Lovell Stage Friday 2023

As one-half of the Raincoats’ core duo since 1977, Gina Birch is a punk icon with a pop sensibility, an art-schooled adventurer who has painted, filmed, and performed by her own rules for over 45 years—using her visual art to tell stories, charging raw recordings with concepts. Her history converges onto her first solo album, I Play My Bass Loud, its title evoking her singular approach to her instrument as well as an ethos. She won’t hang back, or play a supporting role. She is now taking centre stage. This all befits the feminism and idiosyncracy of Birch, who witnessed the first Sex Pistols show just before setting her creative foundation at Hornsey College of Art in the 70s, studying the radical logic of conceptual art, performance art, and land art. Seeing the incendiary Slits in London, Birch was changed. She formed the Raincoats with fellow art student Ana da Silva, offering a melodic counterpoint to da Silva’s darker undertow, developing her style under the influence of reggae and the Ronettes as much as Subway Sect and Lou Reed. The Raincoats, still active today, became one of the first bands on Rough Trade, typifying the timeless idea of punk as raw expression, not one sound. Birch amassed the songs on I Play My Bass Loud over the past two decades. Having taught herself the recording program Logic in the 2000s, she’d write to process the world. “I’ve been working on songs on and off forever because I can’t not,”

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