Gaggle
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Gaggle

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Press


Sod what the broadsheets are saying, this is the sound of excitement. The George Tavern, London, Friday, August 7

At the end of last year a whole host of professional liggers predicted that 2009 would be the year of the leftfield lady. Mountains of Sunday supplement coverage later, dressing up a fun new Barclaycard-sponsored way to mawkishly exploit the sisterhood as the new Women’s Liberation Front, the clever men in suits who said this would happen all along get pats on the back for being so damn liberal and selfless. Yay for girls! No more cleaning and missionary sex for us, thanks, Florence has, like, totally solved everything. Oh, wait, her dresses are more newsworthy than she is. We’re still totally fucked.

But maybe not! Because tonight, fluttering in on the breeze, are Gaggle – the most exciting, innovative and genuinely imaginative force at large in music right now. More infectious than a mnemonic plague (ahem) and going off with the full force of Blondie’s ‘Atomic’, they sound like 10,000 MIAs – and we bet they don’t kiss nice. A room full of hearts quicken as they prove their potential to be an awesome force for good, instantly swaying our conviction to vote Dave Rowntree in the next election.

Gaggle don’t give a shit about haircuts or credibility, and they don’t hold the listening public in the unimaginable contempt that we’ve grown used to. They’re also fucking funny. There’s no passé burlesque attempts at faux-titillation. ‘Crows’ knowingly milks a three-witches vibe to awesome effect, and ‘Liar’ was probably written on the back of a copy of the SCUM Manifesto. ‘I Like Cigarettes’ is the sound of Odysseus tying himself to the mast of his ship, Salome getting her kit off and Delilah sharpening her scissors in one hypnotic, riot-operrra. It’s like Hole if they’d been big into pixie sticks instead of smack (ie much better).

If tonight’s show is anything to go by we can only hope that Gaggle start a seismic shift within music, a shift away from apathy and humourlessness. People are having real, uninhibited, bollocks-to-the-cool-kids fun. Step back and look at these 20-odd silk-clad women and it’s all a bit (brilliantly) silly. Who cares? They conjure up an image of Utopia where no-one wants to sound like Radiohead any more, and that particular joke at the expense of middle-class people is just a bad dream. A place where female singer-songwriters are not just part of a tiresome trend. They’ll be simply massive in 2010, darling.

Rebecca Robinson
- NME


Unpleasantly crammed into East London's Old Blue Last, we find ourselves jaws-to-the-floor as 20 or so colourfully cloaked women take to the stage with just 6 micropohones and a lap top side of stage for accompaniment. This is Gaggle we’re staring at, and they are a phenomenon - a riot grrrl choir of sorts led by the marvellous Debra Coughlin. Commanding and conducting her ensemble side of stage, Coughlin takes time out at the beginning of each track to only hit ‘play’ on the laptop - kicking into gear the dubstep-infused electronic backing beats created by her and an off-stage partner.

Tonight in a nasty East London room that’s packed wall-to-wall, we see written before us another chapter of this quickly spreading buzz on one of most original new acts around. Combining the fiery femme punk of Le Tigre - down to the spiky, hilarious, frequently male-bashing lyrics - with Polyphonic Spree type gang vocals and calls-and-responses, it hit us like some much-needed tough love, speckled with some feisty popped-up M.I.A.-like dubstep in the backing tracks.

At times almsot difficult to watch, leaving us feeling oddly voyeuristic, Gaggle can come across less as a band and more a rampant support group for an amazingly mixed group of different women. Here they are together, thrashing out their feelings about bad luck with lying men, all the while with us watching... But really what Gaggle are is a smack in the face of conventionality from what we've come to expect from modern music, from popular culture and definitely from the London music scene in general.

