Dream Wife Call All The Bad Bitches to the Front, 25.10.18

Dream Wife Call All The Bad Bitches to the Front, 25.10.18

The revival of femme punk has to be one of the most exciting things happening in the rock world today. The old days of ‘sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll have been pushed aside by the likes of Dream Wife, a three-piece feminist riot hailing from Brighton. They are here to spread a message. They are empowerment incarnate.

Local Leeds band Cat Apostrophe warmed The Wardrobe’s audience up. Posters entailing how to deal with harassment, complete with the Dream Wife logo, plaster the walls. Queen Zee followed them onto stagebringing their incredible force to an already buzzing room. The speed-metal rendition of Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Bonkers’ left the audience restless, and eventually drew the set to a close as lead singer, Zee, attempted to relentlessly continue through a gashing face injury of unseen cause.

Though perhaps not as explicitly political as other feminist punk bands like Pussy Riot, Dream Wife play solid, exciting tracks to an eager crowd. Songs like ‘Act My Age’ and ‘Kids’ offer a variety of sweet and tender, with a tinge of anger and biting lyrics.

At the final third of the set led to the band to set down their instruments. “We want, to call to the front,” lead singer Rakel slowly teases, “anyone who identifies, as a Bad Bitch.” The sentence is unifying, not exclusionary, and what follows is a sea of girls and women swarming to the front. People make way for them; stranger willingly swapping spot with stranger. It’s a small deed in rectifying a common male privilege at gigs; usually taller, usually see more. The notion is genuine, and the band won’t continue play until they’ve physically ensured anyone who wants to be at the front, is.

 

What follows is the band’s most electrifying performance of the night, and politically charged track – ‘Somebody’. Rakel’s candy cane vocals slowly build before exploding into the chorus; a feminist call-to-arms: “I am not my body//I am somebody”.

It is chanted back with furious energy, and the crowd is a flurry of raised fists, which hardly has time to rest before powering into the gut-punch of ‘F.U.U’ – standing for none other than ‘F**k you up’. The danger and aggression is incredible. It is here that guitarist Alice Go excels, soloing for a solid few minutes as the rest of the band prep.

Whilst the first two thirds of the gig weren’t exactly calm, the final few songs are hardly comparable to the first lot; the room is now a sweatbox, a crowd’s anger and everyday frustrations vented to positive vibes. Dream Wife’s aura isn’t only empowering to its fans, but offers an utterly rare level of connection and audience interaction.

“Being a bad bitch is easy. You just have to look out for one another.”

Tom Poole

Header Image Credit Meg Lavender