Pandora Fest is taking place this weekend, in the Duncarron Medieval Village between Stirling and Falkirk in central Scotland.
Advertising itself as ‘Scotland’s 1st music festival that supports women musicians and celebrates female music making across all genres’, the event claims to redress the gender imbalance in the live music industry.
However, the scheduling is a cause for concern. This is the same weekend that both Latitude music festival and L Fest – the lesbian arts festival – are taking place, which doesn’t bode terribly well for the line up.
If Emmy The Great, Churches, Emma Pollock, and Grimes are at Latitude and Heather Peace et al are at L Fest, who’s going to be playing Pandora Fest?
But maybe it’s just a different part of the women’s music scene… after all, we’re not expecting Taylor Swift or Beyonce to suddenly appear in a recreated 11th century fortified village, are we?
So, what’s the line up?
Headlining are Courtesans, a triphop/doom/rock band from London, whose debut album 1917 came out in spring 2014 – with the lead single ‘Genius’ being released that autumn. While atmospheric and clearly able, they seem to be suffering from a case of style over substance. As a headline act they’re… a little uninspiring.
Vodun, a heavy soul band again from London, are much more exciting. Their most recent effort, a full album entitled Possession released this March, demonstrates an impressive level of vocal mastery from front woman Chantal Brown. There’s an element of Skunk Anansie, but also a fair dose of thrash metal. Promising.
Twin Heart from Kilmarnock are the first on the line-up to be truly local. Their EP, Progress:Decline was released seven days ago and is a satisfying piece of alternative music, reminiscent of Paramore with a bit more screamo.
Now, Sofia B is more the type of thing that we’re about at Artificial Womb. Soft, thoughtful lyrics sang over an acoustic guitar. Songs about coming out, gender politics, self-consciousness and polite anxiety. Poetry. When’s she on? For twenty minutes around 3pm? Yep. Penciled in.
Erin Bennett… is… also going to be there. Honestly, we have been trying our hardest to get on board with Erin’s album ReFlowered, written after the death of her wife, but it’s a baffling, badly crafted record. Possibly one to avoid.
There is so little online about KROW that our curiosity is seriously piqued. One for the review, definitely.
Caroline Gilmour‘s most recent EP Electric Waterfalls suggests that her live performances are worth a watch. They certainly imply confetti, light shows, glitter. We’ll see. Tight sound, somewhat Sia.
What else? Like the look of Luci Monét, Bugeye, Emaline Delapaix, and Erin McEvoy.
Mainly, it will be refreshing to have a whole music festival where we can actually listen to the women’s music as just the music and evaluate it without the gender of the musicians being relevant.
A review and maybe some interviews with acts will follow shortly.
Words: Ana Hine
Tickets are still available for Pandora Fest here.