Tag Archives: madame so

interview: Madame So

by Tim Forster
Madame So by Crawford Blair
How long have you been making music? When did you ‘become’ Madame So? 
Well, I used to write for various magazines, reviewing gigs and interviewing musicians…I thought that was the closest outlet there was for me to get exposed to as much music as possible. During that time, I got to hang out with some buzzing bands on the London scene at the time and I kind of developed an itch for performing my own stuff. I played my first ever gig circa 2011 and have played ever since. I recorded my first demos in the summer of 2012, then they developed into ‘The Sell-by Date EP’ which I put out in 2013 under the stage name of Madame So, even though, this is not so much a stage name as such as my parents have called me that since I was about three years old.Who would you list as musical influences?  
Foundations in my musical make-up include Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Garland Jeffreys, Patti Smith, Billie Holliday, Fats Domino and all that cool indie stuff like The Replacements, Liz Phair, The Lemonheads, L7 and Hole, as well as some French music (Serge Gainsbourg, Renaud, Christophe Miossec).

Did you have a fairly clear idea of the sound you were aiming for from the start or has it evolved? 
Not really. When I was performing the acoustic circuit in London, my stuff was already branded “punk” by promoters and other bands who associate acoustic guitar solely with the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Nick Drake… While when writing a song I never had “punk” in mind: for me it was just me writing a song on the guitar. I like guitars. I did not have any particular sound in mind, I just wanted to flesh my songs out into a full-band performance, and I got to work with musicians (of the band Paintings of Ships)  who got my vibe and with whom I recorded ‘The Sell-by Date’ EP. On ‘It’s Not Even A Colour’, my  second EP, I had the likes of Gang of Four and Lush in mind.

What sort of subject matter do you explore in your music?  
The narrative of my songs tend to revolve around the themes of alienation, addiction and the war on conformity.

What inspires and influences your lyric writing? Books, films, your own experiences?
A mixture of these three. I’m a big daydreamer with a keen interest in words and poetry, so lyrics are something I give high importance to in a song. I like to dig out the poetry in/from the grit, and a genius at that was my favourite-ever author, Charles Bukowski. I have just finished his book of poetry, ‘On Love’: it’s brilliant.

Your song ‘Black is Beautiful’ seems to explore the pressures to conform with expected cultural norms – is that what it’s about?
Yes, that’s one way of seeing it. Ultimately, it’s a big shout out about the fact that being black doesn’t have to be one-dimensional. Not every black person is brought into this world as an all Beyonce/Rihanna/Tyler Perry’s films loving package just because they are born black. And that it’s OK to be black and choose guitars over beats and spits. I could have (like I have been suggested to by black and white friends and acquaintances alike) gone the easy, predictable and expected R’n’B/Hip Hop route. But I am a musician, not a poseur, so best make music I can genuinely express myself through instead of being a fraud to my own self.

  • “The only pressure, if we want to call it that, is being faced with people’s narrow-mindedness and simplism.”

Earlier this year you released a very interesting rearrangement of Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’. How did you decide on that reinterpretation? Was your decision to release it as a single a kind of homage? 
I was playing a couple of shows in Paris in 2015, and wanted to stretch my set a little. I’ve always loved this song ever since I was little, and for me the best covers are the ones that go in opposite directions from the originals (a band like Nouvelle Vague is a master at that so much so they based their entire career on making covers). For me, it would have been way too predictable to have recreated the saxophones and kept the song “danceable”. I just wanted to focus on the brilliance and purity of Bowie’s songwriting less the flashy production however great it is. When I recorded this cover in Spring 2015, I had no idea what he was going through but my own mother was undergoing chemotherapy…  She passed four months before him. So it’s an homage to both of them, really.

What are your plans for 2017?
I’ll keep on performing live, currently with my drummer, Giova, and then we’ll expand the line-up into a four-piece for bigger gigs, hopefully festivals, and aim to have recorded that long-overdue debut album by the end of the year.

