Live Review: Girli – Band on the Wall, Manchester 21/04/23

Tonight, sees Girli play to a sold-out crowd in Manchester on the first date of her ‘Really F**ked It Up’ tour in the UK. The pink pop princess with a spiky punk edge is known for her zero fucks attitude and feisty lyrics focusing on feminism and sexuality. Opening with ‘Has Been’, a track about moving on when a relationship ends and to quote the lyrics ‘I don’t really give a damn what they say, ‘Cause I know just who I am’, this defines Girli to an absolute T. She’s a bundle of energy wrapped up in a palette of pink, fusing catchy pop melodies with iconic punk lyricism.

During ‘I Don’t Like Myself’, there’s a momentary lapse as she forgets the words to the song but the crowd have her back, singing the lyrics word for word. Throughout the night, Girli pauses between songs to engage with the crowd discussing her music as well as her own personal troubles with mental health and overthinking. It’s this personal connection and honest account that has forged the successful community that support her, travelling up and the down the country and ensuring sell out gigs. Within the set, she discusses what it’s like being a queer artist and the struggle around song writing – especially with what pronouns to use in lyrics. Before playing ‘Friday Night Big Screen’, Girli tells the crowd how this song is about characters falling in love in films with the lyrics including a lot of references to movies and that there will be an impromptu quiz afterwards with the winner receiving the setlist from tonight.

In spite of what are arguably quite depressing lyrics they are extremely relatable and the pink imagery coupled with melodic tunes manage to create a real singalong atmosphere. The track ‘Pink’ is dedicated to anyone that has been in a breakup recently and during ‘Letter to my Ex’, Girli crowd surfs, joking afterwards that it was the most elegant crowd surf she’s ever done at a gig.

Before playing the final encore track ‘More Than A Friend’, Girli tells the crowd that if they’re at the show with a friend this is the time to ask them if they want to be more than that and proceeds to tell the crowd that ‘More Than A Friend’ is about when she fell in love with someone whilst still with her boyfriend.

It’s no secret that Milly Toomey, lead singer and founder of Girli, is a proud feminist and she takes great delight in acknowledging her entire team is female. The raw honesty which connects her to her fans invokes a real sense of community and belonging all wrapped up in a giant pink bow.

Set List

Has Been

I Don’t Like Myself

Not That Girl

Imposter Syndrome

Girl I Met On The Internet

Hot Mess

Cheap Love

Day Month Second

Friday Night Big Screen

Inner child


Letter to my Ex


I Really F**ked It Up

More Than A Friend

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