One thing we’ve greatly enjoyed in the last year was the emergence of the great PunkGirlDiaries website wherein Ruth Miller of Po! and Polly Hancock of Popinjays have undertaken writing about their experiences of punk rock as young women in England as it blew through the landscape and changed everything. But as insightful as their writing on music is, let’s not forget that Popinjays were a band that helped make the 90s bearable for these ears. In 2015, Wendy and Polly began performing together for the first time in 21 years and on Saturday, March 9th, they will be a part of a celebration I’d certainly be attending… if I lived in Canterbury instead of Appalachia.
As part of International Women’s Day, the Song Bird/Word Bird fest, a celebration of women in music and words is being held at the Gulbenkian at the University of Kent. Women who write about music as well as female bands will be the order of the day, with Word Bird covering print and Song Bird delving into the world of punk/pop.
The Song Bird festival begins at 5:30 with these bands:
Popinjays – Indie Pop [top]
You should all know Popinjays! But what about the other bands?
Bugeye – Punk Pop [above left]
Dream Nails – Post-Punk [above center]
The Tuts – Punk Pop [above right]
It all sounds great so the concert is a must, yes? But there is also the literary world of women who write about music to consider as well.
Just yesterday were were discussing Lucy O’Brien. I first encountered her in 1991 when she wrote the first biography on Annie Lennox. I still have the tome [UK edition, of course] in my record cell. She has also written two volumes of “She Bop: The Definitive History of Women In Popular Music” as well as multiple editions of a book on Dusty Springfield. More to the point, she was a member of the UK version of the punk band Catholic Girls. No, not the same named band with an LP on US
One of the first books I read when beginning this blog was Zoë Howe‘s “Typical Girls: The Story Of The Slits” and she’s not been resting on her laurels. Of interest around these parts is also her Jesus + Mary Chain biography “Barbed Wire Kisses: The Jesus + Mary Chain Story.” She’s recently penned her first novel, “Shine On, Marquee Moon.” The novel details heroine Sylvie, a dresser on the road with reformed New Romantics Concierge. Too bad there wasn’t an actual New-Ro band with that moniker! I should be reading this in my
spare time. Also speaking at the event are Guardian music writer Laura Barton and Peggy Seeger [wife of folk singer Ewan MacColl] who has recently written her auto biography, “The First Time Ever.”
Tickets are £10 for Word Bird and £12 for Song Bird, and buyers of both get a discount at £20. Obtain tickets here. Hopefully some local readers of this blog can attend and report back with their findings. It looks like a great Saturday in Kent.
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