Wapping Night Out 1983

Ann Day, drums, percussion; Judy Couthino, guitar; Maggie Nicols, vocals; Mandy Budge, trumpet, flugelhorn; Pat Tell, piano; Sonia Davenport, bass

Improvising group


The Well Oiled Sisters

please let us know if you can help with info on this group


West London Women’s Music Project

Black and white flyer for West London Women's Music Project. Decorated with a moon drawing and musical notes. 'GLC funded. Listen ... come, and learn an instrument, get BETTER on the one you're playing or come and practise with your band.' Prices, sessions available for mums, young children, jam sessions. Directions to venue: the Vale, Acton W3.

West London Women’s Music Project poster


Women in Entertainment

Two ads from Spare Rib, decorated with drawing of saxophone, for 'Kitsch 'n' Sync, two weeks of Women in Rock, Comedy and Cabaret, including Margo Random, Carmel, Sitting Ducks and Robyn Archer, Monstrous Regiment. Part of Women Live, ICA Theatre. Secondly, at the Albany Empire, events for women in May from Women in Entertainment. Includes bands She's Moved and Tour de Force, film Rosie the Riveter, women only jazz funk events with the Guest Stars. Creche facilities.


Women in Folk

Click to read the 2012 dissertation ‘Women in British Folk Music 1880-2011’ by Kerry Firth for a discussion on the historical context of women folk musicians from a feminist perspective


Women in JazzText of the logo in English and Welsh reads, 'women in jazz swansea, menywod yn jazz abertawe.' Black and white letters inside a black square on white background.

please see Jazz Heritage Wales/Treftadaeth Jazz Cymru

*Article, 'Women in Jazz - A Personal View' by Debbie Dickinson, illustrated by small photo of Deirdre Cartwright and guitar. Having returned from sound engineering on a British Council tour of Mexico with the Deirdre Cartwright Group, Debbie reflects on the global situation of a dearth of women jazz musicians compared with Britain.

Article continued, illustrated by a picture of Betty Carter singing and raising her arm exuberantly. Women in Jazz, Debbie Dickinson, Women in Music Now, 1999, continues. She had toured with the Guest Stars in the early 1980s and believed there were more. Working with Betty Carter in 1992 European tour, performing at 28 festivals, she found 3 women on average out of 100 musicians. She created an annual event Women Take Centre Stage to raise the profile of women in jazz and commends Women in Music for recognising their needs.

Click here to download ‘The History of Women in Jazz in Britain’ by Parsonage, Catherine and Dyson, Kathy (2007) from Adkins Chiti, Patricia, ed. ‘Women in Jazz/Donne in Jazz.’ Rome: Editore Columbo, pp. 129–140

Click here for a discussion of women in jazz with Terri Quaye, Gill Lyons, Maggie Nicols, Norma Winstone and Barbara Thompson,  conducted by Linnet Evans in 1972

For interviews with Deirdre Cartwright, Kate Westbrook, Maggie Nicols, journalist, historian and photographer Val Wilmer and other key figures in jazz, please click http://georgemckay.org/jazz/

Other reading: http://www.jazzeddie.f2s.com/jazz_in_the_feminine.htmJazz and women’s liberation; Instrumental Women


Women in Music

Banner logo reads 'Women in Music,' orange background and white writing

“Women in Music is a national membership organisation that celebrates women’s music making across all genres of music. We raise awareness of gender issues in music and support women musicians in their professional development.

If you are a women musician, or want to know more about women’s music-making in the UK, have a look at the What’s On section, which features a wide variety of upcoming musical performances. You can add an event to the listings yourself, by clicking on the Add An Event button. You might also want to take a look at our Myspace site.

If you are a composer, why not check out Competitions and Opportunities? This section is regularly updated with details of a variety of opportunities for you to create profile for your work. See also our latest Proms Report, where we look at the number of women composers included in the BBC Proms from 1989 to 2010.”


Women’s Liberation Music Projects 1970s

Alison Rayner, Andrea Webb, Janie Grote, Nicole Freni,  Terry Hunt, Tierl Thompson

Green background, black letters, 'Sisters in Song: Collection of New Songs from the Women's Liberation Movement',' pen drawing of rolling hills, two trees, clouds and the sun.

Sisters in Song songbook front cover © WLMMP

First page from the Sisters in Song songbook. Discussion of group's origins and project the Women's Liberation Music Project Group has run. Includes a quote from Holly Near, 'music carries, it caresses, it moulds, it educates, it trains, it pacifies, it mobilizes, it calms, it motivates ... it is indeed the most fascinating thing I have ever known in my lifetime. Consequently it can be useful and dangerous. Anything that carries as much power and influence as music does must be handled with care.'

