We are proud to announce 12 more womxn-led bands on the LOUD WOMEN Fest 2021 line-up. Our message to all other festivals who insist on booking unequal lineups: your future headliners are right here!
The new additions to the LOUD WOMEN Fest 5 line-up are:
Hagar the Womb
The Empty Page
BANG BANG ROMEO are set to headline the event, having played a 24 date stadium tour with Pink across the UK & Europe in 2019, as well as selling out their own UK headliners last year. They also collaborated with DJ/Producer Example on their single ‘Love Yourself’. The band’s debut album is out now and reached number 4 in the iTunes chart.
Thrilled to bring you today the first viewing of Manchester’s The Empty Page’s video for their stunning single ‘He’s Very Good at Swimming’. Chillingly beautiful post-punk with a crashing maelstrom ending, the song is a battle cry for the #metoo generation, tackling the subject of rape and victim-blaming head-on.
This band have been lighting up our radar for several years now, and their new releases show them to be ripe for explosion into the mainstream – they are undoubtedly ones to watch.
Singer-songwriter-bassist Kel, guitarist Giz and drummer Jim had a chat with our Cassie Fox.
The video touches on some sensitive subject matter in a powerful way – how important do you feel it is to tackle topics like this head on?
Kel: I think it’s important as a songwriter to write about whatever sparks emotions in you. But it’s not really a preconceived thing, I have always written about things that make me angry or sad because music is massively an emotional outlet to me. I don’t know what I’d do without that vent to let all my hot air out. I’d probably spontaneously combust. With this particular song, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it, but I was quite worried about putting into words how I felt about it as it’s such a big issue and not something I have direct experience of. I’m just really fucking angry about it. So I probably rewrote these lyrics more than any I have ever written. I really hope I have done it justice. I am close to tears every time we play it. In terms of the video, it was very important that a woman made it, and there was nobody else I wanted to do it but Debbie [Ellis of asupremeshot] , so I’m very glad she said yes.
Jim: Purely from a male perspective, very. We need to be made aware that it’s our actions that need to change, not women’s. This ‘boys will be boys’ nonsense – what does that even mean? I can get away with behaving like an arsehole and blame it on genetics? Don’t be daft.
Giz: For me music or art is always most powerful when its got a creative thought process behind it.
How did the song itself come about? What’s the writing process like for TEP?
Kel: Our writing process kind of varies. But generally we come up with bits of musical ideas when messing around in the rehearsal room, and one of us will go, I like that, and then we’ll record it and have a jam around with it until it starts to take shape. Usually it comes from Giz because he’s just an incredible guitar player, but sometimes I spark something while I am messing around with the bass, which is what happened with this track. I always say I am not a bassist, I kind of fell into doing it because I wanted the next band I was in to be a smaller unit. So my ideas are just me messing around really. I started playing this weird bass line and Giz came up with some beautiful guitars that sort of worked and were sort of discordant at times, and it just felt good. I came up with some snippets of vocal melody, it just kind of grew organically. The verse lyrics came later, amid the aforementioned wrangling. The scream leading to the heavy bit at the end just kind of erupted out of it at some point. Songwriting is so weird. For us at least, it’s never linear. It took us a while to finish. It was important to all of us that we got it right.
TEP has been playing the DIY scene for a while now – does this work for you, or is there a bigger plan afoot?
Giz: It works because we get to go and play our music, but obviously we’d like to do more if we got the opportunity.
Kel: Erm, yeah it works I guess. The main thing for me is that we just write and play music that we are proud of. I want people to love it too and I am very happy that some people do, but as I said earlier, for me this is something I just have to do. I tried to stop at one point because being in an active DIY band takes a lot of work, sacrifice and commitment. But my life was hollow without it. It really does give life meaning for me, so that’s the crux of it. We had some help with the last single from Punk Fox records who put out the 7” and it was so great to have that support and feel like someone was fighting our corner. I’d love to have that in more of a long term way, but it would have to be for all the right reasons.
What current/new bands/musicians inspire you?
Jim: FontainesDC, FalseAdvertising, LittleSimz…
Giz: Canadian band No Joy are really good, they’ve been around for probably about ten years so not that new but they make really cool shoegazey music.
Kel: SO MANY! Impossible to list them all but I always feel inspired at gigs of smaller bands, there’s just something magic going on there, I guess it’s what I described above. A searing passion, a desire to make art that means something, an outlet. It’s not always tangible when you’re watching someone who’s been a millionaire for ages play radio hits to a shitload of drunk people in a stadium. Recent bands I’ve watched that have made my arm hairs stand on end have been Big Joanie, DesperateJournalist and Blanchard, but there really are loads. We have this band Spotify playlist that we update about once a month with new and old bands we like. I think it’s well worth a listen.
Catch The Empty Page live:
20/08 Sesh @ Polar Bear HULL
21/08 Fulford Arms YORK
31/08 The Crofter’s Right BRISTOL (with She Makes War)
20/09 The Victoria, Dalston LONDON (SWS 7th birthday, with Pussy Liquor)
28/09 The Wagon & Horses, Digbeth, BIRMINGHAM (With Desperate Journalist and more)
Here’s something worth getting out of bed on a Sunday for … it’s time to open window number 16 of the LOUD WOMEN Advent Galendar! Who’ve we got here then …
It’s The Empty Page!
Manchester lovelies The Empty Page have been on our favourites list for as long as we’ve known about them, and we were delighted to feature their stonking track ‘Deeply Unloveable’ on our first compilation album. In their own words:
“We’ve had a top year! We’ve toured all over the UK and been to Canada to play some shows. We’ve met some great bands. We’ve laughed lots and we’ve written some cracking new songs that are going down well at gigs. We’re gonna do one last show this year and then get our heads down and put the finishing touches to some tunes before going into the studio to record them. We can’t afford to do an album but will be releasing at least one 7-inch over the next 6 months. Keep an eye on bandcamp and if you wanna buy some merch it would really help us with our recording budget (We ship WORLDWIDE!)”
