token girl: like a girl, but better

Sunday, 20 March 2005

plug in baby

Imagine a hen night hosted by Tracy Emin and soundtracked by Kathleen Hanna. Or a tea party with friends where all the waitresses are fembots. Imagine one candlelit evening spent sipping wine with your friends, listening to ladies on their laptops and dames behind the decks. Curated by electro-country chanteuse Piney Gir (née Angela Penhaligon) and occasional Chick on Speed and robotic humanoid Anat Ben David, Wired Women is a monthly night at the Spitz, showcasing all that’s delightful and deviant in lady-led machine-music.

When Piney and Anat played on the same bill at occasional avant-nighterie Kosmishe last year, it was, remembers Piney, ‘amazing. Here we were, women, doing our electronic thing, and the crowd just loved it. We realised that this was something special.’

In response they got together and organised the Fair Sex Fair at 93 Feet East, a day of short films and live music performed by them and their friends. The Spitz asked them to make the event monthly and in September the first Wired Women got plugged in.

Where the traditional electronica evening might stroke chins and furrow brows, Wired Women will drop jaws and twitch smiles. So it’s a bit different then. Piney explains, ‘We’re bridging the gap between art and rock’n’roll and we’re doing it with an awareness of a woman’s role in those worlds.’ Recent line-ups have seen solo outings for indie heroines Ann Shenton (Add N to X), Ana da Silva (ex-Raincoats) and Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle), alongside performances by experimental young artists from across the globe. And of course the audience is occasionally treated to a set from one of the curators themselves.

‘We’re trying to push some boundaries here, to make people think, and challenge the listener to pay attention,’ says Piney, ‘I think it’s refreshing!’

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