SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL has always been about the music. That’s what got me trekking across the oceans that first time six long years back now. I’ve not missed one since and don’t plan on it anytime soon. The magical music performances are what does it. Sometimes it’s a long defunct band enticed back to the stage by SRF organizers. But sometimes it’s just an old favorite ripping it up in a new setting. That was the case for me here on Saturday, June 9, 2018, with GIRLSCHOOL‘s late afternoon timeslot on The 4Sound Stage.
GIRLSCHOOL – Brief History
Girlschool began in the late 70’s in London during the time of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement. After almost 40 years they are one of the longest running all-female bands. In fact the 40th anniversary of Girlschool is this year! The band still consists of original members, Kim McAuliffe (guitar/vocals), Enid Williams (bass/vocals), and Denise Dufort (drums). The other original member, lead guitarist/vocalist Kelly Johnson, died of cancer in 2007. Since 1999, Jackie Chambers holds down the lead guitar/vocals position.
Coming to the attention of Lemmy, Girlschool were offered a support slot touring with Motörhead in 1979, beginning a lifelong association between the two bands. The ladies had some success in the U.K. in the early 80s with albums and singles of their punk-tinged metal. The 90s and 2000s were focused more on tours and shows, playing all over the world. They once said something like “They would play in any toilet they could find”. Maintaining a worldwide following, Girlschool are considered an inspiration for many succeeding female rock musicians such as The Donnas.
Girlschool issued their latest album, Guilty As Sin, in 2015. It found its way into my best of the year list!
After being literally blown away (well, I was standing directly in front of the stack) by Girlschool during their two sets on the 2017 Monsters Of Rock Cruise, this was a highly anticipated set for me. Earlier in the day, not long before stage time actually, I was offered an opportunity to sit down for a few moments with bassist/vocalist Enid Williams. You can see the video of our little chat below.
GIRLSCHOOL – Sweden Rock 2018
Starting at the beginning, the first song, “Demolition Boys”, of the debut album, Demolition, from 1980 led the charge. From there it was off to 1981’s Hit And Run for a triple shot including “C’mon Let’s Go”, “The Hunter” and then the title track “Hit And Run”. It was friggin’ hot with the sun crisping my lilly white Canadian skin, but I was jumping up and down, fist raised high. Jumping forward to 2008’s Legacy, the girls delivered “I Spy” (a version of which on the album contains Dio and Tony Iommi).
2004’s Believe gave us “Never Say Never” ahead of “Come The Revolution” and “Take It Like A Band” from the awesome Guilty As Sin. The title track to 1982’s Screaming Blue Murder fit nicely right in here next. They gave the Hit And Run record a workout next with “Future Flash”, “Kick It Down”, “Watch Your Step” and “Yeah Right”. The cover of The Gun‘s “Race With The Devil” and “Emergency”, both from the debut album wrapped up an excellent, high energy set. The kind of show that leaves you exhausted and totally spent. Thank-you Girlschool for once again kicking my ass!
Check out Shawn “Animalize” Irwin‘s Girlschool photo gallery and “Rockin’ Ron” Runyon‘s live gig video footage below.
Also, watch for all our Sweden Rock Festival 2018 coverage on our homepage or through this handy link: Sweden Rock 2018 – Full Coverage