Thursday, 28 January 2010

Song Of The Week | Joan Armatrading

by Little Miss B, 28th Jan 2010...

I'm Lucky

One of my all-time favourite songs, by one of my all-time favourite artists, taken from one of my all-time favourite albums, and embodying my revoltingly joyous current state of mind, voila...

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Read All About It | An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump

by Little Miss B, 27th Jan 2010...

An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump disband after two years.

Oh woe. Oh woeful, sad day. Firm The Girls Are favourites, An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump, have decided to part ways after an intensely busy two years together. Having toured all over the world, played alongside amazing bands and recorded with big names, the girls are now concentrating on individual projects. We wish them all the success in the world (even though on a purely selfish level, we want them to stay together and keep making amazing music).

Girls, we salute you.

To read the full story, click here.

Monday, 25 January 2010

I Heart... Nancy Frieko

by Dee, 25th January 2010...

Last September I had the great pleasure of travelling to Seattle. I had wanted to visit since the first wave of grunge washed over me aged 12. Needless to say Seattle did not disappoint, I saw Pearl Jam, The Meat Puppets and Alice in Chains perform inside of four days. I personally met the band members of Alice In Chains, along with ex-singer Layne Staleys mum. Oh, and Kim Thayil too. All in an evening, as you do.
Who I did not know I would meet, was the brilliant Nancy Frieko.
She was a girl with cosmically coloured hair that (at that time) matched my own. We had a lot in common. We chatted outside one of Seattles oldest venues The Moore Theatre, for what seemed like hours. She has an honesty and vitality that is so scarce in the music industry today. It was refreshing.

It was not until I returned to London that I got to savour the delights of her music.Tables and Chairs remains an absolute favourite on all my playlists and I see no end to the nostalgic warmth and love it brings me. The video for the track transports me to a time when music videos were organic ideas performed on a tight budget, with 90s make up and hair to match. While the shots of the troll under the bridge remind you this is Seattle, the city's climate and colours are so similar to the Big Smoke, that it's impossible for us Londoners not to identify with it.

Check out the video, even just for a glimpse of the wonderful Seattle buses (the seats are so damn comfy and they mainly run off cable wire-green clean-running machines, and so cheap!) 

Give me more Nancy.

Nancy Frieko is currently recording new material and can be found on Myspace

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Review | Starecat

by Steph Phillips, 4th Feb 2010. All photography by Lee Whittaker for The Girls Are...

Starecat @ The Enterprise, Camden, 16th January 2010

 Quita, Starecat

In a tiny room above a heaving bar more and more bodies pack themselves into this increasingly small space. They are all screaming, chanting, waiting with anticipation for Starecat

Just over a year after forming, Starecat have shimmed their way in and out of many a London venue leaving a trail of dazed, confused, and wide-eyed admirers in their wake. Lead singer Quita leads the well dressed crew, with her jerky dance moves and pop-punk vocals. Tight riffs, Kathleen Hanna-esque vox and call and response make up the Starecat experience.

Like every other night Starecat were on top form and raced through the set list like a band possessed. They walked on stage with no pretence and got down to business straight away. Quita wriggled and squirmed around the stage in musical ecstasy, drummer Gianni pounded away for dear life on a kit that looked like it needed a break every now and again. Guitarist Ev held his own in his corner and the same can be said for bassist Rob who kept the beat going, every now and again looking up at the audience. Starecat tunes tend to veer towards the better side of the pop-punk phenomenon, thankfully avoiding the dangerous line between enthusiastic and annoying. Big Nothin’ssnarling vocals and loud/quiet ethos pleased the increasingly excited audience.

The band ended with arguably their best song and new single, Dum Dum. The attitude riddle track played up to every raw note and poppy hook to make it the standout song of the gig. Starecat are a pop punk machine, oiled and willing to give their all into showing you how great they are. Are you ready?

To see more Starecat photo's, please click here.  

Monday, 18 January 2010

Read All About It | MEN

by Little Miss B, 18th Jan 2010...

MEN + Trash Kit + Bunny Come @ White Heat, Madame Jojo's, 19th Jan.

Excitement ahoy peoples!

JD Samson of Le Tigre fame and new band MEN (also consisting of Ginger Brooks Takahashi and Michael O'Neill) will be playing alongside Trash Kit and Bunny Come at Madame Jojo's tomorrow. Come come come come come!

Tickets are still available on the door.

