header image
Home arrow Encyclopedia arrow Bands arrow Girlschool
Girlschool PDF Print E-mail
Written by charlie   
Oct 30, 2007 at 09:06 PM
GIRLSCHOOL - TAKE IT ALL AWAY 7"
Girlschool - Take It All Away

Girlschool - Take it all away

City
NIK 6
1979

City
NIK 6
1979
Pink sleeve, red vinyl

City
NIK 6
1979
Pink sleeve, blue vinyl

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. Take It All Away
  2. It Could Be Better
GIRLSCHOOL - EMERGENCY 7"
Girlschool - Emergency

Bronze
BRO 89
1980

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. Emergency
  2. Furniture Fire

Girlschool picOh god! I wore these here on the Motorhead tour," moans Kim McAuliffe, Girlschool's rampantly loquacious rhythm guitarist, as she slides into a pair of aged stretch leopard-print trousers ready for a blasting performance on Portmouth's Guildhall stage. '"Poor cow,' they'll be saying. 'She 'asn't got any more clothes'."

I don't know. The audience are going to be too busy headbanging to take down any fashion details, I reckon, and such garments do make a pleasant change from the slim black weeds that the band have been sporting for most of the Uriah Heep tour. Kim figures it'd be nice to wear pants with knees in 'em. I suggest that Girlschool go and demand a soundcheck.

The idea of a band such as Girischool supporting Uriah Heep is quite ludicrous. While Heep are concentrating on all the dry ice, glittering metal stage props, wailing druid vocals and aged frilly keyboard sweeps that go to make them into the incongruous religious spectacle that they are, Girlschool just "bash out the chords and play noisy energetic music, really". Thank God!

This is Girlschool's second major tour support. The first one, with Motorhead, was one long 'orgy' of alcohol (well, almost!) that bore no faint resemblance to the rather staid 'tenth anniversary' trek that Heep are now doing to coincide with their sixteenth or so album. But Girlschool are going down like pints of hot summer lager with kids paying up the three quid going rate just to see them.

Personally speaking, there is nothing I would rather see than Girischool blowing Uriah Heep right off stage, but as we sit in Portsmouth's Golden Egg restaurant, all the girls are doing is worrying about the previous night's disaster. It was, they insist, the worst set they'd played on the entire tour. Kim kicked her Special Brew all over Heep's electronic paraphernalia, Denise Dufort's drum kit started falling apart and Kelly Johnson's lead unplugged itself during a vital whanging break. Only Enid, bass and vocals, kept her little grin intact.

"It's 'cos you were here," jokes Kim. "It's all your fault being a journalist. No, really, I hate it when an audience makes an effort to enjoy what we're doing and we play such a bad show. I couldn't stand it — I just wanted to run off the stage."

But Portsmouth's show is far superior. A ringing, crunching blast of energy, not so far removed from Pistols' New Wave circa '77 and closely companioned to Lemmy and Co., launches Girlschool's set into action. Ker-anng! Crash! All the heavy metal adjectives are out in force as tons of noisy, tacky energy hit out at the rows of glazed-eyed watchers; Enid's shrill voice powerfully shreiks out the - opening lines of 'Not For Sale' and Kim and Kelly totter manfully over the stage, heads down, hair shaking.

I know this band used to have immense problems with sexist reaction — the usual 'get yer knickers off crap — but tonight the crowd seems far more concerned with the immediate assault on its ears. Lust crumbles under a wall of sound and the Heep devotee dinosaur rumbles into action, greatly encouraged by Girischool's personal publicity unit of Newky Brown and his mate who've followed the band to almost every conceivable gig, and though I'm no HM fan, I can clearly see the motivation behind the appreciation. Girlschool are no 'heavy metal' archetype.

The macho image ridden with cliches, the ultimate euphoria of pomposity, the screaming flag of impossible self-satisfaction; none of this 'nearer to God than thou' rubbish clouds Girlschool's set, complete as it is with their strong heavy rock formula. The drumming is the basic background, humped up decisively by Enid's bass — she takes my vote as the least posed bass player of the last decade, having seemingly just wandered off a Cadbury Flake advert and on to a stage — and the combined guitar work pulls out the only embellishments that the band are willing to use. They're no great musicians but they can certainly play!

The actual songs are along a straighter heavy metal rock formula though the feminine side is given an obvious airing in the lyrics. 'Not For Sale' points out the way that general product advertising uses women in a degrading manner (the parallel between a shiny car and a shiny woman) while'Baby Doll' pokes fun at the American beauty contest meat market.

Mind you, Girlschool wouldn't like to be accused of being a feminist band. Enid does read Spare Rib but the others have already been through the feminist mincer and they say they're just interested in being a band nowadays. Their versions of 'Roll Over Beethoven' and ZZ Top's 'Tush' would seem to confirm this fact. I lean over the balcony, thinking that they're probably having more fun than I usually do, and wait for the encore that never arrives.

