Tag Archives: the tuts

Nadia Javed: I Hate Boris – single of the week

Early in the week to be declaring a single the single of the week? Maybe, but this is no ordinary week, and this is no ordinary single. Tory austerity has hurt far too many of us, for far too long, and on Thursday we’ve got the chance to end austerity, and kick Boris Johnson the fuck out of Number 10. Here’s Nadia ‘The Tuts’ Javed’s debut solo single saying what we’re all thinking: I HATE BORIS. Nadia says:

The song is about how much I hate Boris Johnson (obviously), delving into some of the racist things he’s said such as calling Muslims “letterboxes” and “bankrobbers” but also how as a British asian I’m disgusted by brown tories such as Sajid Javid and Priti Patel and how they definitely do not represent me. 

🌹Vote Labour 🌹

Dream Wife, Girli, The Tuts and Dream Nails team up for a Solidarity Not Silence fundraiser

45301294_563853120717003_6812626216667840512_nHere’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.

Tickets on sale here from 11am on Monday 5 November.

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.

What happened?

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.

Please help us and support if you are able.

Contact solidaritynotsilence@gmail.com if you would like to set up a benefit for us or have any questions.  

HER FEST hits Leeds and Sheffield this Autumn

Super-excited to hear about HER FEST, Yorkshire’s “first all-female music festival”.

On October 20th 2018 HER FEST will take over the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, for what promises to be an incredible all-day festival with Stealing Sheep and The Tuts set to headline. Tickets just £8

HER FEST will continue its journey in Sheffield on November 3rd at The Picture House, which will boast another fantastic line up in which She Drew The Gun will headline.

Check out the line-up of both events in this gorgeous playlist!

FULL LINE UP

LOUD WOMEN ‘Her’cury Music prize Shortlist announced

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 between 30th July 2016 and 21st 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.

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Actu
al 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.

 

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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.

 

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The Empty Page – ‘Unfolding’


Powerful debut from female-fronted Manc pop-grunge alt-rockers, who contributed key track ‘Deeply Unlovable’ to LOUD WOMEN’s debut compilation album. 

 

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Honeyblood – ‘Babes Never Die’

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.

51s5ccRZ0dL._SS500The 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-1Nolay – ‘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.

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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!

 

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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

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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.

resizeSacred 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!

a4192287913_16The 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.

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The Wharves – ‘Electa’

Second album from this all-female melodic post-everything powerhouse follows 2014’s ‘At Bay’, showcasing more of their tightly rhythmic and skilfully harmonic repertoire. https://gringorecords.bandcamp.com/album/electa

 

Runners up

¡Ay Carmela! – ‘Working Weeks’
Bamboo – ‘Live at Café Oto’
Deerful – ‘Peach’
Ex People – ‘Bird’
The Franklys – ‘Are You Listening?’
Feature – ‘Banishing Ritual’
Hands Off Gretel – ‘Burn the Beauty Queen’
Kamikaze Girls – ‘Seafoam’
Little Simz – ‘Stillness in Wonderland’

Grace Petrie – ‘Heart First Aid Kit’

Porridge Radio – ‘Rice, Pasta and Other Fillers’
Rattle – ‘Rattle’
Ravioli Me Away – ‘Living is a Myth’
Skinny Girl Diet – ‘Heavyflow’
Slowcoaches – ‘Nothing Gives’
Teen Canteen – ‘Say It All With a Kiss’
Kate Tempest – ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’
Young Romance – ‘Another’s Blood’

 

The winner will be announced at lunchtime on Thursday 14 September.
All enquiries to loudwomenclub@gmail.com

www.loudwomen.org 

 

