“I spy with my little eye Bad Bitches”
Tonight certainly was a night that sought to endorse girl power right from the off. The line up from start to finish was all about supporting your local girl gang. With local ones to watch The Uninvited kicking things off with their own brand a post-punk power pop they certainly seem to be ones to keep a close eye on for the future.
Lucia & the Best Boys are up next and have certainly become much more polished since the last time we seen them play pre-pandemic.
Frontwoman Lucia has just wound up a stint modelling for fashion giant Alexander McQueen, which will have no doubt rubbed off on the poise and power-vogue moves she’s entertaining the crown with tonight.
The band are a delightful mix of whom they have undoubtedly drawn inspiration from. On opening track ‘Summertime’ there is more owed to Kate Bush than just a similar haircut.
After a brief interlude were Lucia explains how much Dream Wife have been a positive influence on her stage persona –after sharing a stage with them seven years ago, the girls told Lucia she had a great talent and to stick with what she is doing. She dedicates ‘You’re So Sweet You Could Die’ to the headline act. The track has all the whispering whispering melodies and 80’s pop synth of Nena, the band certainly put on a good show.
There is even a feint whiff of Billie Ellish on finisher ‘Perfectly Untrue’ which bodes well that this hometown band will continue to grow their popularity.
Bounding on stage in an eye catching green silk suit and lace corset, frontwoman Rakell Mjöll is an Icelandic –by way of California, powerhouse of Femme Fatal meets rebellious angel.
She has all the stage presence of Baby Spice on speed. She’s the perfect amount of sultry pop punk pixie and fuck the patriarchy nihilism – a delightful juxtaposition.
The band have waited two years to tour ‘So When You Gonna…’ the follow up to their self-titled debut album and you can tell that they are here to have a good time and ensure that the audience does too. There is a tangible sense of catharsis.
Having formed way back in 2014 while at Uni the trio who originally got together as a ‘fake girl band’ quickly found that they had something real and visceral to offer. Which is very present in their stage performance tonight.
From raucous opening of ‘Heartbreaker’ there is a small mosh pit steadily bopping away in time to the Riot Grrl energy of the guitars and danceable bassline notes.
Up next is ‘Hasta La Vista’ which perfectly encapsulates Mjöll’s cherubic almost Gwen Stefani imbued vocal range and proves that the band can offer tranquil pop melodies as well as their full throttle punk efforts too.
“Can all the Bad Bitches come to the front? Being a Bad Bitch is nothing to do with gender – because we all know that is a construct. Being a Bad Bitch is about supporting your fellow Bad Bitches. Do we feel safe? Are you looking after one another? Are you respecting each other’s boundaries?” asks Mjöll it’s a sentiment they have carried with them from their debut performances as a band.
In fact before even entering the concert space there is a poster promising; ‘No harassment, no transphobia, no racism, no homophobia, no ableism, no xenophobia’ it’s a poignant message aimed at making gigs a safer place for all who attend.
This is the perfect set up for ‘Somebody’ a song about the sexual objectification of woman’s bodies. The crowd are singing along to the easily chantable chorus.
High tempo ‘Sports’ is up next and so are the energy levels in the room this time Mjöll is using a money gun to stream fake bank notes into the crowd. It’s a nod to Bikini Kill and Siouxsie & the Banshees.
Followed by ‘FUU’ is the climatic ‘Let’s Make Out’ which has even the oldest member of the audience shuffling along to its frenetic pace.
Whatever you do, make moves and check out the fabulous girl riot at their next shows.
Words: Angela Canavan
Photos: Marilena Vlachopoulou