Friday, 21 May 2010

Read All About It | New Home!



Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Week In View | 17 - 23 May

by Little Miss B, 17 May 2010...

Molly Nilsson @ Mother Festival

Tues 18th:
Ling Tosite Sigure @ Barfly, Camden
Maria Rita @ Koko
Sleigh Bells @ Rich Mix
Swallows & Amazons Ladyfest Ten fundraiser/Storm In A Teacup Tea Party @ The Victoria

Wed 19th: 
Jessie J + Alice Gold @ Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
Marina and the Diamonds @ Bloomsbury Ballroom
Crystal Castles @ Heaven

Thurs 20th: 
Trash Kit + Raincoats @ Scala
Cibelle + Kyla La Grange + Bridgette Amofah @ Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
Mother Festival Day One:
Iori's Eyes + Maria & The Mirrors + Wet Dog + Normal Love + Molly Nilsson @ The New Empowering Church

Fri 21st:
Alice Russel @ Union ChapelMother Festival Day Two: Mary & The Baby Cheeses + Melissa Castagnetto & Beatrice Dillion + The Konki Duet + PENS + Phoebe Jean & Kirikoo Des @ The New Empowering Church

Sat 22nd: 
Parenthetical Girls + Ghost Bees @ The Luminaire
Praying For The Rain @ Union Chapel
Koochooloo @ Bardens Boudoir
Mother Festival Day Three:
Sonja Cvitkovic + Tourrists: Sherelana Ostano Ono Vonobitch & Meltifisio Chavez Chicoma + Kelli Rudick + Vera November @ Cafe OTO

Sun 23rd: Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions @ Bush Hall

Monday, 17 May 2010

Song Of The Week | Monica

by Little Miss B, 17 May 2010...

Don't Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days)

I've been feeling a little nostalgic of late. I think it might have something to do with living on my own, and finally becoming a real life adult at the ripe old age of 27. I am Litte Miss Responsibility, fielding work, bills, friendships and commitments 24 hours a day. Now, with great responsibility comes a great hankering for days of yore: days when the most taxing thing you had to contemplate was whether you wanted a cheese or Marmite sandwich. Days when your Mum reminded you to do things like change your clothes and wash your body. Endless days filled with sun and parks and underage drinking and music.

So here's a little treat to my 14 year old self. Enjoy it, tiny Barlow.

Conversational | Bridezilla

by Ashlea Maher, 16 May 2010...

Bridezilla’s fragile indie folk/pop may not be your thing, but this Australian quintet certainly have an alluring appeal as the new breed of cool. After a chat with frontwoman Holiday Sidewinder, Ashlea Maher is feeling very old...

Boy meets girl and falls in love. Girl marries boy and they live happily ever after.

It’s the typical fairytale love story, but fresh-faced Sydney indie band Bridezilla are out to prove such lovesick dreams can indeed come true.

Bridezilla, if need be, can be classified as avante, classical, indie, folk pop, likened to everything from Dirty Three’s instrumental explorations, to Cat Power’s country-noir and PJ Harvey’s darkened outsider pop. Coming from an unashamed and kooky left field with a diverse musical make-up, Bridezilla are lead guitarist and vocalist Holiday Sidewinder, guitarist Pia May, saxophonist and keyboardist Millie Hill, violinist Daily Tulley and drummer Josh Bush.

Given they’re young, cute, hip and popular as well as musically gifted, it’s little wonder their whimsical melodies are sweeping the US and Australia off their feet and they are one of the most talked about bands at this weekend's The Great Escape in Brighton.

Since forming in 2005 during high school, Bridezilla have come a long way.

After releasing their first EP, Bridezilla have supported big names and international bands including Wilco, The Drones and Cold War Kids, have played at Australia’s inaugural All Tomorrow’s Parties and have played in New York, at the personal invivtation of Nick Cave and The Flaming Lips, all before releasing  their debut album The First Dance last November.

Despite receiving considerable backlash, deeming their success to be less about their talent and more about their connections (Sidewinder is the daughter of actor/singer Loene Carmen), they have come a long way for a group public school students.

Sparing time for a quick chat in Brighton (in between updating her Facebook status and posting tweets all directly after a long haul flight which landed at 5am that morning) frontwoman Holiday Sidewinder seems to maintain all the elements of an energetic youth.

In the UK for The Great Escape and a whirlwind tour with 10 dates, Sidewinder says the prospect of wooing the uber hip UK scene “is like a dream”. Maybe such whimsical statements are the product of jetlag and lack of sustenance, or maybe Bridezilla has a date with destiny.

“We’re really excited, a little overwhelmed. Actually, I think I’m going to faint,” Sidewinder says.

