Culture

Let’s Eat Grandma

Here’s a little story about Jenny & Rosa and what they’ve been calling experimental sludge pop.

Starting out as old friends singing funny ditties to each other, their dueting led them to a contract with indie label Transgressive. Let’s Eat Grandma are my favourite band, and I just wanted to tell you about Jenny Hollingworth & Rosa Walton and what they’ve been calling experimental sludge pop.

lets-eat-grandma

When I first heard the name Let’s Eat Grandma I thought it was a reference to Little Red Riding Hood, so I was surprised to find out it was actually taken from a punctuation joke about a missing comma – get it? I bet that surprises you too. And that’s what Let’s Eat Grandma are all about – the unpredictable.

Jenny Hollingworth & Rosa Walton express every part of their personality in their music. They despise genres. In their world, they think that if you have to make a song in a certain style you cannot express yourself fully. Thoughtful and always thinking, they both claim that together they are misfits yet alone they are normal.

Often mistaken for sisters, the girls in fact share an abnormal bond as friends that they’ve felt ever since they first met in reception class when they were 4 years old. Their friendship outshines other bands like a million dollars to one dollar, but their unusual friendship is not exactly storybook. Rosa and Jenny say they either hang out just the two of them, or absolutely separately. At childhood parties the duo would sit completely away from the other kids, content in their own world.

Rosa and Jenny’s families moved away from each other when the girls were 7, but they kept the connection and now at 17 they are as close as ever.

Rosa and Jenny never planned a career in music – their little ditties were invented just for fun – but when musician Kiran Leonard heard what they were up to he passed the teenager’s tapes to his manager who quickly became their manager too.

Their debut album ‘I Gemini’ consists of 10 absolutely unique songs including Deep Six Textbook, Eat Shittake Mushrooms and Sax In The City. It’s one of the weirdest, most unique and special albums I have listened to.

Instead of being inspired by other artists, the girls prefer to take inspiration from news show talking about unusual types of fungus or murder documentaries. They’re not listening to Ariana Grande, Little Mix, Megan Trainer or Justin Bieber; you’ll find them tuning in to Mozart and Debussy which they pronouce DE Boosie.

Let’s Eat Grandma are not your normal teenage girls. The culture of their music shines along with their friendship and enlightens the whole music scene. Let’s Eat Grandma are quirky and unique. Though still at music college their music is like an unusual sonic flower with strange colours and a beautiful shape. Have a listen and see what you think of Let’s Eat Grandma.

See Let’s Eat Grandma at Manic Street Parade, Munich (27/10).

 

words Evie-May Taylor

Generation Z: Creative Workshops

Exploring new possibilities, ideas and genres is a great way to open your mind! And you just might find something you really love that leads you – well – wherever you want to take it. So Get work-shopping!

This autumn, there are a range of creative workshops running under the ‘Generation Z’ banner as part of the Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival. For 14 to 25 year olds, it’s a chance to try something you might not have done before, or that opportunity to speak to people already working in the genre you’re passionate about; and have a great time while you are doing it. Here’s what you can have a go at.
Motion videography: Mahboobeh Rajabi is a digital artist, who’ll be working with you to explore film techniques for mobiles. You’ll be filming and using free editing software all on your mobile phone, and even creating your own soundtrack!

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CREATIVE WORD: Artists and performers from The Contact Theatre will work with you to express your thoughts and opinions via exciting activities in creative writing, poetry and spoken word.

ACT ON IT: Get your imagination flowing with M6 Theatre’s directors & writers, Caroline Kennedy and Parvez Qadir in this challenging, high energy drama workshop. You’ll be taking part in improvisations, creative writing and making instant theatre.

MOVED: Artist and creative producer, Amy Lawrence, will work with movement, choreography and visuals to explore how we interact emotionally and the concept of being ‘moved’ by something, someone or some-place. You will discuss experiences in an open, safe space to share and create.

Find out about Generation Z workshops at www.rochdaleliteraturefestival.co.uk.

Fleishman

The trains weren’t running today.
There was something in the tunnels.
The ‘meat man’ has now moved.
They call him Fleishmann
Like the model of the train.
Apparently, he wears peoples’ skin.

Still, passer-bys ignore him
Whilst he punctures his flesh with a pin.
“The longer I wear it the more it grows on me;
She has such pretty skin.”

Insult after insult is thrown
But still, he bares his uncanny grin,
Stitching his flapping skin together
In a desperate attempt to fit in.

