Frock Rock: Women Performing Popular Music


This is the first ethnographic study of women's popular music-making. It is based on over 100 in-depth interviews as well as participant observation by the author, a sociologist, who has herself played in various bands since punk. Bayton covers the period from the late 1970s until the mid 1990s, focusing mainly on women instrumentalists in female and mixed bands. Amongst others, interviewees include Skin from Skunk Anansie, Debbie Smith from Echobelly, Candida Doyle from Pulp, Gail Greenwood from Belly and L7, Natasha Atlas from Transglobal Underground, and Vie Subversa from Poison Girls. Although female vocalists have always been common, women playing instruments in bands are still proportionally rare. Frock Rock explores the social factors that keep women from playing and those routes that have enabled women's involvement. The book then examines the everyday worlds of women's music-making from bands just starting up to the professional stage: songwriting, rehearsing, the first gig, getting a manager, record companies, recording, and touring. Easy to read and packed with fascinating quotes, Frock Rock makes an invaluable contribution to the field of popular music studies and will become a key text in cultural studies, media studies, women's studies, and sociology of culture courses.

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