Kerrang! Issue 5 – November 1981 – Robbi Millar
ROCK GODDESS: It’s about time we had some ladies on these pages! And who better to add a little glamour and guts to an area generally monopolisad by wart-encrusted warlocks and nit-ridden Neanderthals — sony Grim Reaper, Holocaust et all — than Wandsworth’s finest, the indomitable Rock Goddess?
Said by Sounds as early as February to be “excellent providers of magnificent metallic mayhem”, Rock Goddess are fuel forthe theory that women can play heavy metal equally as well as men if not, on occasions, better.
Clocking at the tender ages of 18, 18 and 14 (respectively), guitarist/vocalist Jody Turner, bassist Tracey Lamb and drummer Julie Turner are already firm favourites amongst South London’s headbanging hordes — despite the fact that they’ve only played a minimum of live gigs due to Julie’s lack of years — and word is out around Kerrang ‘s kapital that they have a fine future. They certainly have the potential.
The Rock Goddess story began five years ago when the band’s affable manager (Julie and Jody’s dad!) let them loose in his rehearsal studios.
Since then they’ve built ups collection of songs even greater in size than Spider’s capacity for touring but no way do they regret missing teenage years of make-up and parties for the sake of rock and roll; as Jody says, “I’m only 18 but I’ve gained so much experience for someone so young. “And their determination is as strong as ever.
For most of this summer, Rock Goddess have been unable to play live — an annoying waiting period for Julie to turn 14 and become legal! — but, rather than sitting back and complaining, they’ve recorded both a competent and interesting demo tape (recording companies, take notice!) and a contribution to an up-and-coming all women elpee compilation called ‘Making Waves’, due out on Girlfriend (through Rough Trade) in early November.
To tie in with the album, Rock Goddess will be playing dates with the oddly-named Androids Of Mu around the north of Britain in December (dates later) although Londoners can catch them beforehand at St James’ Church, Pentonville Road (Nov21) or Dingwalls (Nov 23).
But what’s that I hear you say? Another Girlschool? Certainly not! Obviously, Rock Goddess consider Girlschool as an influence — Girlschool are pretty taken with Rock Goddess too — but, when asked, Jody Turner cites a rather heavier choice of preferences.
“Iron Maiden. “she says. “I love Iron Maiden and DefLeppard and Kiss. Sabbath and Led Zeppelin too. Basically, I really like the old bands but some of the new ones are very good.”
And unlike some of the wimpier, Neal Kayesque, “we prefer the term hard rock” combos on the circuit, Rock Goddess aren’t afraid of their chromium roots.
“Of course we’re into heavy metal, “insists Jody. “I’m proud to be doing heavy metal, we all are. It’s great!” So there!
Rock Goddess’ music takes the point even further. Though far more melodic than the Motorhead majority, It bristles with a similar raw power, at times reminiscent of Judas Priest.
Both Judy’s guitar and Tracey Lamb’s bass react and interact excellently with muscle and skill while Julie Turner’s hammerhead drumming reveals a confidence and strength beyond her years.
Jody possesses the sort of gritty, no-holds-barred voice that you wouldn’t want to meet down a dark alleyway and this wraps the whole Rock Goddess package together into a formidable unit.
Marquee, London (23/1/82) DANTE BONUTTO
ROCK GODDESS are a band with more confidence than experience. For a young, all-girl trio with a drummer of 14 this is hardly surprising but, when it comes to establishing a rapport with an audience, their age doesn’t stop them appearing heavy-handed and naïve.
Singer, guitarist Jody Turner introduces each number with a restraint similar to that displayed by Paul Stanley on ‘Kiss Alive! ‘ and when she screams ‘Is everybody hotter than hell7’ it might just be the starchild himself.
Verbal overkill aside however, Jody, a world-weary 18, is still the bands foremost asset. Possessed of a (literally) stunning voice she makes every lyric sound like a threat, which is fine on songs like ‘Breakout’ and ‘Wild Side Of Life’ but less fitting for a tale of lost romance like ‘The Love Lingers Still’. I can t imagine anyone walking out on her – not with their kneecaps still attached, anyway.
