Council-flat noise-pop
Ones To Watch - Maria And The Gay

“It’d be horrible if someone just said we sounded ‘alright’. I’d rather they said ‘I really can’t stand them, they’re awful,’” says Amy Pennington - known as ‘The Gay’ in this provocative pair. Joined by former art-school friend Maria Dada, the duo are causing a stir with audacious DIY creations fuelled by raucous riffs and a nonchalant humour - not to mention suggestive song-titles which include ‘Motherfolkers’ and the seemingly Freudian ‘Daddy’s Bulge’.

Debut album ‘Greatest Hits Volume I’ is tagged by the two via Bandcamp as “council-flat noise-pop”, and was recorded inside a tower-block slot on Manchester’s deprived Miles Platting estate. “We made it with cheap equipment in a back-room while listening to people who play around with tape saturation,” explains Maria.

The impoverished area proved a serendipitous source of inspiration. ‘Pushchair Suicide’ is influenced by women who would walk around with prams at three in the morning. “You wonder if there really is a child in there,” laughs Maria. “One pushed theirs in front of our car and we started spontaneously singing the title,” she adds. “I was doing the artwork when the riots were on. Half of me was hanging out the window listening to it all and the other half was printing the album cover,” recalls Amy.

Their distinctive songs caused a similar outbreak of aggression when the duo performed as an unlikely wedding act last year. “There was a proper band doing covers and we came on after them as though we were headlining. The father of the groom was looking at us, shaking his head, and a flower-girl had her hands over her ears,” says Maria. “I think it was while we were playing ‘Daddy’s Bulge’,” admits Amy.

As for the future, more gigs are being planned. “We just want to keep having fun,” Amy says.

Words by Simon Butcher

Where: Manchester
What: Council-flat noise-pop
Get 3 songs: ‘Daddy’s Bulge’, ‘Motherfolkers’, ‘Berlin’.
Unique fact: Maria And The Gay had not tried playing together at all before their first gig.

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