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Problem Patterns

The Kit List

Hey! We’re Problem Patterns (Alanah Smith, Bethany Crooks, Beverley Boal and Ciara King) and we’re a queer feminist punk band from Belfast. Of course, me (Bev) and Alanah both have our essential Boss DS1 guitar pedals, Ciara has her Behringer Overdrive, and Beth has her pink drumsticks and drum keys, but here are five non-music things we all agree we need whenever we are on the road. 


It does exactly what it promises - enhances our hydration and fuels our performance. It’s like a cure for all ills, like when your ma would give you old-school Lucozade when you were sick, except now what’s wrong with you is that you’re in a DIY band and you’re low on sleep. “No Lucozade Sport, no band. Bring back those suppy caps” - Ciara “I’m just really happy when I’ve got a Lucozade Sport” - Beth “If you’ve already had orange today, treat yourself to raspberry as dessert” - Alanah “Lucozade Sport is like my family” - Bev 


There would be no Problem Patterns without a bag of Jakemans Throat and Chest lozenges - the black bag only. Other cough sweets can’t compete, not even other flavours. They are essential to a good, healthy, clear yell on stage. They are also a lifesaver when you’re feeling run down after too many gigs. We’ve been chasing Jakemans for years to get a sponsorship - we would never sell out unless it’s for free Jakemans sweets even though a bag costs less than £1. I’m beginning to think that perhaps they don’t want to be associated with our brand of music, but that won’t deter us. We’ve introduced many other bands to the power of these sweets and they have been entirely converted. We are spreading the gospel! Give us our free bags! 


We spend so much time travelling and sleeping in hotels/Airbnbs that it's really important to try to unwind where we can. We've discovered recently the best method is watching Victoria Wood's magnum opus, 'Dinnerladies'. I grew up watching it with my family, but the rest of the band had never seen it and now they're all obsessed. We've watched it on planes, ferries and even on a small truck driving us around a festival ground. It's just hilarious and very heartfelt. Give it a watch…go on! 

HAPPY COW (by Ciara) 

A wise woman once said “Where’s the food?” and that woman was actually Bev. Finding food as a travelling band is THE most essential thing, as we simply refuse to function without our silly little treats. Bev loves to Google 'food near me' in the van as we’re driving around and bless her, she thinks she’s helping. As the band has some vegans ‘n’ veggies, we rely on Miss a lot to highlight the best foods around us. Shoutout to Down The Hatch in Liverpool which is probably our fave vegan spot, but honourable mention to Saucy Cow in Dublin and Wholesome Junkies in Manchester also. Send vegan food recommendations to us in our DMs please xx 


We've had to come up with some pretty scrappy strategies to make gigs work on a budget — borrowing gear, Tetris packing cars, and the super guitar, which is where you put a guitar in a super skinny bag, sandwich it between a bass and another guitar, and chuck it all into one huge acoustic guitar case which you can carry onto the plane as one musical instrument. We bring an extra guitar case in a backpack and as soon as we’re off the plane, the guitars go into their own bags, because the super guitar is HEAVY. We’ve broken two bags this way. But with so many other gigs coming up I’m investing in a heavy-duty bag for next year, so don’t yous worry about it at all. Bring on more gigs and more super guitars! 

Problem Patterns play the CPWM I Know A Place afterparty on the 19th January.

Problem Patterns

Words by Problem Patterns

Photography by Ellen Blair

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