Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Pigtails and Army Boots- LIVE!! The aftermath..

well last Saturday saw the arrival at last of the much anticipated Pigtails and Army Boots- LIVE!!!, I had been non stop promoting the event for the month leading up so now here I was- Judgement Day!
The whole day even before I arrived at the venue was jam-packed with busy-ness, as I got cds ready, photocopied flyers for the table and generally got ready for the evening ahead.

As The Railway Hotel also does vegan and vegetarian food, we decided to have our dinner there before soundcheck at 6pm- We had the delicious Crass Burger with homemade chips- if you're ever in Southend and fancy a bite to eat- I give the Railway Hotel a very high recommendation- the food is delicious, portions are generous and great value for money.

Anyway, Rock in Your Pocket were the first to arrive, followed shortly by Le Monnier, the We Rock Like Girls Don't and finally Deathline. Everyone I met from the bands were very lovely and friendly. Duncan, the sound engineer was also very friendly and nice.

When we got upstairs, the first thing we did was get the entrance table set up and a table ready for The Dove Project. As usual you think you have everything but no- we had forgotten a tub for money on the door, blu-tack and headphones! Then we just had to wait as the bands did their soundchecks. As usually happens, I started to panic as the soundcheck was running late and I thought we could only go till 11pm. Eventually we opened the door at around 8pm as people were starting to queue! The ladies from The Dove Project also turned up, so we got them set up on a table in the corner with leaflets and donation pots. I soon found out that the license had been extended till midnight, so I felt much more relaxed!

RxKitten did the first round of djing before first band 'Deathline' came up, the people that had arrived weren't really warmed up yet so a lot of people were sitting around on the side, but I managed to get a few people up to dance to their electro fused punk- the lighting was pretty dim and nearly all you could see was their very bright pink guitar!

When they finished, the lady from the Dove Project did a very brief speech before RxKitten did some more djing.
Next up was Bristol band Rock in Your Pocket who I was really looking forward to seeing and they didn't disappoint- they were super energetic and played all my favourite tracks off their debut album 'Gutterdub' including singles 'Doubtbox' and 'No-One's Bitch But Mine' (which singer Charlie said was for anyone that had ever been oppressed- I think I just love everything about this song- possibly a new feminist anthem)! and also 'Only Love Me When I'm Drunk'

Now it was my turn to dj- and it made me realise how much I've missed it!- I can't remember everything I played and when but it included tracks by Garbage, L7, Bikini Kill, Gossip and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Le Monnier were the next band to play and I was so pleased to see them play a full set this time- including dedicating 'Con Amor Siempre' to Duncan the sound engineer and my personal favourite 'Mediocre Me' to me- as I like fast stuff :) They also said one of the songs was a cover- which I have but never realised it was a cover-'Fall Away' and I don't think many people did as when they asked 'Who was that then??" only one person replied- "Katy Perry"- ah that explains why I didn't know then :P

More djing from me and then the final act of the evening- We Rock Like Girls Don't- sadly the audience had thinned out quite a bit by now, but they still played the most blistering rock set and another song dedication for me!- 'Queen of Heavy Metal' and they played most of my favourites including 'I Just Wanna Stick my Head in the Bass Drum' and 'Something Out of Nothing' (which I woke up with stuck in my head the following day)- if you ever get the chance to see these ladies- then I urge you to- as they are ten times better live than recorded (and recorded is damn good). When they finished, we helped them to take their stuff down before getting a taxi home as were very drunk and tired!

Overall I think the night went quite well, the bands played their full sets and all played brilliantly, we made about £70 for the charity and I got a lot of positive feedback from people afterwards- so maybe the room wasn't packed, but we put on a damn good show and there will be a next time...just not yet!

Thanks to Noisy! for the videos!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Less Than a Week to go!

Next Saturday evening sees the second 'Live' event of Pigtails and Army Boots! Upstairs at The Railway Hotel in Southend, Essex, which is conviently located a short walk from Southend Central train station. 4 amazing bands are playing- Deathline, Rock in Your Pocket, Le Monnier and headlined by the exciting We Rock Like Girls Don't- for a mere £4 of which is all going to the Dove Crisis Centre, a local women's shelter for victims of domestic violence. The Pigtails and Army Boots dj team will also be revived for the occassion playing some great female fronted tunes between the bands so you don't have to stop dancing!
see you there!

Sunday, 8 April 2012


Last Sunday, I had a very full and busy, but very inspiring day volunteering at LadyfestEASTLondon. This was the fourth Ladyfest I've attended, I've been to two London based Ladyfests including LadyfestTen, and hosted Ladyfest Essex here in Southend last year.
I always have a great time at Ladyfests, as there are always lots of interesting people to meet and amazing bands to discover. This year was the first time I've attended alone, and I'm glad that I didn't let this fact stop me from attending.

As I was helping out, I was up early and on a train by 10.30, to try and aim to get to the venue Hoxton Bar and Kitchen by lunchtime. I stopped to have some lunch at Liverpool street and then made my short tube journey down to the venue. Luckily organisers Beth and Kate were outside putting decorations up so it wasn't hard to find them! After briefly introducing each other, we went inside to get the room ready. This involved setting up tables for zines, the book swap, tombola and a workshop area as well as handmade jewellery. And making the room look pretty with fairy lights, bunting and posters. The room was soon looking like a feminist creative heaven.

The time went by at speed as it was soon 2pm and time to let people in. I helped out with selling on the door and as the day went on, it got busier and busier.

The first workshop I got to attend was The Alpha Betty collage workshop. A group of us sat on the floor with a pile of magazines, stencils and various art and craft items to make protest bunting which was later hung up around Hoxton Square, you can see my one in one of my photos below.

I spent a fair amount of the day on the door but also found plenty of time to have a look around and meet a lot of great people. I had a go on the tombola (but didn't win)! got some handmade jewellery, several badges and took part in the book swap- I got a Margaret Atwood book and another one called 'I Don't Care About Your Band'

I managed to be 'off duty' for the evening so I watched the poetry and comedienne Viv Groskop who was very funny with her feminist rap and feminist jokes.
The bands were varied in musical style-
first up there was acoustic loveliness from Minnie Birch, as the audience sat on the floor to listen.
Then it was Pettybone, the complete opposite, very loud and rowdy hardcore all female band.
Thoughtforms played psychedelic soundscapes.

Just before headliner Lilies on Mars took to the stage, compere Marie, made all of the organisers and volunteers of Ladyfest get up on the stage including myself!

Lilies on Mars were a fantastic end to a marvellous day with their dreamy indie pop and psychedelic rock.
Sadly by the time they finished I had to leave for a train, so I missed out on dancing to the djs.
It was a brilliant and inspiring day, the atmosphere was really positive and friendly, I left feeling like I had made lots of new friends.