Influential and seminal, albeit underground, The Raincoats have always carried around an air of credibility despite their exclamation at their recent gig at Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts that “over the years we have honed in on the ability of being not entirely professional.” This gig is no different, as the girls’ fans clearly expressed in their enthusiasm, and respect.
In 1977 Gina Birch and Ana da Silva met and formed The Raincoats and this trip has led them to becoming one of the great significant British underground bands. Certainly as an independent thinking feminist they are no short of an inspiration, as the seminal post-punk band, ‘godmothers of grunge’ they are celebrating over three decades of providing themselves with their own freedom to record, write and perform music in the style they choose.
The Raincoats created a sound that inspired by punk and rock music but was uniquely and uncompromisingly powerful and female, and which fascinated all those lucky enough to stumble across it. The famous story is of course that of Kurt Cobain travelling to the Rough Trade shop in Talbot Road in 1992 in an attempt to replace his worn out copy of The Raincoats LP, a trip that in the end led to reissues of the band’s back catalogue and the offer of a tour with Nirvana that sadly never took place.
Supported by Sacred Paws, who have exploited new technology in their creation of music, with one being in Glasgow and the other based in London, there is a linear sense of those influenced by and those that encouraged the female-led bands. That does not undermine the talent that resides in both Rachel Aggs and Eilidh Rogers, as both warmed the crowd up in a toasty fashion with tracks like San Diego, and a high-octane set.
As The Raincoats hit the stage, the audience were eagerly anticipating this extraordinary band, and realise that age has only matured these girls, who remind us of tracks such as We Smile, No One’s Little Girl and Fairytale In the Supermarket. With the wiry discord and free-er vocal sounds, these girls are not feeling the urge to lose this freedom to create music the way that they wish to. Their feminism is still at the core of their sound, and it certainly sounds like this will not change. These sounds create something I would be keen to hear more of and it was definitely a nice surprise to see both Sacred Paws and The Raincoats perform together, witnessing the fans play with the punk anomalies. To play with those that are greatly influenced by their talent, they are doing precisely as they set out, honing “in on that ability to being not entirely professional” but yet, retaining their integrity with this wonderful blinder.