Monday, 17 October 2016

The Future is Female

My last spate of gigs was dominated by bands with women leading or involved: Brix and The Extricated, Flatmates, Colour Me Wednesday, Fear of Men, Poetic Pilgrimage, Belly, Honeyblood, Chorus Girl, Dream Nails. And my future live plans all look predominantly female too: Brix and The Extricated, Popguns, Honeyblood, Allo Darlin, and (with luck) The Pretenders... It's damned exciting times for music. Much of this is serendipity. A new wave of female-centric bands has arisen, and I'm grateful. It's not that I'd ever consciously shun male music (impossible), as that would make no sense - it's just that it seems like there is a new mood, new opportunities, new vision.

Things feel creative for women. Music is so disparate now, music-press-invented movements are not really an option anymore. Homegrown/DIY is where it's at - which is necessary. There feels more space, more voice for women. The internet has offered more of a platform for women's issues to be highlighted and taken seriously (Everyday Sexism, Safe Gigs For Women, both excellent, vital campaigns). Fanzines/zines are being picked up by a new generation, giving new voice and spreading the word about important issues like never before. The closure of so many small venues, the erosion of corporate music media voices has left room for lots of incredible, community-instigated projects to crop up: DIY Space For London, and gigs in similarly autonomously spirited/run places; benefit gigs are back (the Conservative government are crushing funding for women's refuges, for example and projects like Loud Women gigs are raising funds).

All of this is for celebration.

'Nobody's telling me I can't
Nobody's telling me I shan't
No one to say "you're doing it wrong"
I'm at my best
I'm Where I Belong''

The Pretenders:

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