Riots Not Diets Present Riot Grrrl Valentines Ball #3

Posted: 17/02/2014 in Live Review
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

So it’s now an etched in stone tradition, the Riots Not Diets valentines day ball. Like valentines day, it’s once a year, has huge potential for fun and is a perfect excuse to get wasted. Unlike valentines day, it isn’t a colossal stress, expense and unnecessary – you can, and should, be romantic all the time. And you can come here on your own.

Remember riot grrrl? That’s because it never went away. It simply never got as big as it could have. But it could. It could happen tonight? In this bizarre school disco community hall. Take it away grrrls…

Humousexual are not the prettiest ladies you’ve ever seen. They lack even the vaguest of feminine characteristics. I’m not one to judge though. It’s Brighton and you can act express yourself however you like, that’s why I live here. Humousexual – fantastic name – are what happens if you take C86 and replace the rhythm section with a hummingbird playing Neu. ALL THE TIME. Formula gets a bad rap. If it ain’t broken don’t fix it. The er… ‘guys’ in the band know what they are doing, the audience loves it, stick to what you know best. Even if it’s more stripped down than an army inspection.

Big JoanieFrom the get go Big Joanie are a total indie punk charm offensive. Far too out there to pique Phil Spector’s incarcerated interests. We need to wormhole them back to the 60s to fuck shit up. More bands should act like superheroes. The set is well padded out with covers tonight but the highlight is the two chord droneathon calisthenics of TLC’s R&B classic ‘No Scrubs’. There is no conceivable way that should work. Yet it does. It encompasses everything a good cover should be. Everyone is thoroughly impressed.

Not RightFor all intents and purposes Not Right have a total car crash set tonight. Their guitarist cancelled last minute, the drums keep falling apart, surreptitious feedback and the pedals don’t work.  None of this matters a jot.  What makes their set so exhilarating to watch is the pared back rawness of it all sans the guitar and the on-going commentary by uberfemsch Ruth Pearce. Attacking every riot grrrl trope from written lipstick polemic over her torso to hyper LGB-eTc. soapboxing and a cards-down acknowledgement of middle-class guilt. There’s even a call-and-response “we’ll shout tory, you shout SCUM”. Trans-Socialist utopia beckons.

 

Raviolli Me AwayRavioli Me Away are a much more refined spectacle. They didn’t have spiky new wave in the heyday of the Ottoman Empire, but if they did – they might have? – it would have sounded like this. With the best up-right drumming since Mo Tucker, charity shop keyboards and that microsurgery ’81 bass sound you cannot really go wrong.  And they don’t. We get a celebration of all things femme-rock from new wave to now. They even lightly drug us all in incense. It’s all in the details people. And they are far too cool and aware to start belly-dancing, thank god.

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Comments
  1. Ruth says:

    One of the things I really like about the current riot grrrl scene is that it highlights women musicians whilst welcoming people of all genders (inc. the men of Humousexual). But maybe that’s because we’re at a point where lots of people have learned to be better at being nice to each other, and we can have nights like Riots Not Diets that have a friendly/welcoming atmosphere without having to be women-only gigs or whatever.

    Anyways! Thanks for the review, I think your summary of the Not Right set is appropriately honest and also very lovely. Mind if we use the pic you took?

    Also, hadn’t thought about the musical influences on Ravioli Me Away beyond the obvious post-punk stuff but it makes a lot of sense now you point it out.

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