Beija Flo + Ostrich + Divorce + Fool Size Theatre + Naffrodite + Queen of Heartbreak
@ Future Yard, 75 Argyle Street, Birkenhead

I kind of thought during lockdown that once things were open again, I’d be going to gigs every night to make up for lost time.  And yet, like a lot of people, I find myself struggling with motivation to do things.

I usually have a bit of a gig hibernation at the start of January, but by the end of the month I’ve usually got several gigs lined up.

This year I’d only been to 1 gig so far, and that was Skating Polly who are my favourite band of all time and I co-promoted it, having been planning that show for 2 years it was going to take something rather special both to follow it and to lure me back out of the house.

Tonight was just such a special night!

I think I live under a rock a lot of the time, as the first I was aware of Beija Flo was when I saw her play at FestEVOL last year, her set was certainly a highlight of the day.

I was lucky enough to catch the magic again when she supported the wonderful Princess goes to the Butterfly Museum (a band fronted by the one and only Michael C. Hall, who plays the titular role in Dexter).

I thought it was about time I caught her headline show!

Not only was she headlining, but she also curated the night, to mark both world earth day and vagina appreciation day.

Initially when I saw the show was in Birkenhead I was a little reluctant, as I thought it would be a hassle to get to from Liverpool.  Which is crazy when you consider pre-pandemic I was going to Manchester to see bands at least a couple of times a month.  I couldn’t believe it when I found out Future Yard is only 7 mins on train from Lime St and a 5 min walk from Hamilton Square!

I was speaking to friends about it and we realised it’s actually easier to get to Future Yard from Liverpool than it is to get to venues near the Dock Road or Baltic Triangle.

Mixing poetry, comedy and music can be hard to successfully pull-off, but tonight was a triumph with never a dull moment.

The first band of the night were a Liverpool band who were new to me called Ostrich.

People we spoke to, suggested Orange Juice and Divine Comedy as points of reference, and that can never be a bad thing.

When the first band of the night are this good, you know that you’re in for a great night.

Definitely a band I will try to catch again before long.

The mid-bill band were the much anticipated Nottingham based band “Divorce” who are signed to the Hand in Hive label with label-mates such as TV Priest.  Their debut single “Services” has been creating quite a stir, and tonight’s set confirms that the band has plenty more tricks up it’s sleeve.  Definitely worth keeping an eye and ear on.

The night ended with Beija Flo and her full band.  Anyone who has caught one of her live shows knows that they are somewhat special, and tonight was no exception.  From ballads to punk, it’s a set of pure entertainment, and not only is she musically talented, but her banter between songs is top notch too.

Beija spoke eloquently about MRKH syndrome.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure if she was being serious as I’d never heard of it before.  But then, I’m male and frankly a bit dozy, but I asked my missus about it when I got home and she’d never heard of it either.

Isn’t it unbelievable that this condition affects around 1 in 4,500 women and yet neither of us had heard of it?  I mean if you look at conditions that affect male reproductive organs such as impotency, not only does everyone know what it is, but we can even name the medication used to treat it.  Yet all these women are suffering in silence whilst a lot of the population are probably unaware to the point they don’t know if someone is joking when they tell them they have it.

At first when thinking what I should write about, I thought “well, I can’t mention that”, and “I can’t post a picture of a woman dressed as a vagina”, and then I asked myself the question, “WHY?”.  And I couldn’t come up with a good answer, other than it being a sensitive subject and I have a tendency to say the wrong thing.

But surely the point of Beija talking about it at her shows and doing interviews about it is to spread awareness and empower other women with the condition to speak out about it?

In her interview it even says “A quick inbox to see if Beija would like to be interviewed prompts an equally rapid response” and “Some great ladies made like a Facebook for women who had MRKH syndrome but it’s not really spoke about enough.”

And yet even after reading that, society conditions someone like me, who simpletons would probably parrot the term “woke” in my general direction because I give a fuck about people and think the only acceptable discrimination is based on whether someone is a good person or a bad person, into thinking “Nah, best steer clear of the topic”, and then I wonder why I’ve never heard of the condition.

It’s weird how as straight men we’re kind of obsessed by vaginas, but equally don’t like to talk about them.  Naffrodite did a routine dispelling myths about them, and seemingly for hundreds of years in some cultures, people believed they had teeth.

The more I think I understand about sexism, the more I realise I’m only just grasping the tip of the iceberg.  We thankfully no longer have stand-up “comedians” making jokes about women drivers on prime time telly these days, but sexism is still present in every other area of society.

Anyway… to summarise, it was a superb night, a great vibe, I loved the venue (and will be back!) and the journey home was completely painless.  You can’t ask for more from a night out!