Last year, I decided to get more women of all ages playing instruments, writing songs and quickly forming garage bands. There aren’t enough women instrumental players so most bands are all-male or just have one woman in the line-up. I’ve always loved the sight and sound of all-women bands and the 70s/80s punk and post-punk ethos seemed to encourage it. Nowadays, bands like The Slits, The Raincoats and Mo-dettes are an important part of music history.
Here are the reasons why even beginner women can do this:
- Simple garage rock sounds great;
- Women’s voices sound great;
- There’s lots of potential help out there;
- Audiences want to see and hear something different;
- We can create amazing original songs;
- With self-belief and a few basic skills you can make great art;
- A community of women musicians is a powerful thing.
Many many women enjoy going to gigs, listening to all kinds of music but could never see themselves as being a creator in that world. What I have proved is that, with others, you can take part and find a new kind of creativity in yourself. The friendships, courage, and mental health benefits of playing in a supportive local scene are amazing, and we find that the music we are making is a new tranche of art rock music – every bit as valid as The Velvet Underground, The Sex Pistols, The Beatles … but with women evolving new themes and sounds.
Last year’s 66 Days project
Here in Leicester, I ran weekly practical workshops in January 2022 where women of all ages could try different instruments, get coaching on how to listen to others and play simple bass, guitar, drums and keyboard. Even in your first time, you can play one note, create a rhythm and turn it into a cool song, with a little guidance. I organised gigs on International Women’s Day, March 8th, where five new bands played one or more songs to an excited audience.
I also created the 66 Days to Your Debut Facebook page and posted information, videos and tips for women worldwide who were interested in the project, to help them get something started in their local area last year.
Starting soon on January 1st 2023
Everyone involved wants to do it all again! We have a bigger venue booked in Leicester for 8 current bands and, we hope 2-3 beginner all-women bands that will form in the next month! Due to me undergoing cancer treatment at the moment, the 2023 Leicester Sunday workshop sessions will be run by last year’s participants – women who now play in one of the many all-women Leicester bands like Velvet Crisis, Virginia’s Wolves, Dada Women, The Wonky Portraits, The Verinos, Venus Attax, and Glitch Magnet. But I should be able to post on Facebook and possibly YouTube to help anyone who wants to learn to play in this unconventional but rapid way, regardless of where you are based. One of the most helpful parts of this coaching is showing you how to find people in your local area who could help you or join your band. Just a few days to go now!