Monday, 7 May 2012

**RETROSPECTIVE** Goldie and the Gingerbreads

Goldie and the Gingerbreads were pioneers in the real meaning of the word. The band were the first all female band to be signed to a major label, paving the way for groups like The Runaways, the Go-Gos, Sleater-Kinney and many more, giving them a chance to take the stage and do their thing.

Formed in 1963, the band had hits with the songs 'Can You Hear My Heartbeat' and 'Think About The Good Times'. The Gingerbreads were singer Genya (Goldie) Zelkowitz, drummer Ginger Panabianco, guitarist Carol MacDonald and organist Margo Lewis.

The seeds of the gingerbreads were first sowed when Genya, then the lead singer of The Escorts, saw Ginger perform at a club in New York. She was so bowled over by seeing a female drummer that she was inspired to form an all female rock n roll band and went over to Ginger after the gig. It wasn't easy to find other members, finding a guitarist seemed to be the trickest stumbling block, but eventually they were complete with the addition of Margo and Carol. It is thought the band's name was a play on Genya's nickname, Goldie, and Ginger's name. 

Their big break came when they played the Mods and Rockers ball in 1964. The band mingled with The Rolling Stones, Warhol favourite Baby Jane Holzer and Ahmet Ertegun, chairman of Atlantic Records who promptly signed them to his label.

The band went on to tour Europe extensively with The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Kinks and the Hollies. While their were performing at the Peppermint Lounge in New York the band caught the attention of The Animals and their manager Mike Jeffries who were lured in by the music they heard coming from the club. They were amazed by what they heard. Eric Burdon, lead singer of The Animals, said: "There was so much feeling in Goldie's voice that I was stunned to find such a 'black' sound could be produced by a group of white girls."

Their first hit single in the UK, 'Can You Hear My Heartbeat', was produced by Animals keyboardist Alan Price who said that Lewis' organ playing was so good it made him want to go out and get drunk. The band had hopes of the single being a success in the US but this was thwarted by Herman's Hermits version, which was released just two weeks before the Gingerbread's US release.

When the band returned to the States they tried desperately to garner success, both professional and commercial, to no avail. Over the course of 1967 and 1968 the band slowly broke up.  Carol and Ginger went on to form jazz-fusion band Isis, Genya went on to release several solo albums and form the band Ten Wheel Drive and Margo is now the owner and president of a talent booking agency based in New York. 

Despite their short career the band made a huge crack in that 10in thick glass ceiling the music business prefers not to acknowledge. It took guts to get up on stage as an all female band in the early sixties, in an environment where we can barely imagine the kind of crap they had to deal with on a daily basis to be taken seriously. As I said before without them we'd have no Runaways, no Bangles, no Riot Grrrl and no Don't Dance Her Down Boys, it was the Riot Grrrl movement that inspired me to write this blog. We all need to take a second and remember those who came before us, remember the Gingerbreads.

Sunday, 6 May 2012


M Women
The internet's a wonderful thing isn't it. Let's say I like sparkly, multi-coloured roller skates. Well I could search for 'sparkly, multi-coloured roller skates' and find everything related to that subject. The same goes for musical genres.

The other day (or two months ago to be precise) I searched for Seattle grunge and found the delightful Seattle-based grunge three-piece M Women. I've been obsessed with them ever since, I mean, how can you not be? The absurdly lo-fi production, the snappy rhythms and crashing cymbals highlighting every aspect of their songs. M Women sound like the band I formed in my dreams where I suddenly develop a bucket load of talent that I use to entertain the masses.

M Women is made up of Schanen, Carrie and Andrew who together form an impenetrable punk crew who protect themselves with their razor sharp riffs and barrier of noise they create. The band released their debut album Faithful, last October on Couple Skate Records. Previously they had released a few demos on cassette and a 7" titled Aubrey in 2009.

Opener 'Tense Hands Talk' is definitely M Women's definitive track. It's a shattering, explosion of a song that has touches of lo-fi favourites Beat Happening, as well as their contemporaries Grass Widow, nestled within the beat. Other treats include 'Mackrel Gray' and 'Dark Space'.

M Women are a band only at the beginning of their career, yet to peak and show us everything they have to offer. Make no mistake when they do, you'll be amazed at what you see.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Fear of Men Release New Single Green Sea

Fear of Men have announced the release of a new 7" Green Sea on Sexbeat Records.

'Green Sea' is a a warm, dreamy number that features a musical saw, an epic backwards guitar solo and the intimate, DIY sounds that first garnered the group the attention of the music industry.

Green Sea will be released on 18 June on white vinyl,with only 300 copies available.

Pre-order Green Sea here.

Live dates:

5th May- Camden Crawl- The Monarch
6th May- Sounds From The Other City- Islington Mill, Manchester
11th May- Great Escape- Queen's Hotel, Brighton
12th June- White Heat, London (supporting Purity Ring)
16th June- 02 Glasgow ABC 2 (supporting Best Coast)
17th June- HMV Ritz, Manchester (supporting Best Coast)
18th June- 02 Academy, Birmingham (supporting Best Coast)
20th June- 02 Shephers Bush Empire (supporting Best Coast)
21st June- Coalition, Brighton (supporting Best Coast)
London and Brighton launch shows TBC

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Marianne Faithfull was previously just a name to me. Around in the 60s. Had something to do with Mick Jagger. I knew little after that. That was all until I heard 'Why D'ya Do It', from her 1979 album Broken English, and the name Marianne Faithfull meant a lot more to me.

The lyrics, written by the poet Heathcote Williams, depict a graphic, emotional rant of a jilted woman who discovered her lover's adultery. Lines such as "Cause she had cobwebs up her fanny and I believe in giving to the poor" caused controversy when it was released in 1979 and led to the record being banned in Australia.

It's hard to imagine that anyone else could do this song justice the way that Marianne has. You trying singing about a "barbed wire pussy" with a straight face, it's tough. Saying that listening to it does make you wanna scream along with it, which can be a bit tricky at 8am on a packed bus. Oh how my fellow commuters love me. They should be looking past the filthy outbursts and loving Marianne, she's the way to go.

Micachu and the Shapes Announce New Album

Micachu and the Shapes have announced the release of their second studio album Never.

Never will be released on 23 July on Rough Trade Records.

The follow up to their debut record Jewellery in 2009 was produced by the band in their own studio in Stratford.

The shapes have plans to record short films for all 14 of the album's tracks.

Low Dogg
You Know
Top Floor

For more information: