“Go Away is about how frustrating it is being told what to do constantly by other people. Especially because we’re a young, female band; people can be so patronising,” considers Rebecca Wren, discussing the pioneering highlight of Peach Club’s debut EP, The Bitch Diaries. “We share passion and interest about feminist subculture. It’s expressed in Katty’s lyrics making our genre riot grrrl / activist.”
Released right now – at what seems to be the peak of the riot grrrl resurgence – along with albums from bands like The Tuts, Queen Kwong, Skinny Girl Diet and The Ethical Debating Society, the riot grrrl legacy is certainly playing out in the sound and ideas of these new, young, musicians. The Bitch Diaries nonetheless, stands out in its exuberantly deafening garage-rock right. Primal and immense, especially My Best Friend, the EP sounds like the band are already veteran proto-punks, despite only being a band for little over a year.
Female solidarity and reclaiming and owning sexuality are hardly commercial payoffs for an acclaimed debut, but the band have confronted both these things with a bold approach and their gripes have certainly awakened their creativity. Peach Club certainly refuse to rein in any extreme creative impulses yet still provide a fluid, compelling and boldly imaginative piece of work akin to iconoclasts Sleater-Kinney or Bikini Kill.
“Our music channels the anger people are feeling about the world right now. In line with the DIY ethic of punk, we merge riot grrrl with our running motifs of feminism and empowerment to create our own sound. We like to describe it as new wave riot grrrl as the lyrics are more inclusive compared to sounds of the underground movement in the 90’s. I think we will evolve as the world evolves, as new issues will arise and so will the music scene. A band cannot remain stationary as they lose their power to excite and influence listeners.”
As a young twenty-something, Katty, the front woman for Peach Club, – is a behemoth of lyrical talent and skill, articulate and confident beyond her young years – and it’s hard to imagine the band knowing so much about the Pacific Northwest riot grrrl movement at all, given it took place when she was still in nappies. However, the ideas and music that those bands proposed have helped shape the woman she is now.
The arrival of Peach Club couldn’t be more fortuitously timed. As more and more riot grrl bands come to prominence, there’s the tight DIY bond on the scene that exists again, with spaces showcasing emerging talents, mixed in with the zine writing community and discourse on what it means to be feminist in 2016. This translates through 7” vinyl splits and word-of-mouth support for bands who don’t always occupy a space on Spotify. Peach Club are one of those bands that exhibit a deep understanding of where they’re going, what they do and how they do it.
“Honest lyrics are the only lyrics I know,” says Katty. “I mean there are lots of things I could focus on but as we write and sing about feminism I want my feminism to be raw and honest.”
The Bitch Diaries was recorded in a nuclear bunker in the band’s local city of Norwich at Old School Studios with their friend Jason Baldock. They would later go on to play one of their “more memorable” gigs there.
Another memorable gig was at the Old Blue Last. “Some people in the audience started beefing ecstacy,” laughs Rebecca. “It’s great playing outside of our hometown because of the different experiences.”
“You get a lot of indie rock groups and hip-hop / downtempo artists, each with their own sound in Norwich,” adds Rebecca. “I think we’re the only riot grrrl band, but there are plenty of insane punk bands about, like CLAWS, and lots more to discover in the different venues.”
The band have already toured around the South playing a few shows in and around London and their hometown of Norwich, and they’ve even been picked up by Radio 1 – sort of. “Sophie Little from Radio Norfolk took over Huw Stevens and introduced us from a previous interview we had with her,” laughs Rebecca.
While Peach Club’s beliefs engage societal, cultural and ideological concerns, their lasting gift is the music. With hooks aplenty set against all the noise and trapping of the riot grrl sound Peach Club have smashed their way onto the scene and they’re here to stay.
TGA are delighted to announce Peach Club as headliners at our Blogtober event on October 17th at The Finsbury Pub, London. The band will take to the stage alongside Young Romance and The Ethical Debating Society. Make sure you get down early to hear New Music Ed Faye and Features Ed Kim on the decks.