Feature – Loud Women Do

Lilith Ai, Loud Women, Loud Women Fest, Thegirlsare, the girls are, TGA, music festivals

…and they don’t regret it: Loud Women Fest is the UK’s biggest women-led music festival and it hits London on 3 September – we profile every band and bring you stage times

Natalie Cole may have been singing about wild women but she might just as well have replaced ‘wild’ for ‘loud’ in her lyrics. Loud women do pick up guitars, mics and other instruments, sling their asses on stage and perform – and now there’s a festival to celebrate it.

The first Loud Women Fest launches at Tottenham’s T.Chances this September, featuring 25 of the most hotly tipped women-led bands in the UK right now.

Everything from punk, rock, grunge, indie, pop and folk is represented, with a sprinkling of Riot Grrrl-influenced and Britpop-spiked acts.

In recent months, the live scene has exploded with women-led live music nights. At least ten have started up this year, giving a platform to a new wave of talent, and making this talent more accessible to the audiences seeking it out.

Along with multiple new women-led music festivals across the country and the launch of a new women-only venue at Glastonbury Festival, these are exciting times for live music.

Loud Women Promotions, led by Cassie Fox of The Wimmins’ Institute and Thee Faction, is part of this movement and has already showcased 42 women-led acts via 17 shows since October 2015.

These shows have taken place across London to packed audiences of all genders and raised thousands of pounds for women’s charities.

Following on from last year’s male-heavy festival line-ups controversy, Cassie Fox formed LOUD WOMEN in October 2015 in response.

 Loud Women’s first festival features acts including Louise DistrasDream Nails and the up-and-coming Vodun. Here’s our indispensible guide to the bands playing.


Main stage, 11.15pm

Singer Chantal was placed at number 41 in Kerrang’s 50 Greatest Rock Stars in the World Today! list. The same publication gave the stoner metal band’s debut album Possession a ‘five K’ review.  Blending afropunk with RnB, doom and death, Vodun are a force to reckoned with. Catch them later this month at Afropunk Festival on 24 September at Alexandra Palace or on tour with Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats in December.

Desperate Journalist

Main stage, 10.15pm

Labelled “shimmering post-punk” by Time Out, this Britpop-influenced outfit with a just-detectable disco vibe draws you in with mesmerising guitar sounds and Morrissey-like vocal delivery.

Louise Distras

Bar stage, 10.45pm

The Guardian said Louise is “putting punk and protest back into the mainstream”. Maybe so, but she’ll wrongfoot you with the jauntiness of Shades of Hate. Pop rhythms and punk sensibilities collide as Distras’ shouty, gravelly, cracking vocals sear through her songs’ more melodic moments.New single Aileen is released on 30 September.

Dream Nails

Main stage, 8pm

Riot Grrrl roots and punk influences define the sound of this outfit. They headlined the Sisterhood stage at Glastonbury this year and played Tolpuddle Martyrs festival in July. Their very first music video is due for release soon.

Fight Rosa Fight!

Main stage, 5pm

Another Riot Grrrl influenced act, this political act from Cheltenham released a split 7″ EP with Little Fists in August and also just completed a UK tour with their label mates.


Main stage, 2pm

This London two-piece, made up of Jade and Belinda, emits a grunge-punk inspired sound with hints of Riot Grrrl. They recently dropped two videos for their single, Kid Kannibal. You can buy the single, which they’ve put out on CD, on the night.

Petrol Girls

Main stage, 6pm

This Fugazi-spiked foursome deal in angsty post-hardcore. They have a new album coming out this autumn with a tour to promote it to be announced late October.


Main stage, 3pm

Argonaut are London-based purveyors of fiery indie-punk with a smattering of Britpop. They’re currently recording their third album and also have a new EP on the way.

Madame So

Bar, 6.30pm

This North London-based solo artist is intense. She’ll remind you of so many singers but is impossible to pin down. An alt-rocker, originally from Paris, she’s currently working on a new record which is due for release at the end of the year. She’s just released a haunting cover version of David Bowie classic, Let’s Dance.

