“ALL GIRLS TO THE FRONT!” Janey screamed before they dove head first into their fast-paced, high energy set. Creating a safe place for ALL women, non-binary, or trans person made it a gig where I never felt more included in my life. I felt okay to be and feel however I wanted. There wasn’t that creepy dude in the corner that won’t leave you alone just because you and your friends are dancing, there wasn’t that one guy who won’t stop dancing up onto you even when you say no, and there wasn’t that super tall guy in the front recording every minute of the concert and blocking everyone’s views and attention away from the music. The type of static behavior that is still happening at punk gigs was inexistent at “Girls Go BOOM: Dirty Girl Edition”- instead, there were empowering words from strong women being screamed on the stage, there were inspiring pieces of comics that depicted what being any type of woman is like, and there were powerful/inspiring women surrounding me at the front of the crowd and within the venue that contributed to the art we were witnessing.
On Friday September 1, I took a Flixbus over to Ghent, Belgium and attended a very inspiring event full of great music, fabulous art, and lovely people. Girls Go Boom is an amazing concert organizer and booking agency that are girls putting girls on stage. Girls Go Boom: Dirty Girl Edition consisted of performances by Dream Nails, Petrol Girls and Cocaine Piss. Drenched in sweat, a grin from ear to ear, making new friends with women from different countries, and jumping and dancing until the sweat would literally drip into my eyes, It was a night full of in-your-face feminist punk that left an impact on all.
First to hit the stage were my favorite gal pals, Dream Nails (UK). They had a fast pace set that hit you back to back with songs that resonated with many people in the crowd, for example – a song about when you are texting someone you like then they completely ghost you for no reason, and a song to every woman and non-binary person reminding them how dope they are to DIY (do-it-yourself). To wrap up their amazing set, they ended with their special witch hoax to the infamous Donald Trump, “Deep Heat.” Janey jumped into the crowd, shared the microphone with all of the girls in the front as we all sang in unison, “Nobody cares if your dick is on fire!”
Photo: Jeroen Jacobs
Next up was the powerful Petrol Girls (UK). Their huge sound coincided perfectly with lead singer, Ren’s, unique voice. They are described as “raging feminist post hardcore combining jagged rhythms with vocals that range from furious screaming to intricate melodies and harmonies.” Petrol Girls identify as a feminist band and draw on personal experiences to challenge and ridicule sexism, opening up more doors to explore wider political themes, such as alienation, mental health and the anti austerity movement. Each lyric hit me like a train waking me up, to the point where I was simultaneously dancing/jumping non-stop whilst questioning/thinking hard about each lyric screamed into the microphone. Watching the four of them work in unison was really inspiring, and their sound made me feel like I could really do something to stick up for my beliefs.
Photo: Jeroen Jacobs
The impeccable Cocaine Piss (BE) ended the night with their shrieking vocals, heavy beats, and loud riffs. Their sound is a noise lover’s dream as front woman, Aurélie, jumped off the stage and sang from inside the crowd for about one-third of their set. Cocaine Piss is literally in your face, with a sound having a pissed off tone coincided perfectly with silly/sarcastic lyrics. Since they combine these two things so well, Cocaine Piss “stand out because of their level of humor in their songs that you generally don’t get with such aggressive bands which makes the whole thing more fun in addition to its intensity.”
Photo: Jeroen Jacobs
Be sure to check out/give a like to Girls Go Boom on Facebook to see what other fun events they have going on in Ghent and Rotterdam! Also, be sure to go give these powerful, female-fronted punk bands a good listen! They have inspiring beliefs and amazing sounds that will impress all types of listeners. Cocaine Piss will be playing Reeperbahn Festival (September 20-23) in Hamburg and Dream Nails will be playing Munich (15/09/2017), Nuremberg (16/09/2017), and Frankfurt (17/09/2017)!