Dangerous Designs 1988

Ann Day, drums and percussion; plus ?

African, Latin


Dee Orr Goes Country

Dee Orr plus 3 other women

Front cover 'June' in block capitals, 'Lesbian Strength and Gay Pride.' Text inside exploding dark background graphic, Chat's Palace in deco-style font. Back cover listings include Dee Orr, Touch, Sista Culcha and Viv Acious'Celebrate the Lesbian Strength and Gay Pride Festival at Chats. We'll be hosting several events 21 - 28 June, including women's ceili band Sheela-Na-Gig, women's country and western band Dee Orr Goes Country, The Touch and Gatto Fritto, sounds by Viv Acious and Sista Culcha and more.' Photo of the four members of Dee Orr Goes Country posing smiling, in check shirts and cowboy hat. Other events at Chat's Palace, Homerton Community Centre, listed include classes, a Senior Citizens' Summer Playscheme Tea Dance, Asian support services and Kwame Nkrumah Supplementary School.

Handwritten flyer 'Dee Orr Goes Country, a 4 piece women's country and western band. Yippie - ay - aye' performing at Rackets women's club in Islington, with a sketched drawing of a dancing woman in cowboy boots and hat.

Flyer for Rackets women’s club gig, Angel Islington


The Deltones 1985 – ?

Black on red flyer. 'Killing Time at the Sol y Sombre, Charlotte Street London W1. Tap your toes to your favourite ska beats with The Deltones, plus The Scheme.'First of four black and white photos of the Deltones first gig, at London's Sol y Sombre club, shows three women saxophone players and a trumpeter blowing strongly into microphones.Second of four photos taken during Deltone's first gig, of two women singing into microphones.Third photo of the Deltones' first gig shows two saxophone players looking at each other and smiling.

Photographs of the Deltones’ first gig at Sol y Sombre (c) Steve Richards

Last of four photos of the Deltones' first gig is of the guitarist, bassist and keyboard player performing.

A black and white cartoon drawing of a woman playing guitar, advertising 'The jolly good Deltones ska band and very nice disco. Women's night at 121 Railton Rd London SW2. Wednesday 27 November. Only 75p. Starts 9.00. Benefit for December Greenham action. Brixton tube station and nightbus.''Gaz's rockin blues at Gossip's, 69 Dean Street W1. Ska and bluebeat, blues movement, featuring Hot New All-Girl Bluesbeat Band! Proudly presenting the Deltones. 19 December 1985.' Black text on white, illustrated by drawing of man in mac and triby hat outside a Soho street building featuring a sign saying 'WILD' and a musical note.

Illustrated by another photo of the band's brass section performing with gusto. Peel gave a positive review of a gig at Camden Palace organised by Gaz of Gaz's Rocking Blues club, saying he 'couldn't imagine eleven men playing together with the sense of community radiated by the Deltones.'

A positive review article from Zoot magazine, publicising the release of the Deltones debut album, 'Nana Choc Choc in Paris' noting that it was recorded in France where the band had a large following. Illustrated with black and white publicity shot of ten women and one man (they had been unable to find a female drummer) smiling to camera.

The Zoot article continues positively about the Deltones and an ad for their record release 'afternoon cake and sweetie party' at The Old White Horse, Brixton, on 4 March, illustrated with a drawing of a bottle of Batman beer, and an ad for the debut single 'Stay Where You Are,' on the Unicorn label.

from Zoot ~ a ska zine


Devil’s Dykes see The Bright Girls



Distribution ~ see also Women’s Revolutions Per Minute

Independent outlets such as Sisterwrite Bookshop, in Upper Street, London N1, were important sources of women’s music. Sisterwrite, a feminist collective started in 1979 by Kay Stirling, Lynn Alderson and Mary Coghill, e.g., stocked albums and tapes by women artists worldwide, some of which can be seen as displayed in the photos below, including those from Olivia, the American recording label. (For an Olivia discography see http://www.queermusicheritage.us/olivia.html)

Photograph of Sisterwrite founders Mary, Lynn and Kay at work donated by the estate of Caroline Forbes

‘We also operated as an information centre, so for things like the Women’s Monthly Events etc we had the posters and info, and all the newsletters too which were what made it possible for women to find out about such music/cultural events – all our info systems were alternative at that time as I recall, since we had no access to mainstream media. I think that’s kind of important as the role of all our centres and publications is easily forgotten – how important they were in creating an alternative culture … the formal structure of Sisterwrite was  a worker’s co-operative as well as a feminist collective.’ ~ Lynn Alderson, 2010 

Photo from back of shop toward street window shows array of books and records.

Sisterwrite bookshop, looking out toward Upper Street. Jane Tilly at counter. Photo copyright Annabel Faraday.

Two women workers at Sisterwrite smiling, lots of bookshelves and posters in background.

Jane Tilly and Frankie Green in Sisterwrite. Photo copyright Annabel Faraday

Frankie Green and Judith Skinner in Sisterbite cafe

Sisterbite Cafe, upstairs at Sisterwrite. Frankie Green and Judith Skinner, 1980. Photo copyright Annabel Faraday

Cartoon nuns in the form of sharks, swimming, with the invitation: 'drop in for a bite!' The flyer shows the address, above Sisterwrite bookshop, 190 Upper St, N1.

Cover of Sisterwrite catalogue 1981: drawing shows a variety of women and kids looking at the stocks of books with shelves behind them.

Sisterwrite bookshop catalogue 1981/2, graphic copyright Jo Nesbitt



Read ‘Sistas Talk Music’ article on Women DJs from Spare Rib, issue 160, 1985 here

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