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The Dome, Tufnell Park
MIXING punk, grunge, rock and rap and throwing in a mix of loops and beats, GIRLI’s latest tour hits town with not just music, but a message that mixes vulnerability with vision and vim.
Titled the Damsel in Distress tour, it’s a comeback of sorts for Milly Toomey — AKA GIRLI.
It’s a response to being dropped by her record label, to the impact of Covid and to the need to get out and talk — or in this case even shout — about mental health, the music industry and being yourself.
Coming on stage in a black suit, it’s almost as if GIRLI is channelling the look of early 1970s David Bowie, and while there is plenty of glam, and some rock, music-wise it is the beats and loops that take over.
Backed by singer Faber and DJ Rene, by track two GIRLI has dropped the suit and got the whole room onside singing along to Has Been which is an electropop banger that would happily sit on a Lady Gaga or Grimes album.
Ruthless starts slow, with GIRLI’s voice to the fore, and then the music kicks in and the audience follow and it’s more of the same throughout.
The set closes with Hot Mess, beatbox pop with a punk aesthetic that echoes Sleaford Mods conversational tales of woe and wonder while being uplifting and empowering.
Live GIRLI is in your face and intense, and the room is all the better for that.
The tour is completely self-funded, and she’s hired an all-women and non-binary crew, which makes the space safe and enables the majority female audience to fully let rip.
And it doesn’t end there, after the gig GIRLI makes sure to meet and greet fans, offering support, advice and just being herself. It’s all part of her welcoming and all-encompassing approach.
Bringing beats, being yourself and everyone together. In the words of GIRLI as the lights went up “this is the best night ever.” From the smiles on the audience’s faces, for many it was.
Tour continues to 3 December — details: https://www.girlimusic.com/
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