Rainbow Trout ~1980s

 Angele Veltmeyer, saxophone; Carole Nelson, keyboard; Jan Ponsford, voice; Josefina Cupido, percussion; Ruth Bitelli, bass

An article based on interviews with Carol Nelson and Jan Ponsford, of the Rainbow Trout Quintet, describes how they got together with the aim of setting up a record deal with the help of their recently recorded demo tape. The two women talk about their backgrounds, and the page is illustrated by a half page photo of the two standing in the doorway of a brick building, behind railings, looking serious. A smaller photo shows Jan Ponsford in a studio.

Article from Womansound magazine, issue 2, June 1984

Continuing an article based on interviews with Carol Nelson and Jan Ponsford, of the Rainbow Trout Quintet, in wihc they discuss jazz, and the difference between mixed adn women only gigs, and the tape they have made. A photo of Angele Veltmeyer playing a saxophone accompanies the article.

'Rainbow Trout - Three track tape' is the headline of the review. 'Well produced and arranged. Describes the song 'Kerb Crawler' as one which has men 'creeping out of gigs with shame' and says that if commercial companies aren't interested 'it will just prove they haven't got the intelligence to know a good band when they hear it.'

Review, Womansound, issue 2, 1984


Rebel Without A Clue

Judy Coutinho and Julie McNamara

Julie McNamara and Judy Coutinho performing. Julie plays an inflatable toy electric guitar with great gusto, and Judy, who is playing a real acoustic guitar, wears a cowboy hat and has a bandelero in the style of a bullet holder made of tampaxes slung over her shoulder.

A political cabaret duo active on the alternative circuit and women’s gigs, Rebel went to Belfast and toured round Ireland in Julie’s camper van. Note bandaleer of tampax.

Words and sheet music for Rebel Without A Clue, written by Julie and Judy.  Lyrics include 'When me auntie says she's a lesbian, me uncle says No Way! She says he's anti-lesbian, but he's not inclined that way. If you're not butch and you're not femme, then what do you do in bed? We can't both think of England, so we think of something else instead.'

from Red and Green Songs, issue 3

Julie says 'This was written to dispel some of the bloody silly ideas people nurse in their fantasies of lesbian women.'


Renegade early 1980s

'27 February. This new women's band will play at the Women's Arts Alliance, plus disco. £1/1.50 unwaged.'

Spare Rib 104, 1981


Rock Against Sexism 1978 ~ 

Pink badge bears musical notes and the words 'Rock Against Sexism' and the comic cartoon figure, Beryl the Peril, playing electric guitar, wearing her trademark red and black top, red boots, singing and dancing, with a red hat bouncing off her head.

A collection of bright Rock Against Sexism badges, using anarcha-feminist symbol and slogans such as 'rock against roles' and 'rock against sexism, and names of bands The Passions, X-Ray Spex, the Mistakes.

Rock Against Sexism badges

Rock Against Sexism produced a magazine, ‘Drastic Measures.’ One of its founders was Lucy Whitman (then Lucy Toothpaste), who had started a feminist and anti-fascist fanzine called JOLT, been involved in Rock Against Racism, co-editing the RAR magazine ‘Temporary Hoarding’, and later joined the Spare Rib collective.

Lucy Whitman's scrapbook, displayed open here, shows 2 of the covers of the Rock Against Sexism magazine Drastic Measures. One is a 'Royal Wedding Special,' with drawings of Prince Charles and Lady Di wearing nose rings. Another page is not legible in this photo, except for a headline 'love sex, hate sexism.'

Lucy Whitman’s scrapbook of Rock Against Sexism magazines, shown during a presentation at Rachael House’s Fine Arts MA show, Feminist Disco, in 2011.

Issue two of Drastic Measures stated the aims of Rock Against Sexism:

‘To challenge the stereotyped image of men and women and to promote a more positive image of women in music; to promote women bands; against the exploitation of women in advertising or on stage; to define the right of everyone to determine their own sexuality, whether they be straight, gay, both or neither; to fight sexism in music and to use music to fight sexism at large’

'Action Space. Rock Against Sexism. The Mistakes, The Harpies, Androids of Mu. women only.'

'Action Space. Rock against Sexism. Tour de Force, The Leopards, Sound Allies.'

