What sad news to wake up to today. Strange for me that Ari should pass away so close to this year's Ladyfest 10 celebrations since the first and last time I saw her performing was at Ladyfest Manchester back in 2008. In my head, LF culture will forever be soundtracked with Ari's feisty Germaican drawl and The Slit's 70's Ladbroke Grove skank anthems; their whole career and ethos epitomizes Ladyfest for me.
I'd gone down to Leeds by myself to cover the sunday night programme for Wears The Trousers. It was about this time of year, real chilly. I got drunk on cheap beer, took loads of pictures, interviewed some bands, met a bunch of super cool grrrls and stayed in budget hotel near the Zion Arts Centre. Ari headlined with the current, younger Slits line up. She wore super tight, camel-toe inducing silver leggings and kept lifting up her skirt, whipping her dreadlox around and grinding at the audience, shouting "Ladyfest! We here to worship di ladydeez! Worship di punanni!". She was lewd and wicked and brilliant.