Young, shouty, modern feminist punk band, The Strangerz, formed approximately a year ago.

Just as their dreams were building up momentum, a global pandemic struck and turned their world upside-down.

A first-year journalism student at Salford, Martha Kelly, began a childhood dream of hers by starting up a shouty feminist punk band as lead vocals in, The Strangerz.

Then the Covid-19 pandemic happened and has made the situation, interesting.

Martha said: “I met my friend, Shannon, and we just kind of formed over a Pot Noodle.”

The Strangerz consists of Martha as the lead singer, her twin brother, Tom Kelly on guitar, Shannon Gebbie on drums and Tobin Middleton as bassist.

Tom is studying Creative Music Tech at Salford University.

Their influences and music are described as for fans of bands such as the Buzzcocks, the Slits and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Martha’s inspirations and punk idols are Kathleen Hanna, Polly Styrene and Debbie Harry. She laughed and said: “of course, with my blonde hair.”

Salford student and lead singer of, The Strangerz, Martha Kelly.
Credit: Holly Pritchard.

On how lockdown affected the band, Martha revealed: “It was really weird, to be honest. We formed a band and about two months after we did quite a lot of gigging, and then about in March it was like; ‘okay no more gigs’ and that was how we were promoting ourselves.

“We’ve done like two gigs in social distancing venues and that’s, odd. No one’s bouncing, everyone’s staring and just sitting.

“You can see everyone’s faces as well. Usually I just look up at the lights but now I can’t really do that.”

The band have recently released their first single, ‘Straight Gay Brother’ which Martha wrote taking some inspiration from her brother and bandmate, Tom.

She said: “It’s quite a comedic song, we’re not taking ourselves seriously. He’s completely straight but most people think he’s gay because he’s quite feminine and he’s just really in touch with that side.

“So, that’s where the line, ‘I’ve got a straight gay brother but he’s not really gay’ comes from.”

There’s a modern and relevant message behind the song also, Martha said: “the rest of the song is just really about expressing yourself, accepting people who are non-binary and on the gender spectrum and you know, let boys wear dresses, let girls be masculine.”

On the band’s hopes and dreams for life after Covid, Martha said she is looking forward to: “gigging that’s not socially distanced, hopefully…that’s why I joined a band, and maybe recording a second single and getting that out into the world.”

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