For this – the very first LOUD WOMEN ‘Her’cury Music Award – we’ve honoured most of the criteria of our rival, the so-called “Mercury” prize: that is, albums by British-based musicians released between30th July 2016and21st July 2017 (sorry to Deux Furieuses and Crumbs, respectively).
With TWO differences: our ‘Her’cury prize doesn’t care about record formats or industry distribution, and these artists are all LOUD, all female-fronted or female-driven, or just plain all-female. From a pool of thirty options, our scientific poll of the LOUD WOMEN Team has produced this shortlist of 12, given below in alphabetical order.The winner of the ‘Her’cury Music Award will be announced at lunchtime on Thursday 14 September.
Actual Crimes – ‘Ceramic Cat Traces‘
Swansong album from Kirsty (Cat Apostrophe) Fife, Aaron Batley and Ruth Mair. Tense post-hardcore melodies in the music and subtle political undertones in the words, topped with the prolific perzine-ster’s borderline-breakdown vocals.
Desperate Journalist – ‘Grow Up’
Second album from the runaway success story of the London indie scene, pushing all your Britpop/postpunk/pop-goth/80s-indie buttons at once. Soaring vocals, chiming guitars, proper songs and all’s right/wrong with the world.
Brilliant hook-laden grunge pop from this Glasgow duo, with every song a winner; proving that the ‘difficult second album’ is just a problem for other people.
The Menstrual Cramps – ‘We’re Not Ovaryacting’
The Menstruals (well, we can’t really nickname them ‘The Cramps’) hit the ground running earlier this year with this impressive digital debut and a ridiculously-confident live debut on International Womens’ Day for Who Runs the World/LOUD WOMEN.
Nolay – ‘This Woman’
Latest album from the Unorthodox Daughter, and impossible to number because so many of Nolay’s releases have been mixtapes straight from the underground. No pop-grime crossover, no compromise, and no holds barred. Nolay’s definitive feminist statement.
Oh! Gunquit – ‘Lightning Likes Me’
Second album from criminally-underrated, slightly-uncategorisable (although we’re about to have a go), new-wave surf-garage trash-punks!
Pet Crow – A Simple Guide to Small and Medium Pond Life
Impressively-tuneful debut album from Derby male/female 4-piece, released on vinyl by LIINES’ label Reckless Yes. Dancey, surfy, garagey indie punk fronted by Danielle Cotterill’s powerful vocals. https://petcrow.bandcamp.com/releases
Petrol Girls – ‘Talk of Violence’
Debut full-length release from probably the most powerful feminist band in the UK, known to leave audiences genuinely shocked-and-awed with a combination of rock hooks, hardcore assault and uncompromising lyrics. One of two shortlisted bands with a track on the LOUD WOMEN Volume One compilation album.
Sacred Paws – ‘Strike a Match’
Definitive musical statement from Rachel Aggs (Trash Kit, Golden Grrrls, Covergirl, Shopping) – possibly the UK’s greatest guitarist – combining what used to be called ‘world music’ with Postcard Records-esque post-punk funk. Scottish Album of the Year, and now LOUD WOMEN ‘Her’cury shortlist!
The Tuts – ‘Update Your Brain’
Widely-acclaimed and long-awaited debut from one of the hardest-working DIY bands in the business, released a decade after they first formed at school. Standout newer tracks ‘Con Man’ and ‘1982’ bring the best punk-pop hooks and ‘Give Us Something Worth Voting For’ delivers the clearest message.
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: DIY
Bratakus: Pollution Evolution
Petrol Girls: Touch Me Again
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
Madame So: Black is Beautiful
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.
The patriarchy has had his chance to run things, and he’s just made a complete dog’s breakfast of it, 2016 being case in fucking point. Time for revolution woman-style … and here’s how the LOUD WOMEN are planning on doing their bit.
Step 1: The LOUD WOMEN compilation album – out in March!
We’re putting together a CD featuring some of the amazing acts that have played LW nights so far, and we’re going to be selling it far and wide to help spread the word, and music. All profits from the CD will go to Women’s Aid. And I can now exclusively reveal that the artists contributing to the CD will be: Argonaut | Bratakus | Bugeye | Deux Furieuses | Dolls | Dream Nails | Fightmilk | Fight Rosa Fight | Gladiators Are You Ready | Grace Petrie | GUTTFULL | Janine Booth | IDestroy | Lilith Ai | Little Fists | Nervous Twitch | The Empty Page | The Potentials | The Wimmins’ Institute
Step 2: Friends of LOUD WOMEN
Sharing is caring, so we’re teaming up with awesome friends to curate our regular London gigs, keeping the nights varied and bringing along new friends on the way. See the gigs list for details of gigs coming up with ParallelMagazine, Abigail’sParties and Who Run the World.
Step 3: LOUD WOMEN on tour
With London gigs rocking away nicely, it’s time to turn our attention elsewhere. We’re going to be holding gigs in major towns and cities around the UK throughout the Spring. Dates and locations coming soon … but if you would like to get involved and help put on a LOUD WOMEN show in your home town, drop us line at email@example.com
THE EMPTY PAGE www.facebook.com/Theemptypagemusic
A trio of Mancunians writing songs with an infectious pop sensibility, layered with a healthy dose of fuzz and shot through with ‘grim up North’ poeticism.
DREAM NAILS www.facebook.com/yourdreamnails
Celebrating their 1 year band birthday – Dream Nails played their first gig at the We Shall Overcome gig last year, which was also the first ever LOUD WOMEN gig. So much to celebrate with our favourite punk witches!