The Wimmins’ Institute

Main stage, 7pm

This mummycore supergroup, described by Everett True as “ferociously wry and tuneful”, is made up of Jen and Deb (formerly of Linus) and Cassie and Mel (Thee Faction, Foxcunt, Guttfull). Fusing brass with guitars, they’re delightfully Nineties but unmistakably Twentyteens. Lois, Belle and Sebastian, Throwing Muses and The Raincoats collide.

Spanking Machine

Bar, 4.30pm

Describing themselves as “punkabilly proles and slags to the rhythm”, they’re all grimy guitars, effervescent drums and fierce vocals. Look out for their new album, coming soon.

The Ethical Debating Society

Bar, 9.30pm

Made up of Tegan, Eli and Kris, The Ethical Debating Society deliver fuzzy indie pop rock. Influenced by bands like the Shangri Las and Period Pains, they label themselves ‘riot pop’. They put on a mean show, so catch them again in October as part of TGA’s line up at #Blogtober at The Finsbury on Monday 17 October.


Bar, 12.30pm

Rantipoles means ‘bawdy women with something to say’ – and that’s these guys to a tee. Bringing their own brand of comedic, acoustic skiffle, these three women collaborate to generate a collection of songs. Their aim is to create an interactive, comic, musical experience.

LIPS Choir

Main stage, 1pm

This 45-strong feminist pop choir isn’t afraid to cover classics like Sister Sledge’s We Are Family and make it totally their own. Some of these women are the brains behind London’s brilliant new rock camp Girls Rock London, which TGA visited and featured. With their first album on the way, this choral multi-piece are about to tour France, and it’s going to be incroyable.


Bar, 1.30pm

Never mind the music, how pleasing is the name Greenness? But actually, let’s mind the music, since this folksy duo is suitably green and pleasant. They hail from Brighton.

Viva Zapata!

Main stage, 4pm

Spitting out fearless classic metal-tinged punk, these guys take inspiration from the greats – Bessie, Nina, Kathleen and Mia. They’re also inspired by children’s author Philip Pullman – single Silvertongue is an ode to the writer’s His Dark Materials trilogy hero, Lyra. But it also has a darker edge in its tackling of mental health issues.

Maddy Carty

Bar, 5.30pm

Representing the poppier end of the musical spectrum, Maddy Carty’s acoustic soul-laden pop channels RnB and UK Garage.

The Franklys

Main stage, 9pm

This frenetic garage-rock four-piece mixes metal and psych rock into their sound. Touched by Swedish cool (two of The Franklys are from the Nordic country) tempered by London grittiness and Milton Keynes realness, you’ll hear Sabbath and Led Zeppelin amid the Queens of the Stone Age/The Strokes tones.

Nia Wyn

Bar, 7.30pm

If Jake Bugg was higher pitched, you’d get Nia Wyn. Folksy, bluesy with a dose of hip-hop attitude, the singer-songwriter has recently released a collaboration with rap artist St. Jude called Watch It Burn.

Lilith Ai

Bar, 3.30pm

Lilith Ai has been making waves for some time. A member of the Fight Like a Girl collective, she embraces Riot Grrrl and brings her own unique take on it, rhythmic, soulful delivery and all. Her Riot EP is out now. Catch her before she gets massive.

Grace Petrie

Bar, 2.30pm

This folky Billy Bragg-esque singer-songwriter and activist hails from Leicester. Her unique takes on life, love and politics are delivered with the warmth and wit to win over audiences everywhere. To date, she has recorded four studio albums and has toured extensively.

Rabies Babies

Bar stage, 11.45pm

They’re funny and ferocious hardcore mavens from London. They’ll be performing a batch of new songs and will probably dress up.


Bar, 8.30pm

Punky Britpop with a lot of swear words. Remember Disco Pistol from the Teen-C scene? A bit like that. Retro loveliness.


Main stage, 12.15am

ART, PUNK, CIDER, RIOT. That is all.

Tickets for Loud Women Fest are still available and cost £10. Buy tickets here. There is a £1 booking fee.

For more information about Loud Women and Loud Women Fest, visit the website here.

Kim Taylor-Foster

Photo of Lilith Ai by Georgia May Jagger



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