self-titled EP
received 11.05
marquis cha cha


We Start Fires are three girls and one boy from Darlington located in North East UK –Becky Stefani (vocals, guitar), Melissa Marx (synths, vocals), Nikki (bass, vocals), and Ashley (drums). WSF has accomplished some amazing feats of DIY prowess – they released their previous CD's themselves and are putting on their own gigs, organizing their own tours across the UK, and still having time to organize a killer club night called Club Strut in their native Darlington where Becky and Nikki DJ. Their single of the same name has been picked up by influential DJ’s such as Zane Lowe, Rob Da Bank, Steve Lamacq, Mark Riley and John Kennedy. In fact, the first pressing of 500 copies of Strut sold out within a week and the single went into its second pressing (on electric blue vinyl!). It’s no wonder the late John Peel said “They look like trouble, that’s for certain!”

In an interview with Designer Magazine, the band said “We Start Fires is about kick ass girls and boys sticking together, intelligence, savvy, attitude, great music and lovely hair and make up…We also have more general plans like trying to rid the world of boring unimaginative rock shite and encouraging girls that you can have a career in music whilst wearing nice clothes, as opposed to none at all.” WSF believes in equality for women and has a strong sense of community; they are articulate feminists who wear their political heart proudly on their sleeves. Although they love scholars like Barbara Creed, Laura Mulvey, Susan Faludi and Betty Friedan, their feminist icons are musicians like Sleater Kinney, Kathleen Hanna and The Gossip because to WSF, these are the women who are “actually out there, being visible, changing people’s perceptions and DOING stuff. They're the people that are going to have an effect on young girls.”

So as one might guess, WSF also loves Ladyfests and has performed at three so far – London, Bristol and Manchester. The band told Designer Magazine that Ladyfest “is about giving women an equal footing in the arts and a platform to express themselves - it's a place to discuss issues that are relevant to women in a relaxed atmosphere…it's a fact that 99% of gigs are completely male dominated and until that changes Ladyfest is there to redress the balance.” The band recognizes the importance of having a female-centric space after having been on all-too-many bills with male bands where they are treated like a novelty act because they’re women. As if it were still a crazy idea that a “girl would pick up a guitar and want to be in a band.”

WSF combines guitar-driven garage rock, hooky pop choruses and electro-synth with riot-grrrl-style shouting and harmonizing from dual girl vocals. The end result is a devastatingly hot dance-punk extravaganza that makes you want to shake yr ass! WSF songs give the dreams and struggles of female musicians a mythic quality that is quite overpowering at times. So don’t be surprised when dancing to WSF, that you get shivers down yr back or tears welling up in yr eyes followed by the need to scream “Revolution Girl Style Now!!!”


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