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Jennifer McCord

During a sun-soaked London afternoon, girl in red, aka Marie Ulven Ringheim, has made her sophomore return to All Points East. Opening to a crowd of gals, gays and theys, who are eagerly awaiting Haim’s headline slot, the rising alt-queer artist and our fave lower caps girly is buzzing around the stage, charged with hits from her 2021 debut album, If I Could Make It Go Quiet.

Hitting the mainstream queer scene in 2018 with the tender single ‘We Fell in Love in October’, girl in red became an all-or-nothing queer bedroom pop phenomenon. Since then, the musician’s profile has graduated from intimate corners of the sapphic internet to sold-out slots on Taylor Swift’s infamous Eras tour.

And, today, among the dappled grass of Victoria Park, girl in red makes light work of the festival’s 40,000-person capacity. Some younger acts may be daunted by the prospect of such a major festival slot, but girl in red could not have looked more ready to rile up her audience.

Opening with upbeat album tracks ‘You Stupid Bitch’ and ‘Body and Mind’, the singer-songwriter kickstarts the beginning of a rewardingly unfiltered set. Her 2018 singles ‘Girls’ and ‘We Fell In Love In October’ (both of which she jokingly refers to as “lesbian shit”) follow, and provide an opportunity for the artist to reminisce on the fame she’s found amongst the online sapphic community.

Throughout the set, girl in red proved her readiness to be something much more than an opener. There’s even crowd surfing, one of the star’s signature live moves, as she launches into her 2019 single and EP track ‘Bad Idea’. Shortly after, the 24-year-old switches it up with two slower songs, ‘Dead Girl In the Pool’ and ‘Midnight Love’. 

Music aside, what made the performance standout was the artist’s easy-going, self-deprecating humour – elevating the authenticity of her lyrics and bringing the crowd into her train of thought whenever she could. Working a crowd is no easy feat but girl in red made it look effortless. The musician had thousands of festival-goers in her hands, starting a mosh pit for closeout track ‘I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend’. 

Performing with the kind of energy and verve that can engage thousands, girl in red has made herself a must-see event on any festival billing. 

GAY TIMES rating: ★★★★