The line-up for Leeds+Reading Festival 2015 was added to yesterday, and while I didn’t really have any interest in the bands, mainly because (I feel) people tend to go to Leeds Fest to take drugs in the camping area more than they go to see the bands. Also, the last few years, the bands just haven’t been my cup of tea. Anyway, I couldn’t help noticing (with the help of this useful edit) the amount of bands with female band members. Check it out for yourself.
That’s right, 8 whole bands. 8 out of 86 – and only one on the mainstage, all in afternoon slots. You’d be forgiven to think that there aren’t really any female-orientated ‘rock’ bands, but you’re completely wrong. Just this year Sleater Kinney (Who last played Leeds/Reading in ’99) reformed with an excellent album and a World Tour. Babes in Toyland have done the same. Modern bands too like Halestorm, Valentiine, HAIM, and Warpaint. Yet instead of being varied, and actually representing females in the rock/music world, they go for Limp Bizkit, one of the most misogynistic, sexist bands on the planet.
The Female Pop world is alive and well. Just last week, Lady GaGa gave an excellent performance on The Oscars, possibly one of the greatest non-music platforms around. But like L/R, The Oscars was massively under represented by women. What needs to be done is to show that there ARE females in the rock and film roles, because there are 100s that most of us don’t even know about, because they aren’t recognised. I’m not suggesting we boycott L/R Fest, but what I am suggesting is that we recognise the equally hard work a lot of women put into writing great songs. Personally, I know hundereds of up-and-coming ‘uni’ bands in both Liverpool and Leeds that are rife with female ‘ass kicking’ musicians. I’ll post a link to my favourites below so please check them out.
As I’ve said, I’m never happy with the Leeds Fest line-up anyway (Blink 182 twice in four years?! No ta.) but this seems to be just a regression. When there is so much talent available, and you don’t even pick it. Rock used to be blighted by machismo, but we’re still accepting this now. The 80s and especially the 90s were a revolution for Female musicians, but we seem to have taken a step back. This needs to change, or else not enough women will start bands due to persisting stereotypes or being able to succeed in the industry. It needs to change.
My Favourite Female-orientated Bands
Sleater Kinney – All-Female pioneers –
Dancing Cake – Female Bassist start-ups. Relatively new band but making excellent noise, single coming soon – https://www.facebook.com/DancingCakeMusic
The Orielles – Sister rhythm section. Surfy-Pop cool guy/gals, coming out of the underground scene – https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=izQzUj8a_0k // https://www.facebook.com/theorielles
Esper Scout – All-Female rockers. Big in the Leeds scene, and for good reason too – https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ysqZjT4Q0Ys // https://www.facebook.com/EsperScout