The Raincoats

The Raincoats

Infobox musical artist |
Name = The Raincoats
Img_capt = Gina Birch and Ana da Silva
Background = group_or_band
Origin = London, England
Genre = Post-punk
Years_active = 1977 – 1984
1993 - present
Label = Rough Trade Records
Blast First
Smells Like Records
DGC Records
Associated_acts =
URL = [ The Raincoats web site]
Current_members = Ana da Silva
Gina Birch
Past_members = Ross Crighton
Nick Turner
Kate Korus
Jeremie Frank
Vicky Aspinall
Ingrid Weiss

The Raincoats are a post-punk band and were formed in 1977 by Ana da Silva (vocals, guitar) and Gina Birch (vocals, bass) while they were students at Hornsey College of Art, London, England. [ [ “Women and the Rock Business, and the story of the Raincoats” The Open University 7 February, 2005] - Retrieved: 28 July 2007 ]


The line-up included Ross Crighton on guitar and Nick Turner on drums for the band’s first gig on 9 November 1977. Kate Korus, from The Slits and later The Mo-dettes, joined briefly but was replaced by Jeremie Frank. Nick Turner left to form The Barracudas and Richard Dudanski (exThe 101'ers and later Public Image Ltd. sat in on drums and film maker Patrick Keiller replaced Jeremie Frank on guitar.

Late in 1978, The Raincoats became an all female post-punk band, when joined by Palmolive of The Slits (drums), Vicky Aspinall (violin) and manager Shirley O'Loughlin. The band went on their first UK tour with Swiss female band Kleenex, in May 1979 after Rough Trade Records released their first single, "Fairytale in the Supermarket"/ "In Love"/ "Adventures Close to Home".

Palmolive left the band after their seminal first album "The Raincoats" and Ingrid Weiss (mother to Kitty, Daisy and Lewis Durham) joined in 1980, when the band began recording their second album "Odyshape", and toured Europe and the east coast of the United States. Guest musicians on "Odyshape" included Robert Wyatt, This Heat's Charles Hayward and Richard Dudanski.

In New York, in December 1982, The Raincoats recorded a live album at the arts space The Kitchen. "The Kitchen Tapes" (live) was released on ROIR in 1983. [ [ The Kitchen Tapes] - Retrieved: 28 July 2007 ]

The band recorded "Moving" in 1984 and began work on solo projects shortly after the release of this album. Gina Birch and Vicky Aspinall formed Dorothy and Ana da Silva worked with choreographer Gaby Agis on a series of dance projects and formed Roseland with Charles Hayward, they appeared in the 1999 comedy film "10 things i hate about you".

In 1992 Kurt Cobain of Nirvana went into the Rough Trade Shop in Talbot Road, London in search of a new copy of "The Raincoats" and Jude Crighton sent him round the corner to see Ana da Silva at her cousin's antique shop. Cobain wrote passionately about this meeting in the liner notes of Nirvana’s "Incesticide" album. In late 1993 Rough Trade and DGC Records released the three albums with liner notes by Cobain and Kim Gordon.

Shirley O'Loughlin persuaded Ana da Silva and Gina Birch to play a show at the Garage in London in March 1994 with Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth on drums and Anne Wood on violin to celebrate the album releases. They recorded a session for BBC Radio 1's John Peel, which was released on Paul Smith's Blast First and Steve Shelley’s record label Smells Like Records. Cobain invited them to play on the tour Nirvana planned for the UK in April, but he died a week before the tour began. Da Silva and Birch had written some new material and released a new album "Looking in the Shadows" on DGC Records and Rough Trade Records in 1996, produced by Britpop producer Ed Buller (who had previously worked with Suede and Pulp). Musicians included Anne Wood (violin, bass), Heather Dunn (drums) and Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks and solo artist).