Apart from singing the odd vocal harmony and flashing the odd winning smile bassist Tracey Lamb, also 18, keeps a lower profile. Her blonde head swaying gently back and forth she really looks too nice for all this but belies the fact by thumping away at her bass strings like she’s holding a brick in her palm.
‘We bring you HM Thunder’ was Jody s opening comment on this occasion and an accurate one it proved. With the exception of the
sprawling ‘Live Wire’ the songs are short, well-armed bursts of raucous energy. There are no frills here. No lengthy guitar workout, and no anti-climactic drum solos from Jody s sister Julie. Like Motorhead, Rock Goddess think they’re strongest as a team.
As yet the band have no record deal, and while they re probably keen to get something down on vinyl, it would be nice to see them develop the songs and the stageshow first. Not flinging platitudes at the audience might be a good place to start, though. in fairness, their supporters seem to like them just as they are.
READING FESTIVAL 1982
Rock Goddess from South London were doomed to follow these pyrotechnics, but nevertheless attracted a sturdy, vociferous following on their side of the twin stages. Guitarist/vocalist
Jody Turner, bassist Tracey Lamb and drummer Julie Turner raised encouraging bellows from the lads. Jody screamed ‘take it away!’ and dedicated ‘My Angel’ to their favourite groups, Tygers and Maiden. “You’ve been a great crowd!”, she yelled with a sense of relief that they had been given the thumbs up, helped along the road to victory by their sincerity and ability.
Marquee, November 1982 – review by Nick Kemp
THE CONCEPT of ‘women in rock’ is not something new, an attempt by women to become accepted for their musicianship rather than their bodies IS a rather recent innovation that some, Judie Tzuke and Kate Bush for instance have managed to great effect; but women as serious musicians in Heavy Metal? Ah, come on, pull the other one, Will this last bastion of male chauvinism accept a woman as anything other than a sex object? The very idea is laughable…Sexism is alive and well and living in modern music, and there are doubtless those, misguided fools who are proud of the fact.
I am not aware of guitarist Jody Turner’s politics, and I hardly think they are relevant to what Rock Goddess play but, consciously or otherwise, she is making bold steps towards being recognised as the frontman (I refuse to write ‘frontperson’) of an HM band and not merely an ‘all-girl’ group. It would be easy for Rock Goddess to sell themselves as such, particularly when they have an ace in the pack as decorative as bassist Tracey Lamb, who must surely count as one of the prettiest girls treading the boards at present, but, to their credit, they’ve fought shy of that and gone for broke as a serious band instead.
However, despite this commitment and determination, they may falter for lack of strong material. Ms Turner may be a prolific and competent composer (listen to the new single ‘Heavy Metal Rock’n’Roll, ‘Start Running’ or ‘One Hot Night’) but her songs lack a sense of real cohesion or memorability and her voice, too, rarely stretches beyond a screech. Time and experience may minimalise the problems though.
In the meantime Rock Goddess can take heart from this start to their tour with three encores being demanded and truly delivered. They are going to find the task ahead of them tough, to say the least; and, while they can count on my unguarded admiration for their stand, I remain less than convinced as to their musical prowess. We shall see…
Y&T/ROCK GODDESS Odeon, Birmingham 1983 HOWARD JOHNSON
When is 40 minutes really 50? When Rock Goddess run through their set! Naive enthusiasm and a love of Metallic bombast is all well and good but it has to be tempered with a certain amount of pacing and control, something which the three girls have to learn about. The new album is 40 minutes of tremendously thoughtful Heavy Metal but it simply wasn’t seen onstage because there was no sense of control, no understanding of how best to portray the qualities of the songs. Hardly had my pen touched the notepad to begin writing ‘Gonna Let Your Hair Down ‘In The Night’,’The Visitors Are Here’ and ‘Hold Me Down’ than they’d vanished in one speedy blur, never to be seen again. Ever felt like you’re trying to catch a greased pig?