LOUD WOMEN’s top 20 tracks of the year

by Kris Smith, LOUD WOMEN’s Music Editor

LOUD WOMEN YouTube playlist here

  1. Petrol Girls – Touch Me Again 
  2. The Tuts – Con Man  
  3. Slotface – Sponge State  
  4. Witching Waves – The Threat
  5. Crumbs – On Tiptoes 
  6. Actual Crimes – I Don’t Want To See  
  7. Fight Rosa Fight – This Scene, This Scene
  8. Colour Me Wednesday – In Your Shoes  
  9. Dream Nails – Bully Girl  
  10. Big Joanie – Crooked Room  
  11. Molar – Javier
  12. Charla Fantasma – Late For Work
  13. No Ditching – Emo  
  14. Dolls – Audrey  
  15. Muertos – Ballroom Spritzer  
  16. Good Throb – The Queen Sucks Nazi Cock  
  17. NOTS – Entertain me 
  18. LIINES – Disappear  
  19. Los Cripis – Restaurant  
  20. Prime Time – Fallen Out

LOUD WOMEN’s top 5 albums of 2016

by Kris Smith, LOUD WOMEN Music Editor

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  1. Deux Furieuses – Tracks Of Wire
  2. Witching Waves – Crystal Cafe
  3. NOTS – Cosmetic
  4. Petrol Girls – Talk Of Violence
  5. The Tuts – Update Your Brain

 

10 Runners Up:

  • PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
  • Beyonce – Lemonade
  • White Lung – Paradise
  • Honeyblood – Babes Never Die
  • Bleached – Welcome The Worms
  • Kitten Forever – 7 Hearts
  • The Coathangers – Nosebleed Weekend
  • The Wharves – Electa
  • Actual Crimes – Ceramic Cat Traces
  • Wolf Girl – We Tried

lorna draws … rebellion festival


Day 1 – Thursday

I caught an early train and came straight from the station to catch Werecats at 2pm on the Introducing Stage. I play in The Pukes with Cil, and in Rabies Babies with Mike and it is beautiful to watch them in Werecats. Cil and Pip play off each other’s harmonies and inter-song chat, and they play fun and fantastic mid-80’s pop-punk with fuzzy guitars, smiles and fuck-you attitude, like in the days when pop-punk was great.

I spent most of the afternoon hanging around The Pukes’ merch stall, and went back to the Introducing Stage at 6.30pm for The Svetlanas, a tsunami of hair and hardcore, and at 8pm to catch The Tuts. If I was 18 and in a band then I would definitely want to be in The Tuts. They are energy, humour and fantastic pop punk tunes.

Day 2 – Friday

On a sunny day Blackpool is a beautiful place.
I had midday drinks with friends in the bar at the end of North Pier. The organist entertained us with seaside hits and 80 year old couples waltzed.
I wished that I could waltz.

At 1.20pm Maid Of Ace played the new Tower Street Arena open-air stage. They rocked tough and fast. I bought both their albums afterwards.

I got sunburn after a while, so I headed back to the Winter Gardens and caught a few bits of bands, had a couple of beers, and then went to hear Brix Smith being interviewed by John Robb on the Opera House stage. I learned that Brix Smith wrote one of my favourite Fall songs, Hotel Blodel, and she told entertaining stories of music-obsession, Manchester & ‘merica. She returned to the Opera stage a while later to perform an awesome set with her band. Their performance was my favourite of the festival. I LOVED every second of it. I felt the nostalgia of being a teenager in my bedroom listening to Perverted By Language, and loved the new songs they played.

Ramones tribute band Ramonas played the Empress Ballroom at the end of the night. This room is enormous with a sprung dance floor. Very few bands can get away with playing the Empress. The Ramonas OWNED the place. They were easily the most professional, tight and deadly band of the weekend. They didn’t pause for breath. They pretty much did ‘It’s Alive’, as the Ramones did it, but better. They are Ramones-plus. I am still in awe of the musicianship of these women.

Day 3 – Saturday

The day begun with The Pukes’ Blow the Roof Off Rebellion – Biggest Band of the Festival workshop. It was as fun as ever with around 30 people taking part. Two people during the festival told us that they had done our ‘Here’s 3 Chords Now Form A Band’ workshops in previous years and had gone on to form their own bands. Total Punk.

Favourites bands of the day were oi-pin-ups Hard Skin and fab M.D.C on the Pavillion Stage, and on the Introducing Stage, Shot! a multi-nationality London US-style hardcore band, and Amsterdam squat band Cracked Up.

