New review: Edinburgh gets Pussy Whipped!

// 30 September 2012

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Pussy Whipped organisers Ste and Marysia onstage (daytime) in a room with retro furniture and mirrors. Marysia is on the right, holding up a bottle of wine, with speakers just in front. Ste is at the microphone with a guitar, next to a red leopard print drum kit

Queer-feminist pop-punk singer, Dandelion Radio DJ, ‘zine writer and organiser Ste McCabe has been described as a performer “armed with a mean, lean, bedroom Disco drum machine, a cheap guitar and his biggest asset; a mind and a loud mouth to speak it”:

I long for the day when we stop stereotyping ourselves and each other. Music that speaks to me as a gay man is music written by queers and feminists, not silly divas. We need to claim queer music as music written by us and show the world that we can speak for ourselves.

In keeping with these principles, Ste helped create space for diverse performers in Edinburgh this month with the Pussy Whipped queer feminist festival. F-Word reviewer Liz Ely went along and found feminists who “completely and utterly rock”, along with thought provoking films and performances that were, at times, both funny and moving.

Here are a couple of snippets of what she had to say about the event:

The Pussy Whipped Festival on 14 and 15 of September aims to provide a showcase for female, queer and LGBT musicians and performers, with some politics and film thrown in for good measure. Edinburgh has had its Ladyfests and Queer Mutiny but these events still feel too few and far between, so when Pussy Whipped comes along I jump at the chance to attend. At £7 for the weekend it seems like an absolute bargain.

I go along to the Wee Red Bar on the Friday night with my partner, who knows more about riot grrrl than I do, hoping this will help should any musical references be lost on me. Clutching our programmes (typed and photocopied for that proper DIY zine look), we walk through the crushed velvet labia, underneath the pig soft toy clitoris with a red felt-tip tampon dangling from its snout. It is clear from the beginning that Pussy Whipped will be happily tongue-in-cheek, vagina-in-your-face…

…I attend [the Saturday evening] event alone as my partner is unwell today and unable to come along. One of the things that strikes me as I stand listening to bands is that I feel completely comfortable being here on my own. I wonder to myself if this is this what straight white cis men feel like in pubs/clubs and gigs as I watch band after band…”

Click here to read the rest of Liz’s review and comment

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