From the 20 or so bands performing, spread over two stages at the third annual Loud Women Festival, Pussyliquor arrived as the most reckoning, pent up and in the mood with their decibel triggers ready to fire what turned out to be a startling barrage of fury and spite, spiking the minds of daydreamers in the crowd not quite paying attention, igniting a wild riot on the dance floor.
The allure of Brighton-based Pussyliquor is in the mix of an uncompromising attack from Hannah Villanueva’s guitar and Tallulah Turner-Fray’s bass for a dizzying tight sound and the effect of Ari Black’s full bloodied lyrics, laced with dose after dose of anger, introspection, disdain and spite for the resounding gut-kickers “Pretty Good”, “Apathy” and “Lady Wank”.
Inventing their own rocket-science, Pussyliquor are far from being the sum of a five-minute wonder with shallow affectations and the make-up of superficial nonsense. Preferring instead to deal out tough attitudes, fuelling a new generation, new wave of empowerment through “My Body My Choice”; once met, face on, the tracks and band are impossible to ignore or resist.
Joining Pussyliquor at the head of a fresh and feral female-fronted, UK disposed, punk scene, along with the likes of Touch Me Again, and I’ll Fucking Kill You, Petrol Girls, We Want a Revolution and Menstrual Cramps. Both awkwardly falling ill someplace else on the night, came Dream Nails whose happy-speed beat wooing spins out the crowd into a frenzy of unstoppable unrest from the off with Corporate Realness kicking off before Girl Gang and the very dangerous Deep Heat.
Everything about Dream Nails beguiles, from Anya Pearson’s twitchy she-bop, be-punky guitar sound to the irreverent sarcasm and say it as it is resilience of Janey Starling’s super candied and super sour lyrics.
For Dream Nails the feminism is completely joyous, not YET quite as radical as the SCUM manifesto written by the Warhol shooter, Valerie Solanas, thankfully, but there is a call from Starling for ‘Men to the back, women and non-binary people to the front’ just before the mosh-pit went bananas.
Elsewhere, the not so loud Zand corralled attention elegantly, almost without a sound bringing on a gentle breeze of exquisite and touching vocals for the electro trip-sensitive and beautifully quietening You’ll Be Sorry and the especially soulful Fiends, coming after French trip-hopper Sam Amant had already laid out the spirited ground for the soloists with the sumptuous and joyful ‘Souvenir X’.
But when it came to chasing down musicians ranking up the ‘super incredible’ from their instruments it was the sound of Jo Darc’s immense and ever so mean Fender Mustang re-rendering the air space around The Twistettes into a maelstrom of rhythm and might for Raise the Fist and for the imperious The Line that answered the call, as did the million miles an hour ricochet of notes from Fanny Broberg’s cherry red ’65 Hofner Varithin that gorgeously littered The Frankleys set as they switched off the pose and switched on the honesty.
Photography by N Peter Lindley