The Ethical Debating Society – Punk Rock Riot Grrrl!

The Ethical Debating Society supported Shrag and Tunabunny at The Victoria pub in Dalston, east London on Saturday 3rd March
The Ethical Debating Society photo: Steve Millar

The Ethical Debating Society supported Shrag and Tunabunny at The Victoria pub in Dalston, east London on Saturday 3rd March and I enjoyed the experience so much I decided to review their self-pressed six-track CD-r.

The Ethical Debating Society is Tegan Christmas on voice & guitarrr, Kris Martin guitarrr & voice, Rob Macabre on drums. They play loud, raw, no nonsense jagged-edge garage punk rock music.  As I listened to them playing live I recalled punk first and second wave bands – the likes of Penetration and The Poison Girls.  Tegan’s vocal delivery had me thinking of Pauline Murray among others; and though I’m sure I’m not the first to compare The Ethical Debating Society to the punk movement of the late 1970s, it’s clear they are influenced by the early 1990’s riot grrrl feminist indie rock movement that grew out of the west coast of the United States.

Both on their CD and live, The Ethical Debating Society pack a solid punch. Listening to their set of short, hard-edged garage punk was like an assault; and I loved every minute. Their garage punk is not so much jagged as frayed and torn at the edges, unashamedly confrontational, amateurish in the extreme, under-produced and overwhelmingly brilliant.

On stage, they are as lively as their music and as loud as Tegan’s dress sense. ‘If you don’t think we are any good… get up and do it yourself’ she explains in a completely non-confrontational friendly way. The music oozes energy and was perfect for The Victoria pub.  For a moment I was transported back in time to the early 1980’s and local pub called The Red Lion on the borders of Gravesend and Northfleet where every Tuesday I was treated to the likes of Conflict, Flux Of Pink Indians, Sub Humans, The Mob, Anthrax and the unwavering rumour that Crass were going to play a secret gig.

Live The Ethical Debating Society are joined on stage by a bouncy, energetic screeching & tambourine shaking female backing vocalist; and considering they have no bass player, they make a powerful noise. If you are bored of stagnant, dull (not so)live music, look out for The Ethical Debating Society and enjoy a night swinging your pants and swigging pints of cider!

For more information visit The Ethical Debating Society Facebook page.


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