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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you’re the lead singer in a militant feminist punk group, or play second fiddle in a folk collective, female musicians all need a helping hand from their sisters if they want to get ahead in the big boys’ club that is the music industry.
We at LOUD WOMEN Club know this all too well, which is why we’ve asked some of the bands who have played for us to share their top tips for being a girl in a band.
1Ren Aldridge, vocalist in Petrol Girls
My top tip for women getting involved in music is that it’s ok to suck. Seriously, there are plenty of men who play music that suck, and they are allowed to suck and it have nothing to do with their gender. It takes time to get good at what you do. So suck for a bit, and enjoy it. You’ll get better without even realising.
2Charley Stone, guitarist with MX Tyrants
Here’s a technical tip for soundchecks: often when you’re having problems hearing things on stage, the sound tech (often a guy) will shrug and tell you ‘it will sound better when there’s people in the room’. To an extent they’re right – but that’s not much help when you’re trying to get a balance onstage so that you can all hear what you’re doing. So when that happens, ask them to switch off the front of house PA so you can play a song or a bit of a song with just the monitors on, and see if you can hear yourselves then. That’s my tip from the top! It’s one of the things I wish I’d known when I started out, anyway.
3Laura Kirsop, singer in Ex People
Don’t be scared to say no. In my old bands, stylists wanted me to wear things I would never normally wear and I was too scared to put my foot down. As a result I was uncomfortable and gave a worse performance. Just say no!
4Hannah, singer in GAYR
“Don’t do yourself down until you’ve given everyone else the chance first!” That observation was from another female performer and it really resonated with me. I had, and still have, to get out of my own way, as a performer, writer or really anything else! My advice would be, just have a go. There’s no magic formula or god-given talent or right involved. Hook yourself up with some enthusiastic and supportive people and do some work. Put on a wicked outfit, or don’t, and have a ball. If you think you’ll love it, you probably will.
5Cassie Fox, bassist in The Wimmins’ Institute
When you’re a new band, you’ve got to shout from the rooftops about how awesome you are. Blow your own trumpet – no one’s going to do it for you! Bigging up yourself goes against everything we were taught as little girls about being ‘ladylike’. Which makes it doubly important that the next generation of little girls see us smashing that toxic stereotyping to bits. Be bold and confident (or, at least, feign confidence for long enough for it to start to feel natural!)
6Becky Baldwin, bassist in IDestroy
Know when to stand up for yourself, ask questions and prove yourself. Online trolls can be ignored, but certain people in the industry can and will help you if you can calmly but fairly show why they are in the wrong. Most people don’t know they’re being sexist, and although it’s unfair that we need to work extra hard to prove we belong here, I think it’s the best way to push the industry forward. Use your knowledge and be proud!
7Lilith Ai, singer songwriter
Kill with kindness. Nobody is perfect. Making music is hard and it’s scary sometimes, showing all when you’re on stage or people are checking out your MP3s. So don’t diss your fellow artists, befriend them. They’ll be your greatest allies.
Can you believe it’s a year since we held the first ever LOUD WOMEN club! To celebrate, here are some top stats:
💋No. of acts who’ve played a LW night: 63
💋No. of events held: 21
💋No. of venues who’ve hosted us: 8
💋Bands who have played the most:
1st place – The Wimmins’ Institute (9 times)
joint 2nd place – Argonaut and Dream Nails (5 times each)
3rd place – Grace Petrie (4 times)
💋Cash raised for Women’s Aid – £1,834.57
💋Fun times had – squillions and billions
LOUD WOMEN describe themselves as “a DIY collective that champions women in music by hosting live events that are fun, friendly and frickin awesome”. The gigs were launched in October 2015 by Cassie Fox, of The Wimmins’ Institute and Thee Faction, as part of the ‘We Shall Overcome’ weekend of anti-austerity gigs staged all over the UK.
She says, “I looked at the list of gigs – hundreds of them – all starring men with guitars, male DJs, male organisers, and I thought I’d try putting on a women-led live music night at the Silver Bullet in Finsbury Park. I was bouyed up from having organised a big show (with Thee Faction), at Union Chapel, a fundraiser for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership campaign, which raised nearly £10,000. The first LOUD WOMEN night was a massive hit! The place was packed from the start, we raised loads of money for our chosen charity (Women’s Aid), and some awesome, unknown bands got a platform.”
Most notably, this was Dream Nails’ first ever gig, a band involved with feminist direct action groups. Without even a demo to their name they were booked by Cassie, as the bill’s opener, and delivered an infectious Ramones meets Bikini Kill for the 21st Century. News of this fire, feminism and fun travelled fast: since then they’ve released an EP, ‘DIY’, live shows are always sold out, and they’ve secured a slot at this year’s Glastonbury.
