All-woman Metal legends GIRLSCHOOL recently celebrated the 30th Anniversary of their Top 5 album, 'Hit & Run', by rerecording and renaming it 'Hit & Run - Revisited'. Hunny Claire gets on the phone to evergreen guitarist KIM MCAULIFFE to chat about their new lease of life.
It's good to talk. British Telecom say so, whether you've got an 'ology or not! People love 'ologies. Kim McAuliffe thinks so too. Kim is the axe grinder and perpetual riff maker with rock legends Girlschool. We haven't spoken for years, and so a general catch-up was on the cards, which led us quite nicely to the origins of Girlschool and their links with the mighty Motörhead.
Article continues below...
"Who'd have thought we'd still be doing this in this day and age?" Kim chuckles.
The fact is they are against some tremendous odds. Losing Kelly Johnson was a devastating blow to the girls, but her place has been filled by the bubbly Jackie Chambers, also known for her adventures with the punk sensations known to us mere mortals as Blitzkreig alongside the breathtakingly crazy Chris Hind.
"We've just released 'Hit & Run - Revisited' and its stood the test of time," Kim says, and so it has - with a vengeance. The record sounds more crisp and clear. I tell Kim I'm impressed, and she adds, "We've got a real record company behind us now and they've been good to us."
The 'real' record company that Kim relates to his Wacken UDR, and Girlschool are label mates with Motörhead and Saxon. A credible situation no less.
I ask Kim about their plans to tour:
"We've got some dates in December and possibly more after that."
I note that one of the gigs is at Livewire in Saltash, Cornwall, a venue known for its work with aspiring musicians and the youth of today. Promoter and youth worker Andy Rance is keen to make Livewire a happening venue, with its focus on local music and the youth of today. He's also keen to promote Girlschool. Kim explains:
"We did the 'Emergency' single for the relief aid in Haiti, with such artists as Lemmy and Rudy Sarzo. Then we were asked to come play at Livewire. That's a date for your diary!"
Girlschool put on a good live show:
"People are amazed we are still going," laughs Kim. "I think they come to see us not to hear what we sound like but to see what we look like!"
There's no evidence of Botox and such-like in the Girlschool camp, just lots of fun and rock 'n' roll which is, as everyone knows, the key to longevity - the elixir of life.
Kim's enjoying life, the resurgence of Girlschool as a household name and a new interest in all things 'Girl'. One of the things Kim is keen to mention is the use of Girlschool footage on an American Cancer Awareness regime. It features celebrities such as Demi Moore:
"Can you believe that, using us to promote such an important issue as breast cancer?"
I tell her that I can, and emphasize it's something that women in general should become more knowledgeable about. Kim agrees wholeheartedly.
Musicians have the ability to relay important issues such as cancer to the masses, and should do so. My husband, ex-Heavy Pettin drummer Gary Moat, was recently asked to participate in a festival where the emphasis was prostrate cancer. He, too, was of the opinion that we need to be guided toward the whole issue of cancer awareness. Kim says:
"Yeah, anything that seems abnormal, check it out don't wait, just do it."
The conversation carries on, and we talk about cats, dogs, horses:
"Are you still riding those mad beasts of yours?!" admonishes Kim.
Well, some of us can't be guitar heroes, I tell her!! As usual, unabashed Kim laughs, "I don't know about that."
Girlschool are, again, a force to be reckoned with, forging ahead in a new resurgence of Girl(school) power.