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Meet GIRLBAND!, the Nottingham rockers building their own inclusive community

This Nottingham three-piece are forging their own defiant path in rock music.

By Nick Reilly


There’s a neat anecdote about GIRLBAND!’s early days which perfectly sums up what the Nottingham three piece are all about. The three piece – singer Georgie, bassist Kay and drummer Jada – had spent a glorious summer rehearsing in the living room of Georgie’s house a few years back, with these jam sessions often turning into impromptu house parties.

That is, it transpired, until the police got tipped off about the almighty racket that the trio were creating and duly paid Georgie a visit to dish out a firm warning that confiscating their instruments was on the cards if they didn’t keep the noise down.

A stern exchange, no doubt, but one that took an unlikely turn when the coppers followed the group on Instagram and emerged from the house as two new, but unlikely fans.

In turn, it’s a reflection of GIRLBAND!’s ethos. Songs like ‘Not Like The Rest’ might stem from Georgie’s own coming-out experience, but she says that it could equally strike a chord with anyone who has ever felt different or like they didn’t belong. In a nutshell, just like those coppers once discovered, there’s far-reaching potential in this band’s music.

Now, these EMI North signees are ready to take that message to the wider world…

There’s been a couple of singles in 2024 – namely ‘Not Like The Rest’ and ‘Suffragette’ – which go far in proving what you’re all about. How’s the year been so far for you as a band?

Georgie: It’s been nice for us to finally have some music out because we were playing a lot live last year, but now they’re out in the world and we’ve been able to share them.

I think performing live is our favourite part of it though, because we’re on tour and the moment and we get so excited that have to slow down and not drink too much tequila. I think it’s our favourite part of it as well, because we’re on tour at the minute and we’re just like little kids.

For the uninitiated, how did GIRLBAND! first form?

Kay: Me and Georgie knew each other for about 10 years, just growing up in Nottingham. And then me and Jada were actually playing in a jazz funk band at the time. I was on the flute, not even the bass, so it was so random. But we had a gig where Georgie came and saw Jada play the drums. From there, we just got together and started rehearsing in Georgie’s front room.

Georgie: It was a summer of just playing and jamming in in my front room and we got reported to the police a couple of times. They came over and threatened to take all the instruments. I think it was the noise. But also, I think a lot of rehearsals would end up as little mini house parties as well. It was just this little terrace house in the front room. I think that was a really important part for us as a band because we just hung out and played for the whole of that summer.

Jayda: And there was a lot of sleeping on Georgie’s sofa, too.

Did they ever get any of the instruments, or was it just threats?!

Georgie: It was just threats. But the funny thing was, they came around again after we played our first show and they said they were going to have to take the instruments if we did it again. But I just chatted to them and they ended up following us on Instagram and we managed to convert them into fans!

Has the spirit of those chaotic house parties been a permanent influence on your live shows?

Georgie: Yeah, definitely. I think it gave us an attitude of not giving a fuck, that was what we loved and what made us as a unit. I think we just took that from my living room and stuck it on stage.

Jada: What we had created in Georgie’s living room, we were able to shape it more when we stepped on stage together for the first time, which then created more confidence within ourselves and then as a band too.

There’s a rallying cry for inclusivity in songs such as ‘Not Like The Rest’. Is the idea of finding a community a big part of your message?

Georgie: I think inclusivity is a big part, especially for us as three women. I think the songs have that that personal message and they’re they’re important things for us as a band, but we don’t want anyone to feel excluded. 21st century suffragette is obviously for women, but that message could easily resonate and relate to a man too. Whether you’re gay, queer or straight, I think community is a big part of it.

How have people responded to the message?

Jada: I feel like it inspires a lot of people from little girls to teenage boys to men in their sixties. There’s been a lot of inspiration to those [people], and they also bring inspiration to us. I would say it’s 50/50.

‘Not Like The Rest’ is an incredibly powerful song too – tell us the story of it.

Georgie: That song was basically my coming out story. A month after coming out, I met this girl and we were talking about being from the smaller towns of Nottingham, places where I think being yourself was quite hard for me. Where it felt impossivle to come out, so it’s that experience of not feeling like the rest.

All my mates would be talking about who they wanted to kiss, which was a boy. I wouldn’t relate to it because I’d be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I fancy Keira Knightley and no one’s going to get that!’

How liberating has it been to release that song?

Georgie: It’s great, especially when we see people singing along to it as well. Also, like Jada was saying, people digest the message and that song means something to them. You’ll see 13-year-old girls singing that song and you know how they feel. You can see in the crowd that people are relating to it because they feel that way as well. We hear their story. It’s interesting too that even though from my personal experience, that song was written about being gay, it’s translating to people not just because of that, but also just for many reasons of not feeling like they they fit in too.

Is there any particular artists in punk or music that you look up to as a massive influence?

Georgie: Joan Jett is a big one for me. She’s one of the first artist that I fell in love with, she holds a flag for strong women, I think, and The Breeders and Courtney Love.

Jada: Nina Simone is one of mine, I feel like the way she carried herself was incredible, bearing in mind she went through so much and tried to bring her own culture to music. She’s definitely one of my big ones.

Kay: As a bass player, I was always really inspired by musicians like Esperanza Spalding and Nik West. They’re just bold and they’re out there and they’re not afraid to be a rock star, amaze people with their playing style and what they do.

And finally, what’s your elevator pitch for people who want to know your music in a single sentence?

Georgie: It’s rebellious and bold and carries a heavy fucking message.

Kay: It’s three women playing rock and roll!

Jada: Some asked me this question when I was in Manchester and I said, ‘You know what? Just wait till we go on stage’. So it’s that!