Dream Wife at Headrow House, Leeds

Dream Wife
Dream Wife
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In a case of life imitating art, Dream Wife started out as a spoof girl band for a college project.

They recorded some songs, made a Spinal Tap inspired mockumentary and opened an exhibition. It was so successful that the fantasy outfit became a reality when they started to get offered live bookings.

Now signed and working on their debut album, the Brighton-Reykjavik trio – here supported by a live drummer – haven’t entirely left behind the art school. These are songs as feminist slogans that are equally at home mashing up the Spice Girl’s ‘Wannabe’ as they are referencing Nabokov.

It’s a pop culture grab bag that extends to their no frills approach to music. With marriage vows based on Alice Go’s corrosive new wave guitar they add ragged girl-group ‘hey, hey, heys!’ to ‘Hey Heartbreaker’, Blondie-style disco to ‘Lolita’, and filthy pop to the Shampoo meets Bikini Kill ‘F.U.U.’, on which Rakel Mjöll sings, “gonna f*** you up, gonna cut you up” with schoolgirl innocence.

This may be fun but it does carry a serious message that’s especially pertinent when performed on the same day that women’s rallies are held in protest against Donald Trump inauguration. “I am not a body. I am somebody,” they chant at one point, turning the objectification of men into empowerment.

These wittily pointed sound bites mean that they’re more than just a fake band got lucky; they’re part of the renewed political landscape calling for respect and gender equality.

Marika Hackman at The Wardrobe, Leeds. Picture: Gary Brightbart

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