“That’s what LW is all about: putting talented and committed women on stages who might otherwise have struggled to get heard.”
Anya of Dream Nails describes LOUD WOMEN as “our fairy punkmothers”.
Since that first gig, LOUD WOMEN have showcased 42 women-led acts via 17 shows, and raised nearly £1,000 for Women’s Aid, through a regular raffle (prizes often include rare records and books). Shows are mostly in London, where Cassie Fox is based, but not exclusively so: recent dates included cracking events at Newport and Brighton.
In February, the LOUD WOMEN eZine was launched to over 1,000 subscribers, featuring news, interviews, videos and music reviews. A festival is planned for September. Bob Oram wrote in The Morning Star that “Loud Women will undoubtedly be the beacon for all the best new female talent in 2016”.
Tegan Christmas, of The Ethical Debating Society, says LOUD WOMEN are the “Best shows in London for grrrl fronted guitar action! Inclusive, friendly and inspiring.”
Angela Martin of Bugeye says, “Awesome crowds, amazing bands and one of the most supportive promoters you’re likely to meet.”
Artist Diane Goldie describes the nights as “Real feminism and sisterhood in action with a rrriotous score”
Behind the scenes is a group known as ‘Team LOUD WOMEN’ – a group of musicians, gig-goers, music journalists and writers, willing to support Loud Women, as and when required in areas such as marketing, writing for the E-zine, organisation, door duty, stage managing, social media, design. Women who join the Loud Women team are committed to DIY music, and want to support Cassie’s vision and share their experience or knowledge, others want to work or study in a particular field, a feasible very part time internship.
What type of bands is Loud Women looking for?
“Officially, the genres we put on are punk, pop and indie,” says Cassie. “But in practice it’s just ‘stuff that I like’. And, to be fair, that seems to be working pretty well for us so far! My favourite bands are those who have something to say for themselves, but want us all to have a good time while they’re doing that. That’s the kind of atmosphere we love at LW shows: one minute we’ll have tears in our eyes because someone on stage has just been so open and honest about something that’s hurt them, the next we’re down the front jumping about with our friends, laughing while we’re dancing and singing along to some badass music.”
LOUD WOMEN also host regular all-ages matinee gigs, the first, at the Lexington, Islington and the next on 18th June at the Half Moon, Putney, with acts such as Piney Gir and The Priscillas providing entertainment for grown ups and kiddies alike. Children are encouraged to take part in music making and bands adapt their set for the mixed audience. There is face painting for children and the usual raffle. Parents need to provide their own ear-plugs or headphones for children but the sound level is not as high as a normal live show.
Highlight of the LOUD WOMEN calendar this year is their first all-day festival – Saturday 3rd September at the 700 capacity venue T.Chances in Tottenham. 25 acts will appear across two stages (with no slot clashes), in a line-up that mixes established artists, such as Desperate Journalist, Louise Distras and Grace Petrie, hot new stars like Vodun and Dolls, and DIY favourites such as The Ethical Debating Society, PetrolGirls and DreamNails. There will be stalls, zines, clothing, poetry and speakers. The event is all-ages until 7pm, then the louder bands get going until 2am.
Ngaire Ruth wrote for Melody Maker for 15 years, as well as presenting Transmission TV, in the ‘80s and ‘90s. More recently, she’s moved into online journalism as Live Editor for thegirlsare.com, and continutes to freelance and teach at UCA.
No babysitter? Don’t miss out! Bring the kids along for an afternoon of top notch badass woman-led PIRATE-THEMED garage-pop-surf-rock-awesome, in South-West London’s historic rocknroll venue, The Half Moon.
Ear-defenders recommended for the little pirate ears!
Line-up for SATURDAY 18 JUNE 2016:
“They’re The Cramps,The Shangri-Las, and the New York Dolls all rolled into one” Kerrang!
“Near perfect power-pop.” NME
“exude B-movie glamour” VOGUE https://www.facebook.com/The-Priscillas-5890833561/
THE WIMMINS’ INSTITUTE
“wonderfully, tunefully, angrily unprofessional … 4/5″ – Boff Whalley, R2 Magazine
“Brilliant … fuelled by brass, guitar and righteous fury” – MOJO
“a “super group” packed with individual talent … post-post-riot grrrl, post-feminist, post-Marxist, post-punk rock new wave.”’ – Bob Oram, The Morning Star https://www.facebook.com/theWimminsInstitute/
THE PIRATE QUEENS
Setting foot on dry land for the first time in years, this mythical all-women crew of rollicking rabble-rousers will have you jigging in the rigging. ARRRRRGH! https://www.facebook.com/piratequeensband/