Tag Archives: sister ghost

Girls Rock School Northern Ireland: Interview

The awesome Girls Rock School Northern Ireland are not going to let a little thing like a pandemic stop them from getting their voices heard. The group’s Autumn camp met online, and wrote a song called ‘Wild & Free (Play it Loud)’. They then recorded and released while in quarantine – a perfect 2020 story! It’s a song about, they tell us:

“the core message of Girls Rock School; empowering female identifying and non-binary youth!


We caught up with GRSNI’s Betsy for a quick chat about the project…

For anyone who doesn’t know, what is GRSNI?
GRSNI is the Northern Ireland branch of the global Girls Rock Camp movement. The Northern Ireland chapter was founded by the brilliant Shannon of Sister Ghost back in 2016 and has been growing ever since! GRSNI strives to teach young women and nonbinary youth how to riff, rock and roll, empowering young people to become more confident, to speak their minds and write killer music along the way! I first got involved as a participant in the 2019 summer camp where I learnt how to sing, and my love for music and performing has only grown since. I was invited back to the first ever Autumn 2020 Online Camp as an intern, so it was really interesting to be in a leadership position this time! I love working with GRS and what they stand for, so I was so excited for this opportunity! I also performed in Belfast City Hall with GRSNI as part of International Womens’ Day 2020 celebrations!

Tell us about the single – how did that come about?
The single came about as the result of the Autumn 2020 camp. It was all recorded at home, on phone mics and headphones, so we really embodied the punk and riot grrrl DIY spirit! We wanted to write a song about our lockdown experience, whilst still carrying through a theme of empowerment. Having a GRSNI event to take part in in such isolating times has definitely had a positive effect on both campers and leaders, it’s provided a sense of community even if we couldn’t meet up in person. It was so great to achieve something so big, the first ever single released on the GRS label, during a year as crazy as this one!!

What was recording in lockdown like?
I missed meeting up with people to record, but recording at home definitely made me very focused and gave me as much time as i needed to perfect my part! I also learnt from scratch how to use GarageBand, which was difficult at first but I eventually ended up having some real fun with it, and now I have lots of experience!

What impact do you think the events of 2020 will have on GRSNI?
I think the events of 2020 have really taught us how to adapt to these new circumstances, and has really expanded our horizons as to what we can do in the future with online events. This event has been such a success, so has really boosted our confidence and has shown us it is totally possible to release an AWESOME single even in the circumstances!

What’s next on the agenda?
The director and the team are working on another camp as well as an exciting project with a national charity right now!

What do you want for Christmas?
I’m a big fan of vinyl, so I’m hoping to get Nevermind by Nirvana and Be The Cowboy by Mitski! Also hoping for the new The Last of Us game, it’s got one of the best video game soundtracks I’ve heard!

Sister Ghost & Fiends release ‘Samhain Mixtape’

To celebrate the thinning of the veil, here’s a Samhein gift from the awesome Sister Ghost from NI: the ‘Samhain Mixtape’ is out Bandcamp for the suggested donation of £6.66 or Pay What You Can. All proceeds are being donated to Girls Rock School NI, the local Girls Rock chapter founded by Sister Ghost’s Shannon. The organisation have been working online with young women and non-binary young people during lockdown to reduce isolation, create community and make music together. Shannon tells us

“I always like to do something fun around Halloween and this year I knew I wanted to create something collaborative given the increased isolation we’ll all be feeling, heading into lockdown number 2. It just made sense to reach out to some of my favourite musicians and to try and make it as far reaching as possible in terms of who was involved and from where. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have worked & performed abroad and made friends along the way, so to have a selection of those on one of our releases, at my favourite time of year, raising money for Girls Rock! is just a dream (or the perfect nightmare?!) come true!”

Short of time? Check out ‘Season of the Witch’ – those spooky sister harmonies hook you in, then keep you mesmerised with retro jangly guitars for an all-round Go-Gos-esque vibe.

Other artists on the mixtape so far are Heart Shaped (Houston/Belfast), Party Fears (Berlin), Mom Friend (Atlanta,GA), Kissin’ Kate (Michigan), Lauren Bird and more.

Sister Ghost: Bruised Fruit – premiere + interview!

