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Women’s Music: British women playing B'ham


Women’s Music: British women performing in Birmingham

“British women never toured enough and that was always complete frustration to me, partly I cursed the musicians but we are quite a small country, so their idea of a tour was three dates and it wasn’t worth going along with them, they would sell their own stuff, they might want to buy from me later on. Selling at a concert is how musicians made their money, but I was frustrated that they weren’t performing enough, that’s how you build your audience, by performing till you can’t stand it any more”.

“There were some British women (lesbians): (carried on for years and produced 4 albums, always a bit obscure but interesting, one (Jana Runnols???) went to Glastonbury, Rosemary stayed in London, the Fabulous Dirt Sisters (Nottingham) were huge fun, I really liked them, the Bradford Women’s Singers (started late 80s), and heaps of folky people that I picked up, the , Janet Russell and Shelass, people like that. The were this wonderful jazz band. Alison Rayner, and Deidre Cartwright, were at the centre of Jam Today (70s) and then the and made things happen around jazz mainly in London and they were brilliantly professional and knew about performing”.

Performing in Birmingham
and the and all played in Birmingham and I got in the Great Hall at Aston University and at Digbeth Civic Hall, and , I can’t remember where, all to play in Birmingham. Sometimes I organised them, or with other people, or sometimes just made bloody sure that it happened. I hated organising events! I got started at the Graycock Folk Club then I got her to the Triangle, that was the pinnacle of my achievement, and she did a joint concert with Leon Rosselsohn and somewhere else and we ended up at the Irish Centre. Kay Gardener, I put on at the MAC [(Midlands Art Centre)]. The concerts were publicised through a bit of everything, I could also get a mention in ‘What’s On’ because Mike Davis at ‘What’s On’ thought she was brilliant and always did a plug, otherwise a lot of word of mouth, it’s trying to get it to the level of news and get it to the right people, the media was always a slight difficulty.

Contributed by: Caroline Hutton, 51

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