dancing along to them. Must see these lovely mad bastards play again soon.

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Then Deux Furieuses played their headline set and showed us all how it’s really done – a stunning set by two women with awesome talent, energy, and passion for their music. They were the perfect end to a perfect day’s gigging.

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Special thanks too to the awesome Alice of the Glitter Girls, who came along to paint glittery shit all over our faces, in aid of refugee charities. Glitter makes everything better, even these beauts!

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