… click to continue with the introduction to the songbook


Women Live ~ 1982 ~ various UK venues

in London included the Early Evening Jazz Festival at the Drill Hall

Black and white poster for Early Evening Jazz at the Drill Hall, photo of Julia carrying her double bass into the stage door. 'Bar. Food. Fiancially assisted by the Greater London Arts Association. Sponsored by Marksons Pianos.'

Flyer photo of Julia Doyle (c) Val Wilmer

Back of the black and white flier, lists acts include The Guest Stars, the Lydia D'ustebyn Swing Orchestra with guest singers Laka Daisical and Jan Itor; The Gail Thompson Quartet; Jans Ponsford Quintet; Maggie Nicols and Julie Tippetts and the Ida Headache Trio; Irene Shweitzer and Maggie Nicols; Kathy Stobart Quintet; Contradictions; Jane Shortener's Longshots; Hipscats; Lindsay Cooper, Vibe Robinson, Marilyn Mazur; Sylvia Hallett; Jam Today; The Nicky Scott Francis Quintet; Norma Winstone and John Taylor.

back of flyer showing programme

Early Evening Jazz, 'Last two days of the first women's jazz festival fortnight at the Drill Hall. 14 and 15 May, Jane Shortener's Longshots plus the Hipscats; Kathy Stobart Quintet 'Britain's most respected woman saxophonist.'

Spare Rib 119, 1982

Page 1 of report from the Women Live festival in Spare Rib, headline 'A Lively May,' pictures of performers Kathy Stobart and the Seven Minute Show and Women's Dance Trope Sheer Ebony. 'Diverse and plentiful music' at London's LMC, ICA, Starlight Club, and Drill Hall. Other events in Bristol, and Tyneside starred the Frigging Little Bits.

Women Live festival report, Spare Rib 120, 1982.

Women's Live fest review, page 2, pictures of Amazulu performing outdoors in Jubilee Gardens, London's South Bank next to the GLC HQ, and Irene Schweizer and Lindsay Cooper. Description of very successful music workshops at Bristol's Watershed.

photos of Lindsay Cooper, Irene Schweizer, Kathy Stobart (c) Val Wilmer

In this article the first women's jazz festival is described as  'an unprecedented, unique and stimulating  musical event,' featuring many women such as Maggie Nicols, Annie Whitehead, Kathy Stobart.

   Article on Early Evening Jazz in the first issue of The Wire, 1982, copyright Val Wilmer



The Wire Val Wilmer 1982:2

Photos with the Wire article show Julia carrying her double bass to a stage door, and Irene adn Lindsay with their arms around each other's shoulders, smiling, Lindsay holding her bassoon.. Photos of Julia Doyle, Irene Schweitzer and Lindsay Cooper copyright Val Wilmer

A review of the Drill Hall's Women Live, with a photo of Maggie Nicols singing and Sally Beautista on guitar in live performance, encircled by onlooking audience of women, all smiling.'Individually or collectively, a suberb display of women's long ignored jazz talents' wrote John Gill. Time Out, May 1882, photo of Sally Beautista and Maggie Nicols on stage (c) Val Wilmer

Newspaper review, headline 'Scat People. John Fordham meets two top performers at the Women in Jazz Festival,' photo of Maggie Nicols and Julie Tippetts singing together, in profile.Review of Drill Hall event by Graham Lock, describing the 'runaway success' of Britain's first women's jazz festival. 'Fifteen bands over ten nights, hardly a slack moment. As Jan Ponsford sang 'there are so many things we can do.'

Women Live at the London Musicians Collective  Black and white programme cover for Women Live, price 30p, vibrant hand drawings of black and white women jumping through bass drums holding microphones and guitars, surrounded by musical notes. 'Typeset by Bread 'n' Roses.'

Click here:  Women Live 1982 London Musicians Collective Programme for the full line-up of events and loads of info on the many artists taking part!


Women Live (Edinburgh)

Women Live was started in Edinburgh in the autumn of 1981. This was influenced by the work of Women in Entertainment, which was based in London. Their aim was to encourage women’s work in the arts and media in Scotland. Furthermore they explored and campaigned around issues such as stereotyping and distortion of women’s experience in the media and the status of women in society at large.

The 1982 festival was their first event and was financed through by the Scottish Arts Council, sponsorship and membership fees of the initial 100 women who joined Women Live. It was a great success, with nearly three shows per day at the Netherbow Theatre (the centre of the festival) for the whole of the festival, along with other exhibitions and events. The following year in 1983, the festival was equally successful with shows all over Edinburgh. Women Live also participated in the Women’s Health Fair in 1983 which coincided with the last weekend of the Women Live festival. Throughout this time, regular meetings and events took place, with regular newsletters keeping members informed of the group’s activities. Due to lack of funding, a festival was not planned for 1984. However there were several events throughout the year. In 1985, with funding from Edinburgh District Council, Women Live were able to stage another festival, known as the Spring Fling. This festival was not as long, just over a week and was also mostly based at the Pleasance theatre as opposed to various venues.