Day 4 – Sunday

Highlight of the day was listening to Dave Dictor being interviewed and read from his book: MDC: Memoir From A Damaged Civilisation.
When asked about sexism/equality in the punk scene, Dave tells that on their current 40+ date European tour they have only come across one band with a woman in (Svetlana). I love Dave Dictor for noticing and caring.

I had a good wander around the Punk Art, and met new favourite printmaker/artist, Zoe Girl Shit. (check out her stuff – it rocks).

My Rebellion was cut short to catch the 8pm train home, but before I left I had a couple of anarcho treats on the Arena Stage. Anthrax UK followed by the best finale imaginable – Hagar The Womb. I love this band so much. They are funnier than Hard Skin, more punk than anyone, and were possibly the only band who were drinking chocolate vodka on stage.

 

Lorna Tiefholz plays in Rabies Babies and Mountain of Fire and Miracles,
and she draws and blogs at ‘Gigs and Pencils’

20 recommended recents

by kris smith

Deux Furieuses
Tracks of Wire
LP (May 2016)

Fight Rosa Fight /
Little Fists
Split EP (Aug 2016)
Charla Fantasma
No Excuses, Baby!
EP (Aug 2016)

Actual Crimes
Ceramic Cat Traces
LP (Aug 2016)

Towel
Wipe Me Dry
EP (April 2016)

Peach Club
The Bitch Diaries
EP (April 2016)

As Ondas
Marés
LP (June 2016)

 

She Makes War
Direction of Travel
LP (April 2016)

Twistettes
Jilt the Jive
LP (April 2016)

 

Quaaludes
Are the Winners Always Losers?
EP (July 2016)

September Girls
Age of Indignation
LP (April 2016)

 

Bratakus
Gigantopithecus
EP (May 2016)

Prime Time
Going Places
EP (May 2016)

 

¡Ay Carmela!
Working Weeks
LP (July 2016)

White Lung
Paradise
LP (May 2016)
Nervous Twitch
Don’t Take My TV
LP (Feb 2016)

Neurotic Fiction
Demo
EP (Jan 2016)

Alimony Hustle
All Strikes No Gutters
EP (Mar 2016)

Skating Polly
The Big Fit
LP (Mar 2016)
Otoboke Beaver
Okoshiyasu!
LP (Mar 2016)

 

and look out for these …

The Tuts Update Your Brain LP (Sept)

Skinny Girl Diet Heavy Flow LP (Sept)

NOTS  Cosmetic LP  (Sept)

Las Kellies  Friends and Lovers LP (Oct)

record reviews  by kris smith

Deux Furieuses – Tracks of Wire LP (May, 2016)
This is an album that probably can’t be done justice without a dissertation in place of this short review. I had the pleasure of seeing Deux Furieuses live in London recently and it was, from the off, a scathing punk/rock assault on the senses and a further reminder of just how much more of an impact two focused, talented musicians can have on stage compared to your average-sized band merely treading water (Young Romance reminded me again of this even more recently). This album delivers the same impact as the live set, while broadening the atmosphere with slower, more atmospheric songs providing balance/contrast. ‘Tracks of Wire’ shouldn’t fail to be seen (along with the upcoming Petrol Girls debut) as one of the most important albums of 2016 and you should seek it out immediately if you haven’t already; you might find it filed under Uneasy Listening.

Ros and Vas used to Rock Like Girls Don’t, of course, back in the comparatively innocent days (everything’s relative) of the mid-to-late 2000s, and their 2009 album ‘How Did It Get To This’ was a brilliant series of tuneful short-sharp-shocks, not a million miles from their current sound. The difference is that whereas that album had song titles like ‘Queen of Heavy Metal’ and ‘I Just Wanna Stick My Head in the Bass Drum’, Deux Furieuses’ debut album leaves all that stuff behind and turns to reportage, with songs addressing global crises, the war on women, refugees, and political struggle. PJ Harvey could be a touchstone musically, or possibly post-punks like the Pop Group, but frankly the band could well have just been watching the sky over the last few years, and coming to their own sound conclusions. ‘Are We Sexy Enough?’ sounds like an exception, a title harkening back to the band’s previous incarnation; instead it addresses rape culture. The final track ‘From Fear to Fury’ manages to suggest a serious message without any words at all.

