Our #IWD gig on Weds, co-hosted with Who Run The World, was SUCH a great night! Finally I get chance to sit down and say a few words about it, for those who couldn’t make it …
First of all, The Menstrual Cramps played their first gig, sounding as tight and confident as if they’d been playing together for years. They reminded me a lot of DREAM NAILS – heartfelt rage channelled through their music, and bloody catchy songs. Keep finding myself singing “Let My Bush Be Free” on the school run, oopsie.
Next up were our Buffycore BFFs The Potentials, who once again proved themselves to be DIY ‘scene not scenery’ to the max – they turned up early, brought a load of drum gizmos, and Zach also provided £££s worth of brand new DVDs he’d swiped from work. Then they played a blinding set! LOUD WOMEN hearts this band big time. Catch them again next weekend – LOUD WOMEN volume 1: album launch party
The Baby Seals returned to play their second LOUD WOMEN gig, and reminded us all why, at their first LW gig, several members of the audience were debating forming a record label right there on the spot in order to sign them. These chicks rule – the songs are strong and dancey and perfectly executed, and the lyrics make you howl with laughter. I had such fun dancing at the front with loads of great babes around me yelling along “He’s going to cum on her FACE!” It was like the best woke hen party ever. Love those seals.
Personal highlight of my own evening, as ever, was getting to do the raffle for the first time in ages. Don’t know why I love that so much but I really do! There were some excellent DVD + chutney prize combos won by lots of happy campers, and we helped top up the donations to Women’s Aid
Then finally, megababes Charmpit played their first headline show, and kicked the ass out of it! Spandex bikini-clad, they got everyone dancing with their infectious energy and humour. Their message at the end of the set was perfectly aligned with LOUD WOMEN’s core ethos: making music is fun and powerful, and *you can do it too* Hurray for Charmpit!
We’re still counting up the total raised on the night, as gremlins/the patriarchy seem to have crept in to Beth’s systems, but so far there’s £186 raised for Women’s Aid! I’ll update the total once we know more from WRTW.
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 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!
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.
Everybody’s favourite gig people Loud Women are teaming up with some of the best radical women artists to raise money for organisations fighting and dealing with domestic violence. Do join us for what will be a very special night with Grace Petrie, Dream Nails, Nia Wyn and Efa Supertramp on 14th May at the wonderful Fiddler’s Elbow in Camden. The venue is wheelchair accessible.
Grace Petrie’s and Dream Nails’ London shows have a habit of selling our so advanced booking is definitely recommended.
Combining folk punk with dextrous finger picking, Grace Petrie is now quite widely known as one of the best radical songcrafters around. If by some misfortune you’ve not yet heard her, check her out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue47ENmNhjc
Dream Nails describe themselves as ‘Feminist punk witches from hell’ – what’s not to love? The all-loud-women band have blown the roof off every time they’ve played, and their new EP ‘DIY’ is a must-buy
“The motto is: Stay angry. Anger is energy. Dream Nails are the Ramones meets Bikini Kill, kid you not” – The Girls Are https://www.facebook.com/yourdreamnails
Nia Wyn’s performances are searing and powerful. A blues influenced singer backed by a steel resonator guitar, and words that you won’t easily forget. Check her out her amazing song I Can’t Breathe https://youtu.be/vPPF0xJ4IOo
Jordan Le Fay is a truly unforgettable songcrafter. Backed by an acoustic guitar and an ever evolving band of assistant-bards her words are often dark and raw, and her sound is always a massive pleasure to listen to.
For all those who support putting women on stage, and turning up the volume