I read somewhere (probably an unreliable source, as ever) that London crowds are pretty shitty. I won’t say this statement is entirely true, but to a fair extent it is bullshit. Last week when I saw Warpaint, I was in awe of how the crowd were. Maybe it is the band and not the place. Anyway, the moral of the tale is- don’t believe anything you read in the papers.
If there was a Holy Trinity of female musicians (I’m not including Patti Smith because we all know she’s the greatest) it would consist of Courtney Love, Shirley Manson and Brody Dalle. Those 3 are responsible for the songs that got me through my teenage years and part of adulthood that I still can’t get my head around. They made it alright to be pissed off at what was around you; and when you’re 14/15, you’re pissed off at a lot of stuff.
I was never lucky enough to see Brody when she was in The Distillers, but I saw her when she had Spinnerette and I used the photos I took as part of a Photojournalism module I did at university. Pretty sure her “Fuck Off” tattoo helped me get a good mark. Hoxton Bar & Kitchen is one of my favourite places to see bands, more than likely for sentimental reasons (you probably know by now.) I’m still slightly deaf from last night, and I think that’s a sign that I had a good time.
Brody’s setlist consisted of a beautiful mix of solo, Spinnerette and The Distillers songs; as I’d never seen The Distillers, this was as close as I was ever going to get. Roaring through the likes of Dismantle Me, Ghetto Love and Sick Of It All; you feel the same rage you did when you first heard them. There aren’t many musicians around that are as powerful as Brody. She doesn’t need to mouth off to be heard, she doesn’t need to engage in awkward conversations on stage for you to feel some form of connection to what is going on. She’s just naturally got this presence that makes you drawn to her. Her effortless ways on stage justifies fully why you’re a fan, and why this show at Hoxton last night was is probably going to be one of the most important moments in music this year.
The new songs are brilliant. Meet The Foetus is amazing live. Of course if Shirley Manson and Emily Kokal turned up on stage with Brody that would have been magical. A few hours before the video premiered online and to see Shirley and Brody doing a music video together is what dreams are made of. It’s massively twisted and strange, but that’s the best way and sometimes only way to do it.
Brody’s cover of The Misfits Hybrid Moments is pretty special, as is her request for yellow socks. I have no idea. Maybe it was to go with her fluorescent orange t-shirt. It’s Brody Dalle; you don’t question why she wants yellow socks. Back to the new songs; if anything her solo songs pretty much shut up anyone who thinks “guitar music” is dead. You can find out for yourself when her record comes out at the end of April. Or you could go see her live and experience a bunch of people go ape shit to bloody good music. I advise both.
For me, Brody symbolises the same things as Courtney Love and Shirley Manson do. I wish I could explain it eloquently or even in a coherent way, but what I’m trying to get at is that, they are powerful. Powerful in ways that most dream of. I don’t want to make a big deal out her being a female musician because your gender doesn’t define what you do and who you are. It’s just a thing really. A lot of female musicians do however, struggle in the music industry due to archaic mindsets of sexist idiots. With the likes of Brody Dalle making this kind of music, it pretty much shuts up any critic really. She’s still the woman those who grew up listening to wish they were as tough as, but deep down we probably already are.