What has Loud Women been up to since the last Loud Women Fest?
The past year has been quite a ride – and international ride at that! We’ve had Loud Women chapters start up in Australia and USA, and in February this year I went to New York for the launch of Loud Women NYC – it was brilliant, and hopefully the first of many! I was also invited to attend Nova Scotia Music Week in Canada and met some awesome bands over there, one of whom (Hello Delaware) is coming to play this year’s Fest. But of course we’re still looking after our homegrown bands – our regular nights at the Hope & Anchor continue, and we’ve also added an acoustic night at the Old Queen’s Head which is turning into a really lovely, chilled event.
I, Doris with Cassie Fox (centre)
How has the climate for Loud Women and women in music changed since last year?
Looking at the lineups on the major festivals, listening to music on national radio, it seems like very little has changed – the music industry continues to be an old boys’ club. Meanwhile, at grassroots level, where Loud Women exists, our women are getting fired up, and speaking out. Putting together the trailer for this year’s Fest it really struck me how many of the bands we’re working with are politically outspoken and driven by a desire to right wrongs.
No surprise then that several of the Fest’s marquee names have hit the headlines lately: e.g. Petrol Girls’ Ren Aldridge named in the Guardian as one of the women being sued by Johnny Fox from The King Blues, following abuse allegations; The Menstrual Cramps featured on the BBC as they’d received death threats for vocalising their contempt for right-wing bands and “Nazi punks”; and Pleasure Venom from Austin, TX, were featured by the Musicians Union after a London venue refused to book them on the grounds of their race.
We are so proud to be working with these inspirational bands who carry with them the true spirit of punk – standing up for what’s right, not taking any shit, and making badass music.
What’s special about this year’s line up?
There are bands from America, Canada, Turkey, Italy and Belgium coming to play – so it’s quite the international showcase this year! There are some of our all-time favourites – like Petrol Girls, The Baby Seals and Lilith Ai, who’ve all played our Fests before and we’ve loved them so much we want more! And there are some pretty new bands, like GGAllan Partridge, ARXX and my own band I, Doris. All in all, it’s gonna be unmissable!
Vaginas, what else? (Belgium)
Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something
The Menstrual Cramps
Secondhand Underpants (Turkey)
The Txlips (USA)
The Baby Seals
Pleasure Venom (USA)
The Cleopatras (Italy)
Samba Sisters Collective