Posts Tagged ‘Gina Birch’

November 2019 marks the 40th Anniversary of the release of The Raincoats’ self-titled debut album and the band plan to celebrate with a series of live performances in the UK and at Le Guess Who? Festival in Utrecht.

“In 1979, The Raincoats helped shape the timeless notion that punk is what you make it to be — an act of raw expression, not any one sound. Their anarchy was poetic. Ana da Silva (vocals, guitar) and Gina Birch (vocals, bass) formed the group in 1977 while they were students at Hornsey College of Art in London. Da Silva and Birch were inspired to make a band after they saw the Slits perform live earlier that year. Birch stated in an interview “It was as if suddenly I was given permission. It never occurred to me that I could be in a band. Girls didn’t do that. But when I saw the Slits doing it, I thought, ‘This is me. This is mine

The group’s debut album ‘The Raincoats’, was released 40 years ago by Rough Trade Records at its radical beginnings, setting a crucial precedent for feminist work within a DIY context. In 1979, the Raincoats weren’t working and three of the four members were living in squats – Vicky Aspinall in Brixton, Gina Birch in Monmouth Road, Bayswater, where the band frequently rehearsed. The squatting culture informed the lifestyle and music of the band with an onus on improvisation and DIY.

the Raincoats became an all female band as they were joined by the Slits’ ex-drummer Palmolive and the classically trained violinist Vicky Aspinall, with this line-up making their live debut at Acklam Hall in London on 4th January 1979. In May 1979 after Rough Trade Records released their first single, “Fairytale in the Supermarket”. Johnny Rotten was an early admirer of the band, and later stated: “The Raincoats offered a completely different way of doing things, as did X-Ray Spex and all the books about punk have failed to realise that these women were involved for no other reason than that they were good and original”. In November 1979, Rough Trade then released the band’s self-titled debut album which received considerable acclaim from the press. Palmolive had left the band in September, shortly before The Raincoats came out, and teenager Ingrid Weiss joined the band on drums

The Raincoats have offered creative and spiritual inspiration for several generations of artists like John Lydon, Kim Gordon, Kurt Cobain, Carrie Brownstein, Bikini Kill, Priests, Angel Olsen.”

The raincoats 33 1 3

Gina Birch, Ana da Silva and Shirley O’Loughlin will be together at Rough Trade Nottingham to celebrate the launch of 33 1/3 book The Raincoats’ The Raincoats along with author Jenn Pelly.

In 1979, from the basement of a London squat, the Raincoats reinvented what punk could be. They had a violin player. They came from Portugal, Spain, and England. Their anarchy was poetic. Working with the iconic Rough Trade Records at its radical beginnings, they were the first group of punk women to actively call themselves feminists.

In this short book – the first on the Raincoats – author Jenn Pelly tells the story of the group’s audacious debut album, which Kurt Cobain once called “wonderfully classic scripture.” Pelly builds on rare archival materials and extensive interviews with members of the Raincoats, Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Hole, Scritti Politti, Gang of Four, and more. She draws formal inspiration from the collage-like The Raincoats itself to explore this album’s magic, vulnerability, and strength.