We are delighted to bring you today the premiere of ‘Bruised Fruit’ – the new single from NI Music Award winners Sister Ghost!

Single launch tonight in Belfast – tickets here

The single will be launched this evening at an exclusive, limited-capacity in-store show in Strange Victory Records in Belfast. 

We caught up with the band for a quick chat…

What’s ‘Bruised Fruit’ all about then?

The first draft of this song was very personal, and all about my first encounter with being a victim of the ‘blurred lines’ around consent as a teenager. It later morphed into a wider concept of feeling bruised in toxic relationships, whether that be romantic or platonic. I wanted the metaphor of a bruised fruit, like an apple that’s been dropped and hit the floor and it leaves that mark nobody likes, to represent how it felt to be used by someone; the mark is left on you and it’s up to you to see the mark as a lesson to not be bruised again or the bruise shows your resilience to come through a toxic experience.

Tell us about the recording of the song

So the music for this final version of the song was co-written with my awesome producer Cahir (of New Pagans and one of my fav bands from NI as a teen – Fighting With Wire!) and it was so great to work with him on that. I record my demos that I send Cahir, in my attic in my flat in Belfast, which my Da and I converted into a sweet little space – it’s my favourite place to create everything from collages to tarot readings on the full moon. I record all my songs as demos on my laptop using my Focusrite interface, LogicPro X and my beloved Telecaster guitar (bought in 2006 with money I saved up from my first job at 15), my bass and a crappy old SM58 microphone for the vocals. So once I finished the demo for Bruised Fruit I sent it to Cahir and he loved it and wanted to try some ideas with it. We then re-recorded an updated demo, sent it to my band and then recorded it fully in a practice space in an old mill in Belfast. It works well having him as a producer because I have a big respect for him and his back catalog and he totally trusts my vision, gives me space and gets what I’m going for. Plus, because both of us are straight-talking Derry folk, we can be very frank with each other and nobody gets annoyed haha! 

How’s the NI scene right now?

I recently posted online about just how much our scene here has changed since I was in the only all-female band in NI between 2011-2013:

“Remember when there was only one all female band in NI or like 2 women playing loud music here? Glad that’s over.”

Because it’s true now that there are so many more female-identified artists playing loud music here; many of which came through or met at Girls Rock School NI! It goes to show that feminist communities do help to empower, diversify and change music scenes for the better. Now it will no longer be a marker of difference / an ‘oddity’ to be a ‘loud woman’ or be in an all-female band here, it’ll just be the norm. That was my dream goal whenever I set up GRSNI in 2016 anyways and I am proud to see that it’s starting to take shape!

What’s next for Sister Ghost?

We just got finished touring Ireland with Petrol Girls which was amazing! They were so lovely and so badass. We’ll be playing some shows in the north of England including Manchester and Liverpool, at the end of April / start of May and I’m so excited for that because I’ve never played there with any of my bands before! This summer we’ll hit up some festivals and in the Autumn we hope to play some shows around London. I’d like to have another single in the summer and again in the autumn, with plans to finish and release the album “Attics” in 2021!

Well LOUD WOMEN also hopes to be seeing them in London in the Autumn … [strokes imaginary beard teasingly…]

Sister Ghost: Fake Friends Run This Country – premiere

Very excited to bring you today a premiere of the new single from Belfast’s finest punk band, Sister Ghost – Fake Friends. It’s an instantly on-yer-feet fist-pumping anti-anthem for those frenemies who can absolutely do one. The vitriolic lyrics resonate in NI politics, in celebrity Twitter-storms, and in your DMs. Balls to the fake friends, and hurray for Sister Ghost!

“See what happens when the Stormont Ghosts take over Parliament and change things for the better, using nothing but love and common sense.”

For the uninitiated (and those who weren’t lucky enough to catch their outstanding performance at LOUD WOMEN Fest 3 in 2018) Sister Ghost is the the band of musical powerhouse and all round superb human, Shannon Delores O’Neill. You may also know Shannon from the Girls Rock NI chapter, which she set up in 2016.