"We haven't had an encore yet on this tour," explains Kim, a trifle dejectedly. "I thought we might have got one tonight but I don't think Uriah Heep are too keen on the idea of the support band doing too well and getting encores. It is their show, after all."

Girlschool, I think, regard Heep as one would a crusty old headmaster. Their opinions waver from indignation when, for example, Heep's Ken Hensley decides that they're not going to be allowed to put their gear on stage until after he's finished fiddling around with his keyboards — his fiddling is obsessive so that points to no more sound checks for the girls — to fan-like excitement when Heep are on stage playing Denise's favourite number, 'No Return'.

Kim states that she "grew up loving Uriah Heep's albums" and that it's "really weird to be actually playing with them". She drags me out to see the band playing but, not being partial to indulgent 10 or 15 minute rhythm solos, I quickly disappear again.

"I think we like them as musicians but not so much as people," explains Kellylater on as we're sitting in the chaos of the dressing room, swigging down vast amounts of vodka and orange and watching photographer Mike Laye learning the art of hyperventilation. "They are brilliant musicians after all and they really know what they're doing with their instruments, but they obviously just regard us as the 'support band'."

In my opinion, Heep's 'Band Only' dressing room sign is a fair indication of what a load of pompous old bores they are but Girlschool won't be trapped into saying such things so I ask about the Motorhead tour.

Enid: "When we heard that we were supporting Motorhead and that Lemmy was saying he was going to screw us all and that, well, we got worried. But everything turned out fine and we started going back to the hotel for drinks every night with them. We're all great friends now, but I doubt if any other band would treat their support so well." Motorhead are also of course more musically akin to Girlschool.

Kim: "They probably have the same problems as us with people saying that we're both too heavy to be New Wave and too punk to be a heavy metal band. There's a tremendous crossover between the two sorts of music; I don't know why they attract such opposite audiences."

Kim never thinks of the situation of the female HM band — she just accepts it. "I certainly prefer the heavy metal audiences. A lot of them are very young but whatever the age they only come along to gigs to watch the band. They're not after violence and not bothered about looking better than the next person. If they want to wear flares then they wear flares!"

They are also male; do Girlschool get groupies?

Kim laughes: "No! Like I said they're all usually about 15 or so and they'll come into the dressing room or walk up to us at gigs to have a chat or ask for an autograph. That's all."

My theories about audiences perferring Girlschool are confirmed when a nondescript looking guy wanders up to me by the sound desk in the Guildhall, mistakes me for Kim, shoots a despairing look at Heep's performing zoo and says: "Aren't they dreadful! I only came to see you lot and you were far better."

So if Deaf Barton's New Wave of heavy metal is taking over, Girlschool are a large part of it. "The new heavy bands are so different from the old school," says Kim. "Def Leppard and Iron Maiden for example, they don't deny that their roots are in New Wave like us and the punk type energy in the music makes it more fresh than, I dunno, Rush or something.

The next time I see Girlschool, they're hitting the bar at Uriah Heep's Hammersmith Odeon gig and gleefully telling me that they just got their first encore of the tour.

Kim's worried that she'll get pissed and make a fool of herself (again) so I tell her that Girlschool's new single, 'Emergency' is going down grand in the Sounds office and then I join her in the vodka stakes.

Who says women can't cope with rock 'n' roll?
(Robbi Millar, Sounds, 01/03/80)


Girlschool, the band which supported Uriah Heep's recent British tour, headline a series of dates this month to promote their single "Emergency".
They'll be playing Peterborough's The Fleet on March 6, then:
Sunderland Locarno 7
Newport Harper Adam College 8
Middlesbrough Rock garden 14
Corby Raven Hotel 15
Newport Metropole 21
Bristol Granary 22
The band then go into the studio to begin work on their debut album with producer Vic Maile.
(Melody Maker, 08/03/80)

GIRLSCHOOL - NOTHING TO LOSE 7"
Girlschool - Nothing to lose

Bronze
BRO 95
1980

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. Nothing To Lose
  2. Baby Doll

Girlschool, who are supporting Krokus on their British tour which begins next week, release a new single called 'Nothing To Lose' this weekend, and have their debut album, 'Demolition', set for release by Bronze on June 13. Following their dates with Krokus, Girlschool have gigs of their own lined up at;
Norwich Cromwells June 3
Scarborough Taboo 4
Middlesbrough Rock Garden 5
Burton '76 Club 6
Blackpool Norbreck Castle 7
Bath Tiffanys 8
London Marquee 9
Chatham (venue to be confirmed) 12
London Marquee 30.
(Sounds, 24/05/80)

GIRLSCHOOL - DEMOLITION LP
Girlschool - Demolition

Bronze
BRON 525
1980

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. Demolition Boys
  2. Not For Sale
  3. Race With The Devil
  4. Take It All Away
  5. Nothing To Lose
  6. Breakdown
  7. Midnight Ride
  8. Emergency
  9. Baby Doll
  10. Deadline