A record like this will bring listeners few traditional showbiz thrills. But, in addition to delivering a skilful display of rock technique, it dares them to question – as bands like Gang of Four aimed to – the nature of entertainment, the purpose of culture, the limits of awareness. And in doing so it achieves more than most, and secures itself a serious legacy. In simpler terms, this is by turns an angry, heartfelt and affecting alternative rock album, and highly recommended.


Good Throb – S/T EP (July, 2016)
One of the best vocalists (‘KY Ellie’) in UK hardcore, a guitarist (writer/activist Bryony Beynon) in a Huggy Bear t-shirt, a drummer who looks like a young Ian Svenonius, the singer of Frau on bass, and a series of brilliantly-primitive slightly-unhinged rants that come on like a cross between Warsaw (pre-Joy Division), Rudimentary Peni and something from early-80s Bristol label Riot City records: Good Throb truly have everything. Their third EP came out in the summer and includes the track ‘The Queen Sucks Nazi Cock’, which is also literally true.


Peach Club – The Bitch Diaries EP (April, 2016)

It’s been a few years since we heard the sound of what I persist in calling ‘Norwich grrrlcore’, since the dissolution of bands like Fever Fever, the BrowniesBrothersBearsuitKabeediesViolet Violet (plus a bit further back, Kaito) – and in the absence of any recordings yet by Graceland; in the meantime Peach Club have arrived. Song titles like ‘Go Away’, ‘I’m a Bitch’ and ‘My Best Friend’ give a clue to their youth, but this is a group that already has a great early-Bikini Kill-esque sound, a powerful vocalist, political awareness and great potential. Already planning a series of follow-up singles on local label Witchgirl, expect an impressive album from Peach Club within the next few years.


LIINES – Disappear / Be Here single (Oct, 2016)

A brand new release from LIINES, and more pulverising post-punk for the people. While Zoe‘s vocals here are typically passionate and powerful, the LIINES rhythm section too can’t help but conjure up thoughts of Killing Joke and Joy Division, which is no bad thing and certainly confirms the band in a unique musical position on the DIY scene. JD-esque rhythms were borrowed by a few high-profile US bands during the peak post-punk revival, of course, but you could see this as a UK band reclaiming their local legacy. It’s as valid an audio reference as three-chord-trick guitar or Motown-style wall of sound, after all – it’s what you do with these things that matters .What LIINES do with it – as anyone who’s seen them live or heard their last single or promo EP will know, is push the aural point home with a series of pile-driving riffs almost akin to a krautrock/hard rock fusion in their repetitive, controlled frenzy – but always with a song on top.

Eagle-eyed DIY music trivia buffs may notice that the single cover was inspired by artwork by Debbie Sharp, formerly of second-wave uk riot grrrls Valerie, who LIINES played with back when Zoe & Steph were known as [hooker]. Debbie later played in Womb, an arts/music collective who released no records (as far as I know) but did begat ILL, the other block-capital manc-postpunk grrrl-band sensation de nos jours. It’s a small world – and the mood of this single is suitably claustrophobic with it. Roll on the debut album.


Crumbs – Demo EP (May, 2016)

This was an unexpected delight. Unexpected, because with the sheer amount of new cross-fertilised DIY band combinations seemingly being born every week it gets increasingly hard to keep up with it all – there are worse problems to have, of course – and easier to miss stuff,  as I did with this. The just-do-it principle is worth shouting about but inevitably not everything the scene produces is; no such worries with Crumbs, though, whose demo, particularly on tracks “Tiptoes” and “Trapped in a Haircut”, shows exceptional grasp of what a little attention to dynamics and pace can achieve, even with the simplest of rhythmic elements in operation. It doesn’t hurt that vocalist Ruth has one of those voices (see also Emma from Witching Waves) you just want to hear more from, or that there’s an epic early-punk guitar sound going on in the background that pulls my Proustian levers (disclaimer: I have never read Proust) with thoughts of Swell Maps and Siouxie and the Banshees. Maximum Rocknroll have already given this EP a very thorough review, comparing Crumbs to every band Slampt Records put out in the 90s, so I won’t repeat all that here and will instead just say get this record –  for the music, or, if you don’t like music, there are puns to enjoy, like ‘Chaka Can’t’ and ‘Stockport Syndome’. And as we know, puns not dead.


