Monday, 27 July 2009

THE AU PAIRS


Birmingham, 1979, post-punk is Britain’s new "opium for the masses". Out of the blue, a band of outsiders came along and kicked ass with its catchy sounds, sarcastic lyrics and tight rhythm section (Jane Munro on bass and Pete Hammond on drums.)
This was the time when girls in bands started speaking out and, boy, they had a lot on their minds!
The Au Pairs were fronted by riot grrrl Lesley Woods, a lesbian and feminist, hence her bias led the band to be one of the very first ones that celebrated sexuality from a woman’s point of view.
Miss Woods and fellow guitarist and vocalist Paul Foad took a dry look at gender relations and were not ones to mince words. Their music was in your face but smartly bold and ironic, therefore their debut album Playing With A Different Sex is regarded as a post-punk classic and was compared to Delta 5, Gang Of Four and The Slits.
If you want to get the picture, listen to malign “Come Again” at maximum volume, you’ll want to start a riot, you will blow the place apart and will have a blast!
The second album Sense & Sensuality did not get as much recognition as it was more jazz, blues and funk oriented and the band finally split up in 1983 after a live album.
Both Lesley and Jane Munro quit making music, cheeky Lesley is now a lawyer but Paul and Pete remain active musicians.
Although this band was short lived, its aura and sounds are still vivid and very relevant. The Scottish band Sons & Daughters is one of its modern expressions.
For anyone who's feisty or a rebel at heart...

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