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Queen Zee: The new queer Brit punk band you need to know about

The raucous group and lead singer Zena Davine are ready to shake up the sappy indie scene.

By Will Stroude

Words: Thomas Stichbury

As the indie music scene sees the revival of “random, moody musings from soft boys,” a much-needed antidote has arrived in the form of Queen Zee, 2019’s most exciting new queer British band.

Led by trans singer Zena Davine and completed by guitarist Jason Taylor-Brown, bassist Frankie Wortho, Ash Summers on keyboard, and drummer Dave Bloom, the Merseyside fivesome’s brand of brash rock has already received the the stamp of approval from legends like Liam Gallagher and Iggy Pop – and after releasing their eponymous debut EP in February, the group look set to make even bigger strides.

“I’m trans, so everything I write comes out of a trasn brain”, explains Zena in Attitude’s June issue, available to download and to order globally now.

Photography: Alex Hurst

“I’d never really had a word for how I felt. I never really had a way to express it. The only thing I could latch on to was drag. That’s all I assumed it was.

“I knew I was fluid in my sexuality — it didn’t matter to me if you were a boy or a girl — but in terms of gender, I’d never confronted it. Then something just clicked one day.

Determined to educate the masses, Queen Zee scored an unlikely goal when their song Boy was played over a World Cup highlights clip on Sky Sports football show Soccer AM.

The lyrics include: ‘Raised on homo trans hate rhetoric, waiting for me to come out of the club, a clenched weapon between his fists.’

Zena adds: “That is one of my favourite memories. This song about gender violence playing in the background of the goal montage. This is why we exist!”

Queen Zee’s plans for world domination includes holding court in other mainstream spaces.

“I [remember] watching queer bands talking about equality and identity, stuff that meant a lot to me, but they were playing to 30 or 40 people who agreed [with those views] — were preaching to the converted.

Photography: Alex Hurst

“The people who need to hear it are at the main stage at Glastonbury, or the big arena shows where artists don’t talk about these things, where people are unaware of what it’s like to be a trans person, or to have an LGBTQ life. We’ve always been about invading those spaces.

“We’re getting there. We’ve got our foot in the door and we’re about to push our way in.”

Read Zena Davine’s full interview in Attitude’s June issue, out now.

Buy now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: three issues for £3 in print, 13 issues for £19.99 to download to any device.