Festivals could do with…er… Scouting For Girls


In the past few days I was buoyed to see announcements that two music festivals actually planned to go ahead this year, in the Kendall Calling and Isle of Wight Festivals. I’ll admit that these Festivals are not usually high on the agenda of must-see events. Still, when it came to examining the lineups this came as quite a disappointment.

What do the following headliners have in common? Stereophonics, Supergrass, The Streets, Dizzee Rascal, Liam Gallagher, Tom Jones, James, Snow Patrol, David Guetta, Sam Fender, James Arthur, The Script…

Yep, that’s a LOT of sausage (and they’re mostly very middle of the road). Of the first 33 acts announced at Kendall Calling, there are just 7 with any female members. Out of 49 acts listed at the Isle of Wight Festival, I count 13. The irony of both festivals featuring the band Scouting For Girls didn’t escape many on Twitter, either.

I get that the pool of artists is more limited when COVID restrictions make it very difficult to secure international artists, but there are some sensational UK based female solo artists and bands with female members that they could have invited. Are the organisers completely oblivious to this or is something far more sinister going on?

If it’s simply a case of them not knowing enough(…), here’s a list of great artists they could have chosen from, and could still:

The Anderson Tapes

A wonderful indie pop band with a great sense of melody. They can rock it too.


Our favourite majestic ethereal synth-pop


The understated brilliance of their music and their bold sense of humour mean you cannot leave their live show without a smile on your face.

Bas Jan

The London four piece are gearing up for a new album release to follow up 2018’s superb ‘Yes I Jan’. From what we’ve heard of it, as evidenced by their superb Cafe OTO livestream, it’s going to be even better.

Big Joanie

The new Kill Rockstars signees “Sistah Punk” will get a second outing in 2021, as they follow up their vital debut “Sistahs”.

Child’s Pose

Simply one of the most exciting post-punk bands going. No more to be said.

Clémentine March

The French native, indie troubadour has been one of the revelations of the last couple of years, with two excellent albums under her belt in the last year!

Dry Cleaning

We’ve said enough about this lot. Just one of the best new bands out there. Their forthcoming 4AD debut album is set to be a winner.


Their 2020 album ‘Less Of Everything’ was a bold, gothy punk gem. They’re tight and intense live too.

Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business

This supergroup of London based musicians are a glorious live spectacle and would be right at home on any festival stage.

Lady Neptune

A constantly evolving solo artist who has ventured from distorted guitar noise to intense gabber!

Lean Logic

A Brighton based synth-pop duo who have impressed with their first handful of singles. We hear an album is around the corner.

Merlin Nova

An absolute tour-de-force with a remarkable voice. One of the most original artists in the UK. Her mixture of performance art skits and avant pop is hugely entertaining.

Nape Neck

We realise this was looking very London centric (we are based in London after all!) but, whatever. An intense, shrill, noise punk band from Leeds whose self-titled 2020 album blew us away.

Nervous Twitch

Another Leeds based band who bring high energy classic punk sounds to the table.


Genius freeform Glasgow band whose new lockdown recorded album ‘Zöe’ is looking like one of the albums of the year.

No Home

A devastatingly original artist. No Home’s ‘Fucking Hell’ album was like nothing released last year, or in our memory.

The Plan

Their gloriously ramshackle post-punk and home made guitars make Southend’s The Plan a must-see live band. Their debut album ‘Nervous Energy’ is fantastic too.


Rosa Brook’s vocals became far more prominent on POZI’s 176 EP, while her whirlwind violin provides an amazing counterfoil to their TVPs post punk.


Rachel Aggs, the Glasgow based musician who fronts the marvelous triumverate of Sacred Paws, Shopping and Trash Kit also released a gem of a solo album in 2020. To witness this in a live setting could be really special.

Shake Chain

A gloriously surreal live experience owing to their fascinatingly exuberant lead singer Kate Mahony and their wonkified punk.

The Slugs

Drums and guitar lofi duo. 100% charm, 3 great EPs and a joyously brash live set every time.

Sniffany And The Nits

Grotesque sounding punks with plenty of snotty attitude and utterly captivating live.

Upset Stomach

Wildly creative indie pop that mashes in metal influences and the odd autotune vocal for good measure.

Witching Waves

They’ve mastered their intense, anxious pop punk and, even in lockdown, were playing regular shows (albeit from home).

We could go on and on here, but this list in itself would make one hell of a line-up. Now, if any festivals would like us to curate a stage…


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