The Joiners, Southampton

I knew I was going to enjoy this gig when I read The Joiners introduction to Millie Manders and the Shut-Up. Recently, I had been in debate with a friend about Kate Nash. I have never been a massive fan, and this was compounded when I caught the end of her set at Victorious Festival. It was sounding like a cat that was being brutally murdered so it was a joyous occasion to read this: ‘If Kate Nash was actually any good, she’d probably sound like this.

Onto my third gig in a week and I was beginning to feel a little tired. Bear in mind this was also after a stupidly busy half term. I really needed a pick me up and that is certainly what I got with this adventure. I found myself at The Joiners, another rather awesome venue in Southampton and steeped in musical history. Many bands now filling stadiums have played at the Joiners. The place was packed; I squashed up with my friend Dave and newly found gig buddy (via Dave) Jason, drinking my pint of Shipyard whilst several people bustled by. There was a real buzz in the room. Millie was running the merch stand, I had already decided that I was going to purchase their debut album: Telling Truth, Breaking Ties. So over I went and grabbed myself a signed copy.

Ramona’s Tea Party (the support band) came on, so we moved from the bar to get a closer look.

The power-house from Norway with Ramona herself wearing a pink dress and electric blue hair, the guitarist with bright red hair. They were a whirlwind of colour, diving and running about the stage. The pick me up I needed: I certainly got that with Ramona’s Tea Party. The quirky entertainment continued as Ramona told a story about her mother being proposed to at pre-school. The boy in question told her mother that if she said yes, he would give her 100 washing machines! Ramona admitted that she doesn’t know what happened to him as her mother went on to marry the man behind her. “The drummer is my dad”.

Towards the end of the set, Ramona explained that she wanted to do some juggling. “Who can play power chords?” Dean – a member of the audience was invited to play with them. Dean was awkward at first, but soon began to relax and was loving his debut at The Joiners with Ramona’s Tea Party. This band were a huge amount of fun and they ended the set with stage dives aplenty – the audience fully ready to support them.

Ramonas Tea Party
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A small break in proceedings and a quick trip back into bar for refreshment and to take a breather after the supporting entertainment. We then moved closer to the front as The Shut Up entered awaiting Millie’s entrance. The crowd were certainly in for something truly special. An energetic start to the set with ‘Shut Your Mouth’ the new single – the crowd lapping up the energy emanating from the band. Millie was certainly there to enjoy herself but also had something serious to say.

The crowd were taken on an epic, rollercoaster of emotions as Millie reminded us of the poor treatment of the people of Palestine and also introducing the up-coming single called “Me Too” which came with a trigger warning as it was about rape. The anger from Millie was palpable as she pulled at her T-shirt whilst singing lyrics about what people wear and the blame culture. The tangible tension in the air was also felt by the audience – this song spoke volumes.

Next, Millie smashed that tension with another “sing-along” song. The audience being taught the lyrics so they could feel part of the band. It was a joyous occasion hearing that compact crowd yelling the lyrics back. Then Millie took us back up to the climax of that rollercoaster ride stating: “I have been angry”, making me aware that a cracker of a track from the debut album was coming. I screamed those lyrics back at Millie along with the crowd who had probably all felt that angry at some point in their lives.

Millie Manders And The Shut-Up
Millie Manders And The Shut-Up 1234567

Towards the end of the set, Millie announced that the band doesn’t do encores – with Millie stating a fact – where are we going to stand – over there? pointing to the epically tiny side of stage area. I am a huge hater of encores, just keep playing I say – I began to love this band even more now. The three song encore comprised of the super popular opening track of the debut album; Your Story. Then came the highly emotional “Glitter Mix” – I really was not expecting that track to hit me so hard, let alone another member of the audience who Millie felt compelled to leave the stage to hug, finally ending with “Not OK”. Then it was over, and I was able to take a huge deep breath – knowing that I might have fallen in love with Millie Manders and her wonderful band “The Shut Up”. We went back to the bar, and I stood quietly gazing around at all the posters displaying the many bands that have played there in the past; just soaking it all up, still stunned by what I had just been a part of.

Set Lists

Millie Manders and the Shut-Up
Shut Your Mouth
Here We Go Again
One That Got Away
Poor Man’s Show
Right To Life
Broken Record
Silent Screams
Me Too
Obsession Transgression
Your Story
Glitter Mix
Not Ok

Ramona’s Tea Party
I Am Hungry (Again).
100 Washing Machines
Scary Me
Like a Puppy
Empty Pool
Bacon Snacks
British Tea Isn’t Even British
Not A Circus
Oh Yeah


Photography By Matthew Rayner
Words by Zoe Cummings

Millie Manders and the Shut-Up