Opening for LA band Bleached at The Victoria on this particularly sweaty Tuesday evening are Gigslutz favourites, ‘Feminist Punk Witches From Hell’ Dream Nails. At times like this, it’s more important than ever to have politically-charged bands, set on combining activism with fantastic music; and these four women succeed in doing just that. Just a few minutes in their company will make you feel like you can conquer the world…
Having been lucky enough to catch Dream Nails live a number of times, I can honestly say that they just keep getting better; on every occasion I’m left wanting more of their inspiring energy and motivational spirit.
Introducing themselves to new listeners as “not emails, not freemales, but DREAM NAILS…”, they deliver empowering offerings about serious issues such as reproductive rights, people who think it’s funny to joke about rape and our gradual descent into Facism, oozing their distinct, power-filled beauty. Whether she’s blasting out chants of “V.A.G.I.N.A.P.O.L.I.C.E”, oozing impassioned cries of “Facism is coming!” or simply twirling across the stage like a glittering whirlwind, singer Janey’s abundance of energy is tremendously infectious, her sparkling charisma utterly engaging.
As impressive riotous riffs race with an intense, electrifying sense of urgency, songs such as ‘D.I.Y’ are greeted by a mass of whoops and cheers from the sweaty crowd. And, as the set ends with a song “for all the misogynist politicians” – the roaring energy of ‘Deep Heat’ – each and every one of us, I’m sure, are left feeling truly inspired and motivated to join these wonder-women in their righteous anger and playful, fun-filled spirit.
Headliners Bleached continue in this vein, blasting onto the stage with an immediately captivating innovative energy and empowering sentiment, treating us to a range of favourites from over the last few years, as well as new tracks from their latest EP Can You Deal. As Jen Clavin’s distinctive gravelly vocals accompany grunge-infused scuzzy riffs and pounding beats, Bleached are welcomed by a mass of bouncing, joy-filled bodies, as we all sing our hearts out to the likes of ‘Wednesday Night Melody’, ‘Sleepwalking’ and ‘Sour Candy’.
Delivering each offering with a joyous charm and raucous zest, Bleached engage the crowd at every opportunity. As bassist Micayla Grace invites us all to sing along, she leaps upon the speaker in front of me, hands me a daisy and continues to blast out stonking basslines with an elegant poise and fiery passion. And that’s it. I’m in love.
Then I race to the train, daisy in one hand, Dream Nails’ D.I.Y zine in the other, and a slight ringing in my ears. All signs of a good night spent in the best company.
So, when the world gets too much, and the heat has turned you into a dank puddle of sweat, find a room full of inspiring women playing fantastic music – dance (as much as the heat allows) and sing along, and feel empowered. I guarantee it’ll make everything a little bit better.
Words: Mari Lane/@marimindles
Photos: Jon Mo/@jonmophoto