“It was a long flight... The food was bad. What is it with the powdered egg? Why does everything have to be powdered? They could just as easily give us a piece of fruit.”

“I’m working on stay up power.”

With no specific plans to charm the UK, Bridezilla’s cool and careless vibe is already turning heads in the indie media.

“We had no idea we were doing this until about seven weeks ago. It’s like jumping in the deep end,” Sidewinder says.

“But it seems like it could be a good market for our out-of-the-box music here.”

“It’s a bit hard to build a substantial fanbase in Australia. We have a small and disperse nation, so touring is hard in that respect,” she says, “But here you can travel easily and play lots of shows.”

Prepare to fall in love.

Bridezilla play: at The Aussie BBQ @ Cargo May 16, Rough Trade East May 18, w/Mother Mother @ The Windmill May 19, Hannah's Bar, Liverpool May 20, Stag and Dagger Festival May 22 and w/Stereo @ Bis, Glasgow.

The First Dance is available through Rough Trade.

Video | Sia

by Jane Bradley, 16 May 2010...

Is there anything about Australian singer-songwriter Sia which isn't adorably, goofily kooky? Judging by the first instalment of her video blog, apparently not. Recorded from her tour bus bed whilst on the road for her US and European We Meaning You tour, it starts off a tad ominous ("Whatever Sony wants, Sony gets"), but soon showcases Sia in all her gorgeous oddball glory. Highlights include her list of every item she can see from her bed, including her dogs Lick Lick and Pantera, a diary she can't write in because she doesn't have a pen and "some shoes I decorated with nail polish. But I haven't worn them yet because they're a bit over the top."

Watch it, fall in love with her, then watch the video for her insanely catchy forthcoming single, Clap Your Hands, out on July 5th. Then find a way to wangle your way into her sold-out show at the Roundhouse in Camden on May 27th. And take us too. We'll be your best friend.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Video | Teenagers in Tokyo

by Jane Bradley, 16 May 2010...

As every single one of the rave reviews they've received in the last six months or so has nitpickingly pointed out, Teenagers in Tokyo aren't teenagers, and they're not from Tokyo. In actual fact, they're four foxy ladies and one bearded gent, playing new-wave art rock and, since they relocated to London from Australia at the end of last year, getting a lot of attention from the musically-minded.

Beloved by CSS, The Gossip and The Slits, all of whom they've supported on tour, Teenagers in Tokyo release their eagerly-awaited debut album Sacrifice on May 24th, recorded in deepest, darkest Welsh countryside with award-winning Bat for Lashes producer David Kosten. Sounding similar to the latest tunes by fellow Aussies Operator Please, as well as female-fronted British indie acts like The Long Blondes, their infectious new single End it Tonight is released on the same day as Sacrifice, accompanied by this super-chic black-and-white video:

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Introducing | The Voyeurist

by Little Miss B, 15 May 2010...

I am impatient. Some label my behaviour brattish, some call it petulance. I prefer to think of it as efficiency, as symptomatic of a keen spirit. I'm with T to the Jefferson on this one: never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. I'm told it is a serious flaw, highlighted and maligned in the past by every single one of my significant others (well, all three of them).

My keen spirit/impatience manifests in a few ways: conversations with people who pepper their speech with 'ummmmm' and 'soooooo' make me violent, I often overlook notions referring to logistics, practicalities and realism in order to achieve my desired goal, and I am terrible at keeping exciting news to myself.

So imagine my intense frustration at having borne aural witness to one of the most addictive new bands I've heard in quite some time, without being able to talk about it. After just three demo's landing in my inbox, all I wanted to do was introduce your lucky ears to The Voyeurist. The problem lay in the fact that they had only formed about a month previously, they had yet to play any shows, and at this point they didn't even have a name.

Fortuitously, this is a hard-grafting bunch and just three months later, they are ready to meet the world. Having already played headlining shows at The Dublin Castle and the Hoxton Underbelly, The Voyeurist have racked up a bewildering arsenal of tracks and are set to make some serious waves. Part John Hughes soundtrack, part Joy Division, this London-based four piece are pure indulgence. 

Purveyors of dirty, atmospheric electro-pop, The Voyeurist possess a seductive self-awareness and level of poise that is so often absent during the fledgeling days of a new band. They are effortlessly deft at crafting catchy songs with swagger and vocalist Sarah has a deliciously lazy quality when she's singing in her lower register, which turns into a devastating slow vibrato as she opens up. With intelligently conceived songs, refreshingly wry lyrics, and a penchant for off-kilter beats, The Voyeurist have a sound uniquely their own. 

