Sunday, September 06, 2009

Avengers tour

Back in the early '90s when I used to haunt the dank and spooky basement of the Main Library of San Francisco seeking out month-old issues of the NME and Melody Maker, I used to disturb the tranquility of the assistant there, one Penelope Houston, late of first-wave punk band The Avengers.

Most famous for opening for the last ill-fated Sex Pistols show at Winterland in 1978, The Avengers kicked up some pretty fierce agit-punk, such as the anthems "I Believe in Me" and "We Are the One", for which Penelope was the shaven-headed, snotty-voiced singer. Later she became a neo-folkie and released some pretty cool albums, as well as becoming quite successful in Germany.

But, the old punk instincts returned at some point in the late '90s and the band has gone on the road periodically. I never heard the album that came out in '99 but I still have some tattered unofficial vinyl of their original recordings which I found in some second-hand shop years ago, with a grainy Penelope (it's not really a very punk name is it?) on the pink cover.

This month she, Greg Ingraham and some recruits go out on the road with Paul Collins' Beat and Pansy Division for a West Coast tour. There are also some accompanying events, including a photo exhibit (in the Main Library!) and discussions, including one on queer punk. Wish I could be there.

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