Updated: Feb 23
Last Tuesday we headed to Carlisle ahead of Loud and Queer set up by Free Radical Arts to showcase emerging queer talent in the County. Nestled into 70 English Street in Carlisle city centre is Free Radical Arts and Free Radical United’s HQ. The venue was adorned in fairy lights, flags, and an entire gallery of artwork created by the Free Radicals community.
What it lacked in space it certainly made up for in character with a laidback stage setting ahead of the performances. Melanie Baker, the event’s organiser for Free Radical Arts hosted the event which saw an array of different talent from Cumbria and the wider North. Ichi’s Ghost, an Electro industrial, hip hop, and experimental producer from Chester was first up. Ichi’s sound is similar to Death Grips and their beats go beyond what is expected of cloud rap with deliciously snary beats laid over spoken-word lyrics. Be sure to check out Scarrrrrsssssss and Tranquilizer on Ichi’s Spotify and Soundcloud.
During the interval we had time to check out some of the artwork featured in their Lavender Panic exhibition from the free radicals community. Drawings of queer icons, collages, and typography art were sprawled across the walls.
The second act of the night was Hannah Rose Kessler hailing from Ravenglass near Barrow-in-Furness. Hannah treated the audience to a performance of her latest unreleased single Sing for your daughters, a grungy protest piece. Kessler isn’t defined by genre and on their latest EP My Theories On the Apocalypse you can hear a blend of melodic pop, grunge, and spoken word singing that you can listen to on their Spotify.
Whilst waiting for the third and final act we check out some of the zines on display that feature content from queer creatives from Cumbria and across the UK. The narratives of most were deeply self-explorative and coming of age in nature.
Emerging self-described bedroom-pop artist Phoebe Hall of York treated the audience to a variety of songs. Runway was probably one of our favourite tunes they performed on the night similar to artist Clario’s 4Ever. If you like Girl in Red and Adult Mom you’ll be sure to watch out for new music from this talented Yorkshire lass on their Spotify.
Audience member Beth, 17 of Carlisle told us that they never thought Carlisle would ever have a night like this and couldn’t wait for the next one.
Loud and Queer was a fun night filled with good music, people, and amazing vibes altogether.
You can also support Free Radical Arts by buying some of the merch that was on sale.
We hope the next one is as Loud and Queer as the first.
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