Femme punk stalwarts the Slits were back in town promoting their first album for 20+ years to what was considering their absence a fair-sized audience, made up of old school punks and some fresh faced kids who weren't even born when they performed their first John Peel session in 1976 .

The band is led by the sole remaining member and frontwoman Ari Up, who is backed up by Tessa Pollit (from the second line-up), German drummer Anna Schulte, guitarist Honeychild and Hollie Cook (daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul) on keyboards and vocals.

Ari introduced the band's sound as 'punky reggae dub' which is fair enough. Certainly the new songs are more polished and heavy on the dub and reggae vibe, although the band claim despite interference they have never compromised and always done their own thing. Jokingly Ari claimed she would not perform any of the punky stuff unless she saw a Glasgow fight or a bit more life from the crowd.

Opener 'New Town' from their 1979 debut album 'Cut', which Island Records reissued last year as a deluxe pack with demos and rarities, alongside other tracks from the era like 'Let's Do the Splits', single 'Typical Girls' and their unorthadox cover of Marvin Gaye's 'I Heard it Through the Grapevine', were worth the entrance fee alone for sheer nostalgia value. The fantastic 'F.M.' worked well from their latest release 'Trapped Animal', as did other tracks from it such as 'Fade Away' and 'Partner from Hell'. Ari's trademark trills and coos and assorted other bird impersonations were on display throughout.

The band can certainly play and reminded the crowd that they did actually perform on the records despite interference from producers and others around them. Ari even picked the bass on new track 'Cry Baby' with Tessa moving to keyboards and the lead vocal duties reverting with a true reggae vibe to Hollie. For the encores of 'Lazy Slam' and 'Babylon' Ari took to the drums, Anna moved to guitar and guitarist Honeychild took over vocal duties. You'd think they had a point to prove!

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Commenting On: ABC2, Glasgow, 9/5/2010 - Slits

ie London, England

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