Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Women completely owned international punk showcase Foreign Dissent at Will's Pub

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 3:08 PM

click to enlarge Arms & Hearts at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Arms & Hearts at Will's Pub
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Foreign Dissent 6, Will’s Pub, Oct. 28

For a large swath of the punk scene, and now beyond, this time of year means the pilgrimage to Gainesville for the Fest. In Orlando, the great annual tradition that’s sprung up in the wake of that mass music migration is Foreign Dissent, the one-night, packed-tight showcase of international punk bands curated by local promoter Craig Mazer now in its sixth year.

click to enlarge Forever Unclean at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Forever Unclean at Will's Pub
There are many reasons to love this compact event with worldwide span, but I like it most because it’s pure music discovery in concert form. Since most go into the show with little to no deep knowledge of these faraway underground bands, the audience has less built-in favoritism for any particular one and more openness to all, just a common devotion to the punk ideal. And that makes a profound difference in the show experience.

click to enlarge Sorry We Are Silly at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Sorry We Are Silly at Will's Pub
This year turned out a very Euro-heavy edition, comprising the entire eight-band bill with the exception of a lone Canadian band. But the other defining trait of this sixth chapter is how correct it came with lots of strong female representation. Of the night’s most interesting acts, the ones prominently powered by women were the distinct majority.

click to enlarge Teenage Bubblegums at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Teenage Bubblegums at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Bad Waitress at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Bad Waitress at Will's Pub
This year's menu included the melody punk of Denmark’s Forever Unclean, the angular emo of Italy’s Sorry We Are Silly, the street-smart anthems of Ireland’s Good Friend and the folk-punk of England’s Arms & Hearts.



click to enlarge Forever Unclean at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Forever Unclean at Will's Pub
Of the bands that fit the generally pop-punk leanings of both Foreign Dissent and the Fest at large, London’s Fresh were shiningly exceptional in song, spirit and perspective. To put it charitably, pop-punk is a mixed, checkered and lopsided bag. Fresh, however, are among the cream of the class. Their guileless heart is de rigueur for the genre, but their songs – some of the night’s best – are triumph in a bottle. Add in the loudly, proudly feminist vein of frontwoman Kathryn Woods and you’ve got a patriarchy-bucking punch.

click to enlarge Fresh at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Fresh at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Fresh at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Fresh at Will's Pub
Name notwithstanding, Italy’s Teenage Bubblegums deal in punk rock that does have anthemic moments but rolls far tougher and harder than your average pop-punk band. In probably the night’s most attacking set, they went full clip in a head-down, not-fucking-around drive that came fast and barely stopped for breath.

click to enlarge Teenage Bubblegums at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Teenage Bubblegums at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Teenage Bubblegums at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Teenage Bubblegums at Will's Pub
Maybe the most punk and feral band of them all were Toronto’s Bad Waitress, whose impressively nasty wildcat rock rips with as much rage as it does irreverence.



click to enlarge Bad Waitress at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Bad Waitress at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Bad Waitress at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Bad Waitress at Will's Pub
Although the least punk of the bunch, England’s Chloe Hawes was the night’s most unlikely highlight. Her songs sometimes pump with youth’s urgency but her music has a roots heart and her voice has a velvet, earthy grace that’s born for beautiful Americana. And in her first American performance ever, she proved a clear standout in not just style but distinction.

click to enlarge Chloe Hawes at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Chloe Hawes at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Chloe Hawes at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Chloe Hawes at Will's Pub
From the outset, Foreign Dissent began unique by its very concept. But through conviction and work, it’s become a distinguished gathering with a fellowship, ethos and gravity of its own. For an ever-shuffling roster that’s plucked from the obscure punk depths of all corners of the globe, that’s a tall accomplishment. America’s general standing with the world may be shit right now but, thanks to Craig Mazer, our name’s still gold in the global punk community.

click to enlarge Sorry We Are Silly at Will's Pub - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Sorry We Are Silly at Will's Pub
Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Consider supporting local journalism.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida. Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.


Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Related Locations

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2019 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation