Fifth Column

Fifth Column was a Canadian all-women experimental post punk band from Toronto, which came about during the early 1980s. They took the name Fifth Column after a military manoeuvre by Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War, in which nationalist insurrectionists within besieged Republican Madrid, called 'the fifth column', would aid the four columns (north, south, east and west) outside the perimeters.

The name of their first full-length recording To Sir With Hate was a play on the theme song from the British school film, To Sir With Love, performed by Lulu. A song from this LP, "The Fairview Mall Story" was based on true events concerning media publication of the names of men arrested after being entrapped by police and was instrumental in paving the way for the emergence of the queercore scene. Their video for the song, directed by indie feature film director Steven Rumbelow, involved 50's images of men cruising in their new cars, shopping malls, and car crashes, was intercut with the band and go-go dancer Bruce La Bruce. A video for the song "Where Are they Now?" was also made, directed by Marc DeGuerre.

Their live shows often included films played overtop of the band and a 'go-go' boy dancing. They were frequently accompanied by guest musicians who played instruments as varied as saxophone, trumpet, flute, or violin.

Independent-minded, they released their recordings, including their second full length recording All-Time Queen Of The World, themselves. A video for the song "Like This " from the album was directed by Bruce LaBruce with Fifth Column. The band also appeared on a number of compilations.

In 1992 they released a single, "All Women Are Bitches", on the independent record label K Records. Despite being controversial and receiving little airplay, the recording was reviewed by Everett True and voted "Single Of The Week" in the UK music publication Melody Maker. This song was included as well on their last full-length recording, 36-C, also on K Records. The band's last release was in 2002, on the Kill Rock Stars compilation, Fields And Streams.

The band performs live in the film named for them, Fifth Column at the Funnel, directed by Toronto experimental filmmaker John Porter. All of the members of the most recent line-up, and some previous members, appear in the G.B. Jones' movie The Yo-Yo Gang for which the band recorded the theme song.

In 2004 the song "All Women Are Bitches" was covered and re-imagined by the band Lesbians On Ecstasy on their self-titled debut album, Lesbians On Ecstasy, as "Bitchsy"; in 2005, it was remixed and sampled along with "Bitchsy" by Kids on TV for the compilation album Giggles In The Dark.

Band members have performed with other groups as well. Caroline Azar has recorded with Kickstand from New York, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, Greek Buck and Hidden Cameras from Toronto. Beverly Breckenridge was also a member of Phono-Comb. G.B. Jones has recorded with the Italian dark ambient group Mariae Nascenti, and prior to her involvement with Fifth Column, was part of the synth punk band Bunny and the Lakers. She now performs with Opera Arcana.
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.006 1/2 Fifth Column - To Sir With Hate album art Fifth Column To Sir With Hate(LP) Hide .006 1/2 Canada 1986 Sell This Version
HIDE 009 Fifth Column - All-Time Queen Of The World album art Fifth Column All-Time Queen Of The World (Album) Hide HIDE 009 Canada 1990 Sell This Version
KLP 26CD Fifth Column - 36c album art Fifth Column 36c (Album) K, Denon KLP 26CD US 1994 Sell This Version
HIDE SIX Fifth Column - Work Soundtrack album art Fifth Column Work Soundtrack(Cass, Album) Hide HIDE SIX Canada Unknown Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

VSP 009 Fifth Column - Boy / Girl album art Fifth Column Boy / Girl(7", EP) Voicespondence VSP 009 Canada 1983 Sell This Version
IPU 33 Fifth Column - Donna / All Women Are Bitches album art Fifth Column Donna / All Women Are Bitches(7", Single) K IPU 33 US 1992 Sell This Version
OUT9 Fifth Column - Split Single album art Fifth Column / God Is My Co-Pilot Fifth Column / God Is My Co-Pilot - Split Single(7") Outpunk Records OUT9 US 1993 Sell This Version
DBC019 Fifth Column - I Love You But.../ These Boots Were Made For Walking album art Fifth Column / Trailer Queen Fifth Column / Trailer Queen - I Love You But.../ These Boots Were Made For Walking(7") Dark Beloved Cloud DBC019 US 1995 Sell This Version