Jody Turner’s voice still induces the ol ‘pant dance’ and in Dee O’Malley Goddess have definitely made an exceptional vocal find but they are desperately in need of an outgoing personality to carry a visual performance, someone who can hold the stage and grab the pubescent audience by the balls.
Rock Goddess on vinyl are stunning; Rock Goddess live are in need of a little more. Could it be experience? bank on it!
Live @ The Marquee, London 1983 NEIL JEFFRIES
THE MARQUEE came alive tonight – packed to the bars with a sizeable majority who for a change were there to join in as well as watch. Fair brought a tear to the aye it did. Made you wonder why rock ever moved out of the clubs. But it did, and Rock Goddess will too judging by this performance. The girls had a special glow about them (Ready Brek?). A spark of quality that elevated them above most of their competition.
I refuse to believe that spark has anything to do with their sex. Tonight they demonstrated that they are above all three very talented youngsters who’s excellent debut album didn’t do them total justice.
For instance the drum sound was spot-on. Julie coming through loud ‘n’ clear across the electric atmosphere pinning punters to the walls with her rib-rating attack. Battling alongside her, fighting third-degree chicken-pox (for this gig and the rest of the Fastway tour!) was Tracey smiling bravely. I doubt if any would have known though if Jodie hadn’t spilled the beans!
When it’s not diving away such secrets (!) Jodie s belting voice is arguably their best weapon. And for ‘Take Your Love Away’ and ‘The Love Lingers Still’ she showed that there’s soul in there with the power. Some arsenal!
But on to the most important event of the evening … the arrival onstage of the fourth Goddess. Their new rhythm guitarist Kat Burbela. She’d only been in the ranks one week and had just played her debut in her hometown of Hull the night before. Not surprisingly then she barely hid her nervousness and joined the three old-timers only for the closing pairing of ‘Make My Night’ and ‘My Angel’. The rest of the set she’ll learn as soon as poss, either in rehearsals or watching from the floor as she did tonight. Early days yet of course but Kat (christened Katrina by her Russian father) could be just what the doctor ordered. Adding that extra wallop needed in the bottom and when Jodie has to drop the riff to solo.
Two encores put the seal on a triumphant night for the band and boded well for the new era on which they embark. I’ve got a feeling Heavy Metal Rock’n’Roll is here to stay! Certainly hope so.
Marquee, December 1984 – Review by Malcolm Dome
THE YEAR of 1985 is, as far as Rock Goddess are concerned, time for the big jump. The steady build-up of the last few seasonal cycles has given them a very solid foundation, but changes in the hierarchy at their label, A&M, means that the pressure is now on for an immediate delivery.
Fortunately, Rock Goddess know all about the expectation beams being focused on them. And they’re good and ready for the big examination. Their two sell-out dates at the Marquee pre-Christmas were a chance to (A) show off new material and (B) impress the locals with the favourable way they’ve re-vamped old stage faves. On both counts the ploy worked
Whilst the sound was pokey and the girls had obviously suffered a little (albeit temporary) erosion of sparkle during their months-long lay-off from live duties, nonetheless the team is still a pedigree one. New songs such as ‘Rock ‘Till Dawn’ show Jody Turners writing is improving with every composition, and cover renditions of Cher’s ‘Bang, Bang’ and ‘Nights In White Satin’ were quite spectacular; drummer Julie Turner’s lead vocals on the former version put it into the ‘hit single’ category.
Meanwhile, back at the wine store, vintage brews like ‘Satisfied Then Crucified’, ‘Back To You’, ‘Heavy Metal Rock’n’Roll’ and ‘God Be With You’ sound sleeker, more harmonic and much smoother than the primitive grape pressings of yore, definitely the sort of sustenance that can be comfortably pored down the American gullet.
