Hearing comments from passersby assuming Girli’s gig at The Joiners was an underage night did leave me wondering about how tonight would be, especially considering the usual acts The Joiners attracts (definitely heavier, usually rock, rarely still a teenager). As unsure as I was about what to expect, Girli definitely provided the experience I was expecting.
It was interesting that the crowd was full of teenagers (and a fair number of parental escorts), considering Girli’s lyrics are on topics like Donald Trump and protesting harassment. Of course, these topics are accompanied by the cheerier messages of remembering that social media isn’t everything and not to let online happiness from others impact you in ‘Neck Contour’, and standing up to the patriarchy in “‘Girls Get Angry Too’ (a lyric which had been graffitied in the toilets, no less).
Speaking of toilets, this seemed to be one of the most inclusive gigs I’ve been to in a while. Before our pink headliner took to the stage, an announcement played out over the speakers: “Welcome to Girli world, this is a safe space. No touching, harassment, or discrimination.” Girli herself is a supporter of Girls Against, who “fight against sexual assault at gigs“. Alongside this, the toilets were explicitly labelled as gender neutral, a move welcomed by the crowd (many of whom were LGBT+).
Toeing the line between a bubblegum pop aesthetic and being far more politically aware than most people would give teenagers credit for, this surprisingly small ball of pink left on to the stage shouting “Fuck you” – of course, it was the start to her opening song, “Fuck Right Back Off to LA”. Covered in pink from her hair to her Converse (even her setlist was taped down with pink tape), herself and DJ Kitty genuinely had every person who was there to see them shouting along. Mixing songs released in 2015 like encore opener “So You Think You Can Fuck With Me Do Ya?’ with her most streamed song (currently sitting at 489,430 plays) ‘Hot Mess’ (her album closer), had we been a bigger venue than the 200 capacity Joiners I think her vocals would have been drowned out by the audience. Yet, the intimate venue worked well not only for her vocals, but for allowing the crowd to get up close and personal with her as she dove off the stage.
Perhaps I went in with some misconceptions. I wasn’t sure what to expect from seeing the crowd, from the amount of pink… And while her style and music may not be for everyone, it was certainly an entertaining experience to say the least.
With possibly the most stereotypical teenage lyrics to grace us in 2017, ‘Girl I Met On The Internet’ may also be the most Girli song out there.