There have been plenty of alter egos in rock history, some good, some bad. Bowie gave us plenty including Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke. David Johansen gave the world Buster Poindexter. Marshall Mathers became Eminem who in turn became Slim Shady. Beyonce became something stronger as Sasha Fierce. Prince briefly became Camille, an artist of uncertain gender. Even Hank Williams tried the separate identity thing as Luke The Drifter, a character he used to sing his much more political tunes. Nicki Minaj (more of her later) has a whole tribe of alter egos, including fast talking British gay man Roman Zolanski. Well move over every one of you, because now there is a new alter ego on the block!
Let me introduce you to Delilah Bon, the secret identity (well not so secret really) of Hands Off Gretel’s Lauren Tate. In the ‘about’ section on her Spotify profile she says, “HEY WORLD!!! I’m Delilah.. I’m 23. I RAP, SCREAM & SING LIKE AN ANGRY PRINCE-LESS PRINCESS! I’d say my music is BRAT – PUNK influenced Hip Hop which I completely made up because I don’t fit in a box. oh.. I also PRODUCE/ WRITE ALL MY OWN MUSIC… I do EVERYTHING myself – like seriously, I’m a busy bitch”.
She also explains how Delilah Bon came to be born. “From the fiery pits of girl rage within me I gave birth to ‘Delilah Bon’ after speaking out about sexual harassment of women at my live shows with my grunge band ‘Hands Off Gretel’. I was met with resistance online, guys telling me girls were ‘asking for it’ with girls flooding my dm’s explaining they’d been sexually assaulted or felt unsafe at music shows. I had all this rage in me and nowhere to place it. So I had all these words coming outta me, I had this beat playing and I just started rapping which is TOTALLY random for me as until this year I’ve never even attempted it! I just KNEW I wanted to create something that MYSELF and my girls could DANCE TO, something we could just feel empowered and BOSS BTCH listening to, something that would allow me to merge all elements of myself into something completely new.”
I saw Delilah/ Lauren fronting the magnificent Hands Off Gretel just over a year ago at the Fulford Arms in York. That was, I recall, close to the peak of the venomous attacks on her by the press and so called fans for simply standing up for what is right. She wrote an open letter to the guys that come to her shows, click here to read it. I have been going to gigs for just shy of 50 years now and it is so depressing that girls are still being harassed and assaulted at gigs. That has never been ok! I still believe that most blokes at gigs and festivals are not like that, but while some are we need to do everything we can to eradicate them. This is why I totally support the stand of Delilah Bon. OK I know I’m not “one of her girls”, I’m an old bloke for god’s sake, but that doesn’t mean I am not totally with her on this crusade. Particularly when the music she has produced under this new guise is so staggeringly good.
There have been four Delilah Bon singles so far this year. Each one very different, while sharing a common theme of just being fabulous tracks. Has she shaken up a few misogynists on the way? I certainly hope so! If you like rap, rock, grunge, punk, pop there is something here for you. Hell if you just like great music there is plenty here for you. It all kicked off with the Prodigyesque “Devil” accompanied by a captivating video based around a computer game where Lauren’s conscience or devil and angel on her shoulders are battling. Next up it was “Bad Attitude” which struck me as Rage Against The Machine having switched to a bad ass bitch on vocal duties. The video for this one has Delilah in a jail cell with the anger turned up to 11. “Homework”, the third single, should serve as a warning to any men who think they can get the better of this woman, don’t even try it. This is one full on independent woman. The video features Delilah in the kitchen with some strange, amusing and, perhaps scary for some, food ideas. The current single is “Chop Dicks” and for me it is her finest yet. Delilah raps like she was born to do it. As well as the anger, there is humour and a tank full of sass. The lyrics are a perfect encapsulation of the hypocrisy and double standards of misogynistic men who have a myopic world view that only lets them see women as sex objects. It contrasts that view with how they might think if it was their mother, sister or daughter being objectified.
I think Delilah Bon live will be an exceptional show, let’s hope that happens in 2021. In the meantime enjoy the videos and also check out the Delilah Bon cover of Nicki Minaj’s (I told you she would get another mention) “Chun Li”. Click here for Delilah Bon’s Spotify page. I am a fan of Hands Off Gretel, I am a fan of Lauren Tate and I am absolutely a fan of Delilah Bon! Hail the alter ego, the world needed a new alter ego to emerge and Delilah Bon is perfect for these strange fucked up days!
I “borrowed” all the pictures after finding them on line. If you are the photographer and you would like a credit and a link to your site, or for me to remove them, let me know.
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