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What a night!  Our OutNewsGlobal team faced the wildest of Scottish weather to drive from Glasgow to Edinburgh for the Girls Rock School showcase.

Girls Rock School run workshops and 6 week courses for women, non-binary and trans people, so we were delighted to walk into a bar full of young, quirky queers.  LGBTQ people and all the other letters of the weird and wonderful queer alphabet gathered early to see GIRLS UPSTAIRS at 7.30pm.  ASEXUAL ROMANTIC came on next, playing songs about our beautiful selves, hidden from view, forbidden to speak and the courage of transformation.  Shortly after KATHERINE GARDEN made us smile with some flowery folk-pop songs.

The Sabotagers lead singer had everyone dancing

VALENSTEIN is an electronic artist from Edinburgh.  Playing punk, 80’s goth rock, hyper pop and even a little bit of happy hardcore, VALENSTEIN’S songs explore sobriety, self acceptance and neurodivergence.  It’s interesting to note that their songs talk about sobriety, something becoming more and more fashionable with the under 30’s and looking around, yes, for some the beer was flowing but the focus was definitely on the music and no one was visibly drunk.  Yes, the queer stereotype of having an alcohol fuelled gay scene might finally be changing!

The Sabotagers drummer – well worth a pic!

COMPOST PATRIARCHY played rebellious tunes, shouting “”Brandish your hoes and join us in the Lady Garden!”.

It was when THE PARTY WHIP played that the crowd really went wild.  Queers and those not so queer danced, bonded, smiled and screamed along  as they played riot-grrl-punk.

THE SABOTAGERS definitely did not appear to be a new band, as suggested. Sporting love heart sunglasses, the lead singer had a rock and roll cool, as the enthusiastic audience bounced along, then shouted out along to the music.

BLONDE SECRET graduated from Girls Rock School a few years ago and were the well deserved headliners.  The crowd went wild and it didn’t take much encouragement from their lead singer, Bego, for the audience to pile onto stage to dance and headbang along.  

Playing a mixture of their own riot-punk songs and covers, including PJ Harvey’s “This is Love”, the audience went wild.  We are delighted to announce that they will be performing at Oban Lesbian Weekend, 2024.  We have no doubt they’ll have their audience just as engaged.  “One more song”, the crowd screamed.  Indeed, it was the kind of night where we all just couldn’t get enough.

It was also a lovely, friendly atmosphere and the locals in the bar quickly told us that many of them would be “round the corner” at Paradise Palms.  In the heavy rain, it definitely didn’t feel like “round the corner” but once we were there, DJ Nikki Kemp soon made us forget the rain and before long we’d made friends with most of the bar and were dancing until kicking out time.

Catch BLONDE SECRET’S next Glasgow gig HERE

BLONDE SECRET will also be headlining at Oban Lesbian Weekend, September 13th 2023. Tickets are going fast HERE.

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Maz Gordon

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