Girlschool – “Glasgow 1982”

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Girlschool – “Glasgow 1982” (Cleopatra Records)

Without doubt the longest running all female rock band of all time (and still going to this day), Girlschool fought their way into the fiercely male dominated British heavy rock scene of the late 70s. Taken under the unlikely wings of Motorhead, Girlschool’s own brand of brash, no nonsense punk tinged noise went into full metal mode during NWOBHM and culminated in the release of their unforgettable debut. “Demolition” immediately charted as the explosion of this newer, faster and more aggressive style of metal rapidly grew and Girlschool were on their way! With tours, TV appearances and an Xmas collaboration with Motorhead on the “St Valentines Massacre” EP paving the way for their sophomore “Hit And Run”, it wasn’t long before the band were headliners in their own right, even headlining the prestigious Reading Festival. Continuing their success with a European support slot of Rainbow and a Japanese tour, the band’s 3rd album “Screaming Blue Murder”, showed the hallmarks of upmarket production, increased budget and more importantly, a way into the lucrative US market. The album also debuted the appearance of new bassist Gil Weston, who was recommended by Lemmy himself , and formerly of the punk band The Killjoys. As such, “Glasgow 1982” was recorded on a UK tour of that year, presumably designed to showcase Weston on the live front, as well as consolidate material taken from all 3 albums. Comprising 11 tracks, it authentically plays just how I remember the band and the furor of their live sets that made them nominated the ‘sisters of Motörhead’! The way out of order screams and onstage banter of vocalist / guitarist Kim McAuliffe had most men taken aback (god knows what women made of them – but my mom just shook her head in dismay ha ha) whilst the fretboard talent of lead guitarist Kelly Johnson (RIP) had even more men intimidated as it soon became clear she did a lot more than look like Farah Fawcett! Between these two strutting she devils came a raw shredding sound that blended man rock with rock n roll and the aggro punk of the 70s – now even more prominent with Weston’s dirty bass. At the rear end was a lady – Denise Dufort – who was the sister of Angel Witch drummer Dave Dufort and whose power drumming saw her stand in for Philthy Animal Taylor on drums – no mean feat. That she still drums to this day as proficiently and with power says it all about this lady! Listening to my faves like ‘Race With The Devil’, ‘The Hunter’ and the earth shaking ‘Nothing To Lose’ brings back all the memories as the rabid Glasgow crowd literally holler down the house (me included)! These were the glory days of Girlschool, taken to the heart by many a headbanger as their metal sisters and whose success would ironically and tragically see the ultimate demise of the band, who arguably loved their music more than the money. “Glasgow 1982” captures it all, and is a fitting historical record of a band (still with 3/4 of their original line-up) fighting fit and set to release a new album in 2015!

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