Petrol Girls | Live Review & Photoset

14th September | Mothers Ruin

Photos: Laure Noverraz

It’s somewhat rare that a Facebook event for a show at the Mothers Ruin announces that more than 400 people have clicked ‘interested’ and about 200 are down as ‘going’. It’s a daunting prospect – intimidating almost. And yet this might be one of the safest gigs I’ve attended in that sweaty, ‘mind the steps’ venue. Respect seems to be oozing from the solid group of people that have come down to see Petrol Girls, all music lovers with faces we’ve seen many times in the past, ready to get into the groove.

Bristol’s four piece starts with a bang. That’s more of a literal statement: a guitar string breaks before the band even starts playing possibly in tense anticipation of what it is about to receive. One of the fastest string changes in history takes place, and it’s time for them to blast off with the force of everything they’ve got. Singer Ren Aldridge seems like she’s in her safe zone, addressing the crowd about topics like sexual harassment, safety at gigs, and respect in the music scene.

The audience seems captivated. No moshpit occurs, people busying themselves more in making sure the person next to them is having a good time and is able to see everything. Small people make it to the front! The band finishes with another bang when the same guitar string breaks under the strain, forcing the band to cut their set slightly short. But they’ve had ample time to demonstrate the power, both of their sound and of their identity, that more and more people are coming to recognise and love.