Rock Goddess are on the way. They’re hardly recognisable as the stuttering, yet enthusiastic, outfit I once saw at Clapham’s IOI Club, performing and looking like a bunch of juvenile bikers’ molls. These days they’re riding high and proud as a band apart, a band of class.
Dingwalls, London, May 1985 – Review by Mick Wall
DINGWALLS MY DINGWALLS, what would we all do without you? Junk food spruced up by fine chilli, foreign bottled beer cold from the box, people, people everywhere I turn (hi Mr. Murray, nice to meet you Mr. Lyttle), and one of the punchiest club bands at the vanguard of London’s rock fraternity – the heavenly Rock Goddess!
A Rock Goddess gig is always a fun place to be. The band never bore me like so many of their chicken-legged sisters – and I mean from both sides of the Atlantic; Yankee pussy has never been my cup of meat, no sir – and you never see the same set twice! While so many of their contemporaries spend their time attending to the colour of their crotch-hugging leather thongs (cheap smut for filthy lucre, we know what you are baby, we’re just haggling about the price, huh!) Jody Turner and her gang are still perfecting the perfect E, G and D cacophony. Sh*t, these girls rock….and then some.
Opening the show with ‘Satisfied Then Crucified’, a vigorous reworking of the original heart-stopper, it’s clear that while the band seem to be taking forever to finish their next all-important album, away from the deviant rigours of producers and recording studios they haven’t wasted any time in tightening up their stage-act; their asses are in gear and ‘Turn Me Loose’ hammers the point home.
The strained volume level at the front of the stage daunted me not a jot, the party people all past their bedtimes throw back their shoulders and devour the delicious electric jive of Rock Goddess pumping it out.
New numbers this night include ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ – which definitely impressed all the boys I spoke to afterwards – ‘Love Is A Bitch’ and ‘So Much Love’…all coiled tight and warped of rhythm, sending tingles tiptoeing down my spine. But that’s nothing compared to the whiplash effect of the band’s late 20th Century blues version of the Stones’ ‘Let’s spend the night together’. Rolling? Were we rolling? Do stallions have ginormously long, uh, legs?!
‘Hello’ and ‘God Be With You’ close the set and before the smoke has stopped trickling from my nostrils, they’re back for their ’30 Years’ encore medley: ‘Jailhouse Rock’, with Jody hollering out the chain-gang lyrics, ‘ Johnny B. Goode’ featuring the diminutive Dee on lead vocals, ‘ Whole Lotta Shakin”, with little drummer Julie getting in some choice warbling, then back to big sister Jody for ‘Lucille’.
All in all, a ball. Rock Goddess are, for me, the finest female rock band currently holding the live circuit together.
Marquee, Aug 1985 – Review by Paul Suter
THERE’S A special place in my heart for Rock Goddess – in fact there’s a special place in the hearts of most people who’ve ever seen the band; one of the most endearing, friendly, honest outfits you’re ever likely to encounter, and one that you will to succeed.
Rock Goddess have the talent certainly, but they currently lack both the good fortune and the ruthlessness that they need. Misfortune saw their deal with A&M go sour, with change in the labels management at a crucial time for the band killing off their chances of releasing the right record at the right moment, and now they’re reduced to playing a series of one off gigs largely fro the benefit of their adoring fans. Success is always assured within the four walls of the Marquee whatever the circumstances and performance and this time around neither were particularly auspicious.
Circumstances? Well, exactly why they bothered to play the gig escapes the collective KERRANG! Crew; it wasn’t a Record Company showcase, and they’ve played enough dates over the summer to keep memories fresh in London at least – so why bother?
And the performance was certainly a shade on the shabby side; Jody Turner admitted from the stage that the set has been cobbled together and even the likes of ‘Johnny B, Goode’ got wheeled out towards the end to fill out the show.
