Photography: Michael Driffill / @Michael.Driffy

Queen Zee

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  • Piss Kitti
  • Zans
  • Munkey Junkey
24 Kitchen Street 13/12/18

QUEEN ZEE don’t need any introduction, but they certainly deserve one. An even better introduction than this is being delivered by drag darling Jackie Jervo. Jackie is the host for the evening, introducing all the acts in fabulous style while dressed as the greatest gift under the tree this Christmas. This evening is also a showcase for the acts on Zee’s own label, Sasstone Records, as well as the debut album out next February.

First act on is MUNKEY JUNKEY. Their music is fun and energetic with their stage presence, dancing and lyricism. But Munkey Junkey also maintains a certain chilled energy while doing all of this, in a similar vain to amazing hip hop acts like Mick Jenkins and Kaytranada. It certainly gets the crowd going and ready for the next act, ZAND.

She walks on stage to All She Things She Said by tATu wearing a balaclava scrawled with transphobic and sexist slurs. She then rips it off, saying a big fuck you to all the bigots out there by embracing those words but also tearing them down. Zand’s voice is incredible, full of passion and soul and not comparable to anyone else out there at the minute. The electronic pop with extra gusto that backs her voice reminds me of NALA. This uprising of queer solo acts across the UK creating refreshing new electronica, fused with pop, is not only amazing to watch, but inspiring. It’s great to watch them gain the recognition they deserve within the scene, albeit still small in comparison to the macho indie bands selling out stadiums – but who cares about stadiums when you’re creating art?

Queen Zee Image 4

The next act on have already cemented their place as a band ready to break down the masculinity of the North West punk scene, PISS KITTI. Their songs are short, brash and bold, in a similar vein to the finest tracks by X-Ray Spex and Bikini Kill. Lead singer Esme Davine demands your attention (also to pay her, judging by the make-up on their face) while the rest of the band create a wall of noise behind her. Ex-member Clara Cicely also makes an appearance on stage for a few tracks, including Hash. It’s a relatable track as we definitely know someone who’s became a bore after smoking too much. “You don’t smoke hash, hash smokes you, yeh” is stuck in my head.

All these acts have perfectly built up for the headliners, QUEEN ZEE. With the words ‘Sass’ shining into the audience’s eyes, they immediately demand the attention of everyone in the room. You know you’re about to witness something very special. Every single member has such charisma, to the point you don’t know where to focus – and that’s definitely not a bad thing. The new album sounds spectacular live; an amalgamation of angst, anger and fun in one ferocious package. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know all the words because the entire crowd is screaming and dancing away, myself included. Queen Zee’s music has a message as well. Zee dedicates Sass Or Die to all of the people who feel marginalised by their sexuality, their gender – anyone who has felt like they haven’t fit in. The message within a Queen Zee song and live show is straightforward: we’re all people, let’s create a safe space where we can have a great time and respect each other. I’d go as far to say that Queen Zee are the champions of the queer punk movement, rallying the troops of queer kids to stand up for what they believe in, to feel like you’re not alone in an internal struggle with sexuality and/or gender. Queen Zee are not taking over as the best band in Liverpool, but they’re ready to take over the world. Just you watch.

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