Girlschool, Crucified, Barbara, Old James, Velvet Black | Reggies’ Rock Club | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Courtesy the artist

Girlschool, Crucified, Barbara, Old James, Velvet Black 17+ Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., June 5, 7 p.m. 2015
Price: $25, $20 in advance
This pioneering all-female hard-rock/heavy-metal band has a fascinating backstory. Born during an era in the late 70s when just a blurry line separated British punk and hard rock, they had several moments of glory early on in the 80s, including but not limited to a collaborative single and multiple tours with Motorhead (Lemmy is a loyal fan). In fact, they rubbed a lot of shoulders, thanks in part to genre boundaries that were much less sharply defined than they appear in retrospect (Go-Go’s guitarist Kathy Valentine actually played in an early lineup of Girlschool when she was visiting the UK). That being said, the much-lauded early releases Demolition and Hit and Run place Girlschool pretty squarely within the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (some find Screaming Blue Murder inferior to those first two, but I always liked it). Though the band have dealt with lineup changes and hiatuses through the years, they never officially split: in 2013 they celebrated their 35th anniversary, and this year they’re celebrating their 37th with the brand-new Guilty as Sin, their first studio album since 2008’s Legacy. Amazingly, three of the four original members are currently with the band; the only one missing is guitarist Kelly Johnson, who died of spinal cancer in 2007—so pour one out for her. —Monica Kendrick


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