Preview: International Women's Day at Acoustic Rooms

International Women's Day fever hits Rescue Rooms with a host of rising female talent on display.

Yesterday’s International Women’s Day celebrations took place across the globe, recognising the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, whilst calling for greater equality in all sectors of life. We took the opportunity to celebrate the incredible women thriving and helping Nottingham became a creative musical hub unlike anywhere else in the country.

As part of the continued celebrations, The Mic is proud to be official supporters of International Women’s Day at Rescue Rooms’ staggering acoustic night Acoustic Rooms. Last week, Nottingham’s original open-mic night, running every Monday from 8pm, celebrated its eleventh birthday, and later today a startling array of female artists will take to the stage to showcase the very best of rising female-led acoustic talent.

Acoustic Rooms manages to host the best of local talent, whilst providing a relaxed atmosphere for new artists to grow and showcase material in an intimate and comforting environment. The likes of Jake Bugg, George Ezra, Dua Lipa, Kodaline, The Rifles, Saint Raymond, Animal Collective, Beans On Toast, Indiana, We Are Augustines and more have all taken to the Acoustic Rooms stage since 2009, and tonight’s International Women’s Day spotlight aims to promote women from Nottingham and beyond who have the potential to expand to greater stages in the future.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, organisers have curated an evening consisting of an array of rising female talent. The Mic’s very own Nottingham Solo Artist of the Year 2019 Tori Sheard joins Amanda Davidson for country music super-duo Damsel. Having already graced Rock City’s main stage at Beat The Streets, this unique collaboration between two incredible talents is a must-see.

The evening’s full band set-up comes from Catmilk, aka Alex Milne, a long-championed artist by Acoustic Rooms, who performs at the venue for the first time with a full band. Providing a mix of modern folk and indie rock with atmospheric sounds and poignant lyrics, Dolly Mavies has already been likened to the likes of Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Daughter and Florence and the Machine. After releasing her 2019 EP Reflections in 2019, Mavies received national airplay on BBC 6 Music and was championed by BBC Introducing in Oxford, spending the summer playing shows across Europe and festival slots at Cornbury and Truck.

Derby born singer-songwriter Emma Buckley makes a highly-anticipated appearance following her success in Nashville’s Bluebird to Bluecoat songwriting competition. Having previously supported Lucy Spraggan, and with over 80,000 streams on Spotify to go alongside her continued support from BBC Introducing, the country and rock influenced artist looks set to once again stun a Nottingham crowd. Another one of the region's most inspiring rising singer-songwriters, Katie Keddie’s blend of folk, rock and Americana has gained comparisons to the likes of Pheobe Bridgers, Frightened Rabbit and Jade Bird, and performing at 9PM tonight, her set will be an instant highlight.

One of Acoustic Room’s striking abilities that sets it apart from acoustic nights across the Midlands is its ability to bring successful artists from across the country to its intimate stage on a weekly basis, and tonight’s celebration is no different. After spotting Mehalah Ray play The Brudenell in Leeds supporting Wildwood Kin, organisers immediately invited her to perform on today’s special showcase. The award-winning Cambridge singer-songwriter has already captured the hearts of BBC Introducing, BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music with her ethereal song-crafting ability, and her show will be a unique opportunity to see a truly developing artist before she plays to huge venues in the near future. Recently signed to DooBeDoo Records, Stoke-born and Nottingham-based Harpa opens the show at 8PM, with her debut EP set for release later this year. Her set will be the first opportunity to see her play new material before bigger shows arrive on the horizon.

In celebrating International Women’s Day, it is important to recognise and celebrate the contribution and success of women in all aspects of life, but also it is vital to harness that same energy and continue to channel it towards active change moving forwards.

Read more about International Women’s Day 2020 here

The work of Women in Music and Safe Gigs for Women have continued to inspire and further educate the publication. Read more about the two organisations below.

Women in Music:

Safe Gigs for Women: