This was my third time going to a Hysteria night, and I can safely say the extra tag of riot grrl was well-deserved. The atmosphere of Hysteria is first and foremost a safe one, but with each performer, the safety continued to mingle with a wonderful patriarchy-smashing hardcore.
The Homoromantics, the long-anticipated headliner, performed after the interval. I was told to expect “distortion and screaming.” It was the closest I’d ever been to an electric guitar and the sound was phenomenal. What I especially liked was that none of the performers forced emotion into there pieces, it just naturally poured out into the audience. You could hear the annoyance in Angela Joss’ voice when she spat the line, “henceforth your knob-end will only be polished by you!” an old favourite for many audience members, including me.
Although this was a self-described, “low budget pussy riot,” the vibe was so accessible that at one point I spotted someone holding a two-year old child, bouncing them along to Copper McCormick’s chords as she sang about the joys of pegging, a song highly requested by the audience. I loved knowing what to expect from the old faces as much as I loved being caught off guard by haunting stories about wolf-creatures that left fish on people’s windowsills, and songs in German about missing the person you love.
Something Hysteria has taught me as a whole is that smashing the patriarchy can be as simple as living your authentic life, and if that means getting a room of people to chant “VAGINA” three times, as if to summon a celestial warrior princess who gives no fucks, so be it.
Words: Beatrix Livesey-Stephens