Big thanks to Solange. To hear more go to www.madame-so.com and www.facebook.com/madamesomusic 

 

Madame So by Lore Sabau
Advertisements

LOUD WOMEN album launch

18

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.

19

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.

20

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.

2

(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.

17

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!

16

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!

13

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.

15

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!)

7

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.

11

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.

8

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.

9

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.

3

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.

1

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!

14

LOUD WOMEN: Volume One compilation CD available to pre-order NOW!


cover
btn_buynow_cc_171x47back

LOUD WOMEN – Volume One will be released on CD on 18 March 2017, featuring tracks by 21 of the UK’s most hotly-tipped female artists:

  • Dream Nails: DIY04-dream-nails
  • Bratakus: Pollution Evolution
  • Petrol Girls: Touch Me Again
  • Dolls: Audrey
  • The Empty Page: Deeply Unlovable
  • The Ethical Debating Society: Poor Liam
  • Gladiators Are You Ready?: I Want to Love You
  • deux furieuses: Out of My System
  • Fight Rosa Fight!: Sick of You
  • GUTTFULL: Keyboard Warrior
  • Little Fists: Tyler is Not a Feminist
  • The Potentials: Moloch14188231_1107551255999096_1587132143501267403_o
  • Nervous Twitch: Something Wrong With Me
  • IDestroy: IDestroy
  • Madame So: Black is Beautiful
  • Fightmilk: Chaperone
  • Bugeye: Hey You
  • Argonaut: Not Rich
  • The Wimmins’ Institute: Nando’s
  • Lilith Ai: Riot
  • Janine Booth: Real Rape

All artists have played at the LOUD WOMEN monthly live music nights or the annual festival.
Organiser and musician Cassie Fox says: “It’s 2017 and women are still struggling to get their voices heard in all arenas. LOUD WOMEN is about putting women centre-stage and turning up the volume. There are hoardes of massively talented female artists out there, hopefully this CD can bring a few of them to a wider audience.”

The album will be officially launched on 18 March with a special all-day gig at the Sound Lounge in Tooting, featuring live performances from 12 of the artists on the CD.

cdlaunch

18 March – LOUD WOMEN album launch party

cdlaunch

LOUD WOMEN are holdling a party to celebrate the launch of a new compilation album, with all profits going to Women’s Aid.

Tickets £6 in advance (£8 on the door) from https://www.wegottickets.com/event/386676

Under 18s free – please obtain a child ticket so we can monitor numbers https://www.wegottickets.com/event/386677

Live performances from some of the 21 acts featured on the album, including:

Argonaut
Bugeye
Deux Furieuses
Dolls
Fightmilk
Gladiators Are You Ready?
GUTTFULL
Janine Booth
Little Fists
Madame So
Nervous Twitch
The Ethical Debating Society
The Potentials

LOUD WOMEN: Volume One – Preorder now!

Out on 18 March 2017 – a compilation album of 21 of the loudest women who’ve played our shows! All profits from the sale of the CD going to Women’s Aid.

cover

21 track CD with zine

£10 (plus £1.50 p&p)

Pre-order now!

btn_buynow_cc_171x47

  • Dream Nails: DIY
  • Bratakus: Pollution Evolution
  • Petrol Girls: Touch Me Again
  • Dolls: Audrey
  • The Empty Page: Deeply Unlovable
  • The Ethical Debating Society: Poor Liam
  • Gladiators Are You Ready?: I Want to Love You
  • deux furieuses: Out of My System
  • Fight Rosa Fight!: Sick of You
  • GUTTFULL: Keyboard Warrior
  • Little Fists: Tyler is Not a Feminist
  • The Potentials: Moloch
  • Nervous Twitch: Something Wrong With Me
  • IDestroy: IDestroy
  • Madame So: Black is Beautiful
  • Fightmilk: Chaperone
  • Bugeye: Hey You
  • Argonaut: Not Rich
  • The Wimmins’ Institute: Nando’s
  • Lilith Ai: Riot
  • Janine Booth: Real Rape

back

3 September 2016 | LOUD WOMEN Fest | 25 acts in 1 day

LWfest16

Get your tickets quick for our first ever all-dayer – LOUD WOMEN FEST! Tickets selling fast.

