Is your life being taken over by the ‘C’ word? Is quarantine getting you down? Do you miss the gals, gigs and eating something other than cereal? Well, Pxssy Pandemique has you covered. Hosted by the fabulous Kelli Blanchett and Rebecca Lucy Taylor, otherwise known by legends everywhere as Self Esteem, this all-femme weekender can be your comfort blanket. Stretching over 3 days and featuring music, poetry, performance art, comedy, talks and tutorials, as well as raising money for Women’s Aid, the only question left to answer is: “where’s that OBE at?”
For services to people everywhere, the line up includes SOAK, KT Tunstall, Self Esteem, Låpsley and SO much more. Proving that women DO exist in the industry, Pxssy Pandemique flies in the face of unrepresentative festival bills such as Reading and Leeds. In an article by NME, Rebecca says: “Before the pandemic there was a lot of press about how unequal festival line ups were. Having been a musician and a female for over ten years I’ve seen this happen over and over again. This time however I found myself engaged in a lot of debate on the internet about how there just ‘aren’t as many women making music as men’ which is of course just baffling.”
8pm, at the extremely exclusive venue… my bedroom, I tuned in for the Northern, honey-voiced legend, Låpsley. I’ve had her second album, Through Water, on repeat since its release last week. A deeply contemplative project, it deals with complex themes of climate change, time and identity. The overwhelming effect is comforting. This, along with the fact that she wrote and recorded most of it herself, worked really well with the intimate Pandemique set up. Featuring a piano, a guitar and ofc Peanut the dog, the 20 minute set was utterly Låpsley. Kicking off with a heartbreaking rendition of Charli XCX’s ‘Blame It On Your Love’, we were promised both covers and originals.
Lamenting, “this is harder than Glastonbury” she followed with ‘Speaking of the End’, the final track from the new album and a personal fav. As the nerves started to dissipate, we got Låpsley at her best – SUBLIME! Among covers of P!nk (I actually squealed with iconic-ness) and Cyndi Lauper, she performed new and old tracks. ‘Womxn’ created buzz amongst the audience and it was interesting to hear the artist talk about how it was created, coming from a bad place that she can now look back on with acceptance.
However, a highlight of the set was the special version of ‘Station’. Paired down to just acoustics, it sounded awesomely distinguishable from the recorded version. As one viewer aptly typed: “MY GOD … WE NEED THIS RECORDED … THIS IS EVERYTHING” – I couldn’t put it better myself. Every Pandemique set is 20 minutes long. Running a little over schedule, Låpsley squeezed in an oldie in the form of ‘8896’ to close. Even without the creeping synth and the funky drums it left viewers on a high before we got the fateful ‘Thanks for watching!’
At the time of writing, Pxssy Pandemique has raised £4.3k and we’re only halfway through Sunday! Still to come today are the likes of Beth Kettel, Ali Matthews and KT Tunstall. Great vibes for a fantastic cause – what isn’t there to love! Check it out on Instagram, search @pxssy.pandem and get familiar.
The verdict: A Krabby Patty. You’ve got to admit, there has been a point in your life where you would sell a sibling to get your paws on the best fictional hamburger going. Much like the lore of the Krusty Krab, Pxssy Pandemique’s approach to digital live music is unattainably scrumptious. On the other side of the screen is pure perfection and if that means I’m Plankton, so be it.
Listen for yourself: