This Friday (March 8) is International Women's Day. It’s a day when women and men around the world can truly celebrate all the powerful females in the universe and we’re lucky to have some of them heading to our venues real soon. Here’s a guide to all the badass female musicians that you need to see live.
Rising indie-pop quartet, Anteros, began life when vocalist, Laura Hayden, moved to London from Barcelona and met bassist Josh Rumble. Writing dozens of songs together, they then recruited Harry Balazs and Jackson Couzens and things haven’t really stopped since. Tours with Two Door Cinema Club and White Lies pushed them to hone their skills live and a spot at Glastonbury Festival shone a spotlight on their 80s-inspired, old-school sound that blends indie and disco for a fabulously fuzzy feel. Their debut album, When We Land, is now just a matter of weeks away and judging by what we’ve heard from Lauren & co. so far, it’s going to be one of the standout records of the year.
Arts Club, Liverpool: Saturday 13 April Buy Tickets
There’s something very heart-warming about a band that are made up of family members and Wildwood Kin are the latest group to add to the list. Two sisters and a cousin make up this alternative folk trio, whose vocals could put you under a spell in an instant. Taking influence from the likes of Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons, the Devonshire girls mix brooding atmospherics with their unique three-part harmonies, which take you on a journey through their expansive sonic landscape. Awarded the Bob Harris Emerging Artist gong at the UK Americana Awards, they’re now headlining a tour curated by Bob himself, so take him on his word and come and experience this mesmerising trio in action.
O2 Academy Oxford: Thursday 25 April Buy Tickets
Arts Club, Liverpool: Friday 26 April Buy Tickets
O2 Institute Birmingham: Saturday 27 April Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Islington: Tuesday 30 April Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Newcastle: Friday 3 May Buy Tickets
Singer, songwriter, YouTuber and all-round lovely person, Dodie, has built a huge fanbase through her delicate folk-pop songs and has managed to sell out some of the UK’s most notorious venues, all without any form of label backing. Her latest EP, Human, hit the number five spot in the UK album charts, saw her collaborate with BRIT winner, Tom Walker and fellow musician, Lewis Watson, as well producing some of her most honest songs to date that saw her exploring new sounds and textures. Still only 23, she’s managed to create her own little empire that’s welcoming and inspiring and somewhere we can all learn to feel a little freer.
O2 Academy Bristol: Wednesday 13 March - SOLD OUT
O2 Academy Birmingham: Thursday 14 March Buy Tickets
Country blues artist, Elles Bailey stunned listeners with her debut album back in 2017. Penned alongside some of Nashville’s greatest, it established her as a powerful voice within blues music. Husky tones and soulful rock are given a contemporary edge and Elles’ beautiful talent for writing the most heartfelt of songs shines through in the record. This International Women’s Day she releases her follow-up full-length, Road I Call Home and we’re pretty sure it’s going to be yet another masterpiece, full of passion and love for the art she creates.
O2 Academy Birmingham: Wednesday 13 March Buy Tickets
She may now be sans-diamonds, but MARINA has graced us with her return in 2019 and the world couldn’t be happier about it. Releasing her first new music since 2015’s FROOT, she’s decided to release not one, but two, eight-song collections at once. LOVE+FEAR is an empowering release that looks at gender inequality, insecurities and the joys that life can bring, all in a bundle of some of MARINA’s most personal work to date. Her previous releases have seen her become a highly-respected pop artist and a role model within the industry, so it’s exciting to see what stories she’ll tell and where LOVE+FEAR will take her in the near future.
O2 Academy Newcastle: Monday 29 April Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Glasgow: Tuesday 30 April Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Bournemouth: Tuesday 7 May Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Birmingham: Thursday 9 May Buy Tickets
O2 Apollo Manchester: Friday 10 May Buy Tickets
Alternative R&B singer, NAO first burst into the music world with her 2016 debut, For All We Know and with it we were given a new and sensational singer to fall in love with. At the end of last year, she released Saturn, her second album that explores the transformation we go through into adulthood and celebrating the new possibilities ahead of us. Pushing the boundaries of R&B, the record sees NAO rapping about the modern world and dishing out dancehall bangers, whilst still retaining the soul and emotion that makes her such a bold and unique artist. With two sold out shows at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire behind her and a recent support slot with the legendary Ms Lauryn Hill, her upcoming tour is only going to further cement her as an icon in the making.
O2 Institute Birmingham: Friday 22 February - SOLD OUT
O2 Academy Bristol: Tuesday 26 February Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Brixton: Thursday 28 February - SOLD OUT
The world of rock and metal is in no short supply of badass female vocalists, with bands such as Lacuna Coil and Halestorm leading the way. Flying the flag for British metal is Skarlett Riot, a rising troupe with a penchant for dark and devastating riffs. Driven by lead singer, Skarlett, the band have released two powerful albums, with their latest, Regenerate receiving praise from Metal Hammer and taking them on tours throughout Europe. In a scene that’s so often dominated by men, Skarlett Riot are making their stand and delivering the most hardcore of performances wherever they go.
O2 Academy Islington: Monday 25 February Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Oxford: Tuesday 26 February Buy Tickets
The time has very nearly come, for us to be blessed with the debut album from indie artist, Nilufer Yanya. The singer and guitarist has managed to combine intricate guitar melodies with a smooth and soulful vocal that makes an intriguing, but utterly delightful listen. Cinematic sounds whirl around your mind as you step into her world and it’s a place you find yourself never wanting to leave. A BBC Sound Of 2018 nominee, Nilüfer has since spent time on the road with Interpol and Sharon Van Etten, whilst also treading her own path live and once her new material is out for all to hear, there’s no doubt that her performances will be taken to a whole new level.
O2 Academy Leicester: Monday 8 April Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Oxford: Saturday 13 April Buy Tickets
THE JAPANESE HOUSE
It feels like we’ve been waiting a lifetime for The Japanese House, (otherwise known as Amber Bain) to release her debut full-length album, but it’s finally here and it is breath-taking. Good At Falling is an intimate and moving body of work, that sings of heartache and entering a new chapter in her life. It’s a record that tells us it’s okay to feel, whether those feelings are bad or good, they all make up a part of who you are and that is something beautiful. Layered with romantic guitars, experimental synths and her mellow vocals, it’s the album that perfectly represents who she is as an artist and gives us so much more. She may have tackled arenas with her label mates, The 1975, but her live performances are always a still and personal affair and we can’t wait to see the new songs come to life on her upcoming tour.
O2 Academy Oxford: Tuesday 12 March Buy Tickets
O2 Institute Birmingham: Tuesday 16 April - SOLD OUT
Ray BLK is the only independent artist ever to win the BBC Sound Of Poll (2017), she’s been nominated for a MOBO award and collaborated with Stormzy and, more recently, Kelly Rowland, not bad for a women still in her early twenties. Her debut release, a seven-track mini-album called Durt was the starting point for her flourishing career and asserted her as a powerful voice in urban music. Releasing her debut full-length, Empress, last year, Ray continued to push the boundaries of rap and R&B, delivering a raw performance that stays true to her core values. Playing her first major headline show since 2017 this month, she’ll take to the O2 Forum Kentish Town stage with grace and power, and prove why she’s such an important voice in British music.
O2 Forum Kentish Town: Thursday 28 March Buy Tickets
The past few years has seen country music really make an impact on the mainstream and it’s taken over charts across the globe. Part of that, is down to the outstanding female performers within the scene. Whether it’s British duo, Ward Thomas or recent GRAMMY winner, Kacey Musgraves, there’s a whole host of women ruling country music and Maren Morris is one of them. Her list of awards and nominations is jaw-dropping, having won at the CMA’s, GRAMMY’s and Billboard Music Awards, amongst others and she’s dropped the biggest female anthem of 2019 with 'GIRL'. Taking the old-school roots of folk music and giving it a modern, fresh twist, Maren Morris is the future of country music and her upcoming world tour is further proof that she’s on the path to domination.
O2 Academy Leeds: Saturday 25 May Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Glasgow: Sunday 26 May Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Bristol: Wednesday 29 May Buy Tickets
O2 Institute Birmingham: Thursday 30 May Buy Tickets
You don’t get much more badass than Stefflon Don. Effortlessly blending rap, dancehall and sweet R&B vibes, she’s created a sound that has people across all spectrums of music hooked. Her Top 10 smash single, ‘Hurtin’ Me’, had her placed on everyone’s ones-to-watch lists and the 12 months that followed saw her become one of the most sought-after artists in the game. Dropping her *fire emoji* mixtape, Secure, at the end of summer, which included collaborations with Future, DJ Khaled and Sean Paul, it proved that Steff isn’t a woman to mess with and she’ll bring the pure sass and attitude to the stage next month.
O2 Institute Birmingham: Wednesday 17 April Buy Tickets
We could talk for HOURS about all the amazing female artists and bands that are taking over the live music scene, but to give you a taste, here's a playlist perfect for celebrating International Women's Day.
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