Off with his head. We’ve all caught revolutionary, punk delirium from WITCH FEVER.
What isn’t discussed enough in the mass media? The complex problems and situations women are put in every day, within towns and cities. I have been told by countless strong women, that they wear flat shoes on a night out in case they have to run from men in the street or while they are in a club. I have been told that they won’t get into a taxi by themselves. Some grip their keys in their pockets if they are walking home alone. Some have had to physically push men off: men that think it’s acceptable to touch them. Every time they leave their house, they are now used to the appalling comments people shout at them.
In Witch Fever’s case, they experience constant torment while performing. The fierce all-girl punk/grunge band recently wrote about their experiences of sexism while headlining a venue in Bristol. A man repeatedly screamed for them to take their shirts off, while the bassist Alex Thompson was grabbed many times by the audience, even by her neck. After they performed, a man joked about having a wank while they were playing.
They never let the chauvinism they receive affect their revolutionary journey in the punk and grunge scene. They are charging their way through the gender ideals and stigma of women in music, leaving a liberating mark everywhere they go.
Tonight, they headlined an underground venue in Manchester called The Peer Hat. The girls held a dominant presence once they jumped on stage, showing everyone that they aren’t afraid of anything or anyone. Throughout their set, they consistently pushed themselves, taking bold and spirited risks. Their aura and music, holds an intensity that will scare and shake the patriarchal nature of the industry to the core.
The powerful vocals shriek at our system and society, not just shouting and playing for themselves, but for every woman out there. The band radiate the rage and angst women feel. The constant feeling of being looked down upon. The fury you feel towards being objectified and being told you are weak. Witch Fever will never be weak. Their revolutionary song ‘Toothless’ proves this. The marching rhythm, grinding guitar and Amy’s harsh and wailing vocals gradually build up, and the raging chorus screams anarchism. Their newest song, ‘Bully Boy’, takes a stance. “This song is about the cunt telling us to take our tops off,” Amy and Alex scream in unison. “Off with his head!”
The band are taking a new direction, adding dirty, dirge-like riffs that make the stoner sound more prominent. Witch Fever are going to be bringing a new dimension of heavy to the punk scene, not only using elements of grunge but using interesting and impactful doom-impending breakdowns. The band connect strongly with the crowd. At one point, Amy leapt onto the drum kit, while the rest of the band fell silent. The only thing left to be heard was her heartfelt, chilling vocals.
Their message from their songs, stayed with me. I could imagine women protesting, in venues and in the streets of Manchester, shouting the band’s impactful words. Many musicians will be inspired by their music. These girls aren’t just a post Riot Grrrl band as everyone may suggest. They aren’t following the movement. Instead, they are creating their own, right here in Manchester. Showing women that you can conquer anything.
Image: Debbie Ellis