top of page
Home: Welcome
Home: Blog2
  • Writer's pictureMaisie Scannell

An All-Female Sesh

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

Just a couple of days after International Women’s Day, the Sesh at The Polar Bear, Hull’s weekly hotspot for local and further afield musicians, put on a great show with another of its all-female line-ups. These types of events are few and irregular and so nights like these are really important. The place, famous in Hull for its live music, was buzzing with keen music lovers as three talented women took to the stage. With a slightly sticky floor, that musky old pub smell, indistinct chatter and great music, it was inevitable that the night would be a good one.

Hull musician, Aimée Duncan was first up. Her music can best be described as dreamy 1960s pop, laced with country influences; it’s just her, her electric guitar and some poetically poignant lyrics. Her 60s style and Lana Del Rey-esque sad girl persona captivated the audience as she stood shyly centre stage. There was no need for a backing band as she seemed completely entranced by the music, almost blissfully unaware we were there. Inviting us in on her deeply personal lyrics, she took us into her wistful world, one filled with blue oceans, green grass and flowers that bloom and, though saying few words to the crowd between songs, her sense of humour did briefly shine through. Her sweet, angelic voice came alive as she sang; she has one of those caramel voices which can swoop high and low seemingly without much effort, making her set a wonderful start to the night. To be able to enchant a room of people to silence, whilst being the first act, is quite a feat.

Continuing the showcase of Hull’s female talent was Alice Clayton. Armed with her ukulele and backing band, she had things to say and issues to address, and she did so with strength and command. Social, political and feminist topics arise in her music, making her songs a deeper and more meaningful listen. She embeds some hard hitting and relevant lyrics into her folk/pop style music, such as, “accept the pay gap like the gap between your thighs, accept the gropes, it’s just a joke, a bit of fun” in ‘Pinocchio Had A Point’. But a talented lyricist is not all that Alice Clayton is, she shows herself to be a skilful musician: melody and rhythm is certainly not lost behind the depth of her words, in fact it is just the opposite. It is hard not to tap your foot, sway and nod your head along to the folk-style beat driving the music forward, a remarkable achievement considering she usually plays solo. It was brilliant to listen to Alice sing about feminist issues in an environment which is usually dominated by men, and I’m excited to hear more from her in the future.

Julia Bardo was the headlining act for the night. The anticipation and build-up throughout the evening certainly resulted in a beautifully climactic performance, especially during her single, ‘I Wanna Feel Love’ which had everyone moving. After moving from her hometown of Brescia, Italy to the music scene in Manchester, she has created a unique sound. Her set was a display of dreamy, nostalgic pop mixed with jangly 60s guitar vibes, demonstrated with intricate interweaving guitar and bass lines. Her melancholic lyrics and endearing vocals gripped the crowd, but everyone let loose when she surprised us with some Fleetwood Mac. Julia’s performance was an ingenious blend of musical influences from the 60s and an 80s romantic aesthetic, resulting in an excellent headlining set.

At any live music event, an all-male line-up is not given a second thought, it is just the norm, so hopefully nights like these will continue. The turnout was great. The atmosphere was great. The music was wonderful. The success of the night shows promise for a series of more all-female line-ups at the Sesh, enough to equal the amount of all-male line-ups at least. When you look at the bigger picture and the gender gap in live music events, such as festivals, the difference is obvious and astonishing. Smaller venues, such as The Polar Bear, have a responsibility to start making a difference with the aim of having the effect snowball, triggering change on a wider scale.

69 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Subscribe Form

Home: Subscribe

Thanks for submitting!

Home: Contact
bottom of page