When you’re writing a live review, you can tell it’s been a good gig when you leave having made no notes throughout the entire performance. The last time I saw GIRLI, she was supporting Oscar at Brighton’s Patterns on a cold October night, and no one was expecting it when a whirlwind of pink and fishnets appeared and began dancing around in front of them. They had, after all, come to see an ex-art school student playing gentle indie rock with his band. It’s safe to say that at the time, the audience didn’t really ‘get it’. However, at her first ever Brighton headline show last Wednesday night it was a very different story.
Supported by PUSSYLIQUOR, an all girl punk band hailing from the city, the night was off to an electric start. Before you reached the main doors of the venue you could hear the crowd screaming as the band emerged from the sidelines of the stage, bringing with them an atmosphere like nothing I’ve felt before. Wearing an assortment of puffy pink dresses and band t-shirts, the group rattled their way through a series of songs protesting the likes of Donald Trump and rape culture, and had the crowd going wild with the aid of some cheerleader style pom poms and random inflatables.
By the time GIRLI arrived, the venue was packed. Opening with ‘Fuck Right Back Off to LA’, the crowd were ecstatic as she and DJ Kitty danced their way around the stage, surprising the audience with choreographed dance routines at every other turn. Playing a series of older songs (such as ‘So You Think You Can Fuck With Me Do Ya’, released way back in 2015), and songs from her new Hot Mess EP (from which the tour took it’s name), GIRLI and DJ Kitty threw themselves head first into the performance and were constantly on the move, crowd surfing and strutting their way through the entire set – all of which served only to send the crowd into more of a frenzy.
During tracks like ‘Girl That I Met On The Internet’ and ‘Girls Get Angry Too’, GIRLI’s own vocals were barely audible over the sound of the audience singing, and the enthusiasm of both the artist and the crowd was unrelenting throughout the gig. Despite the set being less than an hour long, every second was jam packed with music and encouragements to be true to yourself and never let anyone get you down. Leaving The Haunt that night one thing was sure; there might be a whole load of bad things going on in the world right now, but in that moment it felt like GIRLI had the antidote for everything.
Words by Kate Eldridge