Sunday, January 08, 2006

UK Riot Grrrl and their Friends : Red Monkey

Band: Red Monkey
From: UK (Newcastle)
When: Mid 90's until early 2000s
Peter Dale ( AKA Vitamin P) - guitar: was also in Matter of Exact and Pussycat Trash, Milky Wimpshake, and Avacado Baby
Rachel ( AKA R.K. Fusee) - bass : was also in Matter of Exact and Pussycat Trash, and Avacado Baby
Marc ( AKA M.E. Cha Cha ) - drums: was also in Kodiak.

Peter and Rachel were a couple and also founded Slampt Records; the leading Riot Grrrl friendly / DIY powered label/ zine/ and then some.... in the UK.

Why did I pick this band for my list: Besides Huggy Bear this is one of the 5 most well known bands from the UK who were very much associated with the Riot Grrrl movement and are still highly regarded today.

Often compared to : The Fall, early touch and go bands, The Dog Faced Hermans, The Ex, Gang of Four, Fugazi, Slant 6, Wire, andThe Mo-Dettes.

The TMU website sums it up perfectly: "How can a band be both minimalist and complex at the same time? They manage it, mixing the 80's minimalism with a 90's sort of complexity. Rachel's vocals are fierce and devastating. Total power."

A quote from the band: "I think we're in a British tradition," says Dale, "but more like the labels like Rough Trade--'80s independent music. There's not much in Britain that we would identify with today."

My two cents: Noisy, angular, bass heavy, DIY, politically charged, emotional, and angsty with a spoken to shouted form of vocal attack shared by both the male and female voice.

My Favorite Red Monkey Record: Difficult Is Easy : Troubleman Unlimited
I think you can listen to bits of it here.

Discography: Take from the Kill Rock Stars site (KRS = Kill Rock Stars)
KRS/5RC ReleasesKRS305 Mailorder Freaks Singles Club 7"
KRS/5RC CompilationsKRS341 Fields and Streams Compilation 2CD
TMU068 Gunpowder, Treason and Plot CD/LP (TMU = Troubleman Unlimited)
TMU054 Get Uncivilised 7"
TMU025 The Time is Right 7"
TMU028 Make the Moment LP/CD
Slampt47 Do What You Feel (Feel What You Do) 7"
Slampt57/TMU032 Difficult is Easy LP/CD
YOYO18 Yoyo A Gogo 1999 CD (Yoyo) "Ain't Nothing But An Incendiary Device"
TMU050 Troubleman Mix-Tape (Troubleman)
TMU035 Taking a Chance on Chances LP/CD (Slampt/Troubleman split)

The Red Monkey related band history taken from both Kill Rock Stars and Troubleman. Pussycat Trash will have their very own post.

From TMU: "MILKY WIMPSHAKE (started in the mid 90’s)"Lovers, Not Fighters" LP/CDMILKY WIMPSHAKE is the other band that Pete from RED MONKEY does. Please note: this is not a side project! MILKY WIMPSHAKE has been together for almost 7 years and have released over 10 singles and a full length on Slampt Records. This is their Troubleman debut. The band takes their cues from 70's power pop gods the BUZZCOCKS and political folk luminaries BILLY BRAGG and PHIL OCHS. Not as "in your face" political as RED MONKEY, MILKY WIMPSHAKE take the romantic approach to politics without being emo or any other sappy drivel. Pete's songs are super catchy and his vocals are raspy, yet melodic, bringing to mind David Gedge of THE WEDDING PRESENT at times. The lyrics are smart and to the point. These songs are a call to arms! Protest songs the whole family can sing along to! Over the years, MILKY WIMPSHAKE has developed quite a loyal following, enough to spark the impromptu acoustic Wimpshake set during RED MONKEY shows!"

A full discography is unknown to me so if anyone has a complete list please feel free to post.

Avacado Baby ( started in the mid 90’s)
Peter Dale (Matter of Exact, Pussycat Trash, Red Monkey)
Rachel (Matter of Exact, Pussycat Trash, Red Monkey)

A quote from the band:
“a lo fi document of our relationship”

Their full discography is unknown to me so if anyone has a list please feel free to post.

Matter of Exact: (Post Pussycat Trash)
Peter Dale (Avocado Baby, Pussycat Trash, Red Monkey)
Rachel (red monkey) (Avocado Baby, Pussycat Trash, Red Monkey)
Rosie (Purve)

I can’t find much info on this band / their history or discography. Please feel free to post any extra insight.