It's always interesting to find out a little bit more about somebody involved in the music business. Whether they are a performer, label owner or venue manager, they'll all have their own favourite moments, influences or experiences, which can be a little dry when teased out in interview form.
So we reached out to a number of people around the industry for their personal Top 10s and let them choose the theme.
Next up, Sterling Kelly, bass player with Manchester's hotly tipped post-punk combo The Red Stains. The band have just released their debut single Mannequin, which can be heard here. The band were due to play a launch gig at Night & Day Cafe to promote the single last month. A new date has been announced as Oct 16th when they'll be supported by All Girls Arson Club and The Dolly Shakes.
Sadly, like everyone else, the Coronavirus crisis has meant that they've had to postpone all future engagements, and their appearance at Kendal Calling, as guest of Tim Burgess at the prestigious Tim Peaks Diner, a stage graced by LIINES last summer, remains doubtful despite the organisers still believing it will happen.
Sterling has chosen her Top 10 songs for us, a mix of 80's Post Punk and more contemporary artists like Rihanna and Peaches. She has also added narrative for each track, outlining what it is that makes it so special in her eyes. Click on the links to check out the tracks for yourself.
All following text by Sterling Rose Kelly.
BAD GIRLS - PUSSY RIOT
‘Good girls work for the banks/Bad girls blowing up the tanks’...
Top of my list is Bad Girls by Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk band who have been arrested and imprisoned by the government for their anti-authoritarian attitudes and subversive actions.
Any sold-out middle-aged rockstar claiming that ‘punk is dead’ clearly either hasn’t heard of Pussy Riot, or is just bitter that a group of young women are more powerful than they ever were and ever will be.
IT’S OBVIOUS - AU PAIRS
The first time I heard this song, I was 15, and I’d never heard anything like it before. I fell in love with it on the spot. Minimal, drawn-out bass and drums, overlaid with Lesley Woods’ androgynous voice, and her sharply satirical lyrics. This tune beats with controlled anger, spitting at a society that puts women down.
BITCH BETTER HAVE MY MONEY - RIHANNA
‘Pay me what you owe me/don’t act like you forgot...’
This is an absolute tune. Catchy synth beats, confrontational lyrics... One to turn up really loud and paint your nails to.
TOO MANY CREEPS - BUSH TETRAS
‘I just don’t wanna go/Out on the streets/No more...’
Bush Tetras’ Too Many Creeps is a song that’s familiar to pretty much every woman I know, even if we’ve never heard its dance-y funk bass and sharp guitar gunshots before.
It’s about being catcalled, stared at, harassed and objectified by men. It still feels so relevant, and important, 40 years after its release - proof that misogyny and creeps are still hanging round society like a soggy teabag stuck to the inside of the sink.
LETHAL WEAPON - LOOSE ARTICLES
‘You’re only jealous, you misogynistic clown... I’m equal/I’m lethal.’
Lethal Weapon is what I listen to when someone’s pissed me off. It’s a beautifully venomous attack on the patriarchy: needle-sharp guitar and equally sharp lyrics that chop up sexist stereotypes.
It’s a reminder that being feminine, being a woman, is not a weakness. It’s powerful.
MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS - DELTA 5
‘No! Mind your own business!’
Mind Your Own Business mixes together two of my favourite things in existence... funky, reggae-inspired bass rhythms and a powerful message to women everywhere: no, we don’t owe you anything, we’re not your property; fuck off and mind your own business. It’s defiance you can dance to. Better than Gang Of Four.
SOME MUTTS CAN’T BE MUZZLED - AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS
‘Some mutts can’t be muzzled/I guess I got you puzzled...’
I reckon this tune has one of the best intros ever written. The militant drumbeat, the jet-plane bass... This is one I blast in my headphones while walking down the street and pretend I’m in a really dramatic film. It’s loud, it’s chaotic, it’s angry. It’s one to kick down doors to.
VAGINOPLASTY - PEACHES
‘I keep it nasty...’
Fearless, powerful femininity in a tune. Vaginoplasty is a siren-pierced, synth-splattered celebration of women reclaiming our sexuality; a big ‘fuck you’ to objectification.
TYPICAL GIRLS - THE SLITS
‘Typical girls are unpredictable...’
I’ve always thought The Slits’s Typical Girls was the most subversive punk single ever released. Sorry not sorry, Johnny Rotten. It’s also my favourite. A piss-take of sexist media stereotypes and society’s expectations of women (no, they’re not slagging off other girls, Simon Reynolds), over a jagged, asymmetric reggae beat. Unpredictable. The Slits invented punk rock, not England.
MOODY - ESG
‘Feelin’ moody, yeh, yeh’...
ESG’s blend of funk, post-punk, and soul makes me think of sunny days... The swampy, funky bass line and minimal, offbeat drums of Moody makes it a tune to dance to. It’s carefree, it’s beautiful.