Girlschool, the all-girl band whose first album "Demolition" is released by Bronze this week, opens a British tour on Saturday. The album is produced by Vic Maile and a single, "Dance With The Devil", is scheduled for release in mid-July.
The tour opens at the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology June 28, then:
Fareham Prices College July 4
Nottingham Boat Club 5
Dunfermline Kinema Ballroom 6
Aberdeen Ruffles 7
Ayr Pavilion 8
Dundee Marryat Hall 9
Edinburgh Nite Club 10
Newcastle Mayfair Ballroom 11
Retford Porterhouse 12
Peterborough The Fleet 16
Northampton Guildhall 17
London Electric Ballroom 18
Bristol Granary 19
Plymouth Fiesta 21
Penzance Demelzas 22
Rickmansworth Watersmeet 25
Stafford Bingley Hall (with Motorhead) 26
Redcar Coatham Bowl 27
Grimsby Central Hall 28
Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall August 2
Hull Wellington Club 4
Colwyn Bay Pier Pavilion 6
Leeds Fforde Green Hotel 7
St Albans City Hall 9
(Melody Maker, 28/06/80)


Girlschool picGirlschool
Newcastle

It's different for girls. Female rock bands always stretched coincidence to beyond snapping point. The coming together of four or five ladies in a playing capacity, no matter which way you look at it, just doesn't ring true somehow. Gender first, ability second. Well, they're OK for girls.

Until now, that is. Girlschool have largely bypassed all of this. They are just about the only heavy metal band that Sounds scribes who aren't called Geoff Barton feel comfortable writing about, so they're certainly the acceptable face of HM. And also the acceptable face of femme rock. No arty-pratty Slitisms or tiresomefy rampant Raincoat feminisms. Nor do Girlschool have the come-and-get-it flaunt of The Runaways. Girls will be girls, and these four have got it just right.

The sexuality they project is real, natural and uncontrived. Rhythm person Kim McAuliffe favours spray on velvets but they're what she wears anyway, rather than 'stage clothes'. The most brazen scholar, she dedicates 'Take It All Away' to the Tygers Of Pan Tang as ...a thank you, no doubt, for her Tygers T-shirt. Lead guitarist Kelly Johnson had maybe a touch of the Hyndesight about her, being stylish and forceful, but without the pose. Ms J has probably never been within kicking distance of a choreographer but can really move. No shake it about temptress, Kelly Johnson is the real thing and pours out more raw rock and roll in every step than virtually any female treading the boards today. And plays rather well too. Denise Dufort provides an ordinary back beat but is a character in the best St Trinians-Minnie The Minx tradition. Di Williams' bass is a bit pedestrian, but her smile makes up for it. But my heart belongs to Kelly.

The material, while nothing extraordinary, is a Sot more interesting than most being hawked round by the young metal merchants. The reverse sexism of 'Midnight Ride' and 'Nothing To Lose'gives them one up on the chest-beaters and fills out a set that doesn't flag. The recorded 'Race With Ths Devil' misses the brass and manic laughter of the Gun original (won't stop it from being a bit, though) but works just fine live.

Girlschool's honest approach captures the predominantly male audience immediately so that not one 'get em off' is uttered. Me? If I had the album I probably wouldn't play it more than twice, but I'd go and see them live any time.
(Ian Ravendale, Sounds, 19/07/80)


GIRLSCHOOL: 'Race With The Devil' (Bronze)
Excelsior coverage of dimly-remembered-classic-by-The-Gun situation. A Charles Atlas size intro is topped by that oh so familiar guitar hook which sucks you into the bull-dozing body of the song. Powerful and definately airplayable though it's a shame it sounds the same all the way through.
(Garry Bushell, Sounds, 19/07/80)

GIRLSCHOOL - RACE WITH THE DEVIL 7"
Girlschool - Race with the devil

Bronze
BRO 100
1980

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. Race With The Devil
  2. Take It All Away

Girlschool Kim pic

Pete Makowski deciphers the scrawl in his exercise book
Mike Laye makes with the paints, crayins and Box Brownie.

" This is going to be a centre spread and possibly a front page," announced publishing mogul big Al Lewis in his usual dictorial manner, with the ominious conclusion of ". . . we want you to spill your heart out."

Spilling one's so-called creative heart out is a risky affair (specially with a dodgy ticker like mine), I mean, I know this is only rock and roll and I do like it, chief, but laying one's soul bare for all to see (in this case a dose of journalistic gibberish) is somewhat like the gladiators fighting it out in a colosseum, except in this movie there's no emperor it's the punters who put their collective thumbs up or down.

