Gig preview: Woman’s Hour at Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds

Woman's Hour. Picture: Steve Gullick
Woman's Hour. Picture: Steve Gullick
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Electro-pop band Woman’s Hour’s début album, Conversations, was released this year. The album has an atmospheric and spacious electronic pulse, with a nod back to the 1980s New Romantics, in places.

Speaking to the band’s singer, Fiona Burgess, about the formation of the group, she explains the interesting tale of how they came to be named after the BBC Radio 4 programme.

“We can’t claim any originality for that one, it’s nicked,” she laughs. “The story is that very early on, when we were just getting together in each other’s front rooms and jamming stuff out, my brother had this analogue tape recording device. It was very basic. He just needed a way of referencing each song and we just weren’t really thinking much about it, and because we grew up listening to Radio 4, he decided to call all of our demo’s after Radio 4 shows.

“It started off quite funny, but then it became completely normal and we genuinely referred to all of our songs, even when they had lyrics, they were just referenced by these radio shows. It came to our first gig and we didn’t have a name, and we were in the pub one night and we hadn’t got a song called Woman’s Hour. It just reflected how it all began.”

Conversations has a very plain yet enigmatic album cover, consisting of a grey pyramid against a grey background. This image betrays absolutely nothing about what the music sounds like, but very early into listening to the record, it becomes clear that the music and the visual are paired well with each other. “With the record we were all really clear that we wanted it to be quite a clean cover, because we felt as though there’s something nice about not giving too much away,” explains Burgess. “Those pyramids were made in my front room using cardboard. In a way, those pyramids come to life on stage because we take them on tour with us and I feel like that’s a nice connection, as well.”

Woman’s Hour is on a tour of the UK, this month. Like many front-women, Fiona says that performing is in her blood. “I studied performance before I joined this band and that’s just something I’ve always loved. Just being able to in some way connect with an audience, we all just get such a buzz. Even all the early starts and late nights and being stuck in a van is all worth it in the end.”

September 26, Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds, 8pm, http://www.belgravemusichall.com/

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