In celebration of International Women’s Day, Kamikaze Girls’ Lucinda Livingstone writes about the female icons in her life – from the ladies who inspire the imagination with their unique performance, to dear friends who widen the palette for self-discovery, and those kindred few who can take their own personal woes and package them into emotional landlines, to connect millions. Be prepared to fall in love…
Gemma Thompson of Savages
I’m going to kick off with Gemma from Savages. Last year I stood at the side of the stage at London Roundhouse, next to Romy from The XX and my friend Simone from The Go Team, watching them. We were on Gemma’s side of the stage and all of our jaws hit the floor from the first note. The way Gemma plays guitar is so unique to me, and something I really strive for in my own playing. She plays a Fender Sonic Duo, and describes the guitar as ‘intuitive’. Gemma knows the exact moment she can get it to feedback, and the exact sound and noise she can pull from it. When I started reading up a little more about her background, I found that she wasn’t initially a guitarist. She joined a band playing guitar purely as a member to make ‘noise’. This is probably the most unorthodox way to learn how to play guitar and I love it. A big part of a Kamikaze Girls set is purely just noise and the way Gemma combines noise and huge riffs is the perfect mix.
Georgia McDonald of Camp Cope
Camp Cope are a big favourite of mine. Last year when Kamikaze Girls played Fest, we were lucky enough to catch Georgia Mac’s first show on American soil. It was an acoustic set in a library in Gainesville. When I first discovered Camp Cope the thing that really stood out for me were Georgia’s lyrics, her sincerity, and pure honesty. She doesn’t sugarcoat anything, or masque things in metaphors. I could see people around me in tears from the moment she hopped up on the tiny make shift stage in the library. The way Georgia’s songs can move people like that, to me, is incredible. I’m so excited for another Camp Cope record to come out.
‘Sprained Ankle’ is one of my favourite records of all time, and if you’ve heard it you’ll know exactly why. Julien is an incredible songwriter, and again like Georgia has the ability to bring a room to absolute silence, and move people with music in a way that no many can. I had the pleasure of catching a show in Brighton last year, and nerding out about guitar pedals with Julien afterwards. Again, I’m really looking forward to another record from Julien and will be catching her on tour in June this year in the UK.
Kate Gatt + El Morgan of Personal Best
Kate and El might hate me for throwing them in here (sorry!), but I don’t think either of them realise how much of an influence they’ve had on me as a person or a musician. I met Kate in Brighton back in 2015, I was super shy, and the next time we met in America at a festival she completely forgot who I was. I lent her my guitar pedals for Personal Best’s set at that festival and after that I think we became internet friends. We played together again at the end of that year and El had joined the band as a second guitarist. El also played a solo set that night. She gave me instant goosebumps and came close to bringing me to tears.
Kate writes the most intricate, yet simple, catchy songs; and my god can that girl shred! Along from this El writes beautiful, emotive, acoustic music, and both of these ladies on stage together are a force to be reckoned with. I ended up touring with Personal Best as an extra guitarist in May last year and managed to have a horrible meltdown in Berlin. Kate was the person that was there for me, and over that couple of weeks helped me learn a lot about myself that I didn’t know was there before. They have both had a huge influence on me for so many reasons and I’m hugely grateful I’ve had the both of them around in the last year or so.
Kamikaze Girls’ debut EP ‘Sad’ is out now via Bearded Punk Records. The release is available digitally and on limited edition clear vinyl, order here.