A rifle through the vinyl-The Au Pairs

The Au Pairs were part of the late seventies and early eighties post-punk scene that has come to be known as…well, post-punk, though I get the feeling it wasn’t really called so at the time. The band consisted of guitarist Paul Foad, guitarist and vocalist Lesley Woods, bassist Jane Munro and drummer Pete Hammond. Woods was one of the few ‘out’ lesbians in the music industry at the time, even within the left-wing politics of much of the music scene of the time, and the band were considered important on the riot grrl (sic) movement of the 1990s.

There are probably many better people out there to write critiques of the politics involved, but the music is what i want to focus on. If you have heard Gang of Four and Delta 5 (both of whom I have featured here before) then they were in a similar vein but very much an influential group in their own right.

This is there second single, from 1980 ‘Diet’/’It’s Obvious.’ I should warn people that the sound is a little crackly (and not available on emusic or iTunes, at least in the UK, I did try). But it’s a great record that should be heard, as should the debut Playing With A Different Sex. ‘Diet’ is a sympathetic but frustrated look at the life of a housewife, who doesn’t have political views and spends her time cleaning and washing.

Au Pairs -‘Diet.’ mp3

Au Pairs -‘It’s Obvious.’ mp3

There is a good Au Pairs site here and their Wikipedia entry is here as well as an article here at Fact magazine.

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