Interview: Ste McCabe on queer/feminist festival Pussy Whipped

'We’re the people who Stonewall shudder at. We’re the ones "giving LGBT people a bad name"’

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Interview: Ste McCabe on queer/feminist festival Pussy Whipped

Pussy Whipped co-organiser Ste McCabe has a perfect soundbite to hand which sums up the ethos of this weekend-long extension of his (and Lukasz Waclawski’s) queer and feminist-focussed music night. ‘We want to inspire people to do shit themselves rather than wait for the mainstream to spoonfeed them some dull LGBT pop star,’ he says. ‘It’s very important to us that this isn’t an exercise in mainstream LGBT and feminist issues. We want to present the radical, the strange, the hidden, the furious, the more marginalised identities and ideas. We don’t want this to resemble Gay Pride events in any way. Pussy Whipped performers are weird, punk, anti-capitalist, confrontational, feminist and proud.’

The 200-capacity event will see Pussy Whipped expand into club nights, workshops, poetry and independent film events, with McCabe particularly looking forward to artists including Poland’s Zdrada Palki (‘she’s a kitsch, electro pop queer agitator, like watching a Polish 1990’s Top of the Pops, only with radical lyrics about pro-abortion rights’), Australia’s Shiny Shiny (‘who play electronic irons, complete with full ironing boards and 50s housewife attire’, and Edinburgh singer Liz Cronin, who writes songs about queer mental health issues.

‘The general public bore us shitless,’ says McCabe defiantly. ‘Pussy Whipped isn’t for the general public. It’s for people – queers, women or otherwise – who don’t want to be swallowed up into mainstream culture and repackaged with nice hairdos and acceptable middle-class language. That’s not liberation, it’s sameness. We’re for the outsiders within the outsiders. We’re the working class, the punks, the people you won’t find in gay bars. We’re the people who Stonewall shudder at. We’re the ones "giving LGBT people a bad name".’

Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh, Fri 25–Sun 27 Apr.

Pussy Whipped Festival

Three-dayer organised by Edinburgh's queer-feminist underground music night, with a progamme that spans gigs, club nights, films and workshops. The 2014 line-up is typically impressive. Across the weekend there are performances from – among many many others – Maybecyborgs (Germany) – gender fucking art indie pop…

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1. Christopher Read23 Apr 2014, 2:16pm Report

Bad ass! Go Steve! I wish I wasn't looking after my daughter this weekend who, at 2 years old, is already a feminist. She stood on her pink doll, chewed her pink dress and prefers bears (not the New Town Bar kind).

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