The Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton UK
Saturday 29th July 2017

Strangely one of the more controversial new bands about at the moment (in spite of the Dickies). And punk needs
controversy more so these days than ever before. These girls get a reaction always, they've had fake blood thrown
at them, been called sluts, are classed as manufactured, to name but a few. Maybe they are too pop for the punks,
too punk for the rockers or too clean for grunge? But whatever you think of the Soap
Girls (which is a hideously rank name for such an extremely exciting commodity, but
we'll forgive them that). Coz they are a breath of fresh air in a very tame punk scene
if most of the other acts are anything to go by. When I heard they were playing the
Giffard Arms in Wolverhampton, I couldn't miss seeing them. I needed to see if they
were just a cheap publicity stunt or whether the excellent 'Bad Bitch' was as good as
it sounds on video. I can report with confidence these young South Africans are very
much the real deal, even though they are portrayed in the media as Jedward with
tits and own an equally transatlantic accent. But dear reader thats as close as it gets
to manufactured pop. The Soap Girls can actually play, they don't have backing
tapes or show biz agents, its real and its a talent and its good! And to be frank,
Jedward would never play real dives like these have done to promote their product
over the last few years. And lets not forget the blood, coz they really do have bottle
as girls playing punk rock amidst potential hostile audiences because of the way
they look. I think its a very brave move so respect for that. T
hey're bound to get some
sexist backlash or lurid jeers of 'get em off', but tonight I didn't hear any or witness
any hostility. On the contrary, they won over the Wulfrunian hordes with ease. The
secret is they own a dayglo magnetism within a truly DIY attitude and you certainly
can't take your eyes of 'em. But you know what, they're humble off stage too.
How many headline bands mingle with the crowd watching the support acts
these days? These girls don't hide in their dressing rooms, they walk
amongst us and I like that a lot. Coz for some bands, even in the punk scene,
it ain't cool or the done (especially if your a Misfit) watching your support
when you can snort a bit of coke drink your rider back stage
. But thankfully
they don't care about that, which is fantastic. You can tell they love their music
and wanna be around it. And they really do look like pop stars amid the drab
heavy metal surroundings in this metallic rock haven.

First things first, I felt slightly fleeced as I paid in this upstairs venue and an extra quid
was nailed to the £6 door price. Then when I brought a CD off the speccy kid on the
merchandise table the £12 quid asking price seemed a little steep, and that was before
I'd even brought a drink!
However the CD features at least 3 anthems which ill review
very soon in full, but back to tonight proceedings. Local outfit the Bitten are on stage
having missed the two earlier supports so £7 quid for 4 bands did seem good value upon
reflection. The place was already quite packed as the Bitten performed a tight, hot,
sweaty, testosterone set. They are new to me considering they're locals, but they
remind me of maybe a working class Clash or a black Country SLF, but without the
or the Burns brogue. Their gang related vocal assault and battery was high
energy and good for a first sighting. They looked gritty which was neat and you could
tell they knew their way around song structures and tunes. I would definitely go see 'em
again, but I think they should've left the stage a few songs earlier as they seemed to hog
the stage for too long towards the end. However they did throw in a great one in our
direction about Wolverhampton which id like to hear more of. Just to compare it with
Stench's classic, which emptied the dance floor downstairs a few years back when the
DJ give it a spin ha! Tonights crowd however lapped them up and just as quickly
seemed to evaporate once they left the stage with the sweat still dripping off the walls
and the band. They optimistically looked for groupies, but only got to hump their own
gear back down the stairs as they filed out the venue.

No sooner had they left, a new crowd began filtering in compromising of mainly seedy

looking middle aged men of various ages and backgrounds clutching cameras as a
thinly veiled disguise. But we know what they were really here for. To be fair there were
quite a few girls here too, which give it a less sleazy feel. Even the headliners mom/road
manager was here filming the proceedings. I didn't spot any punks, but you could see
the crowd spanned a wide rage of fields from metal heads to geeks, from businessmen
to pig ugly sleaze buckets. You name it they were all here, including me. Most had come
for the tits, which were very well proportioned indeed, but I had come for 'Bad Bitch' and
'Rather B Dead' which were the only tracks I was familiar with and very impressive they
are too. With skeletons dangling from the mike stands and the bands backdrop hanging
from the ceiling, the solitary male drummer unceremoniously appears. He is a non
descript chap, but must have one of the best jobs in the world providing the beat (which
he does with great prowess) and having those cute bums parading in front of him, night
in night out. But the two hags who have suddenly appeared on stage with him to kick off
proceedings were a complete shock for some, and a scary anti climax for others. The
opening number of 'Society's Rejects' is the name of the current tour and the Soap Girls
latest album, turned out to be a spectacular orchestrated entrance. It was intriguing,
surreal and even musical hall as they inevitably pull off the Old Hag masks to reveal the Soap Girls that everyone came for. The
camera bulbs and phone flashes go into a frenzy as they scream "Fuck me, fuck you, fuck your mom too" on the ultra catchy
. The Soap Girls compromise Millie on guitar whose tall, slim with a kinda Bambie eyed innocence about her. But don't be
fooled she's doing all the axe work, power chords and harmonies in what looks like a Carmen Miranda head piece. However the
main protagonist of the night has gotta be the bass demon and lead vocalist plus band raconteur called Naomie. She comes
across as a
really talented cheer leader, but with a big black bass instead of a pom pom as her preferred weapon of choice. She
shrieks, bawls, and sighs with equal abandon. She takes the piss and positively oozes star quality without being too snide or too pretentious. She owns a great vocal that gives
the songs the explosive
tension and heart. She has perfected her stage craft like a true pro. She can really entertain and is without a doubt the star! But you  can also sense
an almost telepathic connection between the two sisters.
Songs that stood out live were 'Air' which was dedicated at the crowded balcony where all the smokers were
gregated. 'Original Sin' has a certain Janis Joplin take, with its rock vocal and rabid chorus. 'Break You' features a positively heretic rant with some utterly  demonic put
'Bad Bitch' comes with a classy grinding build up before the blindingly addictive revenge chorus which got us all singing along too. And is easily their best song to date
with those soaring power chords and the slightly deranged delivery. 'Rather B Dead' is a close contender dealing with a more controlled form of emotion and rejection with a
heart broken vocal from Naomie. It all went a bit show biz towards the end, when we had guys up on stage doing drinking contests and ripping their tops off in the futile
, maybe just maybe they could pull a Soap Girl. I doubt any of them realised the girls were taking the piss out of them. By now they had the crowd eating out their hands
which erupted into a mass stage invasion including the speccy merchandise guy who sold me the CD. The gig room was full of fans jumping and dancing. Having seen enough
and heard enough to leave satisfied
and as the set came to a chaotic end. It will be interesting to hear what new material they produce next, as their live performances are
growing in stature and i can only see them getting better.
So catch them before they are forced to play less intimate venues.     

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