Monday, 15 July 2013

Valerie - a full retrospective


One of the crucial elements that introduced me to the concept of getting out there, being in a band, and doing your own shows and records, was Brighton-based grrl punk band Valerie.

Introduced to me by my good friend Grilly, he played me their debut 7" (on impressively transparent white vinyl) at his old home in Didsbury.  It was a hot day, and we had the back doors open.

It would be several years before I would see them live, on Valentine's Day, with Elvis throwing the drum kit out the front of the stage.  Now Grilly has archived the Valerie back catalogue online.

I couldn't believe a band that could barely play had not only recorded, but then released in such a luxurious fashion, their music... complete with a monochrome, hand-drawn and photocopied sleeve.

They respected their output, even if no one else did.  And they presented their music in a beautiful way... I still treasure my copy of their cherry red transparent Disco/Punk 7" release.

Along with the Fugazi film Instrument and the Slamdek Record Company, there would be few more potent signals of the way forward.

Valerie's music remains virtually unlistenable, and is amongst my favourite audio ever.