“As a girl band, you’re going to have to practice really really hard” slurs some prick to Peach Club not too long ago. Fast-forward to a year later and the feminist left-wing four-piece have set themselves up with headline shows in London, released two EPs via their own label, and delivered empowering riot grrrl rock to promote equality for all. DIY at its finest, Peach Club are a group of inspiring women who are making things happen for themselves in the face of any man or industry who doubts their ability based on gender.
Tonight, the Lending Room is destined to be a night of cathartic, uninhabited, anti-patriarchal bliss. With a line-up of 4 exceptional bands - all made up of women - it was a showcase of what is desperately needed within the mainstream music industry; equality and empowerment for those who aren’t white boys with guitars.
First on was Nala, who sunk the room into the dense depths of remorseless basslines and celestial vocals. A true alchemist of beats, Nala seamlessly blended euphoria and melancholy through her performance as she danced unimpeded, intoxicated by the sound. “Where’s me inhaler?” she panted as she finished up one track, only to burst into another with the same level of energy as before, almost literally dancing her tights off.
Cat Apostrophe took to the stage, with frontwoman Kirsty Fife captivating the room with a magnetic aura and harrowing vocals. With meaningful lyrics pivoting around mental health and survival, Cat Apostrophe melted away any insecurities in the room.
Shortly after, five-piece Venus exploded onto the stage. Front woman Grace Kelly commands the stage like a young Joan Jett, whilst guitarist Jess Ayres delivers possessive riffs. They slink about the stage, looking at each other the way you look at your best friend doing what they love for a room full of people. Covering Deep Vally’s ‘Smile More’ and Bikini Kill’s ‘Rebel Girl’, Venus flaunted their contagious attitude and proved their capacity of pure potential. You wouldn’t believe it was their first ever gig.
The atmosphere was alight with empowerment and support; everyone was overcome with the urge to go pick up an instrument and make some noise. The room had filled with punters from downstairs, having been magnetised by the riot grrrl fuzz pounding through the ceiling of their favourite watering hole.
Peach Club descended onto the stage with an indescribable energy and unquenchable thirst for a pure, anti-patriarchal party. Kicking off with ‘Bad Bitch’, the Norwich band were completely in their element, commanding the room in a display of girl power. Chants for drummer Becca, who lives in Leeds, filled the room, and the love for Peach Club was wonderfully evident. What’s refreshing about Peach Club is their unapologetic refusal to let sexism in the music industry choke or deny their potential. Frontwoman Katie tells a story of a patronising male musician who doubted their ability, only to be proved wrong by Peach Club’s quick rise to success and unparalleled initiative.
The night was a portrait of how gigs should be; people from all backgrounds and gender identities moshing together without any inhibition or insecurity. The atmosphere created by the four empowering bands was something rare and blissfully refreshing, and sends a message to the music industry that girls can master their instruments just as much as boys can.
Words and Images by Meg Firth
Feature Image by Poppy Marriott