Saturday May 11th 2019 in North London and there’s nothing like going into a gig in complete ignorance about what to expect. Not so much as a peek on Youtube or Bandcamp. In fact nothing is known about this event other than the fact that organisers Loud Women are pretty excited about tonight’s line up.
Lancastrian psycho-pop ensemble TV FACE are a three piece with a truly enormous live sound over which Steve and Bridget provide vocals that project across a schizophrenic tapestry of themes and emotions. His guitar explores the realms of treble-centric distortion while her chunky bass lines complete the pounding rhythm section. The howling sound is reminiscent of post-punk pioneers Big Black with perhaps a bit of Franz Ferdinand & Pixies thrown in for good measure.
‘Phone Phreaks’ is a stand out track that screams about technology & connectivity in a barking mad symphony of bass-led insanity building up to a swell of howling angst, before disappearing into its own abyss. ‘Simian Nation’ delves into the darker recesses of rock n’ roll previously explored by the likes of The Cramps. Complete insanity, in all its beauty, from beginning to end, packaged into a neat selection of punchy tunes.
Then we get Feral Five who immediately confuse us by being a two-piece techno-punk duo, delivering sci-fi centric cyber pop with a decidedly dark flavour. The tone is very much set by opener ‘Neurotrash’. They inhabit a dystopian world where 3D printers are creating superior beings that will inevitably overthrow us.
Kat (vocals/percussion) & Drew (lead bass) plough through a seven song set of futuristic visions that range from the paranoid ‘3D’ to the irresistibly funky ‘Shake it’. The latter being the latest single officially being released tonight. If Ridley Scott had included a scene in Blade Runner that had involved Deckard chasing one of those rogue replicants into a backstreet club catering for 21st century mutants & freaks; this is the band that would have been onstage.
If there is such a place as hell, then Donald Trump’s eternal damnation will surely involve a soundtrack provided by Miss Eaves? He’ll be forced to watch her self produced videos on an endless loop as well. The New York rapper dishes out an empowering blitz of righteous female rage. Rapped with absolute precision over and extremely danceable, bass-heavy backing beat. She is the perfect antidote to the casual sexism that pollutes the music industry today and also the unforgivably chauvinist hip-hop of old.
Starting with ‘Hump day’, a glorious appraisal of the joys of masturbation she plays the audience with commendable skill, getting everyone to belt out the chorus of ‘Fuccboi salute’. Then reducing the entire venue into fits of laughter with ‘Left swipe left’ a hilarious track from her latest EP that mercilessly ridicules the world of online dating.
Her message throughout to the patriarchs, incels & haters is one of absolute defiance delivered with supreme confidence and some of the cleverest, most engaging lyrics that I’ve seen performed for a very long time. ‘Thunder thighs’ closes the set with its troll-baiting message of body-power that appears to have brought about many cases of spontaneous male combustion if the comments on its accompanying Youtube video are anything to go by. This show is not just about celebrating the empowerment of women, it also revels in the offence dished out to the basement dwelling misogynists. Bashing their keyboards until their grubby fingers bleed. For an encore, we get ‘TNT’ a beast of a tune and the perfect end to an utterly blinding set.
If tonight’s show is anything to go by LOUD WOMEN is far more than just a platform for “those who support putting women on stage, and turning up the volume.” It is about finding the absolute best live experiences on offer and bringing them together for an absolute riot of a night. Click HERE for more info about their regular gigs & events.
Words & images by Guy Smallman