Things had begun well enough with a fiery ‘Satisfied Then Crucified’, and old favourite that had the audience exuberant from the start; on the other hand though, the sound was pretty grim and never really rose above average for the duration of the set, which was to cripple Julie Turner’s emergence from behind her drum kit to deliver a ballad accompanied by sister Jody’s guitar and Dee O’Malley on keyboards.
In fact Dee’s keyboards are becoming an increasingly important element of the band; they play their part well but maybe some rather tasteful settings would help even more. The band launched into the epic grandeur of ‘So Much Love’ its potential as a production masterpiece and the reality of its live firepower were tempered by a tendency to wince whenever the keyboards were strongly evident as a sound rather than as a supporting texture. A great song, though, and surely the best thing the ever-improving Jody Turner has written so far.
Ah, Jody – Dee O’Malley’s thunderous bass and the driving drumming of Julie may form the cornerstone of the band’s appeal, but Jody is the blossoming rock goddess. She’s already a strong performer and there’s still a whole lot more filed under ‘potential’. As a guitar player she’s starting to come up with some pleasantly interesting sounds instead of just thrashing away, and given fair breaks on the sound front her roaring vocal prowess could stun. On the night she overdid it, but she’s surely got what it takes.
But when it comes down to harnessing what it takes, and then making it, there seems to be a touch of the necessary determination missing right now. Just like Girlschool, Goddess are at one with their audience but that’s not enough, they need to reach out. You need arrogance and you need the belief that every night is really a headline show at Madison Square Garden. Perform like you’re huge already, don’t grovel to try and get a deal by demonstrating the you can fill the Marquee with happy fans at the drop of a hat – act like you’ve got a deal already, act ruthless. Sod the fans at the front, they love you already – reach out and blow off a few faces at the back where the waverers are trying to make up their minds.
On this particular night, however, it was the waverers who won. The fans were happy and may not understand the lack of a record deal, or indeed the appearance of this double-edged review; but those who stood at the back and watched saw a great band – easily the best all-girl band to draw breath, and potentially one of Britain’s finer prospects of either sex – marking time. Every gig Rock Goddess play needs to be remarkable if they are going to move on rather than stagnate – and this one wasn’t.
Marquee, May 1986 – review by Derek Oliver
SWEET NOTHIN’, and what’s sweet about that?
It may be too late, I fear, for Rock Goddess to regain lost ground, and it’s for all the wrong reasons. They have, in a very short space of time, developed their musical ability to extraordinary lengths and consequently have now outreached, overstated and over-complicated their existence. And it’s all so very upsetting…
From raunchy (mannish?) rockers to professional showstoppers, I’ve watched the girls leap up the ladder and chip away prejudices in a way that hinted at bigger and better things to come. ‘Hell Hath No Fury’, their final album for A&M, proved their potential in a barn-burnin’ blitz of sprightly hot rockin’ – good tunes and amiable musicianship. Yet on reflection, it also appears to have heralded the beginning of the end – not in an artistic sense (although that’s an obvious consequence), but rather because they’ve outgrown their limited market.
Heavy Metal, basic and loud, with spine-stealing hook lines was their main mark, but having tempted fate they’ve plummeted into the (very) serious art of musical complexity. A Rock Goddess gig was always sweaty, muggy, smoky and jam-packed with folk eager to join in the fun of Jody’s high-pitched shrills, but now it’s all far too po-faced and far too desperate. S-E-R-I-O-U-S.
So I didn’t dig the gig, right? Wrong buster! I really understood what was happening and I trusted myself enough to love the new songs (in abundance, perhaps too much), but there’s no denying that Rock Goddess have thrown away the key to heavens gate. They’re too conscious of what a f*ck-up it’s all become, too keen to show us what brilliant musicians they all are…and above all they’re putting themselves into touch.
