Gender and Genre

Gender

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On many an occasion we have been asked the question “why the all female lineup?” We have 3 possible answers in the form of more questions.

A. Why not?
B. Why the stupid question?
C. Would you ask the Beatles or the Rolling Stones that?

If their reply to C is “no, because they’re not female” then we kick their asses. Seriously though, there are millions of all male bands and noone bats an eyelash. I guess it’s because we’re used to seeing them. When it comes to all female bands, we’re seen as a novelty, a gimmick, a marketing strategy. We’re told to smile, dress more glamorous or sexy, we’re hackled by audience members for being sexist or lesbians (not that there’s anything wrong the latter, we just don’t think sexual orientation has anything to do with musicianship).

I read an article recently about another band of women who were rejected by a festival who said they’d already booked an all-female band so their quota was filled. I wonder how many festivals have done that to us but didn’t have the balls to tell us why. We’ve been asked if we’d be available for a festival just to make up the female numbers. Which is worse? You decide.

I’ve often wondered myself why less women play lead guitar, drums etc (this is thankfully changing though). Is there something different about our brains? our hands? our coordination skills? or is it simply that we didn’t bother trying because it wasn’t expected of us? Women should be seen and only heard singing behind a nice strummy/finger style acoustic guitar. There’s nothing wrong with that either, 3 of us do this as solo performers but as soon as we pick up an electric, a bass or sticks it’s ‘OMG we’ve never seen a chick play a one of those before’.

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People aren’t aware of, or forget the fact that many female musicians have been pioneers in their field. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Maybelle Carter to name only a couple, the list is too long.

So it’s ironic that we’re making a thing of this in a blog when really we don’t want to draw attention to the fact that we’re all female (although it’s pretty obvious from our photos we hope). We just want to play music and be respected as musicians regardless of gender.

Genre

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Another question we’re frequently asked is “what genre of music do you play?” This is a hard one to answer and I guess it’s easier for people to find your music if there’s a label on it. We like to think of our music as unidentified or a bit of this and a bit of that. It’s always changing and growing. So what will our fans do with this? Ah, I know, they’ll create a new genre called ‘unidentified music genre’ UMG as opposed to UFO. Well that’s fine with us, we have been told we’re a bit out there.

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