Fight Rosa Fight!/Little Fists – Split EP (Aug, 2016)

A third release for Fight Rosa Fight, and a second for Little Fists, combined – this self-released EP shows both groups at their best. Always a band-to-watch for their DIY riotgrrrl charm, FRF have become an increasingly powerful live act, and that confidence translates into tight, impressive playing here. Unlike some altrockers who promote a vaguely-radical image in the press to appear more interesting, FRF put intelligent, educated thought into making specific and valued political statements in their songwriting (see also: Dream Nails/Petrol Girls), combined with a knack for writing tuneful low-fi pop-punk gems. Little Fists compliment with a more emotional aesthetic and an affecting sound they dub “sadcore”, with what seems like more of an emphasis this time on shared vocals meaning we hear more lovely yelps from Vanessa and Sophie in between Ste’s trademark growls. A band that brings the noise, and fills a room with energy *and* people (always handy, that), Little Fists definitely, as a journalist might say, pack a punch. I would never say something like that, but they totally do anyway. Get the EP, already, it’s great.


The Tuts – Update Your Brain LP (Sept, 2016)

What’s left to say about The Tuts, on the advent of their long-awaited debut album?

In Marcus Gray’s systematic dissection of The Clash, ‘Last Gang in Town’, he calls The Clash’s tendency to write songs about the travails of being in The Clash “Mott the Hoople syndrome” after an earlier band with an equivalent habit. Synchronicitously – seeing as how the Clash are one of the few Ye Olde bands they admit as an influence via their ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’ cover – The Tuts continue that tradition, and the fact is that many of their best songs are about The Tuts and their own (mis)adventures in music, ’Tut Tut Tut’ being merely the most obvious example (I’ll confess something here: I prefer the original single recording – but that’s the nearest thing to a criticism I have of this album).

‘1982’ is a case in point, a brilliantly-written second single from the LP (after ‘Let Go of the Past’) about some stupid stuff their ex-manager said and how they don’t really need one anyway, thank you. Like so much of this album, if the tune doesn’t get you, the vocal harmonies will – and on top of it all, that this band can be so smart, funny and self-aware; well what more do you want from pop music? This is as good as it gets. This is it, the real deal.

I say “pop music” advisedly, because while the Tuts style – like their sister band Colour Me Wednesday – remains unlikely to win over the hardcore underground (too sing-y, too girl-next-door), instead they’ve long had the girl-gang sass to appeal to a genuinely young female indie-rock audience, they’ve got the hooks (much like Wolf Girl do, or Personal Best) for the indiepop crowd, and they play their songs with an in-your-face rock ‘n’ roll élan which brings the punks to the yard without ever skirting close to the ‘rawk’ fakery that risks ruining so many grunge-type grrrl groups – because despite those inevitable comparisons to The Slits, The Tuts actually bypass the whole history of post-punk to deliver the clean guitar lines, melodies, impact and solid production (and this album is very well produced indeed) of first/second wave punks like the Undertones and X Ray Spex. (Which is why you see those older blokes at Tuts gigs: they haven’t seen or heard the like for *years*.)

I say “pop music” because there’s a Robyn-esque chord change in the chorus to ‘Con Man’ which brought me to the verge of tears with its sheer perfection. There’s an emotional vulnerability in Nadia’s voice here too which belies the band’s miscontrued mock-boisterous image – as does the presence of acoustic track ‘You’re So Boring’, and the self-deprecating bad-relationship stories in the album lyrics.

