London-based group the Soho Dolls consists of vocalist Maya, keyboardist Ana, bassist Gavin, and guitarist Tony, who is a former member of Maluka and All about Eve.

The Soho Dolls have now released two singles.The first, 'Prince Harry', was released on former Creation boss Alan McGee's Poptones label, while the second 'Stripper' came out in July on McGee's wife Kate Holmes' label Loser Friendly. They play music with an electro glamrock sound.

Pennyblackmusic spoke to Maya and Ana before a London gig.

PB : How long have the band been together?

M : I would say about a year and a half but in this line up about 6 months.

PB : Why did you choose the name the Soho Dolls ?

M : Because Soho is seedy and glamorous at the same time, and the Dolls because of...

PB : The New York Dolls ?

M :Yeah ! We also chose Soho because Soho can be New York or London.

PB : What made you want to give it a go and to be in a band ?

M : I think we all wanted rocky adventures. All of us had been in bands before, and had enough of doing indie music and we just wanted to do music that we liked, but which could perhaps be called cheesy like Soft Cell or Blondie.

PB : That's not cheesy. That's just retro. How did you all meet?

M : I met Ana through a friend. Our ex manager recruited Tony, originally as a driver for a tour, and we realised he was a really
good guitarist. Then Tony brought in Gavin as a bass player, so it was quite organic.

PB : You have done two singles now, one for Poptones and one for Loser Friendly.

M : The first one, 'Prince Harry', was for Poptones and the second one, 'Stripper', was for Alan McGee's wife's label. Loser Friendly is a sister label to Poptones.

PB : What did you think of McGee?

M : We gave him the demo at his club, Death Disco,and he called us in and got us to play, and he gave us a deal for a one off single. His accent is really strong. It is a bit hard to understand, but we could talk to him about anything. He is still very interested in young bands and what people are doing today.

PB : To me your vocal sounds something like Sarah Nixey of Black Box Recorder. It is very sexy, and seductive, a bit like a spider pulling in a fly and then going for the kill.

M : Oh, right (Short laugh !). I don't know Black Box Recorder. The sound we want to project, it has a little bit more to it than a lot of what is going around at the moment. It is definitely sexy and has a bit more balls to it.

(The soundcheck happens, after which having talked to both Maya on her own we are now joined by Ana as well.)

PB : The sound of that soundcheck reminded me of the new romantic era. Your music sounds very early 80's. Is that the sort of stuff your parents played when you were young and growing up?

M : My mother used to play Duran Duran and Depeche Mode. I remember liking that stuff when I was a kid.

PB : I have been told that your live show is very sexy.

M : Is it (Laughs)?

PB : So I have been told?

M : It depends on my mood.

(At most gigs, Maya strips off during 'Stripper' and flashes her breasts which are partially covered in black masking tape).

PB : Is that to make it more than a standard indie gig ?

M : We are not an indie band. We do like to let our hair down, and a gig is therapy for us. We never started off like that. It's to get the audience involved. I dont know how they can just stand still. We have too much adrenaline in us to stand still. It leaks out.

PB :So you're like a female Iggy Pop ?

M : I like that.

PB : I believe you have done a lot of shows in Europe. What is the difference between playing in Europe and Britain ?

A : The audience is better in Europe. They are better anywhere outside of London. Scotland is better as well, but Europe is better than anywhere here.

PB : Your sound is also more European flavoured.

M : There is no attitude in the front row.

A : They are there to see and hear. Europeans are more open.

PB : What audiences have you been attracting?

M : We play to quite a big range. We play to different audiences. We do gay nights in Soho as well as indie nights. We are still quite open. The jury is out.

PB : I would imagine you have a bit of a Goth following.

M : In Italy they think we are Goths. They call us New Wave Goths, but I don't know why.

AQ : But they are still mega trendy there.

M : So we are not industrial Goths.

A : We played Spain. There were punks and some new romantics in the audience,so it depends on who we play with.

PB : You have done the two singles and are now working on an album. How is that album coming on?

M : We haven't decided what label we are putting it out on, but we have got a production deal and a licensing deal for Italy, the USA and Spain. We will probably license it through someone else in the UK.

PB : Thank you for your time.











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