A collage of images of women singing and playing guitars, bright posters and ephemera  advertising Women Live.

Collection of images from the Women Live collection at the Glasgow Women’s Library

The collection is mainly comprised of ephemera relating to Women Live, such as posters, leaflets, programmes, badges and newspaper cuttings regarding each of the festivals and other events. There is also correspondence relating to sponsorship, membership etc, several drafts and copies of the constitution, minutes of meetings, agendas and newsletters, photographs of events and performers as well as biographies of certain performers and information from similar groups or movements.

This entry was written by volunteers at the Glasgow Women’s Library


Women’s Revolutions Per Minute (WRPM) 1977-2005

Nicolle Freni and Teirl Thompson (1977-1979); Caroline Hutton (1979-1999); Hilary Friend (1999 – 2005)

Women’s Revolution Per Minute (WRPM) was the main distribution network for Women’s and Feminist music in the UK from the late 1970s to the 1990s. It was set up in 1977 by Nicolle Freni and Teirl Thompson. At that time the WRPM sold mainly records made by American feminists such as Meg Christian, Alix Dobkin and others releases from the Olivia record label (originally called the ‘Olivia Records Collective’).

Black and white text flier detailing the philosophy behind the Women's Revolutions Per Minute non-commercial distribution service for feminist music, describes importing records from America, and beginning to distribute records from the UK

Flier for the WRPM when it was based in London offering the political reasons behind starting the distribution network.

Back of flier which lists all the places you could go to buy women's music, including Terry Quaye's disco (1978)

The WRPM was acquired by Caroline Hutton in 1979 who developed it into a UK-wide non-commercial feminist music distribution service. Caroline sold records in a variety of places: radical bookshops, women’s bookshops, commerical shops, at women’s music events and through mail order.

Women's Revolution Per Minute Catalogue, Birmingham, including information on items available such as Jam Today's Stereotyping; The Mistakes' Radiation; The Spoilsports' You Gotta Shout. The flier describes the intimate relationship between music and politics in women's music

The WRPM stocked a wide breadth of music. In an interview we conducted with Caroline Hutton in 2009 she said: ‘there wasn’t a kind of music I wouldn’t sell. What I was looking at was: would it sell [and] was it feminist enough.’  The WRPM sold the work of many of the artists who are documented in the WLM Music Archive.Stocklist for the WRPM, divided into genres, including 'Women's Folk/ Soft Rock; Jazz;  Up Tempo/ Dancing; Gospel/ Blues; Country/ Folk; Classical/ Instrumental; Spoken word/ poetry, herstory; songbooks.

After years of carrying records up and down the country in a back-pack, Caroline Hutton sold the WRPM in 1999 to Hilary Friend. Before doing so she created an archive of the many records, tapes and songbooks she distributed. This was housed in Birmingham Central Library and includes donations made by Hilary Friend when she ceased trading. Tierl Thompson has donated a selection of WRPM records to the WLMA’s physical collection, which will be housed by the Feminist Archive South and publicly accessible from early 2013. The WRPM archive, 1979 to 1999, containing  approximately 1200 CDs, tapes and LPs, representing all the recordings that passed through Hilary Friend’s hands during the years she ran the organisation, was transferred to Goldsmiths University of London from Birmingham Music Library in 2012. Please see http://www.gold.ac.uk/make/ for further information or to access their catalogue.



~ a crucial part of feminist music-making

Yellow background, green letters. Illustrated with musical notes. 'Ova Music Studio presents an open day to launch a recording studio and music resource centre for women and girls. March 25 1986, 12 - 9. All day demonstrations of 4 track studio; PA and Sound Equipment Workshop; Voice Workshop; Rhythm and Percussion; Combined Singing and Drumming Workshop; plus videos and information about women's music. GLC funded.

Article from Shocking Pink, feminist magazine for young girls, advising on learning instruments and setting up bands. Explains where to buy electric guitars, what to look for and where to play. Headline mocks common stereotypes: 'It's too complex, it's too heavy, it's unfeminine.'

Shocking Pink 1981, issue 2

Shocking Pink page 2, includes chord bar diagram of common guitar chords, pictures of women learning to play guitar at workshops.

Shocking Pink young women’s magazine, issue 2, 1981

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  1. Pingback: Nicolle freni | Premierpb

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