The — uh — phenomenal rise and rise of Girlschool is no big secret — let's face it, you can't open any of the music rag weeklies without seeing their gobs spattered all over the pages. Initially from what I could gather this crew were regarded as nothing more than a collection of daft boilers who churned out a selection of second rate Motorhead impersonations with the occasional Stones number thrown in for good measure, there were a chosen few that knew what was to come. Credit must be given where it's due and in this case a clenched fist must be raised in honour of Phil 'the man in the Moroccan merry-making strides' Sutcliffe for producing the introductory anthem (typewriter symphony, squire) with a front page story late last year about a bunch of bints heralding from the Southern regions of London who once hocked their butts round the club circuit under the guise of Painted Lady in a bid for credibility.
Girlschool Denise pic
With bands like Clout and the motley collection of Kim Fowley 'playthings' as past experiences of all female outfits they obviously were in for a hard time, and now without a shadow of a doubt Girlschool must be recognised as the leading pioneers in the battle against sexism. This was finally proved when the sweaty horde of Bingley's HM Barn Dance greeted their set with a unanimous roar of approval, and may I add winning the adulation of the ultimate chauvinists (i.e. the average headbanger) is no mean feat.

The story begins in a pub located somewhere near the nether regions of Wetbourne Park. It's one of those places that has more atmosphere than the whole of Park Lane, but less presence than a hole in the ground. Me and Doug Smith are sitting there whiling away the after hours. Doug Smith — manager — myself — the original subterranean hack.

We both have one thing in common: our faces have the ghostly hue of unmoulded putty. I'd been up literally since the Motorhead bash a week ago, wired like the RKO tower. Doug, well, he carries all the burden in the world on his more than capable shoulders (anyone who manages Motorhead, Magic Michael, Hawkwind and Girlschool deserves to have concave cheekbones).

In this area of the musical playground Doug's a deep sea diver with just enough oxygen, fortunately he always manages to surface in time. Doug is the original manager, something McLaren wanted to be but couldn't sustain. He's the man with the proverbial ear to the ground, the man who has to totally believe in what he's dealing with. This isn't yer regular sycophantic bullshittery, just yer regular genuine praise.

I must add that he also has that flammable and neurotic persona down to a tee, like one of those guys playing a cameo role of a Mr Ten Percent in a 1930 movie ... yet this guy's for real — a genuine hippy/whatever, which could probably be one of his biggest downfalls.

So here we all are sitting on a Friday night end of the day rainbow. Doug's already swilling down his third large dose of JB's scotch while I delicately pull on a Pils and lime, fighting back a monsterous attack of the cold sweats. We're both well and truly (expletive deleted — Mrs Carter's been in this state, while Jimmy is at the moment).

Girlschool Enid picDoug is about to embark on a holiday which induces the normal ship captain's paranoia, it's almost like asking a doctor to take a tea break halfway through a serious operation. I feel pretty roadworn, almost like I've been on the whole of the Girlschool tour, having seen four of their gigs in less than two weeks plus a few melodramas in between. Jeez, let's face up to the awful reality, I feel like the sweat under their roadie's armpit, the battered castors that support their cabinets, maybe even a shellshocked flight case. The parasite who lives on our source of enthusiasm has almost sucked me dry.

Tonight we are going to check out the damsels at Friars Aylesbury. The 'A' in Aylesbury, so I had been led to believe up to this point, stood for atmosphere, which as it transpired when the evening took its course was true ...

Meanwhile, taking things back a few hours earlier in the aforementioned brew- saturated hovel, I was explaining my problem of having to write 'x'-amount of words on Girlschool, the trauma in question being the fact that I'd already pumped praise in their general direction (and under many guises) more times than I care to remember. It was almost like I felt burnt out/drained of any new angles of approach with this particular subject but at the same time responsible in as much as I feel more aware than anyone else of the situations surrounding and within the band at this particular moment.

"Doug," I said, trying to take a hit on my vile concotion (which is almost medicinal, but the only kind of hop I can digest), "writing about this band of yours is somewhat like trying to screw the same girl for the fourth time and attempting to derive the same pleasure/enthusiasm/innocence that you felt at first." I just didn't know if I could do it without the end product coming over a wee bit too contrived.

Douglas, even in his bleary/bug-eyed state, provided a simple answer for this problem. "Look Pete," he said, clutching on his goblet of firewater like it was a pair of water wings on the Titanic, "we've all had the same problem with women, but then you find one who always makes you feel good, and then you stick around."

It's then that I realised maybe after all this relationship would last, eh?

I witnessed the band for the first time on a French tour that had been whittled down to two dates, allowing them to get into the studios and complete their debut album with 'Uncle' Vic Maile (of Inmates, Lew Lewis and Eddie And The Hot Rods fame). Prior to that I had only read the words of Monsieur Sutcliffe whose reviews were devoid of any sexual innuendos or condescending/apologetic ('Well they're not bad for gurls') prattle, he just liked their music and playing, nuff said.

I must admit I found it difficult to retain any normal perspective on the band (and I totally blame it on my upbringing) but in the final analysis there's no doubt that Girlschool are heads above yer average current, rabble of so called heavy metal units who would probably be back doing their factory jobs if wasn't for this current craze, which like any other fad allows the dregs to cash in, and wiil ultimately prove to be damaging and a case of 'survival of the fittest'.