I would suggest you keep an eye on this band, but I have a feeling you won't have to look too hard for stories of their success.

The Voyeurist | Messiah

Visit Myspace for more info, and head down to 229 on 3 June. Witness the fitness. Yes.

Introducing | Thick Shakes

by Little Miss B, 14 May 2010...

It is fairly easy to form a garage rock band. With the genre's propensity towards lo-fi production, 60's inspired go-go hooks and tongue in cheek, almost camp lyrics, the template is long-established and easy to manoeuvre. Hence, the recent emergence of endless garage-by-numbers indie bands. It is, however, rather more difficult to form a GOOD garage rock band. A band with personality, a band who negotiate the genre well, incorporating a multitude of influences and deviances from the uniform.

Enter Thick Shakes. This Massachussetts-based trio are purveyors of hook-laden, spirited, dirty garage rock, their fuzzed out guitars and meandering bass lines providing the solid framework upon which boy/girl vocals play. Calling to mind bands such as Girlfriends and Happy Burger, Thick Shakes hold their own in an over-saturated and subsequently undervalued arena.

Vocalist and bassist Lindsay talks to The Girls Are about her influences and the band's inception:

"Going to shows in Providence when I was 16, it didn't occur to me that girls could even be in the bands - looked like best case scenario, you could end up a band girlfriend. When I decided to start a band myself around a decade later, I ran into the same stuff anyone would - flaky drummers and logistics, but add to that the fact that every dude playing out didn't want to bother with an amateur. I'd been left behind.
But that's my story, not ours. I finally found two others as green as myself. None of us have played these instruments before: Matt [Mafera] played drums in High School and I held the first clarinet seat in the fifth grade band: Tim [Scholl] played bass in the Specific Heats, but he's on guitar here.

We're obsessed with the grungiest fuzz we can conjure, raunchy bass lines and tongue-in-cheek kiss-offs. We're inspired by bands like Thee Headcoats, Thee Oh Sees and The Monks, radio pop tunes & 60s protopunk."

One of our favourite new bands, keep your eyes peeled for more on these guys. Thick Shakes have recorded the brilliant EP Ooh Mommy on 16-track tape and have released it on cassette on Snugglehound Records. It can also be downloaded in full at

Check out
Myspace for more details. 

Read All About It | Ladyfest Oxford

by Little Miss B, 14 May 2010...

If you're looking for something fun to do, you should definitely consider heading out to Ladyfest Oxford this weekend. Featuring crafts, feminist films screenings, talks from Deborah Cameron and Hester Tingey, music workshops, a host of brilliant bands and music courtesy of brilliant DJ's Girl Germs, this looks set to be an ace festival. For the full programme, click here.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Introducing | She Makes War

by Steph P, 13 May 2010...

Right now the charts are so full to the brim with many talented, cute and kooky, “ooh I’m wearing a teapot on my head, aren’t I special”, female singer-songwriters that you may question whether we really need another. Well we do, especially if they make songs like the brilliant one woman project She Makes War.

She Makes War is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist and session musician Laura Kidd whose special brand of gloom punk-pop is as infectious as it is beautiful. After spending the last couple of years touring the world with other bands, Kidd decided to focus on her own music and last December, armed with an array of instruments and a hell of a lot of demos (41 to be exact), she recorded her debut album.

Her first single ‘Let This Be’ combines Kidd’s varied influences to create a grunge pop lament to a melancholy lover. The most obvious comparison for Kidd would be Laura Mary Carter, the softly spoken riff queen from Blood Red Shoes. Lyrically Kidd draws inspiration from those sour times we’ve all had in relationships turning them into heartbreakingly honest poetry we all wish we could write when our boyfriend/ girlfriend pisses us off. We could wave it in their face and say “see this is why I cried for 20 minutes on the night bus home the other day”.

Rather than follow the pack and sign to a major label, Kidd has opted to remain unsigned, thus retaining her independence. As she dances her way through the video for ‘Let This Be’, clad in sequins, face paint and a blue tutu, we can rest assured that she is her own person, doing her own thing. But we do want to know where she got that tutu from.

She Makes War’s album is due out in September. The single ‘Let This Be’ is out now.

Check out MySpace and her website for more info.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Read All About It | Mother Festival

by Little Miss B, 11 April 2010...


Mother Festival is the brainchild of Dafne Boggeri and Noga Inbar: an independent travelling project spanning three years and three countries, this trilogy is dedicated to promoting and supporting contemporary women's music and art. A consummately DIY affair, Mother possesses neither a residence nor an institutional form. It began its journey in Tel Aviv in 2009, and this year London is fortunate to be playing host to the second instalment. Spread across three days, the festival is being held at The New Empowering Church, Cafe OTO and FormContent, and is being curated with the support of Nicole Emmenegger (aka DJ Jenny Woolworth) whose Women In Punk blog provides an awe-inspiring resource for bands old and new. 

With a killer line-up including Wet Dog, Molly Nilsson, Iori's Eyes, Vera November and Kelli Rudick, this promises to be a very special event. With the tenth anniversary of Ladyfest also being hosted in our fair capital this year, we at The Girls Are feel it is imperative to show support for these kinds of international movements, and establish links with people outside of the UK (oh yes, there are other countries in the world. Did you know?) working tirelessly to promote the causes we care about.

Mother have very kindly given us three tracks for your downloadable pleasure, so tuck in, head down to show your support and listen to some ruddy good bands.

Molly Nilsson - We're Never Coming Home (Right click to download)

Iori's Eyes - I Said You And I Grow Old (Right click to download)
Wet Dog - Lower Leg (Right click to download)

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The Empowering Church ⎮ 1a Westgate Street (off Mare Street) London E8 3RL
Door 19:30 ⎮TICKET ⎮MAP
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WET DOG  (London)

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FRIDAY 21 MAY 2010

The Empowering Church ⎮ 1a Westgate Street (off Mare Street) London E8 3RL
Door 20:30 ⎮TICKET ⎮MAP
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PENS (London)

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SATURDAY 22 MAY 2010Cafe OTO⎮ 22 Ashwin St, London E8 3DL ⎮ 
Door 20:00 ⎮ TICKET  ⎮ MAP
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SONJA CVITKOVIC (Berlin) Set & Setting

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Parallel event:

HAVE A LOOK! HAVE A LOOK! collaboration with the art curatorial project space FormContent

7 May - 11 July 2010 / Friday-Sunday, 12-6pm or by appointment
51–63 Ridley Road, London E8 2NP

For more information, click here.

Read All About It | Swallows and Amazons

by Little Miss B, 13 May 2010...


Roll up, roll up for this bumper edition of Swallows and Amazons!
This week featuring a whole feast of models for your drawing pleasure...

AFRIKA VOLUPTUA /// voluptuous nude beauty

CHERRY POP & LITTLE B // Dance, yoga and acrobatics based work with a theatrical twist. Duo and solo poses creating illusions of distorted bodies and other creatures... Let your imagination run wild!

DOLLFACE DOLORES // macabre mechanical melancholy to inspire Tim Burton-esque art work.

Hosted by The Great Cake Escape's Cherry Bakewell, dishing out the drawing challenges to help inspire your creations...

PLUS this week's event shall be extra special with DJ sets from Storm in a Teacup, a cake stall and vintage china to sip your booze from!

£6 to take part, pay on the door or email to guarantee a space. Spaces limited....

MATERIALS PROVIDED // thanks to CASS ART for sponsorship
Feel free to bring your own sketchbook/extra pens etc though

All profits go to LADYFEST TEN and artwork created can be submitted to be part of an exhibition later in the year.



Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Read All About It | Green Man Poll

by Little Miss B, 11 May 2010...

The Hysterical Injury by Layla Smethurst

The Girls Are
favourites The Hysterical Injury have entered the Green Man Poll and need your vote! If you want to see this ACE band play the Green Man Festival, simply click on this link, register and vote!

Review | Wet Dog + Viv Albertine

by Little Miss B, 10 May 2010. All photography by Gerard Rada Nedich for The Girls Are.

Wet Dog + Viv Albertine @ Girls Girls Girls, Old Blue Last
1 May 2010

Writing an entirely objective review of Viv Albertine's headlining set at the Old Blue Last earlier this month was never going to be easy. Being a mere arms length from a musician one has genuinely revered since teen-hood is an experience destined to render one giddy, not analytical. Throw in the consummately and consistently brilliant Wet Dog as support, and one finds oneself in a bit of a pickle. Fortuitously, I run this website and can do whatever the dickens I like, so LATERS objectivity: spaff-fest here I come.

Wet Dog

Armed with trademark hand-crafted instruments and brittle wit, Wet Dog course through a solid and energetic set. Relentless, marching bass mounts blunt, elemental drums; tempo-changes quicken the heart, teasing the audience into a state of contained frenzy (save the somewhat over-excited middle-aged chap to my right whose girlish screams reach fever pitch during Womens Final). Shrieked and whooped backing vocals fight their way through ramshackle guitar riffs, as main vocalist Rivka idly dead pans her way through the set. Lower Leg showcases the band's talent for crafting ridiculously infectious songs from rudimentary ingredients, and once again Wet Dog prove themselves to be queens of the lo-fi pile.

