Liz Lawrence

Liz Lawrence

Event Dates

Tuesday, 19 Nov

Koko, London

Liz Lawrence

Liz Lawrence has come a long way from her days as a small-town teenage punk, playing Battle of the Bands competitions and writing long-lost classics such as Fascist Song, Coca-Cola (Makes You Burp) and Wasted Dayz. “With a z,” Lawrence laughs. “Though I wasn’t allowed to be the singer, because I was a girl.” She was born in Birmingham, but when she was five, the family moved 15 miles out of the city to open a B&B. (Mr Motivator once stayed there).  The Brummie accent has faded, and the Punkyfish wardrobe has been retired, but in 2020, owing to the pandemic, Lawrence moved back to her hometown after living in London for a decade. This has had a sizeable impact on her new record, Peanuts. “It changed what I was writing about because it changed what I was looking at. Music, and culture, is so neglected outside of major cities. There’s such a lot of regional snobbery.”Like all musicians, she suddenly found herself unable to earn a living, eventually deciding to leave London and move back to her home town in the West Midlands. “I left as an 18-year-old wearing dresses and with long hair, and came back looking like a raging homo. London gave me the space and anonymity to explore how I wanted to present myself, but moving back to a small town, I’ve felt my unusualness more profoundly. But that feels really good to me, too, to be visibly opposing the status quo for women, the marriage, house, kids, blah blah blah.”

But moving back to her hometown had not been the plan, and Lawrence suffered a bout of serious depression. “Without a doubt, the absolute worst sickness I’ve ever had, in my life,” she says. “I felt as if everything was going really well, I was making the work I wanted to make, I had dug myself out of all of those holes. To then have the carpet pulled out from underneath me was a knockout blow.” Recovery was a long and slow process. She turned to the natural world and began learning the names of birds and growing vegetables. Eventually, she felt able to try to write her way out of despair, as she had always done. The result is her third record, Peanuts. For its release, Lawrence has signed to Chrysalis Records. She put out an EP in September, with its title track, I Was There (featuring the Beta Band’s Steve Mason) appearing on 6 Music and Radio X playlists. She toured Europe with We Are Scientists, driving from the UK to Czechia and back in a camper van, and recently supported The Big Moon on their UK tour. But for the Peanuts live show, she has an idea. “I want to go on stage dressed in an Eton school uniform, if anyone’s got a hook-up?”

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