Friday, 9 November 2012

The female of the species is more deadly than the male

There are many ways in which the 'pop' scene today is so different to how it was in the 90s but one that really stands out is the absence of female bands. Actually there is an absence of bands full stop, but we'll leave that for another day.

Justine & Donna on the cover of Melody Maker, 1995
Just look at some of the female-fronted bands that were around in the Britpop years; Sleeper, Republica, Catatonia, Echobelly, Kenickie, Elastica and Lush.  Hell, even Ash had Charlotte Hatherley!

Today there are plenty of female singers in the charts (most the by-product of one talent show or another) but girls in bands?  I mean proper bands, with instruments.  

There', can't think of one!  That's shocking isn't it?

Why has this happened?  I'm not really sure.  Maybe the 90s was the exception after all.  One thing is sure though, without seeing female musicians on TV, online, in magazines, without hearing them on the radio, it must be that bit less likely that a bunch of girls will decide to pick up a guitar and form a band.

Britpop showed that the girls could do it just as well as the guys.  It just seems a shame that their legacy is only a back catalogue of great music and not future generations of girls in bands.


  1. I know it's more post-britpop but what about Theaudience? They were brilliant i thought, and far better music than their future solo pop star singer eventually found fame with!

  2. I'd forgotten all about them - good call!

  3. We're a female-fronted band called Sheabou (just got together earlier this year) and I have been looking around the London bands scene and on social media and struggling to find many other bands with girls in, which I was surprised about. Although it should have been a clue that when we auditioned for guitarists, I think we had about 25 replies to our ad before we found the right person and all were blokes!

  4. I'm also in a double-female fronted band in London and it's definitely true that there are barely any of us around!! I've found a great scene of new bands around here as well but everyone's a bloke and it's all very weird. When I was ten I wanted to be Justine Frischmann- but if there are no female fronted rock bands, no girls will ever be inspired to take their places.

  5. The 90's were full of amazing female fronted bands. With the 7 you mentioned in your article all being great, but then you factor in the likes of Garbage, Cardigans, No Doubt, Hole, Dubstar, Salad, the Sundays, Beautiful South, Skunk Anansie, Sneaker Pimps and it's shocking that today the only one I can think of that has dented the charts is Paramour.