Song Of The Week | Le Tigre

by Little Miss B, 18th Jan 2010...

Keep On Livin'

Well well well... Would you look at that?

The results of our recent Kathleen Hanna poll have come in, and with an impressive 54% of the vote, Le Tigre takes the crown! 40% of you prefer Bikini Kill, and only 6% voted for Julie Ruin. Thankfully 0% of you avoided being grabbed by the scruff of the neck and thrown bodily from the website, for hitting the 'Who?' option.

So, in light of this landslide victory (and in honour of the MEN shows tonight and tomorrow), here's a little life-affirming ditty from Le Tigre.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Review | The Complete Short Stories

by Little Miss B, 15th January 2010: all photography by Rachel Ferriman for The Girls Are.

The Complete Short Stories @ Pandamonium.
The Wilmington Arms, 8th Jan 2010. 

This review is woefully late because (as a writer I am reluctant to admit this) I've been struggling to find words that aptly describe The Complete Short Stories. Any old regular joe, garden variety words would just not do. Unearthly words were called for; evocative and many-layered. Living in a world of Twitter, the facebook status and the text message, such words are criminally under-used, and it has taken a good seven days to dust off my magniloquent cerebral thesaurus and get down to some serious scribing.

Introduced to The Complete Short Stories by The Girls Are photographer Rachel, I was wholly uncertain of what to expect from this show. Sardined into the narrow back room of The Wilmington Arms, I appeared to be surrounded by fierce fans, all keen to vocalise their fandom. I had done some internet rummaging prior to the gig, and had come across similar uber-affection and shining recommendation: "entirely unlike anything you beautiful people have ever had the pleasure of dancing, howling and dreaming along to". With such high praise ringing in my ears, this could have gone one of two ways: severe anti-climactic disappointment, or joyfully signing myself up to the legion of loyal admirers standing alongside me.

Oh wonderful readers, twas the latter, the latter, and consummately so...

A vaguely shambolic looking bunch of seven (wonderful: is like Enid Blyton band of plucky youngsters!), The Complete Short Stories are made up of Gavin, Grant, John, Toby, Naomi, James and the wonderful Kerry on vox. A fantastically experimental blend of folk and indie, these guys charmed their way through the entire set, weaving ribbons of colour and sound into spectral, dense tales of other-wordly adventures. What initially appears as  layered, slightly chaotic noise, blossoms into beautiful, ethereal, galloping songs. I almost wished the surrounding jostling and whooping would cease, so we could all stand in happy silence and bask in the fragile loveliness of this band. If Edgar Allen Poe, Kate Bush, and Camera Obscura got together, took loads of opium and wrote some songs, this would be the result.

Like folky wonders and personal favourites Peggy Sue, The Complete Short Stories have a knack for pulling you headfirst into their songs: impish Little Red takes you by the hand and leads you on a journey into a vibrant and mysterious sonic world, whilst never compromising the fundamental tenets of a good song: catchy, melodic, with foot-tapping beats. 'Farm' and 'One Blank Channel' were the standout tracks.

Being a serial nit-picker, however, I did have one gripe: Kerry's earthy, honeyed voice was often drowned out by the other instruments. Whilst it did not marr the performance, it was indeed a shame. Wilmington sound man: tsk tsk. I fully understand that depsite the gush-fest above, not everyone will love this band; I'll even go so far as to say they are an acquired taste. But, if like me, you have a weakness for folk songs, mariners yarns and fairytales, then you too will fall head over heels.

The band are releasing single 'One Blank Channel' on 11th March.

The Complete Short Stories | Lately

Friday, 15 January 2010

Introducing | Scantron

by Little Miss B, 15th January 2010...


There's nothing I like more than a recommendation. Actively seeking out bands is rewarding in itself but nowt beats a brilliant band being dropped into your lap, being handed to you on a silver platter, wrapped in a big ole bow. It is akin to a second Christmas, or a wonderfully thoughtful musical care package.

arrived at The Girls Are front door but a few days previously, and have already become firm playlist staples. A fascinating hybrid of punk rhythms, riot grrrl style energy and at times, melancholic, almost shoegaze-esque guitars, this band have a sound all of their own:
imagine The Coathangers' slightly sarcastic cousins, and you'll begin to understand. They switch from dreamlike, and meandering to thrashing and screaming in the same song; from soporific, incomprehensible vocals to schoolgirl chanting in a heartbeat. (Four girls chanting "you'll always be a peach" cannot fail to make me swoon).

