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Au Pairs - Live In Berlin (1983)

Postpunkowy zespół Au Pairs powstał w 1979 roku w Birmingham. Ich muzyka naładowana była od początku mocno napiętą atmosferą polityczną ówczesnej Anglii, podsycana na dodatek nieukrywanymi poglądami feministycznymi liderki grupy Lesley Woods. Takie też były ich teksty, mówiące najczęściej w inteligentny sposób o relacjach damsko-męskich, ubrane w muzyczną otoczkę czerpiącą rzecz jasna z klimatów punk, ska, reggae i rocka garażowego. Całość oparta była na bardzo charakterystycznym i wyrazistym głosie charyzmatycznej wokalistki oraz pierwszoplanowym brzmieniu gitary basowej, świetnie operującej beatem, nadającym skoczności i zadziorności wszystkim utworom. Krotko mówiąc, bezkompromisowe, wyzywające granie przepełnione temperamentem i emocjonalnym pożarem. Koncertowy album z Berlina zawiera między innymi interesującą wersję utworu Peace of My Heart Janis Joplin.

Lesley Woods - guitar, vocals
Paul Foad - guitar, vocals
Jane Munro - bass
Pete Hammond - drums

The Au Pairs were a post-punk band who formed in Birmingham in 1979. Musically they were very similar to bands such as Ludus, Gang of Four and the Delta 5. That is, the rhythm section was tight and funky (obvious influences were James Brown and Funkadelic), but the guitars were light and "scratchy" (like Subway Sect). All these bands shared a strongly left wing social outlook, but the Au Pairs stood out due to their frontwoman, Lesley Woods, being an outspoken feminist and lesbian. The band were greatly influential in this respect on the riot grrrl movement a decade later. Music historian Gillian G. Gaar noted in her history of women in rock that the band mingled male and female musicians in a revolutionary collaborative way as part of its outspoken explorations of sexual politics.

Their first album Playing with a Different Sex is considered a post-punk classic with strong, sarcastic songs like "It's Obvious" and "We're So Cool" taking a dry look at gender relations. Other songs, such as "Armagh" with its refrain,"we don't torture" took a pro-republican look at the then ongoing "Troubles" in Northern Ireland, which caused some controversy at the time.

The band's second album, Sense and Sensuality, showed an even greater influence of jazz, soul, funk and disco on the band's sound, but was less well received. The band broke up in 1983 just before they were about to go into the studio to record an album with producer Steve Lillywhite. Woods formed an all woman band called the Darlings in the late '80s, but then left the music industry. She now works as a lawyer. Guitarist Paul Foad remains an active musician, playing with Andy Hamilton and the Blue Notes, a Jamaican jazz band, and teaching guitar in and around Birmingham. He has also published a guitar technique book, co-written with Stuart Ritchie, titled The Caged Guitarist (2000). Bass player Jane Munro works as an alternative therapist (aromatherapy, reflexology and Indian head massage) in Birmingham. Pete Hammond also remains an active musician and teaches percussion in Birmingham.

The band performed in 1980 for the cult classic concert film Urgh! A Music War. (wikipedia)

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6 komentarzy:

pausts pisze...


Anonimowy pisze...

dziekuje bardzo.

Anonimowy pisze...

Hi Savage,

Thanks for this one. I like the post punk period.

About The "Au Pairs" I never heard before ... So I try it

Thanks a lot


Anonimowy pisze...

przefantastyczna przeróbka janis joplin jak i równie fantastyczna cała płyta,


pausts pisze...

Serdeczne dzięki za komentarze :)

Anonimowy pisze...

Nice one, pausts, one of my favourite new wave bands with right-on lyrics. For your info, not 1983 - recorded live during the Women's Festival in Berlin in 1981. Cheers, Dave Sez.

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