Girlschool have been working non-stop almost since their inception, initially taking on choice support tours and then slowly building up for their own headlining jaunts. Their sweat and slog has finally paid off, what with a chart-album and a single (a tastefully revamped version of The Gun's 'Race With The Devil') heading up that way with bullet-like momentum. Rumour has it that Top Of The Slops will be back on the air this week, so don't be too surprised if you see the band on it .
Girlschool Kelly pic
Girlschool have approached their climb up the ladder in a traditional manner, i.e. taking their music to the people first, getting an audience that would buy the product (such an antiseptic term). There is not even a vague scent of hype that can be attributed to their success unlike say the Runaways who, in my mind (sorry Sandy), were a pre-packaged Brooke Shields quintet for the pre-pubes and raincoat brigade.

No way have Girischool used their obvious feminine attributes to blind you into any false preconceptions, it's the music that strikes first and if you get a hard on. well there's a bonus.

And remember they're dealing with a breed of punter that's totally ignorant to fluttering eyelids and pouting lips, they almost follow a primeval instinct and if you can't cut the cake, then you've had it, buster. This almost reptilian ignorance makes it more pleasurable to know that Girlschool have been accepted as 'one of the lads'.

At Bingley, I saw rivvum guitarist/vocalist Kim McAuliffe almost crack up with fear prior to the band's performance. This was due to the fact that the group they were about to follow, Mythra, had been given a less than homely welcome, to put it mildly. As soon as the girls hit the stage all worries were immediately put to rest, now it's past history, then it was a landmark. Another notch on the belt.

Their muscle is in their music, which is in a class of its own. Each song is carefully honed down just leaving the bare essentials that make for rock and roll. Tight, economical, melodic, you name it they've got an uncanny grasp of it. This is presentd with flair and a basic honesty that makes it almost impossible to dislike them. They all play their instruments with that kind of apathy and understanding which leaves no space for doubt as to whether they enjoy what they're doing. Dissect the structure and each individual shines out brightly in her own light.

Denise Dufort, a miniscule powerhouse who can bulldoze her way on the skins with the best of them; bassist Di 'Enid' Williams who pumps, pulsates and supports the main structure of the song with power and precision; frontperson Kim McAuliffe fulfilling her function as rivvum guitarist to the hilt; lead guitarist Kelly Johnson who plays with maximum guts and power and improves one each viewing.

There's nothing prissy about this lot and I can almost understand why Jeff Beck couldn't believe it was the fairer sex laying it down on vinyl when he reviewed their single on Roundtable, a few weeks back (but we'll get to that later).

We arrive at Friars and immediately head off backstage. The entourage find it quite amusing that Doug's name isn't on the guest list and he quips, "It's alright.I'm only the manager." This was met with the archetypal, "That's what they all say, mate."

Finally we get to the dressing room which, due to a non functioning air conditioning unit, is like a Turkish sauna.

The girls try to muster as much enthusiasm as they can on our arrival, but even beaming smiles can't disguise the fact that they are pretty much shagged out. Their only day off that week had been blown out to make room for some promotional work in Holland, and the effect of having this gruelling trek extended due to the popular response towards the album isn't helping to ease the strain. But still they're well aware that it's better to be wanted than cast aside and out of favour, and they seem forever grateful — almost humble — that there's so many people out there that want to see them.

This and the fact that they're a very closely-knit family (right down to the last humper) makes for a very solid unit.

Doug greets them with the news that their single has gone straight in at numero 60 and every-growing sales indicate that it should be in the 30s by the time you read this piece. They respond with an almost naive disbelief, why would so many people want to buy something that's already on their album?

"Listen, you're dealing with a different market," explained Doug. "On singles you're not selling to your audience, you're selling to the airplay audience and if you cross the board then all that will happen is that the single will go up and drag the sales of the album back up again. I want that album to finish with 30,000 sales, 'cause with that kind of figure we've made some sort of point."
Girlschool pic
At the moment, a lot of the economics of da biz seem to be going over Girischool's heads, chart success to them means an appearance on TOTP which will fulfil another (perverse) ambition. Although they are surrounded/cloaked with an ominous sense of responsibility, there's still no doubt that they're in it for the romance, they still know what F-U-N means, and somehow (and God I hope I'm right) I don't think they'll ever change. It seems almost unthinkable to viddy them as pompous, uptight superstars, unlike another band one could mention whose egos have inflated to almost Zeppelin-like proportions even though they don't mean a toss anywhere except for this country and have in no way had the success to justify their outright arrogance (it must be something they put in their tea).

Anyway, back to the more palatable side of R&R, i.e. Girlschool, and the first topic of conversation seems to revolve around a piece that appeared in last Thursday's Daily Mail gossip column where it was claimed that the ol' ex-PM Harold McMillan's daughter Rachael had fritted away 25 grand in the process of attempting to manage bands, one of them it's said being Girlschool (who were described as 'new wave', which shows you what a suss rag it is).

