My position is that I go to see and photograph as many all boy bands as all girl bands, and the vast majority of the bands I see (and love) have significant contributors from both sexes. I find the preponderance of all boy bands bizarre, but as a general rule, the proportion of all boy bands who are crap is much, much higher than mixed sex bands (or all-girl bands), so statistically if you go to see a random boy band they are likely to be ordinary and derivative (and probably play dull material brilliantly).
Women tend to be more prepared to try to play something beyond their capabilities, with creativity being more important than technical ability. My choices in this area stems from the days around 1978 when I used to see the Slits, The Raincoats , The Modettes, Siouxsie etc. at small venues when women stood up and said ‘fuck off’ to the all-male music establishment who thought they were only fit to do whispy folk songs and make the tea. The Tuts still tell tales of people at venues (this year!) who ask them what their boyfriend plays (assuming that they are just there to see their boyfriend rather than actually play themselves).
8. Wolf Alice
Elie sings and plays guitar in Wolf Alice. I first saw them at the Old Blue Last in January 2013. This year they are booked in for a number of big festivals such as Reading and SXSW. You should have heard of them.
Sisters Jennifer and Katherine have been playing together since they were teenagers. I first saw them in January 2008 when Katherine was still at school. Matt, the drummer, once told me that they always used to get put on first because of the band being (mainly) girls. I think they have established their credentials now and have also done several European tours in their volkswagon camper.
10. The Dogbones
Nomi who sings for The Dogbones has just had a baby girl. The photo shows her last gig before she took a maternity break. In an early incarnation of the band they were a 3 piece with Nomi and Crispin sharing guitar and bass duties, but these days they have a bass-player and Nomi largely sings, although they usually finish with her playing guitar on a song or two.
11. Las Kellies
An all female band from Argentina. I first saw them at Madame Jojos in 2011. They seem to come over to Europe every summer now, for longer tours each year, and last year they were at the Great Escape.
12. No Cars
No Cars are not so much a band as performance art. They are a bunch of Japanese girls (although their drummer is actually male) who are led by Haruna. The band have been through several line-ups since I first saw them in 2008, with Haruna the only constant, but their current line up is a step up from earlier incarnations.
Lucy plays bass in Kagoule who are a 3 piece grunge band from Nottingham. I was immediately impressed by them when I saw them in August 2013 at Madame Jojo’s White Heat. Recently they were featured in Rolling Stone’s ’10-new-artists-you-need-to-know-january-2015′.
Another all-female band. They are a multinational three-piece who I first saw supporting Pins on their autumn 2013 tour. Noemi from Spain on Guitar, Yuki from Japan on Bass and Alice from Italy on Drums.