Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic incidents of sexual harassment and violence at live music events were regularly flagged up by music fans and artists. What happens when venues re-open?

‘The extra price of a gig ticket’ gig going in the Before Times

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Prior to March 2020, media coverage of incidents of sexual harassment and violence at gigs in the UK, and further afield, was on the rise. In the summer of 2018, YouGov found that two in five young festival goers had been subjected to unwanted sexual behaviour. …

A long awaited adaptation of Alan Warner’s much loved novel, director Michael Caton-Jones’ Our Ladies, has fallen off the UK film release schedules

Photo of Edinburgh by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

Scotland, 1996: Teenage girls dancing to Edwyn Collins’ ‘A Girl Like You’. The same girls dancing into a takeaway, mucking about in a fast food outlet. Stop. A scene of calm. Five girls in white dresses, standing by a loch. Then… back to Edwyn Collins, and to a teenage girl smoking a cigarette outside a school with the signpost reading Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour. Welcome to the world of The Sopranos, the heroines of Alan Warner’s acclaimed novel, now realised on celluloid for the first time.

Warner’s The Sopranos was published in 1998, after his debut Morvern Callar (which…

I never thought that my two musical worlds would collide but, in summer 2019, they did

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It was Saturday 13th July 2019: British Summer Time day.

I gave the small pile of luggage by the door a once over: Sun block? Check, gig bag and overnight bag? Check, hat? Check. The train to Euston was due to leave at 8:04am. It would be a two hour train journey followed by the tube to Victoria, a ten minute walk to the hotel (where I could leave my bag to check in later) and a half hour walk from my hotel to Hyde Park.

When I attended British Summer Time festival in 2016 I’d paid extra for Priority…

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US musician and activist Shawna Potter is on a mission to make spaces safer and empower the general public to challenge street harassment

Shawna Potter, founding member of US activist group Hollaback! Baltimore and singer in feminist hardcore punk band War On Women gets asked about sexual harassment a lot. She’s lost count of the number of people who have said to her “‘‘Oh, the punk scene’s so sexist’, or ‘hardcore’s so sexist’, ‘Harassment happens’ — blah, blah, blah”

As an activist who provides workshops to organisations and community groups seeking to make their spaces safer, she also gets to work with the general public in all their messy, contradictory glory. …

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Debate about the lack of female headliners at music festivals is becoming an annual event. To see real progress the music industry and festival organisers need to nurture up and coming talent as well as booking star headliners

A fortnight ago Emily Eavis, one of the organisers of Glastonbury, the UK’s largest music festival, was asked by The Guardian why her festival had not booked any female headliners this year. “The pool isn’t big enough,” she said “It’s time to nurture female talent. Everyone wants it, everyone’s hungry for women, but they’re just not there.”

For those of us running women dominated club nights, playing in women only or female fronted bands, or just listening to a lot of music by women, her comments felt like yet another slap in the face.

To be fair to Eavis, Glastonbury…

Cinema has a dubious reputation when it comes to sympathetic portrayals of women in music

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I have a confession to make.

I haven’t seen Vox Lux or Wild Rose yet, and I’m not sure that I want to.

I’ve seen the trailers and, judging purely on that basis, I have to say that Wild Rose is the one I’d be more likely to watch. The trailer for Vox Lux left a very bad taste in my mouth.

On one level, it seems unfair to pigeonhole Wild Rose as a women in music film because, while the heroines music career is at the heart of the story, what Wild Rose really is is a redemption story…

Podcasting might seem like a firmly 21st Century phenomenon, but it’s origins lie much further back than that

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It’s 1961, USA, and a heartbroken Sheryl O’Connor (Juliette Lewis) wanders into the local bowling alley late at night. The customers have long gone but the young guy who loans the shoes, Rick (C. Thomas Howell), is there. Sheryl is returning the bowling shoes she ran out in a few days earlier when she was informed by a cop of her father’s sudden death. As she tries to explain herself to Rick, she starts to cry.

There has been a flirtation between the two characters earlier, but this scene signals the start of their relationship. …

At the time of writing, the cost of an Anytime Open Return train ticket from Stockport to London Euston is £338*. It is due to rise further on 2 January 2019

Image of a Virgin Pendolino train at London’s Euston train station. Image by Paul Smith. Used according to a Flickr creative commons licence.

It’s well known that the UK’s privatised railway service rewards passengers who book far in advance of their travel date with cheaper tickets. It’s also true that the system rewards those who are prepared to travel outside of the commuter rush hour, or ‘off peak’, with lower fares.

These benefits work on a sliding scale: The more conventional the time of day you choose to travel, or the closer to your travel day you book, the higher the fare will be.

This means that if I woke up one morning and decided that I wanted to travel that very day…

The Spice Girls may have disowned the phrase Girl Power in 2018, but they have never been it’s sole custodians. The lyrical origins of the phrase can be traced back to 1993, and the Welsh city of Swansea

Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash

“Girl power” croons the singer in a fey, almost whispering vocal against the backdrop of crude fuzz guitar, “Girl power”. The song ends in a ritzy tinkle of Casio keyboard “Yeah!”

It’s 1993 and the Welsh punk-pop band Helen Love are releasing their debut single ‘Formula One Racing Girls.’ It’s a tale of new found assertiveness in which the song’s heroine maintains…

Vinyl sales and production tanked in the 1990s as CD’s came down in price. But this wasn’t the whole story

School finished at 3:30pm. I filed out of class and queued up for the bus that would take me to the town centre. It wasn’t my usual bus because I wasn’t going straight home: I had a mission to complete.

It was early 1994 and I was 15. Still in my school uniform I walked into the Stockport branch of OurPrice and over to the incredibly high counter. I peered upwards, trying to catch the eye of one of the staff.

Eventually someone noticed me, and I was able to deliver the most implausible line ever said by a 15…

Cazz Blase

Music journalist, blogger

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