0 Shouts - 841,820 Scrobbles
The Au Pairs were a post-punk band who formed in Birmingham, UK in 1979. Musically they were very similar to bands such as Ludus, Gang of Four and Delta 5. That is, the rhythm section was tight and funky (obvious influences were James Brown and Funkadelic), but the guitars were light and "scratchy" (like Subway Sect). All these bands shared a strongly left wing social outlook, but the Au Pairs stood out due to their frontwoman, Lesley Woods, being an outspoken feminist and lesbian: the band were greatly influential in this respect on the riot grrrl movement a decade later. Music historian Gillian G. Gaar noted in her history of women in rock that the band mingled male and female musicians in a revolutionary collaborative way as part of its outspoken explorations of sexual politics.Read More...
Their first album Playing with a Different Sex is considered a post-punk classic with strong, sarcastic songs like "It's Obvious" and "We're so cool" taking a dry look at gender relations. Other songs, such as "Armagh" with its refrain,"we don't torture" took a pro-republican look at the then ongoing "Troubles" in Northern Ireland, which caused some controversy at the time.
The band's second album, Sense and Sensuality, showed an even greater influence of jazz, soul, funk and disco on the band's sound, but was less well received. The band broke up in 1983 just before they were about to go into the studio to record an album with producer Steve Lillywhite. Woods formed an all woman band called the Darlings in the late '80s, but then left the music industry. She now works as a lawyer. Guitarist, Paul Foad remains an active musician, playing with Andy Hamilton and the Blue Notes, a Jamaican Jazz band and teaching guitar in and around Birmingham. He has also published a guitar technique book, co-written with Stuart Ritchie, titled The Caged Guitarist (2000). Bass player Jane Munro works as an alternative therapist in Birmingham. Pete Hammond also remains an active musician and teaches percussion in Birmingham.
The Au Pairs released two official albums "Playing with a Different Sex" (1981) and "Sense and Sensuality" (1982). Two more albums were released in 1983: "Live in Berlin" and the "BBC Sessions".
Lesley Woods - guitar/vocals
Paul Foad - guitar/vocals
Jane Munro - bass
Pete Hammond - drums
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- It's Obvious - 93,767 plays
- LyricsI don't mind if you want to sleep on your own
I don't mind if you want to bring somebody home
to spend the night
I don't mind your casual affairs
your one-night stands because I know I'm the main man in your life
- LyricsGot a bad taste in my mouth / got a heavy heart - won't go away
Can't remember much about last night / but I'm trying to regain
a little self-control today
I got out of my head last night
They are coming amongst and in between us
- LyricsA touch a glance it's a slow dance, it's a classified romance
Purpose, lust and charm, dance to an old refrain
(I love you)
Mutual attachment, semi detachment
Rinse out the dream, in the washing machine
- LyricsYou're one of those / who changed the rules
You brought in new rules / which you obey
And coping, coping, coping - or nearly anyway
But is it real? Are you feeling it?
You behave like a model / For others to follow -
- Repetition - 36,901 plays
- You - 39,436 plays
- Dear John - 35,179 plays
- Armagh - 33,703 plays
- Unfinished Business - 29,285 plays