It was a packed night of powerful fun at Leeds’ Lending Room for Peach Club’s Cherry Baby EP release show, a celebration of all things up-and-coming and the overcoming of adversity in a musical boys’ club.
The show opened in the firestorm that is Holly Readman of N/\L/\ (NALA) in a gritty showcase of space-tastic art-pop electronica and a monumental stage presence like no other. Looking like, self-described, and accurately so, “an all-knowing alien entity come to cause complete destruction to the human race”, N/\L/\’s enthralling basslines underlay a sparkling beat and sound not so far from just that description, proving their dedication to and deep knowledge of sad dance music. What they bring to the table aren’t just jams tasty enough to eat, but a transparent and unapologetic conversation about the “truths of mental health” and “injustices” we all must face in this world.
Cat Apostrophe makes music everyone needs at one time or another. Lead singer Kirsty Fife hypnotised the crowd with “sad pop” songs with her hauntingly beautiful voice about surviving and overcoming the weight of the world upon one’s shoulders. Simplicity is their calling card, but in no ways their drawback; just as ‘I Left My Room’ celebrates seemingly simple successes that can be near-impossible when suffering from depression, Cat Apostrophe’s chunky guitar riffs and endearingly askew vocalisations keep things raw and refreshingly real.
You’d be aghast to learn that this was VENUS’ very first show. In an explosion of raw talent backed by forceful riffs and a hint of very welcome synth, the five-piece created a sound that broke down the walls of the venue, drawing even more audience-members to fill the room. In a short-but-sweet set that included only five songs, two of which were covers (Deap Vally’s ‘Smile More’ and Bikini Kill’s ‘Rebel Girl’), VENUS proved to everyone that they can, and probably will, go anywhere they like.
The atmosphere was set and the room was abuzz for the stars of the night; Norwich grrrl riot four-piece Peach Club brought only absolute honesty and a taste for the toppling of the institutional patriarchy to the party.
Lead singer Kat Revell tells the crowd a story from not too long ago about a none-too-respectful male musician who once told the band they had little to no hope of going anywhere. “As a girl band,” he said, “you’re going to have to practice really, really hard.” This, to a band who has gone on to prove not only him but every other prejudiced unbeliever wrong about their diminutive ideas on women in music, to a band who now has two EPs released on their own label and tours the country to play to packed venues. Peach Club are an inspiration to so many out there that women can and will do it just as well as men, no matter the circumstances.
The fiery confidence in each of their songs leave no doubts to the unapologetic activism that the band preach. Each of their songs inspires new confidence in every person listening, to take back freedoms and rights that are often denied to those not belonging to a majority in their respective aspects of life.
Words and photos by Francesca Tirpak
Featured image shows Peach Club