31 August
Soup Kitchen

Manchester-based charity In Place of War's biggest project to date, GRRRL, shook the Soup Kitchen on the Manchester leg of their tour, taking no prisoners.

The charity helps to heal war-torn countries through creativity and self-expression, and for this project they have been working exclusively with female artists to ensure that women's experiences are heard. They formed as GRRRL, a collective of women artists from countries which have been affected by war.

Consisting of accomplished singers and rappers, the group were challenged to create a unique electronic collaboration within the space of a week. The result? A show like nothing else. A mind-blowing, powerful and unpredictable experience. The women, each a force in their own right, combined to form a super force - a fierce, wild and untamed energy that was both raw and primal.

GRRRL's sound is hard to pigeonhole, as it fuses elements of hip hop, dancehall, reggae, soul, techno and electronica. Lei Di Dai's dancehall vibes led a versatile show, which included group harmonies, fiery rapping from Awa Khiwe and Noella Wiyaala, classical Bangladeshi singing from Sohini Alam, and the sweet tones of vocalist Nono Nkoane. Through their high-energy performance, which included tribal costumes and dancing, the women spread their message of freedom and positivity.

With a well-received opening set from Manchester's very own Afrodeutsche, it was a night of women doing what they do best: kicking ass!

Anna Tuck