Formerly a member of electro-popsters 586, Coughlin flirted with the fringes of indie-pop success. She's made it clear in press how she found the restraints of the conformity this enforced (whether to look a certain way or sound a certain way) suffocating. What she's created here with Gaggle is not just a knee-jerk reaction to mundanity and the desire for conformity in music she has experienced, it's a full-blown crusade.
- RockFeedback


Discography

First single coming out 18th January 2010 - Drunk

UK AIRPLAY

BBC 6 Music
16th May 2009, Crows, Lauren Laverne’s Postcard From the Edge

BBC Radio 1
8th July 2009, Crows, Huw Stephens Show 12-2
15th July 2009, Crows, Huw Stephens Show , T in The Park Special, 12-2
22nd July 2009, Crows, Huw Stephens, In New Music We Trust, Wednesday 9-10
22nd July 2009, I like Cigarettes, Huw Stephens Show, 12-2
12th August 2009, I like Cigarettes, Huw Stephens Show, 12-2
19th August 2009. Huw Stephens In New Music We Trust, Wednesday 9-10, 2 Live Session tracks, Crows, I Like Cigarettes, Interview.
19th August 2009, Huw Stephens Show, 12-2, 3 live session tracks, Crows, Hidden Army, Drunk, Interview
20th September, 2009, Nihals final Daytime show, live ‘send off’ from Gaggle
15th October, 2009, Mowglis Road (Marina and The Diamonds cover), Huw Stephens Show, 12-2
26th October, 2009, I like Cigarettes, Steve Lamacqs show, BBC 6 music 4-7.
28th October, 2009, A.Human Feat Gaggle, Bring me the head of A.Human, Huw Stephens Show, 12-2

Future Radio Norfolk
Crows - Spot plays on the Ian Johnson show

BBC Radio Wales
23rd July 2009, Crows, Bethan and Huw show

Resonance Radio London
August 2009, Late Late Breakfast Show Live Set and Interview

XFM London
13th August 2009, Crows, John Kennedy Exposure Show

WE HAVE HAD NUMEROUS PLAYS ON LOCAL RADIO STATIONS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AND HAVE BEEN ON A NUMBER OF NATIONAL PODCASTS.

Photos

Bio

GAGGLE are a 20 girl strong alt indie choir. Led by Deborah Coughlin (formerly 586), they are going to take over the world, chew it up and spit it out.

GAGGLE is a response to boring man bands, bad burlesque and an alternative place for
women in music that doesn't involve drinking yourself to death out of boredom or anxiety. GAGGLE is art it’s not about being sexy (JUST being sexy). People bang on about being unique and different, but due to an abundance of big egos, post-bullying complexes and affection addiction in music, very few actually make big bold creative moves. GAGGLE is bold, big and scary -- it's not generic. If you want something clever and quality, you get smart creative people in -- and the collective ability of GAGGLE is much greater than any other band - they are big achievers, ladies of way above average smartness and there's lots of them. Every girl brings a different dynamic, attitude, past and future to the group and the interaction between them on a personal and social level create a movement that is impossible to replicate setting them apart from any other band around at the moment. As a collective, they are a force to be reckoned with musically, sexually and creatively. GAGGLE speak the truth.

Coughlin: “I went to a convent, I did all those piano grades, and I've studied writing. I get choral arrangement. But this isn't choral arrangement. It's experimental. More voices is more freedom -- every girl has her own vocal super powers -- its not like they are relying on some amp, or nord to get their own special sound - they got it in their mouths & we can back it up with any kind of backing track we like -- or go acapella. Everything about GAGGLE is complex, the music is just one part of it, GAGGLE could become anything -- a internet dating site, frock shop or socio-political movement. With 20 different ways of thinking, through art and fashion to marketing to music, there are ideas flying about from the totally bizarre to the pop genius and these are all a part of how we write. We listen to what everyone has to say and go from there. Nothings too weird for GAGGLE and everything is thought through and considered – ideas are never chucked out which makes the creative buzz amazing – something that becomes immediately apparent when you see them live. The aura around the group on stage is terrifying and exciting and something to wonder at.”

GAGGLE have already been played on Radio 1 and 6 Music and featured in a both a Radar piece and the Future 50 in NME, as well as on countless blogs and online magazines. They have played Latitude, Field Day and SWN Festival this year in the UK. They are also playing extensively in London throughout 2009. See Myspace for details.