Girlschool | London 1980 (Cleopatra)

cd girlschoolLondon 1980 reminds us where the new wave of British heavy metal began—and it began with bands like Girlschool.




One of the most influential all-female hard rock bands, Girlschool has finally released its live opus, London 1980. This never before–heard concert album from the vaults reminds rock fans why so many other groups cite the band as a definite influence.

From the edges of the new wave of British heavy metal, just after punk reigned supreme, Girlschool came from the intersection of both. Raw and loose in delivery, they pushed hard rock limits by bringing the punk aggression along for the ride. This concert catches the group in its early years, with the original lineup of guitarist/vocalist Kim McAuliffe, bassist Enid Wilson, drummer Denise Dufort, and the raucous vocals of lead singer/guitarist the late Kelly Johnson.

The band has enjoyed success in different waves since the late ’70’s/early ’80s, and through many different lineups. This London show in particular shows the band in its hungry prime. Opening with “Demolition Boys,” the girls start rocking right out of the gate. While the songs are understandably not as tight as their sometimes slickly produced albums, Girlschool makes up for in flair what it may lack in technical ability. A killer version of the ZZ Top über hit “Tush” sets the tone for the rest of the album. Raw and heavy, yet still melodic enough to eschew a punk label, London 1980 reminds us where the genre began—and it began with bands like Girlschool. Also included here are Girlschool classics “Midnight Ride,” “Nothing to Lose,” and show closer “Emergency.”

This album rocks. Showing the band at its metal/punk finest, this is a must for lovers of the new wave of British heavy metal. B+ | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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