IN THE CITY - WHERE WERE THE WOMEN?
This is a guest blog from our Girl Music Guru Ruth Barnes. Just in case you thought I was lamenting on the lack of romance at ITC this year. Anyways I've got a girlfriend so stop trying to get me in trouble.
And now, without further ado here's Ruth Barnes.....
ITC 2010 - WHERE WERE THE WOMEN?
This year was my first at In The City, the Manchester-based music industry conference that shines a spotlight on new and unsigned talent. If, like me, you are interested in women artists being fairly represented on occasions such as this, you would have been left with a bizarre impression of the state of unsigned female artists in 2010.
I trawled the line up (200+ bands), simply putting the name of the band in a search engine and looking at pictures on their Myspace page. Nine times out of ten the images were the same: three or four skinny lads with guitars or synth’s staring defiantly out at me, daring me to listen to their music which had undoubtedly been described as ‘synth-led’ or ‘spiky guitar rock’ by some music journo.
I can’t be the only one to find this depressingly predictable? Of course the best of these bands deserve their rightful place at the conference, but where were the women artists whose music floods my email inbox and lands on my front door mat most weeks?
Sure, the rather excellent Sky Larkin performed, but they’re already signed and established, well on their way up the industry escalator... the same can be said for Glasser. There's nothing wrong with big indies signing young bands and celebrating them, however, I landed in Manchester expecting a greater spirit of adventure and exploration at In The City: A fearless advocacy of great artists - both male and female - often overlooked by the increasingly market driven and conservative record industry.
There were other excellent bands on the bill including Standard Fare, Introducing fave's Seerauber Jenny and Catherine A.D. to name a few. But it was genuinely - a few!
Surely those artists working outside the restrictive norms prescribed to most women in music (ie. image before sound) desperately need In The City? My hope was that the music conference would dig out the best of unsigned bands and give them much needed exposure - not add to the hype for bands like Kisses or T3ETH. Also both Sky Larkin and Glasser have had nearly half a million views on their Myspace profile - surely they are too big for ITC?
I’ll put my money where my mouth is - here are twelve, original, unsigned (or signed to the tiniest little indie) female bands/ artists from the UK, America and Ireland who could have really benefited from being showcased at In The City this year: