Problem Patterns Release Double A-Side Single “Lesbo 3000 / Poverty Tourist”

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Belfast-based DIY feminist queerpunk quartet Problem Patterns have announced that their debut album, Blouse Club, will be released on 27th October via Alcopop! Records. To celebrate the news, the band have released their anthemic new double header AA single, Lesbo 3000 / Poverty Tourist. Lesbo 3000 was written by the band’s tub thumper, Bethany Crooks, who can typically be found behind the Problem Patterns drum kit, but here enjoys her first foray to the front of the stage. The video for Lesbo 3000 sees Beth joining forces with local drag artists Carl Hartt, Hester Ectomy, Xxxpresso Martini and Fruity as her backing band.

‘Lesbo 3000’ was written partly out of frustration and also to reclaim and have ownership over my sexuality. The frustration is that lesbianism is consistently invalidated, we’re told that we just haven’t ‘met the right man’ yet or that some random man in a bar has a magic appendage in his trousers that will completely negate your attraction to women. The reality is that homophobic attacks are becoming more and more consistent with right wing social media emboldening bigots, while ‘lesbian’ remains one of the top search topics on all porn websites. (Mostly) men think that lesbians exist for their sexual gratification, but if they see two women holding hands they go absolutely berserk. I also thought it was important to reclaim the slur ‘dyke’. I’ve been called a dyke multiple times by homophobes who want to hurt me, but if I can reclaim that word it completely takes the power out of it. Yes I am a dyke. And that feels really powerful to say. We really wanted it to feel joyful and silly even though the song has quite a serious subject matter. We decorated the set like a big gay party! We toyed for months with the idea of paying homage to ‘Addicted To Love’ and ‘Man I Feel Like A Woman’, and thought that involving local drag artists would be a perfect tonic to the constant depressing news cycles surrounding LGBTQ+ attacks and discrimination we see nowadays. Carl Hartt, Hester Ectomy, Xxxpresso Martini and FRUITY were the backing band and they all absolutely killed it. We are so grateful that they even wanted to participate in the video, and they really served 80s hair metal/bimbo/sexy punk realness.” (Bethany Crooks)

Problem Patterns

AA side, Poverty Tourist, almost didn’t make the cut, until a Beastie Boys-style call and response between band members Ciara King and Alanah Smith, plus a killer bass line from Smith, fell into place during their final writing session before recording the album. The quartet also have a London headline date at The Sebright Arms on 17th November and are midway through a run of festival appearances booked for the summer.

“We’re a working class band and there are experiences that are very unique to us which we have bonded over. It’s incredibly frustrating to see those struggles co-opted by folks who have never had to worry about money. The kind of people who will dig around charity shops to ‘curate’ bits for their Etsy store where they will sell these items at 10x the price. Charity shops exist to serve the community and there are people that depend on them because there are no other options. It’s the rich kids moving into impoverished areas to make themselves sound more interesting, driving up the rent and gentrifying the area. This sort of romanticisation of the poor is very prevalent in the music scene, especially in bands (and industry types) who align a working class background with being perceived as more authentic. People dress up and change their accent for personal gain only, but as Jarvis Cocker once said, ‘If you called your dad he could stop this all’ – and of course, he also said, ‘Everybody hates a tourist.’ It’s cosplay, it’s gross, and it’s always obvious when someone is doing this.” (Alanah Smith)