Riot Grrrl Icons Bratmobile Reuniting for First Show in Over 20 Years
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Riot girrl pioneers Bratmobile will reunite this summer for their first performance in more than 20 years.
Bratmobile will headline the 2023 Mosswood Meltdown festival in Oakland on July 2, with a lineup that features original vocalist Allison Wolfe and drummer Molly Neuman, alongside Rose Melberg on guitar, Audrey Marrs on keys, and Marty Key on bass. In a statement, Wolfe and Neuman noted that original Bratmobile guitarist Erin Smith would be unable to join this time due to “other commitments,” though the pair added, “we’re hoping we’ll be able to play together with her again in the near future.”
Mosswood Meltdown 2023 will take place July 1 and 2, with filmmaker John Waters serving as host. The lineup features Gravy Train!!!!, ESG, J.J. Fad, and Le Tigre, who are also reuniting for their first shows in 18 years this summer.
For Bratmobile, the Mosswood show will mark their first public performance since a Sept. 9, 2002 gig in New York City. As Wolfe and Neuman noted, the band did get together in 2019 for a special birthday performance for Bikini Kill’s Tobi Vail, which sparked discussion about a possible reunion.
“After the show, we talked about playing again, but it wasn’t the right time, and then… 2020,” the pair said. “Now we are both living in Los Angeles, and when the opportunity to play this special show in one of our hometowns came up, we decided to go for it.”
Bratmobile emerged out of the same early-Nineties Olympia, Washington scene that fostered the likes of Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Beat Happening, and other riot grrrl/indie rock favorites. The band released their debut album, Pottymouth, in 1993, and followed that up in 1994 with The Real Janelle EP. A second album, Ladies, Women and Girls, wouldn’t follow until 2000; Bratmobile’s third and final record (so far, at least), Girls Get Busy, dropped in 2002.