Viv Albertine

Viv Albertine is the omniawesome, and there is little point in attempting to refute this. Not only was she a member of seminal punk band The Slits, but she also happens to have a blisteringly caustic, dry sense of humour that instantaneously renders this entire audience utterly and consummately in love with her. A group of forty-something men bounce feverishly on their feet when she takes to the stage, unable to contain their excitement as she at once states she does not "believe in love". Within moments she has referred to herself as a "milf" and has declared marriage an "unnatural state". *swoon*

After a 25 year hiatus from the music industry, it is testament to Albertine's lasting impact that the venue is packed to the rafters. As soon as she starts to play, the room becomes deathly quiet as her raw, eerie guitar creeps through the crowd. With refreshing honesty, Viv sings candidly about love, sex (Never Come being a brilliantly sarcastic account of a man who would, quite simply, never come: "he was a withholder") and the trappings of married, domestic life (Couples are Creepy a perfect example of her sardonic new material). She recounts tales of a heady youth, surrounded by now iconic musicians, and at this point we are reminded that we are in the presence of such an icon: Albertine's personable, self-deprecating humour belying the achingly cool person beneath.

Once the giddiness subsides, we are left with a talented and strangely bewitching songwriter, and an arsenal of brilliant and brutally honest songs.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Song Of The Week | Girls Aloud

by Little Miss B, 10 May 2010...

This may appear a surprising choice to some (those who have yet to witness me with Singstar microphone in hand) but it was a very special lady's birthday this weekend and she bleedin' loves Girls Aloud.

A petite giftage to you, Big Barlow. Here's to a meaty birthday, and the arrival of the dalmation.

Love from Little Barlow x

The Week In View | 10 - 16 May

by Little Miss B, 10 May 2010...

Another good week my lovelies: let us know of any good shows!

Dum Dum Girls

Tues 11th:
Michachu & The Shapes (DJ set) @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen

Wed 12th: 
Best Coast @ Old Blue Last
Harrys Gym @ The Luminaire
Peggy Sue + Anna Calvi @ Royal Albert Hall 

Thurs 13th: 
Dum Dum Girls @ The Luminaire
Florence and the Machine @ HMV Hammersmith Apollo

Sat 1st:
Unskinny Bop @ Star of Bethnal Green 

Monday, 3 May 2010

Introducing | Harrys Gym

by Little Miss B, 2 May 2010...

 Photo by Anniken C. Mohr

Harrys Gym are a Norwegian four-piece, as yet relatively unknown on this side of the pond but doubtless soon to make some serious waves. Purveyors of beautifully crafted atmospheric psychedelic pop, this blissed out indie outfit have a knack for producing eerily captivating melodies.

Part Yeah Yeah Yeah's, part Mew, Harrys Gym were born from the ashes of the now defunct Dharma. Named after an abandoned fitness centre in their home town, their blend of lush, textured 'dream pop' and nu-gaze/synth melancholia render this band a proper treat to discover.

Speaking to Paul Lester, frontwoman Anne Lise Fr√łkedal admitted “No one knows how to describe us."

"We’re a pop band but we’re not the easiest – there are more radio-friendly bands than us. And we can be pretty hard-hitting live, which no one expects.”

The band have been most impressed recently by the collaboration between folk singer Vashti Bunyan and doyens of the US underground turned alternative mainstream idols Animal Collective. “We don’t want to sound like them but that way of combining the electronic and organic is what we’re aiming for.” The closest that Harrys Gym have come to achieving that on their self-titled debut album is on opener Brother, Sarah83, Attic, Top Of The Hill and Turn Away. “Those,” she says, “are the key tracks.” 

With blisteringly beautiful androgynous vocals, poetically intimate sonic meanderings and unarguably hook-laden songs, Harrys Gym are our new favourite band. To listen, please click here.

Harrys Gym will be playing Madam JoJos on 11 May, The Luminaire on 12 May and the Flowerpot on 18 May.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Conversational | Deborah M. Withers

by Annie Gardiner, 30 April 2010...

Just when you thought the current feminine music bloom couldn't get any more exciting, Deborah M. Withers releases this brilliantly accessible take on feminist theory via the music of Kate Bush. Withers creates a thrilling, witty read through the beauty and complex femininity of Kate Bush's work, tying it together with some deep and perhaps otherwise specialist feminist theory. The book helps to empower, demystify and give language to the feminine in music that is just as important now than it ever was. I recently caught up with the author to discuss her groundbreaking book.

Keep your eyes peeled for The Girls Are's review of Kate Bush and Theory.