SHOPPING formed in 2012 with no other motive but to make music.
It's this sheer joy in creativity that makes new album 'WHY CHOOSE' such a riveting experience. Essentially rooted in post-punk - think ESG, The Au Pairs or The Raincoats, even - the band's ramshackle pop songs fizz and pop with a life and spirit of their own.
Out now on Fat Cat, 'WHY CHOOSE' has a sense of rhythmic daring half-inched from PiL or even the Minutemen, with the bass acting as an anchor for those ever-wandering vocal lines and guitar spasms.
Intrigued, Clash invited SHOPPING to jot down some influences...
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Public Image Limited - 'This Is Not A Love Song '
Rachel: I reckon PiL had a similar twisted sense of humour to us... and I think John Lydon is probably still laughing at us all from up there on his billboards advertising butter.. They also recorded excellent music, Jah Wobble's bass lines are so weird and so good, this song is a banger!
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Elastica - 'Stutter'
Rachel: This is Billy's choice, but we all love Elastica. I think it's useful, when being asked for the millionth time about the politics of being a woman in a band, to look back to very mainstream bands like Skunk Anansie, Elastica and Kenickie - who maybe had connections with Riot Grrrl but also didn't seem to give a shit and did not allow their gender to pigeon-hole or ghettoize them within an underground scene.
Elastica's songs have a perfect reckless attitude with also bloody catchy melodies plus Justine Frischmann is cool as ICE!
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Gossip - 'Listen Up!'
Rachel: The queens of queer pop! I love how minimal yet totally danceable this song is. I never got to see them play live because I was still at school (so I identified with the young girls in this video!) I just used to listen to their music in my bedroom and at crappy 'indie' nights where I would dance my heart out and dream about being in a band that could make people dance as much as they did!
I think it's so inspiring that they took their sassy rawness and queer/ fat positive politics straight to the mainstream and totally tore it apart.
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Corey Orbison - 'I Cut Things Up'
Rachel: I first saw Corey O's at a queer punk gig in Elephant and Castle when I was about 20; they played with the only light coming from an overhead projector and it would have been almost goth if it the music wasn't so stop-start noisy and weird. I instantly loved it and wanted to be their friends. The song I wanted to include did not have a video on YouTube, it's called 'When Do We Get To Meet' and the lyrics go "this song is a message for our friends/I need you now more than I ever did/I don't know where the time goes/I never said it but I meant to I just never had the time".
Michael is one of my favourite writers and also I reckon when I told the person mixing our album that I wanted my guitar to sound 'like a knife' I was thinking of this song - where the guitar really does sound like it's slicing through the air. His playing is scratchy and frenetic but also totally rhythmical in just the right way - so is Irene's bass playing, and Lisa's drumming reminds me of Ikue Mori from DNA.
They remind me of all the amazing New York no wave bands like The Contortions, Y Pants and Teenage Jesus and The Jerks except they are from Bristol! Bands like this inspired me to start playing guitar in a band even though I had no idea how to play yet! Irene also plays in Woolf now, another great UK queer punk band!
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Yeborobo (Live Video)
Andrew: This band were an all-consuming monster - a world you could get lost in very easily. I had just moved to Kent for university and getting into "guitar music" when I came across the Mentalist Association. A community of artists creating music and other work as part of this collective based around Kent/ Sussex. Yeborobo in many ways was one of the main components of this group, The members of which were involved in a myriad of other DIY art practices and all so bloody inspiring!
Yeborobo live were one of the greatest things to witness, a manic menagerie that transformed the space they occupied. Incredible and highly influential on me both in my music taste but more so in my viewing of DIY music and art practice.
Look Look (Dancing Boys) - Live Video
Andrew: So I started university and in my class were these two London kids with cool taste in music and a totally DIY punk view on making things and fucking up. They started a band in our first year with Amelia getting to grips with the guitar and Stef turning on the fruity loops drum machine and singing - they called it Look Look (Dancing Boys). They made a loud racket and were pretty chaotic, but underlying all this, though, were really instantly catchy pop melodies which is not an easy thing to do. Hooks for days!
Around the same time that two classmates of mine were making DIY punk bangers, I was getting more into Riot Grrrl, and although the idea of "anyone can start a band" wasn't by any means new, it was the first time I had really got that concept and witnessed it first hand!
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'WHY CHOOSE' is out now.
Photo credit: Steve Glashier