JACKIE CHAMBERS (guitar/vocals)
KIM McAULIFFE (guitar/vocals)
ENID WILLIAMS (bass/vocals)
DENISE DUFORT (drums)
THE WORLD’S FINEST ALL FEMALE ROCK BAND
The band was originally formed at school by guitarist McAuliffe and bassist Di ‘Enid’ Williams under the name Painted Lady, but changed their name to Girlschool when Johnson and Dufort joined. The latter is the sister of Dave Dufort of Angelwitch. The girls, from south London, released their first material on City Records but signed subsequently to Bronze Records. At first they were regarded as just another girl group, but soon they established a musical ability which silenced the chauvinists.
In 1980 Girlschool had a major UK hit single with MOTORHEAD when they combined to present a 10-inch two-track cut titled ‘St Valentines Day Massacre’.
The title reflects the sleeve’s visual content more than the actual record content. The A-side is a reworking of an old rock ‘n’ roll hit ‘Please Don’t Touch’.
Vic Maile produced Demolition and Hit And Run, but on Screaming Blue Murder they switched to Nigel Gray. On Screaming Blue Murder then bassist Gil Weston replaced Williams on bass and vocals, a move which threw extra weight on the vocals of Johnson. The band attempted a more commercially accessible style which was clearly evident on the smoothly produced (by Slades Noddy Holder) Play Dirty opus. Kelly Johnson departed in 1984 to further her own career and was replaced by Australian Chris Bonacci (ex-Mike Oldfield). They also brought in vocalist Jaquie Bodimead (ex-Canis Major) to handle lead vocals.
The group left Bronze in 1984 eventually signing to GWR Records. Gil Weston left in 1987, McAuliffe recorded with Beki Bondage (Vice Squad vocalist). Bodimead put together a short lived band. Johnson had “Cheers You Lot” released by Razor in 1989, during this year the band were saddened by the death of former producer Vic Maile in 1989.
The girls resurfaced in 1992 on the Communique’ Records label with the eponymously titled album Girlschool. This was followed in 1995 with Girlschool Live with the line up of Kelly, Kim, Tracy and Denise. Last year (2003) saw the release of the 21st Anniversary album a celebration to mark a place in rock history for an all female band that is still touring today. Since recording 21st Anniversary Tracy and Kelly have been replaced by original bass player Enid and new guitarist Jackie (Jax) who had recorded three new tracks with Kim and Denise to add to the album.
Girlschool also featured on the Communique’ album “Second Wave” along with Oliver /Dawson Saxon and Tygers Of Pan Tang.
However, a brand new studio album again produced by Tim Hamill has emerged titled “BELIEVE” and is due to hit the stores late July. A video of the opening track “Come On Up” has been made and the Girls continue touring throughout July. This will be followed by a US tour Aug/Sept.