Next Gig – a Film Festival!

Festival season is starting! The Verinos’ second ever gig was an audition to play at a festival called Glastonbudget. We played there last year in a massive marquee to about 30 people.

We made a T-shirt to show how quickly it all happened.

But this year we’re playing at a film festival! The Verinos have been asked to play at Phoenix Arts Leicester as part of the REAL Documentary Festival. The festival has sessions for documentary film makers and industry people as well as showing films to the general public. There’s a big selection of award-winning films, works-in-progress, exhibitions and a few premieres.

Where do The Verinos fit in? We’re playing live on the evening of Thursday 20th April after the film ‘I Am A Clich√©‘ is screened. It’s the story of Poly Styrene (real name Marianne Elliot-Said) who grew up in Brixton and formed the band X-Ray Spex after seeing Sex Pistols play on her 19th birthday. Although the boy band punks are usually cited as the important ones, Poly Styrene’s original style, lyrics and presence as a bi-racial young woman fronting a punk band are massively important.

Tickets for the film, a Q&A discussion with director Paul Sng and The Verinos gig in the new bar area of the Phoenix are just ¬£5, but be sure to book early because it’s going to be popular!

March Gigs Coming Up!

If you want to see The Verinos live, you’re going to have to visit Leicester in the Midlands, UK. And in March 2023, there’s three chances to catch the band.

On Saturday 4th March, The Verinos play the afternoon slot at Leicester Indiepop Alldayer – going onstage at 3.30pm.

Then just four days later, we play again at Firebug Bar as headliners of the Unglamorous gig for International Women’s Day. Since the Verinos formed, a whole scene of other all-women bands of all ages has grown in Leicester. We estimate that a total of 11 bands will be performing, including complete beginner bands playing one song after starting just weeks ago – bands like BOILERS, Pretty Dirty Rats, Peri Peri Women, Ruby River and Funky Feminists.

Then we have bands that have been playing for up to a year – including Velvet Crisis, The Wonky Portraits, Dada Women, Virginia’s Wolves, Glitch Magnet and Venus Attax. We also like to promote Caroline McLavy – a solo songwriter and performer who has been instrumental in the success of all this as one of the directors of Stayfree Music – a local rehearsal space and instrument hire facility.

The gig on the 8th is also a launch party for a forthcoming compilation album on which The Verinos have a track. The Kickstarter appeal will be .. um … kickstarted, and if you’re in Firebug at 5pm, you might even get to hear some of the tracks which will be on the vinyl LP and CD release. We reckon there must be about 50 women playing in the different bands on 8th March and it’s going to be a truly memorable night!

The last gig in March (that we know of so far) for The Verinos is on Sunday 26th – it’s an early show 6pm – 9.30pm. The Verinos are headlining at The Big Difference venue on High Street, with other Unglamorous bands supporting. This is always a really cool gig with a wild audience so we’re looking forward to that!

The media seem to be getting interested in what The Verinos and the other bands Ruth (Vim Verino) has helped to create.

First there was a story in Positive News and then Channel Five News got in touch. There was a bit of confusion about who was in The Verinos when loads of the other band members got on stage – because there are so many all-women bands, but some clips from The Verinos YouTube video made it onto national news!

Glastonbudget today!

Last year The Verinos passed an audition to play at Glastonbudget Music Festival in Leicestershire. It’s mainly a tribute band festival, with some of the best UK tribute acts playing. But there’s also a stage for little local bands playing original music and today The Verinos are going to be playing there!

It is such an important thing for us; rock history has far fewer women involved and there are all sorts of stereotypes about what female artists should be like. The Verinos crash those expectations – we’re older, rawer and more fun than a lot of other bands and we’re all women. We represent the punk idea that anyone can have a go and it’s a lot of fun. You should try it!

The Verinos play the Loco Stage at Glastonbudget Festival at 9.15pm today 2nd June 2022. We have some of these T-shirts – ask us if we have any free ones left!

The Verinos second gig

The Verinos played our second gig at The Soundhouse Leicester last month as an audition for the next Glastonbudget Festival in June 2022. The audience really loved it and we’ve now been confirmed for our first festival.

The Soundhouse Leicester - Visit Leicester

The Soundhouse is a cool music pub painted blue that hosts open mic nights, local bands and touring acts from the UK and overseas. Promoter Muz had been so positive about the idea of The Verinos, that we felt we’d be welcomed. We know we’re not as technically skilled as some of the usual bands that play there; our instruments are cheap or borrowed and we haven’t had much live experience.

But what we do have is confidence and energy!

Here we are hanging about before the gig. The other bands that were playing were really friendly and let us use their drum kit. They were interested to hear about what we’re trying to do, and very encouraging – old-fashioned sexist attitudes really do seem to be changing in the world of music!

We had a little soundcheck, which sounded good and there were fabulous stage lights and then it was time to play. The small stage meant that the fun and energy of the band came across even better – several of our songs involve band members shouting out their thoughts or joining in with the singers!

After we finished, there were dozens of great comments from people we don’t even know. Most frequent comment was “Brilliant songs!” followed by “Amazing energy”. So we think it was a great success, and want to go on to do more … especially festivals next summer! And today, apparently we’re featured on the BBC News page. Amazing! Please follow/subscribe to the blog to get news about The Verinos.

The Verinos go for it!

Yesterday The Verinos heard that we have been picked to play at Glastonbudget Festival in June 2022. Also BBC East Midlands broadcast a film about the band in their news reports throughout the day, so we were buzzing with people congratulating us and wanting to find out more.

You can see the evening BBC news slot here – the piece about The Verinos is after 22 minutes.

Although most of the bands at the festival are tribute acts, there’s a small stage for local bands and that’s where we’ll be, but hopefully we’ll be well known enough by then to get a good crowd!

The Verinos are now looking for more gigs in the local area; the unglamorous music project is also working with more women to create more all-female bands to play for fun and to record and play live. Get in touch if you’re interested via the comments or by emailing unglamorous music@gmail.com.

The Verinos first rehearsal

Playing in a band was not something most of The Verinos had ever thought possible. Guitarist Vim was at a birthday party in Leicester’s Kayal restaurant and got chatting to VD about punk. VD had just decided to start playing bass and was going to take lessons. Next came Vixen, who could play a bit of keyboards, and her friend Vi, who can sing and shout. Volcano had always fancied playing drums and turned up to the first rehearsal having watched one drum lesson on YouTube and was completely brilliant at it.

The experience of going to a rehearsal room, being extremely loud, having fun with no-one watching is really powerful. The other thing that’s great is playing and creating original songs so that we own and define our art. Our music can’t be compared to some well-known artist’s original version; we are the original version. Our songs are about laughing, being invisible older women, being in a band and just about ourselves really. They’re upbeat, singable, interactive, and we have a lot of fun playing them!

Here’s a photo of us on the way to our first rehearsal

L-R: Volcano, Vi, VD Vim and Vixen Verino on the way to the studio.