Fake Friends is out now! Find Sister Ghost on

www.sisterghost.com

sisterghost.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/sisterghost

Sister Ghost – interview

sisterghost

Sister Ghost, lead by awesome songwriter Shannon O'Neill, are coming all the way from NI to play at this year's LOUD WOMEN Fest! We had a chinwag with them.
Sister Ghost! Tell us a bit about the DIY/punk scene in Northern Ireland?
The coolest spots to play at the minute would be the Art Department, other local art galleries or theatre spaces or BYOB shows in practice spaces (a collective here used to host shows in a house until that got the boot!). Bands we like to play with are Cherym (all-female trio from Derry), Slouch (from Dublin), New Pagans (Belfast/Derry) and some others.
The scene is NI is getting better in terms of the gender divide. I set up Girls Rock School NI in 2016 and since then people have said it’s definitely to thank for helping with the increased levels of women taking up their space in the scene. There is still so much work to be done and still far too many bands full of lads making the same music over and over.
There are only a few managers or booking agents in Belfast/Derry so it’s a case of DIY or die here.
We are SO looking forward to welcoming you to London and seeing you play live, especially after the release of your single ‘Emily’. Tell us all about the song – what’s it about, how did you record it, and what’s the story behind the awesome video?
I wrote this song in my bedroom back home in an evening – it’s very simple so that’s nothing to brag about haha – but it took on another meaning for me once I decided to release it on IWD 2018. I decided to name it after my grandmother (as well as hark to Emily Bronte, Emily Davison etc). In line with that, I wanted to make a video which celebrated 20th century women like those I’d referenced in it’s title. I scoured the internet and archives to get footage and it took a few days for me to make. I really love it and it got a good response on it’s release. It’s also the first Sister Ghost song to have keys on it (which initally I wasn’t sure about, because I’ve always preferred guitars/bass/drums/vox) – it uses the Stooges, QOTSA repeated piano note thing in the verses.

What can we look forward to from Sister Ghost?
I’m currently in the process of writing my first album. It’s such a big deal for me in a way but I think I’m at a place now where I don’t want to overthink it too much; just let it flow. I’ve been recording everything myself using my laptop, Logic Pro x and a Focusrite Scarlett audio interface. It’s been a great learning experience so far and I like to be in control and learn from my mistakes. My aim is to record the best possible demos I can for it and then give it to a few people in the scene that I respect and whose work I love to give me some feedback. I guess after that I’ll see if I can raise some funds to record in a studio – it’s so expensive!
I have a lead single that was recorded back in September 2017 that I have a friend working on a video for. We shot it in the Californian hills of Ojai back in June this year while I was out teaching guitar and band coaching with Girls Rock Santa Barbara. I plan on releasing that song once the video is finished.
Who are you looking forward to seeing play at Loud Women Fest?
I’m honestly so excited to be bringing Sister Ghost to London! It’s also my birthday that weekend too!
Really looking forward to checking out as many as possible really and hopefully make some friends! Wolf Girl are kindly giving us a place to crash while we are over – they’ve been really helpful and friendly and we haven’t even met yet!
Tell us anything else you think it’s important we know about you/your music!
Sister Ghost is all about being true to yourself, taking up space and making peace with your past… oh and owning your anger and curiosity!

The LOUD WOMEN Fest 3 line-up revealed!

This year’s final line-up for LOUD WOMEN Fest has just been announced, and now includes worldclass artists She Makes War and Efa Supertramp! Here’s a taster of how it’s going to look …

This, the 3rd annual LOUD WOMEN Fest will showcase 21 punk and indie acts in 1 day, over 2 neighbouring stages – The Dome and the Boston Music Room, Tufnell Park, London. Last year’s festival massively sold out, so early ticket-buying is advised!

Here’s the final line-up:
Petrol Girls
She Makes War
Zand
The Franklys
Grace Savage
DREAM NAILS
You Want Fox
The Twistettes
PUSSYLIQUOR
Ms. Mohammed
Crumbs
Sister Ghost
The Menstrual Cramps
Wolf Girl
SAM AMANT MUSIC PAGE
GUTTFULL
The Baby Seals
Efa Supertramp
Art Trip and the Static Sound
Drunken Butterfly
Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something

Plus DJs including Mammory Tapes AND cake stall from Ladies of the Lock – The WI group for Camden, Kentish Town…

This year, we’re taking over The Dome, Tufnell Park and Boston Music Room. Using these two amazing, world-class neighbouring venues we can keep the music constant throughout the day, and make our Fest bigger and better than ever!

