London-based kitchenpop/mummycore icons I, Doris (comprised of Doris – vox/bass, Doris – vox/keytar/trombone, Doris – guitar and Doris – drums) recently released their debut self-titled mini-album, compete with excellent Beryl Cook-style artwork. Featuring six tracks of patriarchy taunting riotpop earworms that cover topics from chats in the loos to gaslighting boyfriends to cat piss soaked homework, it’s a perfect introduction to any who’s yet to take The Pledge of Doris.
Ahead of their final gig of 2021, where they’ll join Chrome Mountain, Charley Stone and Arta Sallabegolli at Islington’s Hope & Anchor this Saturday (details here) we asked them to talk us through the release track by track.
- In the Ladies
This one is dedicated to all the new friends we’ve made in pub loos over the years! It’s about going out for a big night out and spending most of it in the ladies chatting, putting the world to rights, being an agony aunt, telling people to dump their crap boyfriend etc. We made the video at Walthamstow Trades Hall and it was a hoot!
This one was born out of frustration – the pressure put on women to be multitasking superheroes! To not only do a million things in a day, but to do them all really well too – to be amazing at a job, at parenthood, socially, and in all the other things we do. It’s about cutting yourself some slack really – no one needs to be super-brilliant at everything. If you’re getting enough work done so you don’t get sacked, your home doesn’t have badgers living under the bath, and you haven’t left the children behind in a shop, you’re doing just fine. Pat yourself on the back.
- Does Your Girlfriend Know You’re Here?
A true story this. Many years ago I dated a guy who was basically a red flag in human form. All the signs were there that he was up to no good – and it didn’t take long to find out that he was in several other relationships. Other women and other men too. And all the while he was telling me he loved me, and I was “crazy” to be suspicious of his dodgy behaviour. The song is a cautionary tale to anyone who suspects they’re being lied to – trust your instincts (and totally snoop on their phone while they’re in the loo!).
- The Girl From Clapham
This was our first single! The lyrics are by Janine Booth – a reworking of Squeeze’s Up the Junction, from the girl’s point of view. When I first read the lyrics I knew straight away I wanted to record it. It seemed appropriate for me to sing it as I am a girl from Clapham – I lived just off the common until I was 18. Growing up in a tiny housing association flat, with a violent drunk for a father, the song has always rung bells for me, and I always wondered what her side of the story was. I was so delighted when Janine gave us permission to use her words. And then when Chris Difford gave us permission to record it! We are going to be sharing a stage with Squeeze next summer at Rebellion’s R-Fest – I’d be thrilled/sick with nerves if they turn up in time to watch us perform this song!
- Just Some Doris
Every band needs a themetune, and this is ours! The song introduces the idea that as women of a certain age we are often disregarded, overlooked and made to feel like our identities have been forgotten. Just some Doris – any ole Doris. (We sometimes have to explain to younger people – and Americans! – that Doris is a generic name for women, similar to the Australian ‘Sheila’.) The video was filmed in Brooklyn when we went over there to launch LOUD WOMEN NYC in the heady days of 2019, when you could just jump on a plane to America and put on a gig with no one wearing masks. Sigh.
- Do It Yourself
A happy finish to the mini-album: a song about masturbation! This song was great fun to write. Three of us Dorisses sat round my kitchen table with a load of wine and cake, and we made a list (a spreadsheet, in fact!) of all the euphemisms for female wanking we could think of. Then we made the words rhyme, and voila!
I, Doris by I, Doris is out now on CD and download on Bandcamp
I, Doris play the Hope & Anchor Islington this Saturday to launch the mini-album, tickets £10 on the door, £8 on Eventbrite – details here.
Find out more on I, Doris’ official website
Introduction by Paul Maps
Photo by Minni Moody