I actually spoke to him earlier.
Apparently, he’s a former priest.
“Oh Father up above help me please
Oh Father up above help me please.”

Through rain, sleet and snow he sings
Pulling the skin around him like a cloak.
He’s void of most emotions
Accept ravenous hunger.
He’s tried on so many different skins.
He’s never actually hurt me.
I get strange looks when I approach him;
I’m only trying to be friendly.
Lonely, desolate and desperate
An outcast from society.

words
Molly Parker
photography
Katherine Eggleston

Escape to TV land!

They say “TV rots your mind. TV is a waste of time. You should be studying.”

words by Aroob Raja

Almost every adult you meet will tell you these things, just because they don’t see beyond a teenager sitting in front of their TV and not revising or working productively towards a future that they fear. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m only speaking for a handful of teens here. But for those I am speaking for, we can surely agree that sitting down and taking a break from life is usually frowned upon by those who aren’t able to pull off skinny jeans anymore.

School, college – whatever it may be, can begin to feel overwhelming at certain points, and the natural instinct for our species is fight or flight. However, last time I checked, you can’t fight life, so the only remaining option is flight. Running. Leaving. Escaping. We need some sort of exit, and out of the many options society has to offer, television seems to be the most popular one.

Television is something we’ve been watching since we could, well, see. We used it to help us speak, to help us learn, even to help us to do mediocre tasks like cook, so why is it so terrible for us to want to use it as a form of escapism? Adults love to give us grief for watching TV shows, but what they don’t understand is maybe it’s the only thing that gets us through our day. Maybe we need it to lose ourselves, even for an hour, in order for us to get back on task. Adults, I’m sure, do it themselves when they’re catching up on last night’s episode of Eastenders, or staying up to watch tonight’s episode of Doctor Who, so why the backlash?
TV shows offer us an opportunity to forget who we are or where we’re going. They offer us a chance to become immersed in a world that isn’t our own. They’re literally the next best thing after time machines (or for all you Doctor Who lovers out there, the T.A.R.D.I.S). It’s an experience that should be impossible, but isn’t. We literally just sit there and our mind does wonders with what’s playing before us. Whether that’s being an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D and taking down Hydra, a citizen of Rosewood and finding out who A is, or surviving in a zombie apocalypse, we all deserve that time to live in a dreamland, and that’s exactly what TV does for us. Let’s forget about our responsibilities, worries, anxieties, and instead distract ourselves from it all.

Sometimes, our momentary escapism can lead to an engagement that lets us actively participate. Fandoms for your favourite shows exist where we literally just talk about the show. The plot, our favourite characters, our theories for what may come next. We develop an emotional attachment to our favourite characters. We can relate to them. We can see ourselves in them, and trust that if they can overcome the obstacles in their life, so can we. This moves on to appreciation of the cast themselves, which leads on to admiring them and seeing them as role models. No, this isn’t an “obsession” or “creepy admiration”. It’s us, as young adults, showing gratitude to those who helped us learn ourselves, better.

I guess, what I’m trying to say here is ‘you do you’. If watching TV shows helps you escape from reality and learn yourself, go ahead. Nobody can learn you better than you.

Get into your Headz

A reality check on what makes young minds tick, Headz gets to the heart of urban life.

Getting into the ‘Headz’ of the youth of Liverpool, this is a collection of stories seeking out the heart of urban life with a hard-hitting dose of real and powerful issues. It’s a performance full of secrets and stories just waiting to unravel.

If you want a historical reference for ‘Headz’, look to Alan Bennett breaking ground back in 1988 with his televised monologues ‘Talking Heads’. Bennett’s tales gave us a privileged window into the inner thoughts of ordinary people often revealing more about the subject than they might have intended. But whilst Bennett’s stories focussed on the poignancy of middle age – a widow, an actress, a vicar’s wife – these stories give us a window into the young and disaffected.

Theatre company, 20 Stories High, are behind this series of gritty and humorous contemporary monologues. They are not pulling any punches. You’ve got ‘Black’ where Nikki watches the reaction of her Dad who is ‘not a racist’ to an African family over the road. Or ‘Home’ where we see the reaction of kids to the bombshell of their parents’ separation. Or ‘Soft’ on moving a relationship past just a booty call.
Developed from stories from real life, 20 Stories High present an intense look at modern life that’s a reality check on what makes young people tick.

See Headz as part of Rochdale Literature & Idea Festival on 20 October at Heywood Sports Village.