Giving a nod to the few friends I have, I wasn’t alone with my thoughts. Even oldies like ‘Satisfied Then Crucified’ didn’t escape ‘modernisation’ – re-arranged and hamstrung with a peculiar twist, I was unsure whether this or ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ (the Stones’ classic) was the biggest mistake of the night. The new songs (no titles I’m afraid), fared a lot better, demonstrating that musically at least, they certainly haven’t deteriorated – it’s just that they’re now working in an area where they can’t compete. What’s the point?
So where do they go from here? Frankly, I’d hate to speculate bur as always I’ll wish them the very best of luck, because if they do pull, it off again they’ll certainly have paid their dues – and that’s no shame.
Marquee, October 1986 – review by Paul Henderson
PROBABLY BECAUSE, there aren’t many of them around, relatively speaking, all-girl bands are still looked upon firstly as all-girl bands and secondly as rock bands. For related reasons which are many and complex, Rock Goddess are just one o those bands for whom even a deserved amount of success must seem devastatingly elusive – effectively out of reach due to the sexist and/or patronising attitudes which pervade the rock world with respect to its female performers.
I’d seen Rock Goddess only once before (on television, at that) and wasn’t impressed. But that was some time ago, and a lot of lager has passed over the Marquee’s bars since that show. They’ve now got better songs and have noticeably improved as players; instrumentally they may not be outstanding individual talents, but they do work well as a cohesive unit.
Frankly, they were a lot better than I expected. As well as being well written and thoughtfully arranged, ‘My Name’s Not Marilyn Monroe’ and ‘I Aint Got A Man To Love’, were just two of several songs to feature and benefit from some excellent vocal harmonies – tight, accurate and generally of a quality the Marquee’s walls aren’t used to.
In fact, it’s probably fair to say that, in terms of performance, the vocal department is Rock Goddess’ real strength. As well as the harmonies, Jody Turner’s strong lead vocal was also impressive, and although her guitar sound was often a little muddy due to the heavy use of effects, her short solos were fired out with precision, and on occasion, a delightfully delicate touch.
Rock Goddess deserve more attention (for their music) than they are currently getting.
Marquee, April 1987 – Review by Maura Sutton
BELIEVE IT or not, it’s been well over 5 years since Rock Goddess first appeared within these hallowed pages (KERRANG! No.5 Armed And Ready history friends). Since then, they’ve borne more than their fair share of traumatic trials and tribulations, the most recent being the loss of bassist Dee O’Malley, who took time out to spring a sprog (i.e. have a baby). Far from allowing themselves to become demoralised the Turner sisters sought to turn adversity into triumph and have subsequently emerged with the strongest Goddess line-up since the very early days.
Tonight’s sold out performance marked the beginning of a new era for the band; new personnel, new image, new songs. The two new members – bassist Julia Longman and keyboard player Becky Axten – appeared incredibly relaxed, coming across as highly competent professionals, smilin’n’boppin’ away and generally looking like they were enjoying themselves as much as the audience.
Most of the old classics have gone to that great cemetery in the sky, but the traditional set opener ‘Satisfied Then Crucified’ remains, a fine indication that these four females are more than capable of delivering an iron-fisted punch. Jody Turner’s stagecraft has improved immeasurably, moving on from the Girlschool approved ‘ALL RIGHT YOU LOT!!!’ approach. She’s particularly effective at dealing with over-exuberant fans, deftly parrying some of the more norty suggestions, most of which occurred during a tasteful little number entitled, ahem, ‘Gimme Sex’.
As for the new material, well, Jody has always been highly adept at penning a jolly tune or two and tonight we were treated to some top-notch raunchy rockers such as ‘Wait For Me’ and ‘You’re History’, as well as two attempts at increased sophistication, ‘Hey Hey USA’ and ‘My Name’s Not Marilyn Monroe’. I’m not entirely convinced by the last two, but time will tell.
Overall the gig was an unqualified success – it’s good to have them back!
JODIE TURNER – Marquee, London – Review by Chris Watts
AS JODY gets up under the lights to play her ‘thang’, I start counting. People who know about these things tell me that you have about 60 seconds at the Marquee to kill an audience. Any longer and you have your work cut out.
