Pussy Galore – Observer: John Peel Purrs Over The Scratch and Bite of Pussy Galore (PRESS, UK)

27 November 1988 Guardian
Pussy Galore – Observer: John Peel Purrs Over The Scratch and Bite of Pussy Galore (PRESS, UK)
NOTES:
This is taken from a from a photocopied document sent out to press to promote the re-issues of Sugarshit Sharp, Right Now! and Dial ‘M’ For Motherfucker. The press pack included a whole selection of reviews and features taken from various publications and the cover is a Pussy Galore logo.

Article on and review of Pussy Galore live at Harlesden Mean Fiddler, London which was released as the Cum Into My Mouth bootleg album on vinyl and CD.

ARTICLE TEXT:
“John Peel purrs over the scratch and bite of Pussy Galore

SINCE the release in 1985 of their first record, a seven-inch EP called ‘Feel Good About Your Body’ which said a resounding ‘No’ to life with such titles as ‘Die Bitch’ and ‘Constant Pain’, Pussy Galore has taken not a single step along the bright pathway to pop acceptance.

The band moved the following year from Washington, D.C. to New York City, where their deeply confrontational music – based, unlike that of more solidly ‘art’-based contemporaries such as the Swans, on a gross distortion of the music tenets of those white, American garage bands of the 1960s who were aping what they saw as the least endearing characteristics of the Rolling Stones – would meet with grim satisfaction. (Pussy Galore went so far, in December 1986, as to record their own version of the Stones’ LP ‘Exile On Main Street’, a severely limited edition cassette release I have never, alas, heard.)

With founder members Jon Spencer (guitar and vocals) and Julia Cafritz (guitar and vocals) joined by guitarist Kurt Wolf and Bob Bert, enlisted as drummer when Julia and Jon moved to New York, Pussy Galore played at Harlesden’s Mean Fiddler on Wednesday night.

The band certainly attracts an outdoorsy sort of following. Just astern of me, rugged individualists in buckets were breaking things in a controlled but purposeful manner. Some playful sprite threw beer over my trousers.

The band was late starting. ‘Talk Dirty,’ someone shouted when the musicians did appear. Julia obliged. Pussy Galore played for 20 seconds then left the stage. ‘Very New York,’ I thought, hugging myself delightedly. Unfortunately, the effect was spoiled when, some five minutes later, the combo reappeared, Spencer having changed into an unpleasant shirt. The question popped into my mind, as it had at recent concerts by Pisiex and Rapeman – who did Americans such as these vote for?

Another flurry of noise and Pussy Galore had gone again. Perhaps, I thought, they intended a set of such vignettes. A pretty notion too, if they could get away with it. Reappearing a second time and having nothing to say to us beyond hoarsely for beer, the quartet now embarked upon its performance power. Richly rewarding it was too.

The initial impression to those unfamiliar with the band’s records would have been, I imagine, of undisciplined uproar and reasonable aggression, but a more informed listen would have revealed highly structured pieces of some complexity, through which wildly distorted quotes were whipped as though carried in the teeth of some mephitic gale. Was that ‘Wild thing’? And ‘Walk Don’t Run’? This was, reason roared, much more to do with the realities of life in the US today than the cowpoke romanticism and song-of-the-working-man clod-hoppery infested American music.

Pussy Galore played a vicious street brawl of a set, leaving the impression that the band pursue a musical scorched-earth policy in the hope that the traditions on which they base their impressive music can never be used again.”

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