Saturday 3rd September 2016 at T.Chances in Tottenham, 12.30-1am

Tickets from WeGotTickets- http://www.wegottickets.com/event/371192

25 acts across two rooms – no slot clashes

Full line-up now confirmed:

LIPS Choir – https://www.facebook.com/LipsChoir/?fref=ts

Dolls – www.facebook.com/thisisDolls

Argonaut – www.facebook.com/argonautband

Viva Zapata! – https://www.facebook.com/Vivazapatauk/?fref=ts

Fight Rosa Fight! – www.facebook.com/fightrosafight

Petrol Girls – www.Facebook.com/petrolgirls

Dream Nails – https://www.facebook.com/yourdreamnails/

The Franklys – https://www.facebook.com/thefranklys/?fref=ts

Desperate Journalist –  http://www.facebook.com/DesperateJournalist

Vodun – https://www.facebook.com/VODUNBAND

The Wimmins’ Institute – www.facebook.com/thewimminsinstitute

Foxcunt – https://www.facebook.com/fxcnt/

Rantipoles – https://www.facebook.com/rantipoles/

Greenness – https://www.facebook.com/greennessmusic/

Grace Petrie – https://www.facebook.com/gracepetriemusic

Janine Booth – https://www.facebook.com/JanineBoothTheBig

Lilith Ai – https://www.facebook.com/lilithaimusic

Spanking Machine – https://www.facebook.com/spanxphalanx

Maddy Carty – https://www.facebook.com/MaddyCartyMusic

Madame So – www.facebook.com/madamesomusic

Nia Wyn – https://www.facebook.com/niawynmusic

Fightmilk – https://www.facebook.com/fightmilkisaband

The Ethical Debating Society – https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ethical-Debating-Society/76532450884

Louise Distras – www.facebook.com/louisedistras

Rabies Babies – https://www.facebook.com/rabiesbabiespunk/

The best in woman-led pop/rock bands, plus solo acts, poetry, and a few more surprises.

Children welcome all day (although after 7pm things get a louder and little ears might not like it!). The venue is wheelchair accessible. The venue’s toilets will be de-gendered for this event.

Join the group LOUD WOMEN for news of more women-lead events
https://www.facebook.com/groups/loudwomen/

“Loud Women will undoubtedly be the beacon for all the best new female talent in 2016” – The Morning Star

“Fans of women-centric punk, rock and riot grrrl will heart this UK-based promoter.” – DIVA magazine

““If, say, Kathleen Hanna flew in to Gatwick tomorrow, grabbed you by the collar and asked “What’s going on here then? Where do I need go? What do I need to see?” – God is in the TV

Number 1 women-led music night in London – thegirlsare.com

6 Feb 2016: Argonaut | Mx Tyrants | Madame So @ Silver Bullet, Finsbury Park

LW7_060216_flyer

 

A night of top notch badass woman-lead pop-punk-riot-awesome, in Finsbury Park’s finest venue, Silver Bullet.

Line-up for SATURDAY 6 Feb 2016:

ARGONAUT
Purveyors of fiery female fronted alternative punk rock. The band released their self-titled debut in 2012 and have recently unleashed their second album ‘Try’.
@argonautband www.facebook.com/argonautband
https://www.youtube.com/user/criminalrecordsuk
www.analoguerock.bigcartel.com/category/argonaut

MX TYRANTS
Awesome art pop from the women who brought you Joanne Joanne.
https://www.facebook.com/MxTyrants/?fref=ts

MADAME SO
Lyric-led guitar pop that has been likened to Hole, Blondie, Patti Smith and PJ Harvey.
https://www.facebook.com/madamesomusic/?fref=ts

Doors 7.30 pm
£5 entry

All welcome!

Join the group LOUD WOMEN for news of more women-lead events
https://www.facebook.com/groups/loudwomen/