Queen Zee took Liverpool by storm and Getintothis’ Banjo was there to see one of 2019’s brightest hopes stake their claim to the future.
First of all, let me start by making one thing clear; the mere fact that Queen Zee exist makes the world a better place to live in.
Towards the end of tonight’s set, singer Zee Davine dedicates a song to all the people who feel that their gender is not a binary issue, people who feel marginalised by their sexuality or feel that it puts them in a minority. This message is clear and simple and true – we are all people, and as people we should respect everyone for being people, regardless of their sexuality, race, religion, place of origin, etc, etc.
However, this is not always the world we live in, and Queen Zee are here to sing songs for those amongst us who have suffered this injustice. The audience they sing these songs to have, for the large part, felt this sting and this is what makes them an important or even essential band for the age we live in.
In fact, in some respects, tonight feels like we are at the start of a whole new tribe or youth movement. Those involved in the early days of punk or Acid House tell tales of playing gigs where they can see the audience changing and where there are increasing pockets of people who dress differently, starting to look like the band, forging an identity of their own. This is what it is like to attend a few Queen Zee gigs; something is in the air and it is looking like Queen Zee are the catalyst for this change, or maybe the rallying point for a new tribe. Queen Zee could well be the spearhead of a whole new youth culture movement.
This is amplified by tonight’s support band Piss Kitti. Featuring Zee Davine’s wife on vocals, Piss Kitti sound similar to Queen Zee, making us wonder if perhaps we are seeing a new genre willed into existence. They also sound like an authentic late 70s punk band, possibly suggesitng that this is because they have taken the same influences as the likes of The Slits and, from this rich seam, made their own music. We are reminded of some fairly obscure touch points such as Rubella Ballet and Action Pact.
They have a knack for a catchy tune and cram so many lyrics into a song that it almost borders on rapping. The music they make is that of unrestrained joie de vivre and their enthusiasm is such that it spills off the stage and infects the whole crowd. Piss Kitti are worth the price of admission on their own.
For all their youthful energy and their zeitgeist catching agenda, Queen Zee have been taken to the hearts of an older crowd, those who can remember the shock and awe of this kind of music back in the late 70s and through the 80s. In turn, Queen Zee have embraced this and stated that if it wasn’t for the likes of Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Pete Burns blazing a trail through those days their destiny may have turned out quite differently.
It is tempting to trace a direct lineage from these acts to Queen Zee, but they are defiantly their own band. They may have influences, but what they have done with these is unique to them.
There is a hard to define thing known star quality or charisma that all truly great bands have. Tonight, Queen Zee show that this is something they posses in abundance. That intensity and star quality are instantly evident tonight. From the second Queen Zee take to the stage, we are witnessing something very special.
Queen Zee seem a little frustrated by the geography of tonight’s venue, as the stage is just too small for them to do what they usually like to to do. There are no speaker stacks for them to climb over or barriers to breach. They try though, but really, Queen Zee need and deserve a much bigger space in which to operate. I would suggest that they are one arena tour support or televised Glastonbury appearance away from the break that would assure their rise to the top.
One sign of why Queen Zee are so obviously set for fame and fortune is the fact that they are the type of band where everyone can have their favourite member. My own personal favourite is Smash Molly, whose screams and guttural howls lift their songs higher and provides the band with one of their main unique selling points. Molly pours her entire being into these howls, that seem to come from somewhere deep, deep inside her psyche.
In amongst all this, Queen Zee have never taken their eye off the goal of writing catchy songs that lodge in the memory and that we can all whistle on the train home afterwards. It seems that in every respect, Queen Zee tick all the boxes and deliver everything we can expect of our pop stars.
This was yet another full on, gripping and self assured performance from the best new band on the planet. If this is anything to go by, 2019 is Queen Zee’s for the taking.
Images by Getintothis’ Lucy McLachlan