"She did want to manage us, almost pleaded for the job," said Kim, "but no way did she spend that amount of money on us." in fact the figure laid out on the group is somewhere between zilch and a ton. Oh well, funny how these stories come up when people start making a name for themselves innit?

Somehow I found it almost embarrassing to play the role of the straightman and also Girlschool were getting keyed up, going through the ritual preparations for their performance. So as the surrounding sandwiches curled up in the stifling humidity and the second band of the night Angle Witch took to the stage, I switched on my recorder and this is the conversation that ensued.

Kim: "You should do this after the gig when we're all bloody out of it."

The chit-chat starts with the story behind the title track of their album 'Demolition', which is based on a self-created fantasy set in the future when companies hire out groups to knock down buildings by playing in front of them.

Kim: "It's sort of dedicated to Motorhead, it's set in the future when instead of bringing demolition squads they get a band like Motorhead to tear the building apart."

PM: Do you think you're leading a crusade in the sexism stakes, do you want to be associated with all that?

Kelly: "When there's more girl bands about it won't be important any more."

Kim: "People ask us what it's like to be in a band with four girls working together, we just say it must be the same as being in a male band, with blokes working together."

Kelly: "Chrissie Hynde said she couldn't understand why some groups felt compelled to have all girls in the band, which is stupid."

Kim: "She said 'I'd rather have three honeys in the band'. People ask us why we haven't got a male member in the band, it's just the same, it all depends how it works out with the actual band. If you get on together, it doesn't matter really, does it?"

PM: How do you feel about Bingley, winning over such a large audience?

Kim: "I think the place was too big. it was a great gig, I just think it was unfair on the audience."

PM: You've been getting your fair share of good reviews recently.

Kim: "I'm just waiting for the bad ones to start coming in. It's great, especially with journalists - !ike Mick Middles and the other one in Record Mirror, we've heard of them but we've never met them, we didn't know they came to see us. It's nice to know that even people that you don't know like you."

PM: You seem to have a dedicated group of fans that follow you around the country, who are they?

Di: "The Barmy Army, you'll get to meet them soon."

Kim: "Mick and Flash are great, they've been following us for the last couple of weeks, they've got their tents with them."

Di: "There's this guy called Anthony who's a farmer, he's been driving around following us, he's weird. He just stands in front of the stage and watches us ... just stares."

PM: What sort of position do you find yourself at this moment?

Kim: "I just think we've got to get some songs together, much better than the old ones."

Di: "The main thing is to record another album. 'Cause with the first one we expected to get a few good reviews and a few bad ones. But the reviews have been so much better than we thought, that there's almost an obligation to do something much better next time."

Kim: "Our producer, Vic, didn't expect this one to get near the charts, and he said the next one's got to be brilliant."

PM: How do you ally yourself to the NWOBHM, do you feel a part of it?

Kim: "I think we are a part of it, in as much as we're a new band playing heavy music."

Di: "There's a lot of bands coming out now that sound the same."

PM: Have you started to write any new material?

Kim: "We've all got a few ideas but at the moment we're all so knackered, not trying to make any excuses, but we rarely have time to work them out, and any time we have had, we've just been resting up."

PM: How do you feel about the comment Jeff Beck made when he said he couldn't believe it was girls playing on 'Race With The Devil'?

Di: "John Peel said it was something like the most sexist remark of the year."

Kim: "I thought it was really silly when he said we sounded like guys, I mean how can you tell the difference when a bloke or a girl plays? I suppose it's nice, sort of a back handed compliment in a way."

Di: "I suppose it's because blokes are associated with being aggressive and powerful while girls are suppsed to be weak."

PM: Do you get any unusual reactions being an all-girl band on the road?

Kim; "I don't think people are making such a big thing of it any more. About two years ago when we started up playing the pubs and clubs, then people made a fuss of it. The thing about girl musicians is that we all know each other, apart from the new ones cropping up like Bodysnatchers. 'Cause when we started up all the other girl players used to come up and check us out, that's how we got to know each other."

PM: Do you get any female fans?

Kim; "Very rarely, there was one girl in Bristol who came to see us, she wanted to start a band up, but mainly we get blokes."

PM: Why do you think that is, is heavy metal male orientated music?

Di: "Guys come along in groups, the only time a girl will come is with her boyfriend."

Kim: "I used to go to heavy gigs by myself!"

Di: "Yeah, but that rarely happens, you get more blokes at a disco than you would get girls at a heavy metal gig."

PM: There were more girls associated with punk rock than heavy metal.

Kim: "That is because the standard of musicianship didn't have to be so high and it was a fashion as well."

Di: "Yeah; but lyrically a lot of girls must be put off by heavy metal 'cause of the sexist thing."

