Loud Women Fest-The Dome Tufnell Park-15/09/2018.

.running order

Above some of the pictures I managed to scrape together plus a couple of other images I liked.

First musical event for a few weeks as August was a little fallow for me. But got plenty of good stuff lined up into October and November. As usual a mixture of old and new.

Only recently have I been exposed to the Loud Women experience and it just demonstrates how much new music there is out there which doesn’t hit the mainstream. I booked tickets for Loud Women Fest for two reasons. Firstly the format looked like Wonkfest part 2 to me and secondly it was exposure to new artist’s en masse, which was my original objective of this blog.

The event was really well organised but unfortunately not the best attended. Not sure if that’s just a marketing issue but hopefully it won’t dampen their ardour going forward. It would also have been nice to have had more catering options as the crowd were  captive for 10 hours. I went for the vegan option which was nice but didn’t keep me satisfied for the whole gig.

I managed to get to the Venue about 3pm as knowing myself I wasn’t going to last from the start so unfortunately had to miss the first few acts. So here is an overview of the acts witnessed and apologies to those I missed or have completely misrepresented in my review and opinions expressed here in.Once the Red Stripe started to kick in everything appears a bit warm and fuzzy.

Also to put it in context I’ve seen a couple of the acts before but other than that approached the day without any research.

A very eclectic mix it turned out to be ably  curated by the organisers. Also there were a couple of significant no shows- Petrol Girls and Menstrual Cramps (due to illness).

First band on the Dome main stage I had the pleasure of were “Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something”. For an early act on the bill I enjoyed them. Vocally Jemma sounds a little like Siouxie when singing (as opposed to Siouxie screechy vocals) and also touches of Enya I thought. Strong musical backing from a rhythm section dominated by some sophisticated drum patterns. Guitar was again a little reminiscent of earlier times swirling and layering to give a rich and deep sound overall. I’ve listened to a couple of tracks on YouTube and I wouldn’t radically alter this view taken form the live performance. Saw the band later near the bar and Jemma was sporting a moustache and goatee beard. Assume that was in support of the day?

For anyone that hasn’t been to similar Dome events they switch between the Dome stage and Boston music rooms so there are no gaps in performance and you literally get no time to talk between sets.

Playing next in the Boston Music room (the smaller stage) were “Crumbs”. No nonsense bouncy indie four piece from Leeds. Sound wise there is a little bit of Vampire Weekend guitar, as well as nods to “Bleached” and” Julie Ruin”. In the moment they were really good and I was in love with the infectious 2 minute songs that they enthusiastically delivered.Nice.

Next up were “Sister Ghost” an altogether heavier affair. For me the sight of two guitarists these days tends to suggest this will be the direction of travel. On my initial listening some tracks had elements of “Blur” when they were having a heavy day i.e. Song 2. Also a strong female vocalist who manged to cut through the backing track and I sensed  a hint of psychedelia in songs like “Growing Pains”. Nice track on YouTube called “Her Mind”. Not sure if they played it but certainly a band worth checking out.

Sam Amant was the artist to follow and a change of pace and out of my comfort zone to some extent as she sung over a serious of backing tracks. Billed as a DJ originally from France. Dance rhythms with an electro feel she also reminded me a little of “Christine and the Queens”. Partly due to delivery and obviously because she’s French (ha ha). Sounded like a bit of “Kraftwerk’esque keyboards in there somewhere. Sam got a good reception from the audience throughout the set.

I missed the next act due to food break so apologies to the singer involved (caught last five minutes). Maybe see you next time and give more attention.

On next was “Zand”, who performs initially in a bandage style mask with words like Whore and Bitch scribbled on it. Once the mask was removed she had a striking resemblance to Sinead ‘O’Connor in her shaved head period. Musically hip hop with techno backing tracks

“She Makes War” continued the theme of single white female, at least for this evening, singing whilst accompanying herself on guitar ( I think she normally has a band from my subsequent research on faithful You Tube). This may have been a last minute substitution due to further running order changes (just saying). Melodic songs with verses and choruses that are distinguishable from each other on first listening. Political songs delivered with great hooks such as “I want my country back”-see YouTube. Another worth searching out further I would say.

