11 songs that define us: Girl Gang’s playlist
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Girl Gang are a force to be reckoned with. Over the last few months, these ladies have been hosting a whole load of female-centric activities here in Sheffield.

From film screenings to DJ sets, Vanessa and Ellie – the girls behind the name – have reinvented lady culture here in the steel city.

If you have yet to attend one of Girl Gang’s Babe Parties, where on earth have you been? Each on is a celebration of strong, powerful female voices. If you fancy a sneak preview, take a look at this.

DJ Vanessa picks her top babe anthems just for you.

No Doubt – ‘Just a Girl’

I remember hearing this song for the first time, I was nine – I was literally just a girl. It was on the radio in my dad’s car and I totally flipped out. I loved it, I loved it so much I had to try and find the lyrics (which, when you’re 10 and the internet isn’t a thing is pretty much impossible) and it just made me want to rebel against everything that I was doing. Now as an adult, it’s still one of my favourite songs. It touches on scenarios where women are made to feel weaker because they’re “just a girl” and not a boy, and why it’s just so dumb that we can feel like that.

Bikini Kill – ‘Rebel Girl’

“That girl she holds her head up so high, I think I want to be her best friend, yeah!” I love this song. Whenever I feel sad, I play this song, whenever the world feels like its kicking me in the ass, I play this song, whenever I meet a new person, or i’m inspired by someone, I hear this song (those lyrics in particular) and I want to play it to them. It’s so empowering, it’s an anthem for girls for so many reasons. It celebrates strong women, it makes you want to be best friends with them. The Riot Grrrl movement was so important, it gave us a place to be creative, speak out against the issues that were trying to hold us back, it gave us a chance to rediscover sisterhood and LOVE our fellow females.

Taylor Swift – ‘Shake It Off’

YES. YES x 1000 to this song. I refuse to believe people hate this song. I love it because people want to hate it, but they can’t. You can put it on in almost any club (which I have) and people will dance, and scream it loudly and wildly to the people they’re with. Do you know how excellent it is to see a group of angsty looking teenagers singing Taylor Swift to each other, singing to their bro’s about shaking off the haters? IT’S SO GOOD. I’ve got a lot of time and respect for Taylor Swift, she’s helping to spearhead this new wave of feminism for young girls (and guys) and I think that’s really important to acknowledge what she’s doing. She’s made it accessible to a new generation.

Britney Spears – ‘Toxic’

Britney is the queen. This tune sends me into full on babe mode, to the point where me and my friends can’t really speak to each other when it’s on, because we’re so in the moment and we just NEED to do the whole dance. All hail Queen Britney and that amazing diamante bodysuit.

Tina Turner – ‘Proud Mary’

My boyfriend and I could probably debate this to the death, because we both love this song, but he loves the original Creedence version, and I’m a strong believer in the Tina Turner version. But do you know why I love the Tina Turner version? Because she’s an absolute don. I’ve linked to the 2009 live version, but you could watch the one from ‘82, and honestly, you couldn’t tell the difference. Her cover of ‘Proud Mary’ is one of my favourite songs ever. I get sweaty and wild just thinking about it because you just want to dance for the whole nine minutes as soon as it comes on. The woman is a machine, an absolute power-house of sexuality, strength and just all-round amazingness. She’s proof that no matter how old you are, you can still be a total babe and kick ass.

And, six more tracks you should definitely listen to:

Lauryn Hill – ‘Everything is Everything’

En Vogue – ‘Free Your Mind’

PINS – ‘Girls Like US’

Sleater-Kinney – ‘I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone’

Respect – ‘Aretha Franklin’

Patti Smith – ‘Horses’

This last one is a cheat, because it’s an entire album, but Patti Smith deserves it. She represents so much of what we want to achieve with Girl Gang Sheffield; empowerment, creativity, longevity and inspiration.

Listen to the Girl Gang playlist on Spotify:

More: Girl Gang Sheffield: ‘We’re just dweeby weird girls who want to have fun’

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