The Gymslips

The Gymslips

Profile:
For the Silly Egg EP, see Rocking With The Renees LP+7".

This East London trio - formed in August 1981 and initially dressing up as schoolgirls - made their vinyl debut on the all-girl Making Waves compilation with a song called 'Midnight City'. By the end of 1982 they had recorded no less than three radio sessions - two for John Peel, one for Kid Jensen - and had signed with Abstract Records. Late 1982 saw the release of their debut single, "48 Crash". This Suzi Quatro cover earned them a Top Twenty spot in the indie charts, despite being too similar in execution to the original for comfort.

The follow up single "Big Sister" was released at the beginning of 1983 and although it was far better than the debut it somehow failed to trouble the charts, and nor did single number three, a terrific novelty rocker called "Robot Man". In April 1983 they expanded to a four piece with the addition of keyboardist Kathy Barnes and released 'Rocking With The Renees'. This fine platter had them transcending their influences (Ramones, X-Ray Spex, glam rock and 60's pop) and producing great music. The addition of Barnes fleshed out their songs and made them poppier. Girls can do it pretty good, they sang, and this funny, catchy and highly confident record was the proof, with utterly unpretentious songs about plastic surgery, alcohol, pie and mash, and boys. Another indie hit, this was released in the US as 'Drink Problem'.

Two further John Peel sessions followed, but after that things went very quiet indeed. Karen Yarnell left to join Serious Drinking, and Paul was forced to recruit an entirely new line up. When a new single, "Evil Eye", crept out in 1985, it wasn't a good finale. The band sounded too serious by half.

LINEUP (1981-1983)
Vocals, guitar: Paula Richards (pre-The Deltones / Potato 5 / The Renees)
Bass, vocals: Suzanne Scott
Drums, vocals: Karen Yarnell (pre-Serious Drinking / The Blubbery Hellbellies / The Renees)
There was also a fourth member right at the start, but no one in the band can remembers her name! The song "Miss Nunsweeta" was about her, though. This is the 'classic' lineup which recorded everything up to and including the debut LP.

LINEUP (1983-1984)
Vocals, guitar: Paula Richards
Bass, vocals: Suzanne Scott
Drums, vocals: Karen Yarnell
Keyboards: Kathy Barnes

LINEUP (1984-1985)
Vocals, guitar: Paula Richards
Bass, vocals: Karen Kay
Keyboards: Sue Vickers
Drums, vocals: Michelle Chowrimootoo
Drums: Jan Frazer
This lineup recorded the Evil Eye 12". Yarnell later rejoined singer Paula Richards in The Renees, releasing an album in 1990. Kay later joined Daughters of Gaia and Webcore, but is now editor-in-chief of FAE Magazine (Faeries and Enchantment), and also (and I quote) "founder of the 3 Wishes Faery Fest, the UK’s first faerie festival with overnight camping and live music stages and entertainment, a magical wonderland of enchantment!
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The Gymslips Discography Tracks

Albums

The Gymslips Rocking With The Renees (Album, EP, Comp) Abstract Records UK 1983 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

The Gymslips 48 Crash (Single) Abstract Sounds UK 1982 Sell This Version
ABS 014 The Gymslips Big Sister(7") Abstract Records ABS 014 UK 1983 Sell This Version
ABS 016F The Gymslips Robot Man(7") Abstract Records ABS 016F UK 1983 Sell This Version
The Gymslips Evil Eye (Single) Abstract Records UK 1985 Sell This Version