Kim: "But I think this sexism thing has gone to far, like all the fuss made about the words to 'All Night Long'. Some girls, even if they don't put it into words, act the same way as blokes. I mean, I bet Roger Glover wasn't serious when he sat down and wrote those words, he was probably having a laugh, and it's a good song anyway, really tongue in cheek."

PM: Do you think you get any voyeurs at your gigs,who come and see you for a quick leer?

Kim: "Yeah. you can tell them straight away, they're the ones who stand at the back."

Di: "They only come once out of curiosity."

Kelly: "Once they realise that we don't flash our tits or wear suspenders they don't come again."

The show on that particular night wasn't the best of the bunch. The audience in, what I'm led to believe, typical Aylesbury fashion, put all they had into it, which made up for the flaws, that were hardly noticeable anyway.

The occasional thunderflash going off at erratic interludes and few very minor cock ups gave the whole thing an endearing quality: the band haven't quite got to grips with their star billing in this particular movie (it's that kind of Marilyn Monroe vulnerability).

No way have Girlschool lost their roots, they still communicate with their audience, treat them like old friends. There is the occasional horrendous Day Of The Locust scene when a horde of clutching paws grab on to Kelly like another piece of meat, but that's all a part of .the biz I s'pose. The band were pissed off with their performance, their hang-dog expressions said it all. Doug Smith looked on with a mixture of almost paternal concern and bemusement, he's probably been through this scene so many times before. He knew in some ways he was helpless in this situation, it's almost like trying to explain away the facts of going through adolescence, they have to work it out for themselves.

After a few minutes of cursing the monitors, PA and other mechanics, they were back to their normal cheery selves, another night was over. In time they'll learn that you can't give out 100 per cent every night although this lot would if they could. Me, I thought back a couple of weeks down the Electric Ballroom, where everything was in synch with the audience and band erupting in unison like some uncontrollable volcano. Everything gelled and a few heads were turned (including Mr B's).

In full flight Girlschool can rock you rigid. They possess the pure ingredients of what heavy rock is really about, that bombastic, uncontrollable energy which when contained can create tremors in the spine and have you shaking all over.

Women in rock, sexism, the future is female — sod that! To coin a phrase in a campaign that was doing the rounds a while back — Girlschool are a group.

And a bloody good one at that!
(Pete Makowski, Sounds, 09/08/80)


Girlschool ad
Girlschool ad

GIRLSCHOOL: 'Yeah Right' (Bronze)
Now that we've got the turkeys out of the way we can get back to the real world. This is a burning little rocker from those highly respected metal femmes, very commercial, very tough and boasts a bruising barrage of guitar. These girls can deliver.
(Steve Keaton, Sounds, 06/12/80)

GIRLSCHOOL - YEAH RIGHT 7"
Girlschool - Yeah Right

Bronze

1980

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. Yeah Right
  2. The Hunter
GIRLSCHOOL - HIT AND RUN 7"
Girlschool - Hit & Run

Bronze
BRO 118
1981

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. Hit And Run
  2. Tonight
GIRLSCHOOL - HIT AND RUN 7"
Girlschool - Hit and run japanese

Bronze
VIPX 1577
1981
Japan

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. Hit And Run
  2. Yeah Right
GIRLSCHOOL - HIT AND RUN 10"
Girlschool - Hit & Run

Bronze
BROX 118
1981

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. Hit And Run
  2. Tonight
  3. Tush

Girlschool have a new single out on June 19 called 'C'Mon Let's Go' from their new album. The B-side features two live tracks 'Tonight' and 'Demolition Boys' recorded during their British tour.
(Sounds, 13/06/81)

GIRLSCHOOL - C'MON LETS GO 7"
Girlscholl - C'mon let's go

Bronze
BRO 126
1981

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. C'mon Lets Go
  2. Tonight
  3. Demolition
GIRLSCHOOL - C'MON LETS GO 10"
 

Bronze
BROX 126
1981

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. C'mon Lets Go
  2. Tonight
  3. Demolition
GIRLSCHOOL - HIT AND RUN LP
Girlschool - Hit And Run

Bronze
BRON 534
1981

Bronze
BRON 534
1981
Red vinyl

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. C'mon Lets Go
  2. The Hunter
  3. Victim
  4. Kick It Down
  5. Following The Crowd
  6. Tush
  7. Hit And Run
  8. Watch Your Step
  9. Back To Start
  10. Yeah Right
  11. Future Flash
Girlschool ad
GIRLSCHOOL - WILDLIFE EP 7"
Girlschool - Wildlife

Bronze
BRO 144
1982

Bronze
BRO 144
1982
Red vinyl

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. Don't Call It Love
  2. Wildlife
  3. Don't Stop
GIRLSCHOOL - SCREAMING BLUE MURDER LP
 

Bronze
BRON 541
1982

Gil Weston (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G, V)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G, V)

  1. Screaming Blue Murder
  2. Live With Me
  3. Take It From Me
  4. Wildlife
  5. It Turns Your Head Around
  6. Don't Call It Love
  7. Hellrazor
  8. When Your Blood Runs Cold
  9. You Got Me
  10. Flesh And Blood