“Grace Strange” was another single white female completing this mid-section of the day, who specialised in beat box musings over hip hop backing tracks. She was at the top of that particular game and again the audience gave a warm response.

“Guttfull” then launched into a full on aural assault on the main stage. Got a 70’s Glam feel to the music, significantly enhanced by the saxophone providing alliteration on most songs. Full on vocalist made sure the feminist credential of the band were communicated. But I guess with songs such as “Tits and Nails” even if you can’t pick out the lyrics you can make out the intent. They played with great energy and 100% commitment.  Crowd was keeping up and reciprocating the energy levels and starting to get a bit sweaty now after several hours. They definitely got a good crowd reaction despite the venue being maybe 50% full.

“The Baby Seals” were back to typical indie rock territory (that’s what my notes written on the night say), Catchy songs with lyrics about vibrators, periods and cumming on your face. What’s not to love? Probably means you won’t hear them on Radio One any time soon however. They are probably a nominee for all those who like to keep good bands as you own guilty pleasure and don’t want them to get too popular.

I’ve been waiting to see the “Franklys” for a while since someone recommended them to me last year. Not quite what I was expecting. Plenty of musical firepower this all girl band can rock with the best of them. I’m currently homing in on the rhythm sections in terms of my listening and these guys are tight. Bass is reminiscent of early” Talking heads” with short precise notes which gave a great pulse to the songs.

The “Twistettes” are a two piece from Glasgow who have a political edge to their songs. Scuzzy and distorted bass fills the sound, with slightly breathy vocals. Good to listen to and drift away on their sonic attack.

I’ve seen “Dream Nails “before supporting “Bleached” at the Victoria Pub in Dalston. Liked them and bought a T shirt at the time to give them a bit of support. They really commanded the mainstage this time round, looked really at home and delivered with bouncy and youthful enthusiasm encouraging the audience to keep the party going. One song called “One Hate” about sexual abuse stuck out in the set as well as the feminist treatise “DIY”. A girl band willing to make a statement, the self-styled Punk witches write catchy songs with a strong message.

“You Want Fox” consists of a two piece drum and bass combo and sound a little like “Dum Dum Girls”( where are they now?)  at times in terms of light harmonies. Similar vibe to the “Twistettes” except in the drumming department where you get the impression the drummer would just keep on going like a Duracell battery. It was almost a little competition musically going on between both band members based on some kind of insider joke that fuels their relationship. Made for a good performance. Both “Twistettes” and “Youwantfox” are in the same musical territory as “Deep Valley”.

The second band of the day that I have seen before was “Pussy Liquer”from Brighton, who ultimately were the  last band on the  main stage. They are disruptive, slightly loose and in the true traditions of edgier popular music appear to be  mad, bad and dangerous to know (I would assume). Songs like “pretty Good for a Girl” are typical. Not sure why the singer decided to take her trousers off mid set but it was possibly particularly hot on stage at this point in the evening.

Another apology but I missed Ms Mohammed who was the last act as my feet had given up by this point and so time to head home. On this point this is the first gig I’ve ever been to where I saw someone with a pop up camping seat (which they actually only used to rest their bag) which was surreal in the middle of a fairly animated crowd.

In conclusion there was some really interesting acts on show and it just demonstrates the amount of great music there is around of all genres. You have to keep an open mind if possible and just let the music and the sentiment wash over you. For me to going with preconceptions of what I expect to hear will denigrate the experience and as mentioned earlier I made a conscious decision not to research in advance. The audience were also great and some were able to keep the energy levels high for all the bands (so it was a real marathon).

I would certainly be happy to see any of these acts again. Let’s see what happens to this event next year.

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