The Poison Girls’ album Hex reviewed in Spare Rib, Number 89, December, 1979.
Poison Girls are a mixed band (four men and one woman) who don’t conform to any stereotyped roles. Most of the band live communally, confronting and challenging how women and men develop together. They play strong, varied, inventive music, having evolved from both punk and theatre.
“It would be inaccurate to define us as feminist” they say, but Hex has a strong influence, that neither feminists nor anti-sexist men can ignore. Although most of their lyrics are written from a woman’s viewpoint, they are not alienating to men. Notable tracks include..
Is it safe to go shopping?
Leave the kids outside the toilet?
Water dripping on the carpet;
Is it time to have a crisis?
Hit the baby – stop it screaming.
Can you stand it if I touch you?
… from an intense ‘Crisis’, and in ‘Bremen Song’ the music stops to remind you of the holocaust where … we burn, sisters, burn.
And if you want to bop, listen to ‘Idealogically Unsound’ … know what you want, but can’t quite live it? Or there’s a wonderful song for all the (punk) mothers who are rejecting the normal stereotypes, ‘Jump Mama Jump’ – you can have a good pogo to that one. ‘Under the Doctor’ is about the common situation of a mother cracking up under the strain, who doesn’t want to be controlled by drugs and psychiatrists. ‘Reality Attack’ is about so-called ‘insanity’.
It’s difficult to describe their music, and they deny the labels. They play at a lot of live gigs, and benefits, so not only is this record a definite must in every feminist collection … go and see them too!
Hex is available for £2.10 plus 45p p&p, from Small Wonder, 162 Hoe Street, London E17 (01 520 5036)
The Raincoats in the NME, 9 June, 1979.
One of those great quirky singles from the punk era was ‘Violence Grows’. Fatal Microbes, or Honey Bane at least, interviewed in the NME, 9 June, 1979.
From NME, 20 August, 1983
Cassette compilation from 1984, complete with muddy sound, featuring a range of punk bands including Newtown Neurotics, Chumbawamba, and more as well as poetry from Nick Toczek and Ginger John.
Punk rock letter from Spare Rib, No. 80, March, 1979.
I am a feminist and a punk. I was at a Devo gig on Monday, and between sets I was standing eating chocolate buttons, when I noticed a guy eyeing me up. I think it was because I wasn’t wearing a bra. He came over to talk to me about the badges I was wearing. He asked me what my Spare Rib one meant. I said that Rib was a feminist magazine. He looked at me blankly so I said, “Women’s Lib”. He walked away. Pathetic.
I lost the badge pogoing later that night. Does this mean that punk guys won’t walk away from me any more?
A benefit album for the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign featuring poets Nick Toczek and Attila the Stockbroker. There are also several punk bands including Zounds, the Apostles, and the Neurotics, as well as Welsh language punk band Anhrefn. The album came out in 1987 on Happy Mike Records. In 1988 it was released again by Workers Playtime Records.
Nick Toczek – Noo Yawk Squawk 0:00
Nick Toczek – Sheer Funk 1:45
Culture Shock – Catching Flies 3:23
Anhrefn – Nefoedd Un Uffern Llall 7:21
Dan – Best Of Families 11:57
Neurotics – Never Hold Your Tongue 13:46
Zounds – Demystification 16:53
Attila The Stockbroker – Libyan Students From Hel 20:36
Karma Sutra – Let Them Eat Samosas 23:45
Some Weird Sin – God Bless America 28:11
Instigators – Eye To Eye 32:26
Heresy – Flowers In Concrete 35:14
Heresy – Cornered Rat 38:12
The Apostles – Inner Space