A page of music reviews from Drastic measures, headed 'Popcorn.'. Records reviewed are the Petticoats' 'Normal', Tour de Force's 'Nightbeat,' The Spoilsports' 'You Gotta Shout' and Lemon Kitten's 'We Buy A Hammer for Daddy.' Drawings of a pepsi tin, a hat, stick of chewing gum and a cardboard guitar have tabs on them of the type used for dressing paper dolls.

This page from Drastic Measures has a membership form and list of available RAS goodies, badges, dayglo stickers, and gives the handwritten address RAS, Room 265, 27 Clerkenwell Close, London EC1', and includes an editorial about RAS gigs making a commitment to providing disabled access, and states the aims of the group (as above.) Drawings of a 'dayglo wheelchair', a mask with an 'inane smile to listen to ELO', with tabs on of the kind used to dress paper cutout dolls.


Cover of issue 4 of Drastic Measures, price 20p, with a drawing of a cut out doll type, wearing ungendered underwear, next to the words 'Holly Human.'

Poster from Lucy Whitman's collection of Rock Against Sexism memorabilia held up and photographed during a presentation. Pink background, black writing says 'Rock Against Sexism, South East London, benefit for Gay Pride 1980. The Au Pairs, Patrik Fitzgerald, Nurses, Alien culture. At the Albany Empire, SE8. 23 June. £2/1.50.'

Poster for benefit for Gay Pride 1980 from Lucy Whitman’s collection of Rock Against Sexism memorabilia

A hand-drawn poster with drawings of buildings in the background, for a RAS event at the Albany Empire, Deptford, London SE8. The Raincoats, Necessary Evil and Young Monster Giants. £2/1.50.'

Rock Against Sexism gig poster from Lucy Whitman’s memorabilia collection, photographed on display at Rachael House’s 2011 MA show. Feminist Disco.

Bright blue poster with day glo pink writing. 'Rock Against Sexism present Delta 5, Gang of Four, The Spoilsports. Electric Ballroom, Camden. Admission £2. Part proceeds to National Abortion Campaign.' The RAS logo is on one side, pink, the name written over a symbol which combines a guitar fretboard with a women's symbol. The poster is being held up to be photographed during a presentation by Lucy.

Poster for Rock Against Sexism Electric Ballroom gig, from Lucy Whitman’s memorabilia collection, photographed on display at Rachael House’s 2011 MA show Feminist Disco.

Gig Flyer advertising Delta 5, Gang if Four, and the Spolisports at the Electric Ballroom, Camden. tickets £2 or £1.50 unwaged.Punk style collage layout of cartoons and cut-outs  about sexism.

Rock against Sexism flyer July 1979

Flyer advertising RAS action at march for abortion rights 28 October 1979: the bands Delta 5, Gang of Four, Mekons and 'assorted feminist superstars' play on bandwagon. Photos of the bands plus statements by the women in them about how strongly they feel  'we must have a choice about abortion.'

RAS flyer for Campaign Against the Corrie Anti-abortion bill

badges from T Hunt.jpg


Rock ‘n’ Doris

A long-standing Lesbian Music event in Newcastle since the 80’s. Can anyone help us find the name of the trio?

A trio of women in an old black and white photo, onstage with microphones, singing, one signing. A large banner in background saying 'Rock 'n' Doris'.

A performance at Rock ‘n’ Doris, early 1980s


Rubyfruit ~ mid-Seventies

Betty Hagglund, voice; Caroline Hutton, voice; Lorna Edey, voice

Birmingham-based feminist singing group in the mid-seventies.

‘We sang some of the songs that everyone sang but also wrote our own.  I think I can still remember all the words to our version of ‘The Women’s Army is Marching’ which included a verse for each of the six WLM demands (challenging — try getting abortion on demand or free contraception into a two-line verse – and nothing ever rhymed with patriarchy!), the Birmingham Lesbian song and one that began ‘Underneath the lamplight, waiting for the bus, Along comes a creepy guy to ‘ave a look at us….’

Our repetoire included ‘Three Drunken Maidens’ and part of Rosalie Sorrel’s ‘Baby Song’. A more definitive list will follow soon!’ ~ Betty Hagglund, 2011



3 thoughts on “R

  1. Great site! Rock n’ Doris.I’m pretty sure that’s Rebecca Clow in the middle of your picture. Another member of the group was Sayan Kent, but I’m not sure I see her in this pic. Best of luck to you all! From Clare Summerskill (ex member of cabaret act “Alice and Clare” – I was the Clare part!)

  2. Pingback: Programmes For Schools – Amy & The Angels – punkgirldiaries

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