I counted to 35 before looking around at the respectable crowd to see them nestling in Jody’s palm, grinning like slaves.
She’s stood on the Marquee’s stage for so many hours that it must now seem like home. Certainly there are no signs of nerves or pressures to please, Behind the scenes, I suspect, it’s a different story.
You can rest assured that Jody Turner ain’t changed. A little thinner but just as aggressive. Dressed in stone-washed denim, she teases and strokes her home crowd with determination.
Now spared the obligation of solos, she’s free to play her guitar when it takes her fancy and can instead concentrate on the songs. At times she moves like Chrissie Hynde, shrugging out the shapes, and at others sounds a sucker for Brian Johnson.
Behind a ridiculous kit, Jody’s sister scowls like fury and keeps the beat. Julie Turner would have made Kim Fowley’s day if she’d been around at the time. As it is, I feel happily head over heels and would die dribbling for the girl.
Gavin Taylor (guitar) and Phil Manley-Reeve (bass) flash around in style but the show never forgets its star and Jody Turner plays up accordingly. Her downfall, with Rock Goddess and now alone, as with many women in rock, is that she would much rather be a boy. She’s never been a particularly feminine idol and for example, I would find it hard to love Jody Turner.
Rock Goddess’ (Jody, Julie and, er, the other one) problem was that they grew up. The family needed time to be away and tonight, their debut live appearance, was an admirable and well-received return. The songs are snap happy and heavy as you like it, well-paced and traditionally delivered.
A rematch in six months should confirm Jody’s status and mark a welcome attraction to the middle-league live circuit.
Album And Single Reviews
November 1983 – Review by Howard Johnson
ROCK GODDESS ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ (A&M Records)
THE HARDER end of the Women in Rock spectrum is looking a little under the weather at the moment, violently ill even! Where the Cheetahs, Toronto’s, Girlschools and Sleeks are lurking at present is a mystery to us all. While Judie Tzuke and her excellently airy-fairy ilk go from strength to strength, the females with a penchant for the studded wristband as opposed to the satin scarf are having a decidedly dodgy time of it.
Enter Rock Goddess, complete with new bassist Dee O’Malley and hotshot producer Chris Tsangarides in tow. Enter ‘Hell Hath No Fury’, the Goddesses’ second album. Enter the first female hard rockers to really hit the tops.
Rock Goddess’ first album was auspicious enough, a decidedly gritty affair with a fair quota of tasty tunes based around the voice of Jody Turner, this band’s most patent weapon and a joy to lend an ear (or two) to. Without a doubt the most erotic voice down on vinyl, Jody can caress you with her sensitivity, thrill you with her indignant anger and cause paroxysm a-plenty with her primeval hollering.
If it’s possible to fall in love with a voice without even seeing the face, this is the one!
Based around that voice, ‘HHNF’ is a 100 per cent improvement on the first album and simply one of the most convincing Heavy Metal platters in a long, long, while. Tsangarides has certainly brought the best out of the girls in their playing. They’re tighter here than Russell’s wallet, from little Julie’s kick-back drum pounding, through Dee’s simple and concise bass lines to Jody’s ever-maturing fretboard work – and the whole shebang hangs together on the pure songwriting strength revealed throughout the album. I don’t believe there’s a better Heavy Metal songwriting entity in circulation right now and all you have to do is checkout the empirical evidence.
Where to starts It’s a problem, but howzabout ‘Don’t Want Your Love’, a brutal mauling of some male who has curried the ‘Turner favour and lost (poor bugger!), which positively seethes with oppressive anger. Then again, ‘No More’ has more credentials for success than Neil Kinnock; with as catchy a chorus as you’ll find anywhere. Both numbers keep one foot in the former Goddess territory, while revealing a new maturity that becomes the band magnificently.
And Rock Goddess have no fear of branching out into untrodden waters with ‘In The Night’ and ‘The Visitors Are Here’, the former a Triumph-like emotive ballad and the latter a staccato song of no little atmosphere, supremely aided by some subtle Tsangarides synth shading.
Yet, if you think the Goddesses have forgotten how to rock out in the dumbest of HM traditions, then just blast out ‘Gotta Let Your Hair Down’ and you’ll know that this particular area is also well catered for.
The icing on the cake comes ultimately in the strength of the backing vocals. Pushed well to the fore and exploited to maximum potential, they’re crystal clear, deep biting in the finest vampire mode and ultimately refreshing.
Refreshing! Yeah, that’s the word for this release. One which should set Rock Goddess on their way with few problems. Y&T had better watch out! What with the desperately dull ‘Mean Streak’ and a co-headliner with the girls, they could well be in for a sound thrashing!
CONFUSION HAS certainly been reigning in the Rock Goddess camp. After their recent UK tour with Def Leppard (which apparently went rather well for the girls), blonde bassist Tracey Lamb dropped a major bombshell by announcing that she was quitting the band. However, within a matter of days, the differences between her and the rest of the band were sufficiently resolved for her to return to the fold in time for their current support slot on the Fastway tour. The exact reason for her original decision to depart remains rather mysterious. Group manager John Tumor would only say that “there were certain aspects of this kind of life she didn’t like”. However, these aspects might have more to do with the band’s set-up than anything else. It’s been well-known for a long time that Tracey fell like an outsider, surrounded as she was by the Turner family (John. plus his daughters Jody and Julie). It seems more than likely discontentment with such a situation eventually led to her ‘I quit’ announcement. Whether this problem has now been resolved permanently remains to be seen. In the meantime, the band have now added a new guitarist, Kat Burbela. 20, from Hull, to the line-up, a move prompted by their realisation that as a three-piece they were more limited than at first seemed the case. What does seem significant is that pressure, apparently, was brought to bear by the American side of the Goddess operation for this expansion to be made. And given Girlschool’s current surge of Stateside success, one wonders if Rock Goddess are to be marketed as ‘The New Girlschool’. However, there are no immediate plans for the band to go to the USA. After their Fastway commitments, they will be recording some new material in June, before touring with Iron Maiden on part of the letter’s massive European trek.
1983 MALCOLM DOME
AFTER WEEKS of ‘has-she-left-or–hasn’t-she’ speculation, Tracey Lamb (above) has finally quit Rock Goddess.
According to an official statement from A&M (the band’s label), that well-known social disease ‘musical differences’ was the cause of the split. However, the blonde bassist herself (who intends to form a new band) puts it down to personality problems.
“I just didn’t see eye-to-eye on anything with John (Turner, the group’s manager). And I’d also had quite a few arguments with Judy Turner- we just didn’t get on anymore.
“I wanted to leave before the Def Leppard tour, but was persuaded to stay on. I was determined to go after that finished. However, someone from the record company rang me up and asked if I’d just do the Fastway dates because it was a bit short notice to get in a replacement. But, we had a real bust-up after the Hammersmith Odeon gig, and I then walked out for good.
“It was a two-way thing really – I wanted to go, and I’ve heard they are quite happy to see the back of me. In fact, from what I gather, Jody and Julie actually threatened to walk out themselves if I returned. So this time there’s NO going back. ‘We don’t talk to each other at the moment, but I still wish them all the best for the future.’
As far as Tracey’s replacement goes, this is 19-year-old South Londoner Dee O’Malley, who was found via an advert SHE put in Sounds “Musicians Available’ column. However, before Ms O’Malley was found, Kelly Johnson stood in on bass for a TV special the Goddess recorded in Germany straight after the Fastway support trek.
The irony is that, when Enid Williams was sacked last year by Girlschool, Tracey was seriously considered as a potential replacement. Eventually, she was passed over because the ‘School didn’t want to cause the splitting up of what seemed at the time like a very happy Rock Goddess unit.
From such slender threads is the fabric of fate woven.