An all girl queer four piece from Brooklyn, NY, Scantron consists of Maggie (drums), Angie (guitar), Saiya (bass) and Claire (vox). The group was born when former drummer for seasoned Brooklyn bands such as Cheeky and Each Other's Mothers, Angie began teaching Maggie to play drums. After drafting a few tracks together, friends Saiya and Claire were called in to complete the line-up. Girls after my own heart, this foursome are passionate about playing with other women in the music scene and are on a mission to play as many Ladyfests as possible in 2010! Definitely ones to keep your eye on. I know I will be.

Album 'Make Your Mark Dark & Heavy' (recorded by
Marissa from Screaming Females) is out now and can be downloaded here.

Scantron | Reggaeton 

Scantron | Linear

To read more introductions by Little Miss B, click here:
Billy The Kid
Minnie Birch
Selah Sue
The Awe Kids 
Oh! Gunquit

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Review | L*dyGarden 2

by Little Miss B, 13th January 2010: all photography by Rachel Ferriman for The Girls Are.

6th January, Lock Tavern, Camden.

I was scared to go to L*dyGarden last week. Genuinely frightened
. The previous time I attended, I got a teensy bit drunk, stayed up all night, lost my specs, spent quite a lot of money and missed work the next day. Fortuitously, this time around I was in a post-crimble poverty fug, and accompanied by an equally poor Rachel, so managed to retain my dignity (until I later slipped and fell down on the ice, four steps from my front door). 

Liver-failure-fear aside, the second instalment of this Camden based treat was set to be a good'un, with Rotkappchen, Oh! Gunquit and Cowbell on the bill. Once again, fantabulous hosts and visual delights, The Witches of Eastwick did not disappoint. Headliners Rotkappchen did not make it (stranded in Berlin), but the other two bands were plenty awesome enough to keep the crowd happy.


Newcomers to the joys of bluesome twosome Cowbell, both Ra
ch and I were mighty impressed. Simple but effortlessly catchy songs, performed with understated ease and charm, this is a band to watch. Cowbell are Jack on guitar and vox, and Wednesday on drums. Forming a mere 8 months ago, this band is already tight tight tight, churning out country-tinged blues in a wholly uncliched and cheery fashion. The on-stage chemistry between the pair is palpable, and in their wonderfully unassuming way, they hooked the ear of every person in the room. To add another bow to their string of awesomeness, I later discovered that Wednesday has only been playing drums for as long as the band has existed! .

Oh! Gunquit

At this point I would like to officially inform you all that Oh! Gunquit might just be the awesomest live band around. Of course this is open to debate, but I'm pretty certain I'd win were someone to challenge me. I could take you. I have a hula-hooping she-devil on my side. Yes, that's right folks: your eyes do not deceive. Leader of the vox, Wanda Smacksome hoola-hooped her way through a song. Love. Plain and simple. Hooping aside, Oh! Gunquit were fantastic. Well-attired, full-o-beans and brilliantly camp ("My boot fell apart on the way here. I've had to hold it together with elastic bands. It's hobo-erotic"), you cannot help but smile when these guys are on stage. 'SamBam' pounding the drums, hair swinging in her face, 'Manchine' and his nimble fingers, 'Dr Zoom' on sax and 'Wanda' strutting, purring and pouting her way through the set. Aces.
 Oh! Gunquit

The best part of L*dyGarden mk. two, however, was the wall-to-wall, end-to-end, non-stop motherfrackin all-girl playlist courtesy of DJ's The Witches of Eastwick. Hurrah! What was a fun but non-descript club night has now transformed into a diary staple. Get your girl on and come down.

The Witches of Eastwick

For more L*dyGarden pics, visit The Girls Are on Facebook!

To read more reviews by Little Miss B, click below:
Laura Marling 

Monday, 11 January 2010

Song Of The Week | The Cardigans

by Little Miss B, 11th January 2010...

My Favourite Game

Amazing voice, amazing song, amazing band.

To hear more SOTW selections by Little Miss B, click below:

The Breeders
Betty And The Werewolves 
Kate Bush 
The Pretenders 

Read All About It | Riot Grrrl Collection

by Little Miss B, 11th Jan 2010....

Riot Grrrl legend and feminist icon Kathleen Hanna has reportedly bequeathed her 'papers' to NYU's Fales Library as part of their Riot Grrrl collection.