I say “pop music” because alongside the DIY ethics and common-sense left-wing politics (‘Give Us Something Worth Voting For’) is a pure pop ambition to reach as many people as they can, crossing any scene boundaries, a complete lack of anything approaching artistic snobbery, as well as an aesthetic (style/artwork/videos) that both celebrates and détournes the mass-market teen/tween girlhood sold in magazines and TV shows, and an approach to performance that echoes showbiz traditions you can trace back to music hall and beyond. Check out the video to ‘Dump Your Boyfriend’ from a few years ago: it starts with the band trying to find their way on stage, but one Tut gets lost in the stage curtain and the others have to pull her through; it’s a moment of pure Morecambe and Wise charm that I’m doubtful anyone else in the DIY music scene would even have thought of, let alone be able to pull off.

It’s those results and that attention to detail, not merely the hard effort they put into self-management or performance energy, for which The Tuts deserve to be rewarded. And if all you need after all is a dozen tracks of skilful indiepowerpoppunkrock to nod your head to, well that’s a given. Without any doubt, ‘Update Your Brain’ is one of the key albums of the year.


Other releases

Almost too much new music to mention this year, but look out for these, not yet reviewed in the ezine, 2016 releases:

Actual Crimes – Ceramic Cat Traces (farewell album); Lilith Ai – Riot (EP); As Ondas – Mares (debut album); Ay Carmela – Working Weeks (debut album); Baby in Vain – For the Kids (EP); Bamboo – Hexagonal (digi-single) and Live at Cafe Oto (second album);Bleached – Welcome the Worms (second album); Bratakus – Gigantopithecus (debut EP); Cat Apostrophe – Gut Songs (debut EP); Charmpit – Snorkel (debut EP); Charla Fantasma – No Excuses, Baby! (second EP); Cracked Up – Room 201(6) (EP); Deap Vally – Femejism (second LP); Empty Page – Unfolding (debut LP); Es – Object Relations (debut EP); Evans the Death – Vanilla (third album); Ex People – Live at the Unicorn (EP); Foxcunt – Phone in Sick (digi-single); The Franklys – Come Down 7″; Los Cripis – Restaurant (EP); GAYR – Greatest Hits (debut digi-single); Hinds – Leave Me Alone (debut album); Hoopdriver – s/t (EP); IDestroy – Vanity Loves Me (debut EP); Julie Ruin – Hit Reset (second album); Las Kellies – Friends and Lovers (fifth album); The Kills – Ash and Ice (fifth album); Kitten Snot – Womb Clumps (debut EP); Maid of Ace – Maid in England (second album); M.I.A. – AIM (fifth album); Molar – [Split EP w/Pale Kids]; Muertos – Black Box (digi-single); Nervous Twitch  – Don’t Take My TV (second LP); Neurotic Fiction – Demo (EP); No Ditching – [Split EP w/Baby Ghosts]; NOTS – Cosmetic (second album); Nova Twins – s/t (debut EP); Otoboke Beaver – Bakuro Book (EP); Personal Best – I Go Quiet 7″; The Potentials – We Are the Potentials (second EP); Primetime – Going Places (second EP); Quaaludes – Rejects (EP) & Are the Winners Always Losers (EP); Rattle – I Own You (debut album); Savages – Adore Life (second album); September Girls – Age of Indignation (second album); Sex Stains – s/t (debut album); She Makes War – Direction of Travel (third album); The Shondes – Brighton (fifth album); Shonen Knife – Adventure (LP), Skating Polly – The Big Fit (fourth album); Skinny Girl Diet – Heavyflow (debut album); Betty Steeles – Where I Be (EP) & Flow Flow Flow (EP); Tacocat – Lost Time (third album); TeenCanteen – Say it All With a Kiss (debut album); Towel – Wipe Me Dry (debut EP); Tuffragettes – [three undated EPs – see Bandcamp]; Twink Caplan – Practice Room Demos (debut EP); The Twistettes – Jilt the Jive (debut album); Viva Zapata – Fuck It, It’ll Be Fine (farewell EP); Vodun – Possession (debut album); Warpaint – Heads Up (third album); White Lung – Paradise (fourth album)

Upcoming releases

Look out for debut albums from SlowcoachesFeaturePetrol Girls and Young Romance plus second albums from The Wharves, Honeyblood and Ravioli Me Away, the debut EP from Muertos and a new single from Sacred Paws.