Really Cool Woman #6
Most of you will probably be aware of Laverne because of her work as a presenter on 10 O’clock Live, or on radio. Her response to the closure of BBC 6 Music (on which she presents a show, weekdays 10-1pm) is widely considered to have been a trigger for the public outcry that eventually meant the station was not shut down.
What you might not know is that she began her career in pop-band Kenickie at a young age, ending up having to balance studying for her A-Levels with touring. Kenickie captured the joy of youth in an honest and un-manufactured way. On ‘Classy’ they sing of late nights catching buses and looking at the stars, maintaining that doesn’t mean they don’t have style or class. “We’ve got class, we’ve got class” Laverne echoes and it’s true, their lyrics show them finding no shame in enjoying themselves and their youth, all the while backed by vibrant guitars and thumping drums. The rest of their first album also covered the practicalities of wearing PVC on a night out and what it’s like to be a robot without feelings. In much the same vein as American riot grrl bands like Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney, Kenickie showed that you can be girls, in a rock band and that’s not what’s important. What matters is making good music and having fun.
Despite an alleged dislike of interviews Laverne is characteristically succinct and honest, when asked if she’s a feminist, she replied
Yes, of course. I know why you’re asking it, because people now say no. But how stupid do you have to be to say, “No, I believe in gender inequality”?
She’s also not afraid to speak out about what it’s like to be a woman in the media, but without dwelling, in an interview with The Guardian she described what it’s like to be a woman, interested in fashion - and to be asked about it a lot
it just seems to me that there’s a lot more interesting things in the world than your gender or your sexuality. I don’t expect anyone to look deep into my soul and learn me, take a swim in Lake Lauren. But I think it should be all right to be multi-faceted - glamorous but interesting and clever as well. I love being a woman, dressing up and wearing beautiful clothes. I’m all for that. But I wouldn’t want to do a job where I was expected to keep it down to two syllables max.
Happy International Women’s Day guys! I’m really surprised and happy at the response this blog has had.
I’m doing a radio show about IWD tonight! Head over to my music blog for more details. Let me know if you listen.