Expect:
* Delicious hot food and cakes.
* Stalls with zines and goodies.
* The best damn day/night out of the year.

Applications from stallholders and zine sellers, other kinds of performers that we haven’t even thought of yet, and any other enquiries to loudwomenclub@gmail.com

Tickets £15 in advance from https://www.wegottickets.com/event/42…
£20 on the door £10 NUS / JSA / over 60s

Fest_July_a4

Petrol Girls, You Want Fox, Drunken Butterfly and more added to LOUD WOMEN Fest 3 line-up!

LOUD WOMEN Fest is back in 2018 – bigger and louder than ever! Building on the massive success of our last two Festivals, we’re expanding to two much larger venues: The Dome, Tufnell Park, and Boston Music Room

Line-up so far:

Petrol Girls
Zand
The Franklys
Grace Savage
DREAM NAILS
You Want Fox
The Twistettes
PUSSYLIQUOR
Ms. Mohammed
Crumbs
Sister Ghost
The Menstrual Cramps
Wolf Girl
SAM AMANT MUSIC PAGE
GUTTFULL
The Baby Seals
Art Trip and the Static Sound
Drunken Butterfly
Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something


Plus DJs including Mammory Tapes and more bands TBA – watch this space!


Stalls, zines, food, AND cake stall from Ladies of the Lock – The WI group for Camden, Kentish Town & Tufnell Park


Tickets £15 in advance from https://www.wegottickets.com/event/427259
£20 on the door
£10 NUS / JSA / over 60s


This year, we’re taking over The Dome, Tufnell Park and Boston Music Room. Using these two amazing, world-class neighbouring venues we can keep the music constant throughout the day, and make our Fest bigger and better than ever!

Expect:
* Delicious hot food and cakes.

* Stalls with zines and goodies.

* The best damn day/night out of the year.

Applications from stallholders and zine sellers, other kinds of performers that we haven’t even thought of yet, and any other enquiries to loudwomenclub@gmail.com

Tickets £15 in advance from https://www.wegottickets.com/event/427259
£20 on the door
£10 NUS / JSA / over 60s

 

 

Line-up for the third LOUD WOMEN Fest announced!

Here’s the news we’ve been dying to tell you … we can finally announce the first of the acts confirmed to play this year’s LOUD WOMEN Fest on 15 Sept at The Dome and Boston Music Room. Drumroll please!

ZAND
Outspoken non-binary alt popstar from Blackpool.

The Franklys
Swedish-British indie-rock. “In-your-face and awesome” – DIVA.

Grace Savage
4 x UK Beatbox Champion.

Jesus & his Judgemental Father
Queer punx from Leeds.

The Twistettes
Scottish sister duo: “DIY, punk, riot grrrl, real-deal indie with a touch of psychobilly”.

Pussyliquor
All girl punk band from Brighton. “Pure uncensored female rage.”

Crumbs
A post-punk pop party pack from Yorkshire.

Ms. Mohammed
“Powerful, Feminist, Brilliant, Goddess-like with raging guitars & tribal drums!” – BBC Asian Network
GET YOUR £15 TICKET NOW!

Sister Ghost
Noisy, spectral art-rock with a pop heart.

The Menstrual Cramps
The band that made Oi cry! Winners of the 2017 LOUD WOMEN Hercury Prize.

WOLF GIRL
Noisy pop four-piece based in South London who write about sexuality, gender and anxiety.

Sam Amant
Brilliant, bold, controversial, French one-woman hurricane.

The Baby Seals
Our favourite empowerpop trio from Cambridge.

Art Trip & the Static Sound
Stunning London powerpunx led by the famazing Melodie Holliday.

Jemma Freeman & the Cosmic Something
Expect high energy performances and compositions of cosmic content.

PLUS DJs including MAMMORY TAPES and more bands TBA!

Keep an eye on your inbox for a full ezine coming soon, with news of a whole heap of new regular gigs at the Hope & Anchor. In the meantime, if you want to get in touch drop us a line on loudwomenclub@gmail.com, like our FB page or join our FB group.