According to the Kathleen Hanna official newletter, the collection will "support scholarship in feminism, punk activism, queer theory, music history and more". The archives will include documents from the Riot Grrrl movement from 1989-1996.

Ummm.... trip to New York anyone?

Read All About It | Wanda Jackson

by Little Miss B, 11th January 2010...

21st April, Luminaire, Kilburn.

Featuring Imelda May.

Queen of Rockabilly Wanda Jackson is due to play the Luminaire in April, ahead of her new album release (incidentally produced by none other than Jack White). Jackson will be supported by the phenomenal Imelda May, with both artists performing individual sets before joining forces for what promises to be an epic finale. For those of you unacquainted with rockabilly, rock 'n' roll or music generally, this is rather an exciting prospect. For those of you who can't quite wait until April, Imelda May is also due to play 100 Club on 27th January.

 Wanda Jackson

Imelda May

For tickets, please click here

Read All About It | Hole

By Little Miss B, 11th January 2010...

17th Feb, Shepherd's Bush Empire.

11 years after their last live performance, a modified/severely butchered Hole will be playing a one-off show at the Shepherds Bush Empire in anticipation of the release of upcoming album Nobody's Daughter. Being the only original member of the band, this is essentially Courtney Love & backing band working their way through the Hole repertoire, but should be a treat nonetheless. For tickets, click here

Read All About It | Patti Smith

by Little Miss B, 11th January 2010...

An Evening Of Words And Music

The queen of spoken word, and personal heroine Patti Smith will be gracing the Big Smoke with her presence in March for an evening of, curiously enough, words and music. Clearly I do not have my finger on the pulse as the Union Chapel show has already sold out, but if Leamington Spa or Gateshead tickle your fancy, visit here for tickets. 

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Song Of The Week | Sleater Kinney

by Little Miss B, 5th January 2010...

Off With Your Head

Dear Corin and Carrie and Janet. Thank you for the music. Thank for the music that drowned out the sound of the devilish screaming infant on a recent flight back from Stockholm. Thank you for allowing me to get half an hour of much needed hangover sleep before attempting the epic journey from Heathrow Terminal 5 to Highgate.

Thank you.

To see more SOTW selections, click:

The Coathangers 
The Breeders
Betty And The Werewolves 
Kate Bush 
The Pretenders 

Introducing | Oh! Gunquit

by Little Miss B, 19th Dec 2010...

Oh! Gunquit

The uber talented building blocks that make up North London trio Oh! Gunquit are Sam Bam Leadfoot (drums/vox), Manchine (guitar/vox), and straight outta the rocky mountains, Wanda Smacksome on lead vocals and occasional trumpet. After becoming St. Pancras dwelling neighbours in early 2009, Oh! Gunquit began their spunky, rumble, bop pop trash journey in earnest, with recent addition Dr Zoom on tenor sax giving them the slice of exotica they wanted in order to complete their sound.

Oh! Gunquit are that rare breed of band that make you want to dance, just as they've barely begun to play: tribal tom toms beat wildly, fingers snap, guitars twang while high-spirited vocals bawl and purr across each song with attitude. One listen and you're transported into a world of B-movies, grindhouse, killers and adventuring. 

Oh! Gunquit will be playing at L*dyGarden @ The Lock Tavern, Camden on 6th January, and at the Camden Head on 7th January. The band have also secured their own night at The Lock Tavern called Wang Dang Doodle on 27th Jan, which will feature lots of their favourite music and current bands they dig.

Oh! Gunquit | Cindy's Got A Tiger

To read more introductions by Little Miss B, click here:
Billy The Kid
Minnie Birch
Selah Sue
The Awe Kids 

Read All About It | L*dyGarden

by Little Miss B, 5th January 2010...

L*dyGarden, Wed 6th January @ Lock Tavern, Camden.

L*dyGarden returns for a second helping after last month's full-bodied introduction! As ever, the night promises to promote girls slogging it in the music industry, and has three new live acts for your pleasure...

Oh!GunQuit |

'Heavy, open and popping basslines, idealistically snare-y drums and runaways/ESG ish vocals...amazing.' (p.i.x. Magazine)


Rotkappchen |

"German blood and fairy tales drumming to the beat. What else can you ask for?" (X-Ray Vision)


Cowbell |

Catchy blues/rock n roll two-piece currently touring the London scene. A must-see.

As always, the Witches of Eastwick ladies will be spinning girl tunes on the decks, and taking the party into the early hours.

See you there!