Petrol Girls


Wednesday 25th September 2019

Name, where are you from?
Petrol Girls - we’re from the UK, Austria and Lithuania.
I’m Ren, the vocalist and I’m from Bristol

Describe your style in three words?
Raging feminist post-hardcore.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Probably one of the house shows we ran at the place I used to live in Peckham. It’s pretty sweet to only have to crawl (or be carried) up the stairs to bed afterwards and crowd surf from the fridge. The landlord once asked us about the footprints on the ceiling, which was awkward. I think we said something about throwing shoes to get rid of a spider. We always had epic after-parties, with some standards always on the playlist: All Saints - 'Pure Shores'.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
The Slits and X-Ray Spex because I think they were the most important two bands from the first wave of punk, even though they’re massively underrated.

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
I was a metalhead as a kid and my first band was a kind of metal punk band when I was about 14. Then I got really into punk and its various sub-scenes. I first got into the ska-influenced scene in my late teens and hung out at the Croft in Bristol watching bands like The Skints, JB Conspiracy, Random Hand and Dirty Revolution - even running some gigs. I think that period in time really politicised me a lot. Then I decided I wanted to make my own music and started touring in the acoustic punk/anti-folk scene. That was what introduced me to House Shows and first brought me out to mainland Europe doing backing vocals for a guy called Mike Scott. Most of the music from that time isn’t on Spotify! But hearing a lot of acoustic music made me hungry for something heavier, and I got more and more into hardcore, which led me to starting Petrol Girls

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Emma Goldman - I read her autobiography 'Living My Life' a few years ago and found her courage and independence of thought really awe-inspiring. She was a prominent anarchist in the early 1900s fighting for all kinds of anticapitalist causes including workers rights and birth control.

Of all the venues you’ve been to, which is your favourite?
That's really hard! I’m going to say Bradford 1 in 12 club - a legendary anarchist members club that’s been going since the ’80s. They’re currently raising money for vital repairs to the club - check out their crowd funder here.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Our bassist Liepa - she could only play a bit of acoustic guitar when we started Petrol Girls and now I reckon she’s one of the best and most creative bass players out there.

Ren Aldridge is the founder member and vocalist of post-hardcore band Petrol Girls whose latest single 'No Love For A Nation' is out now.

Ren has also written a pamphlet, 'Cut and Stitch', published via Rough Trade Books, which was published earlier his year. 'Cut and Stitch' expands on the themes explored in Petrol Girls' songs through a series of mini-essays, including issues around gender, community and the environment. 

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