Since 1996, The Raincoats have played some special events such as Robert Wyatt's Meltdown in 2001 and at Chicks on Speed's "99 Cents" album release in Berlin in December 2003. Da Silva and Birch recently recorded a cover version of "Monk Chant" for a compilation album of The Monks songs called "Silver Monk Time", and performed the song live with the Monks in the Volksbuehne, Berlin in October 2006. They played at Ladyfest Leeds in April 2007 and the Nuits Sonores Festival in Lyon on 18 May 2007 on the Girl Monster stage with Chicks on Speed. [ [ The Raincoats concert in Leeds 2007] - Retrieved: 28 July 2007 ]

olo activities

Gina Birch worked with Mayo Thompson on The Red Krayola's 1981 "Kangaroo?" LP (1981) and in 1988, and formed 'Dorothy' with Vicky Aspinall releasing a series of 12" singles. She formed The Hangovers and released an album, "Slow Dirty Tears", in 1998 on Kill Rock Stars and they toured in the United States as a full band, and in 2000 Birch and da Silva performed live at the first Ladyfest in Olympia Washington and in 2002 at the London Ladyfest. The Hangovers played in Moscow in February 2003. She continues to play mainly in London often accompanied by her film and video work and has also directed music videos, including those for The Libertines, "Up the Bracket", "Time for Heroes" and "I Get Along", plus two for New Order, and also Beth Orton, Daisy Chainsaw, The Pogues, The Veils and others.

Da Silva worked with dancer/choreographer Gaby Agis on a series of dance projects between 1985 and 1988 composing the score for the film "Freefall" for Channel 4 and formed 'Roseland' with Charles Hayward in 1986. She released an album called "The Lighthouse" on Chicks on Speed's record label in February 2005. Stuart Moxham of the Young Marble Giants collaborated on one of the album tracks, "Modinha" and she recently performed in London, Germany, Portugal and at Ladyfestspain in Madrid and with Marina Rosenfeld's Sheer Frost Orchestra at the Tate Modern in May 2006. She continues to play with shows recently in both London and Germany.



*1979 - "The Raincoats" [ [ Guardian review of "Little-known records with big influence" 20 July 2007] - Retrieved: 28 July 2007 ] [ [,,1241217,00.html Stuart Murdoch: My Top 10 albums] - Retrieved: 28 July 2007 ]
*1981 - "Odyshape"
*1983 - "The Kitchen Tapes" (live)
*1984 - "Moving"
*1996 - "Looking in the Shadows"


*1983 - "Animal Rhapsody"
*1994 - "Extended Play"


*1979 - "Fairytale in the Supermarket" / "In Love" / "Adventures Close to Home"
*1982 - "No One's Little Girl" / "Running Away"
*1983 - "Animal Rhapsody" / "No One's Little Girl" / "Honey Mad Woman"
*1996 – "Don’t Be Mean" / "Vicious" / "I Keep Walking"

Tracks on compilations

* 1990 - "No One's Little Girl" on "A Constant Source of Interruption" - []
* 1993 - "In Love" on "Lipstick Traces" - compiled by Greil Marcus author of "In the Fascist Bathroom" []
* 1995 - "Off Duty Trip" on "Razor and Tie Music" []
* 1995 - "In Love" on "Upsalapalooza" []
* 1996 - "Pretty" on "Buy Product 2" []
* 2001 - "Fairytale in the Supermarket" on "Rough Trade Shops 25 years" []
* 2003 - "Lola" on "Rough Trade Shops Post Punk 01" []
* 2003 - "Animal Rhapsody" on "Chicken Lips DJ Kicks" []
* 2004 - "Fairytale in the Supermarket" on ""
* 2006 - "Only Loved at Night" on "Rip it Up" - compiled by Simon Reynolds author of "Rip it Up and Start Again" []
* 2006 - "Monk Chant" on "Silver Monk Time" []
* 2006 - "Shouting Out Loud" on "Girl Monster" []


* [,,2143791,00.html Guardian Online review of book relating to female punk musicians/groups including Gina Birch and Ana da Silva]


The lyric "Bring your record player and your Raincoats 45s" appears in the song, "Meet Me by the Water" by Saturday Looks Good to Me, on their album, "All Your Summer Songs".

External links

* [ The Raincoats official myspace site]
* [ The Raincoats official web site]
* [ ROIR Kitchen Tapes page]

* [ The Incesticide liner notes]

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