+ lyric insert

Girlschool, who recently completed a major British tour, are featured on Radio One's In Concert series on July 31 at 6:30pm.
(Sounds, 31/07/82)

GIRLSCHOOL - LIVE AND MORE LP
 

Bronze
VIP 5913
1982
Japanese

Enid Williams (V,B)
Kim McAuliffe (G)
Denise Dufort (D)
Kelly Johnson (G)

  1. Tonight
  2. Demolition Boys
  3. Please Don't Touch
  4. Hit And Run
  5. C'mon Lets Go
  6. Furniture Fire
GIRLSCHOOL - 1-2-3-4 ROCK AND ROLL 7"
 

Bronze
BRO 169
1982

Gil Weston
Kim McAuliffe
Denise Dufort
Kelly Johnson

 
GIRLSCHOOL - 1-2-3-4 ROCK AND ROLL 12"
 

Bronze
BROX 169
1982

Gil Weston
Kim McAuliffe
Denise Dufort
Kelly Johnson

  1. 1-2-3-4 Rock And Roll
  2. Tush
  3. Don't Call It Love
  4. Emergency

Girlschool picGirlschool break off from recording their new album to play a series of dates around Britain based around their appearance at the Isle Of Man Palace Lido on June 8 coinciding with the island's TT week on June 5. That gig will be broadcast live by Radio Luxembourg around Europe.

They start with a guest appearance at Saxon's all-day HM festival at
Leeds Queens Hall on May 29
Sheffield Dingwalls June 1
Newcastle Dingwalls 2
St. Neots Riverside Festival 3
Isle Of Man Palace Lido 5
Manchester Metro Theatre 7
Chippenham Golddiggers 8.

They will also be playing three nights at London's Marquee on June 28, 29,and 30 as part of the club's silver jubilee celebrations.
(Sounds, 21/05/83)

GIRLSCHOOL - 20TH CENTURY BOY 7"
Girlschool - 20th Century boy

Bronze
BRO 171
1983

Gil Weston
Kim McAuliffe
Denise Dufort
Kelly Johnson

  1. 20th Century Boy
  2. Breaking All The Rules
GIRLSCHOOL - BURNING IN THE HEAT 7"
 

Bronze
BRO 176
1983

Gil Weston
Kim McAuliffe
Denise Dufort
Kelly Johnson

  1. Burning In The Heat
  2. Surrender
GIRLSCHOOL - BURNING IN THE HEAT 12"
 

Bronze
BROX 176
1983

Gil Weston
Kim McAuliffe
Denise Dufort
Kelly Johnson

  1. Burning In The Heat
  2. Surrender

+ Insert

GIRLSCHOOL - THE COLLECTION CD
Girlschool - The Collection

Castle
CMDDD 014
2000

  1. Take It All Away
  2. It Could Be Better
  3. Emergency
  4. Furniture Fire
  5. Nothing To Lose
  6. Baby Doll
  7. Race With The Devil
  8. Take It All Away (alternate version)
  9. Yeah Right
  10. The Hunter
  11. Please Don't Touch (Headgirl)
  12. Emergency (Headgirl)
  13. Bomber
  14. Hit And Run
  15. Tonight
  16. C'mon Let's Go
  17. Tonight (live)
  18. Demolition Boys (live)
  19. Don't Call It Love
  20. Wildlife
  21. Don't Stop
  22. 1-2-3-4 Rock N Roll
  23. Tush
  24. 20th Century Boy
  25. Breaking The Rules
  26. I'm The Leader Of The Gang
  27. Burning In The Heat
  28. Surrender
  29. Never Too Late
  30. Demolition Boys
  31. Lick It Down
  32. Screaming Blue Murder
  33. Flesh And Blood
  34. Play Dirty
  35. I Like It Like That
  36. Play With Fire
  37. Tiger Feet
  38. Fox On The Run
  39. Head Over Heels
  40. This Time
  41. Too Hot To Handle
  42. All Day All Night
  43. Up All Night
  44. Action
  45. Future Flash
  46. Back For More
  47. Yeah Right
GIRLSCHOOL - WILD AT HEART CD
Girlschool - Wild At Heart

Blitz
781022
2003

  1. Hit And Run (live)
  2. Demoltion Boys (live)
  3. Take It All Away (live)
  4. Can't Say No
  5. My Ambition
  6. We Came
  7. Sitting Pretty
  8. Wild At Heart
  9. One More
  10. On My Way
  11. Can't Keep A Good Girl Down
  12. Take Me I'm Yours
  13. Kick It Down (live)
  14. Screaming Blue Murder (live)
  15. C'mon Let's Go
  16. Emergency (live)
Official Girlschool Website
Thanks to Bernd Hofmann and Tim Gale for help with this page.
 

 

 

Last Updated ( Feb 20, 2010 at 05:04 PM )