- Victoria Comstock-Kershaw
FETCH FEATURES | LAMBRINI GIRLS
It's hard to describe the absolute joy of listening back to an interview that starts with someone shouting 'Daddy's getting drunk!'. There is a superbly chaotic energy to the four Lambrini Girls, self-described as 'The Spice Girls if their fathers' left them': from sardonic wit of their lyrics to their intoxicatingly striking aesthetic, the Brighton-based foursome is the perfect post-punk girl band of 2020. Just as powerful, raw and delightfully irreverent as their music, guitarist Phoebe, singer Flora and drummer Catt (joined in spirit by bassist Fox) sit down with FETCH after their February gig at The Dublin Castle in Camden to chat about writing as a band, intersectional feminism and the influence of Vengaboys.
Image credits: Lambrini Girls, Wild Blanket Photography, Xandru Zahra.
What tends to be the process for writing your songs?
Flora: It changes quite a lot. I write a lot for other bands, different musicians, and if they bring up a political point that makes me think about something differently, then I try to write about that in my own way.
Catt: There's a lot of involvement from the whole band as well. Being a drummer, a lot of the time you don't really get a look-in into the writing process. But in this band, for sure - it's definitely the most creatively equal band I've ever been in. Everyone's got an input, which I think is super fucking cool and isn't something you see very often.
Flora: If you look at our new song, Super Privileged White Girls, Catt wrote the 'we are white girls' line, Fox wrote the bass riff, me and Phoebe came out with the call and response. We've still got a lot of songs that we started playing when we got together about a year ago, but the amount that they're evolved and changed - especially since Fox has started being super creative with some of the bass stuff recently and since Catt joined - it just sounds awesome. It's just been more free and creative and it's so exciting.
Do you view your music as being political in any sense?
Phoebe: I think the general consensus is that our music is quite tongue-in-cheek. I would say that what we do is pointing out points in society, saying I don't like this. And then you've got a platform, and we use Lambrini Girls in that respect.
Flora: I wouldn't say it's political in the traditional sense. [Our music] tries to make light of the small inconveniences -
Catt: It's satire. Especially the lyrics.
Flora: Yeah. I would say it's more satirical than straight-out political.
Phoebe: The way I see it, it's a tongue-in-cheek approach to calling out men who are pieces of shit. So, feminism in general - as in, you know, there are so many branches of it - plays a really big part I think. Super Privileged White Girls, for example, is about feminism that isn't intersectional - it's about how modern feminism can still be not very inclusive. [The music] is a very blanket approach to a lot of different things in society that we don't really like.
Catt: It's about girls who are like, we do this, we do that, daddy I want this, daddy I want that - but then, for the crowd who are watching us sing that, they're like 'but you are super privileged white girls'! It's interesting to see reactions when you recognise your own privilege but also challenge it.
Where do you like to perform?
Flora: When I'm booking shows, I think to make sure I'm booking at least one in London, one in Brighton a month. So that makes life easy for all of us, and we get a good set of crowds too. We've got a new set of shows coming up - we've actually got a show in Portsmouth on the 17th of April with Lewsberg, who are a really cool new-wave punk band from Rotterdam, which is very exciting.
Catt: Hopefully we'll break the North soon.
Phoebe: I really, really like the Engine Rooms. It's kind of like a Lambrini den, to be fair.
Flora: It's basically our second home. They put on our first show ever in May last Year. We play there fairly regularly - I'm actually DJing there on the 29th of February for the Giants of Rock show. Those boys work so hard, it's amazing and it's such a sick venue.
And what sort of crowds do you tend to attract?
Flora: People that want to have a laugh. Like, it's not too serious, is it?
Catt: Yeah. Don't take yourselves too seriously; don't take us too seriously - ever.
Phoebe: We mean that - never. Ever.
Catt: And we mean that seriously.
Phoebe: The only thing we mean seriously is when we say not to take us seriously.
Who do you count as your biggest influences?
Catt, Phoebe and Flora: Billy Ray Cyrus!
Phoebe: In all seriousness, I do actually really like The Savages, they're great. Le Tigre and Bikini Kill also, at the same time they've also got a very sort of tongue-in-cheek approach to music.
Catt: This is going to sound really, really sort of pop-punk and emo, but I think Zach Farro from Paramore is a great drummer. The way he plays with beats and that whole putting half-beats into things. Hit hard or go home, innit?
Phoebe: But at the end of the day, our influences mainly consist of Billy Ray Cyrus, Vengaboys and Lewis Capaldi - and Little Mix, of course, another excellent girl band.
Catt: Vengaboys got me through a real hard time back in the day.
Phoebe: There were times I couldn't look at myself in the mirror unless I was listening to Vengaboys naked. Or cello-taped to a toilet seat with a cornetto in my mouth and I Want My Mullet Back playing in my ears.
Any closing comments about the band?
Flora: We suck, come watch us.
Catt: Yeah, we're shit. Where are you?
Flora: Are you coming to our next gig, yes or yes?
Phoebe: The Lambrini Girls are looking for their fathers in the bottom of a bottle - but they'll never find 'em.
The Lambrini Girls will be playing at The Rossi Bar, Brighton, on the 20th of February 2020.