With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“Where My Girls At?” – Delilah Bon October 12, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:09 pm
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Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of Delilah Bon (alter ego of Hands Off Gretel frontwoman Lauren Tate). This woman is empowered and recognises inequality and misogyny and calls it out. Her new track “Where My Girls At?” is something that every young woman who feels threatened and put upon by the inherent sexism and patriarchy in the world should listen too. Not only is Delilah Bon’s message a powerful one, it also comes nicely wrapped in a great pop rap tune. To be fair white rappers have often been less than average (Vanilla Ice) but some have been truly sensational (Eminem) and I reckon it is time to add Delilah Bon to the latter category. “Where My Girls At?” is a classy, funky rap track that I think Lauryn Hill would have been proud of. If you thought Delilah Bon was just an angry, serious message bringer check out the video (wonderfully filmed by her Mum Helen Tate) to the end. The outtakes are hilarious, human, natural and clearly show that she has a great self deprecating manner. The Delilah Bon album will be a contender for album of the year in 2020 or 2021 whenever it arrives. If you have not listened to Delilah Bon yet I suggest that you get off your lazy arse and do it now! You will not be disappointed. Unless of course you are a sexist, creepy prick, in which case fuck off, I don’t want you on my site!

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Is Delilah Bon The Devil, Just A Bad Ass Bitch Or Simply The Greatest Rock Rap Alter Ego In History? September 8, 2020


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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Hands Off Gretel – Fulford Arms, York – Wednesday 10th July 2019 July 18, 2019


Until now I had missed every opportunity to catch Hands Off Gretel play live, so I had high expectations of this show. Did the band meet my expectations? You’ll have to read on to find out as there were also three other bands on the bill, starting with Witch Of The East. This is the brainchild and solo project of the mightily talented Aeris Houlihan, her sound is heavier than heavy, as grungey as it can get and definitely turned up to 11. Aeris has a blonde version of Marc Bolan’s iconic early 70s hairstyle which allows me to blatantly paraphrase Mr. Bolan and say of Aeris, “She ain’t no square with her corkscrew hair”. Her guitar playing is exquisite and her vocals are really special. Her singing voice is great on the new album ‘Queen Of Insecurity’ but live it goes beyond great. On stage, Aeris was aided and abetted by a drummer that could fit with Motorhead or the Muppets, he was that good! I am not yet familiar with all of Witch Of The East‘s songs, but Aeris gave me a copy of the album so it won’t be long! (Thank you Aeris!). I believe the opening song was “Silence” and my favourite from the set was “When You Fuck Me” which for me was how I would imagine Peaches sounding if she was more metal than electro. Ms. Houlihan made a really stylish and effective crowd incursion towards the end of her set too. I am now a confirmed fan of Witch Of The East and I can hardly wait to see them live again!

Next up was My Wonderful Daze from York, their sound is deep, dark and almost menacing at times. Imagine what band might arise if Florence and the Machine had been kidnapped by DC’s Suicide Squad and the Joker injected them with a mix of a large dose of heavy metal and Kurt Cobain’s DNA. This was not just a simple rock music set it was also a real performance with the band using stage clothes, eccentric makeup and flowing movement to get their songs across. My Wonderful Daze owned the stage for the whole of their set and they captivated a largely spellbound audience. They also keep the punk ethos going by utilising some great stage names (well I am making an assumption that these aren’t their real names) like; Flowers, Eden, and Mr. Jack Sparkle.

As Sirens Fall were the only band without a female member, but they showed true solidarity with the other bands by wearing dresses, well some of the band at least. Singer Mikey Lord I believe will one day become a really iconic frontman. He is highly skilled at engaging the audience and bringing them into the fast lane currently occupied by As Sirens Fall. Mikey has something of Brian Molko about him with some Bowie thrown in for good measure, particularly his powerful on-stage presence. In their five years together the band have released two EPs, both produced by Romesh Dodangoda. Romesh has previously produced Bring Me The Horizon among many others. As Sirens Fall are heavy as hell served with a dash of goth and a shot of punk. They make My Chemical Romance look and sound like Westlife! I can state categorically that As Sirens Fall, have gone straight into my top five live bands! I came to this gig with my good friend Jari, who was here on a business trip from Finland. As Sirens Fall is his new favourite band!

Many bands reach the cusp of greatness but often never make it beyond that, never usually through things that they are able to control. I believe that Hands Off Gretel are about to take one small step for a band, but one giant leap for women in rock. This band has the passion, the skill, and the attitude to take it so much further. I am glad I got to see them at the Fulford Arms, a wonderfully intimate venue. They are surely destined to fill arenas next and who knows where after that. This show came just a few days after the singer and guitarist Lauren Tate’s open letter to the men who come to the band’s shows. It calls out all the misogynistic creeps who sexualise any female in a band or in the audience. What she says is spot on and finally, many more people are taking notice and are ready to do something about this. Ever since I went to my first gig in 1972 and my first festival in 1975 I have loved the camaraderie and care for others in most gig crowds, but sadly there are always exceptions. Lauren was right to call this out and let’s hope it flushes these arseholes out! If you haven’t read her letter yet, you really need to, click here to see it. The band showed great solidarity for this kind of movement. Lauren and Becky, the bass player sported expertly painted on facial hair. At times Becky’s rock god postures were reminiscent of Lemmy in his full-on Motorhead pomp and the added chest hair added to that picture. Guitarist Sean Bon sported a kind of scary red gimp mask, given the heat that night he must have sweated buckets! The band is currently promoting their sophomore album ‘I Want The World’ and most of that collections tracks got an airing tonight. Particular highlights for me were “S.A.S.S”, “Kiss Me Girl” and “Freaks Like Us”. Hands Off Gretel are like a well-oiled punk machine that hits you with grunge licks, heavy riffs, and classy tunes. Lauren’s vocals have been likened to Gwen Stefani before and I get that comparison, but I believe Lauren’s voice is far more at home on the harder, intense styles than Gwen’s might have been. This was a stunning, powerhouse of a performance, the venue was hotter than I had ever known it but the verve and excitement generated by this band drove the heat and energy to molten lava levels. Hands Off Gretel are a long way from their peak but their trajectory is steep and seems driven by the power of a Saturn V rocket. If you haven’t yet seen them, sort yourself out. You will not be disappointed! I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the bands in this review.

Witch Of The East – Pic was taken on my cheap Android phone

Public Service Announcement: All pictures, apart from the gig poster and the pic of Witch Of The East were taken by John Hayhurst of Snapagig (a.k.a this generations Mick Rock)! All videos were sourced from YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like me to credit you or take it down please let me know.

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