Goldie and the Gingerbreads were probably the first all-female rock group to sign to a major label, but Fanny, featuring the Millington sisters, were the first to release a major label album. Blazing a trail ahead of Kleenex/Lilliput, Shonen Knife, the Go-Gos, Frank Chickens and the Runaways, Fanny toured with the Stones (and had a track on the B-side of the flexi-disc promo-single for Exile on Main Street) and have long been championed by Bowie. After Fanny, they continued to play and produce, founded the Institute for the Musical Arts to support females in music and music-related business, and hosted a school for girls who want to rock.
The opening tracks of Play Like a Girl have a rocking defiance that stays true to their roots, but may also be viewed as ever-so-slightly predictable. “Let Love Linger” is funkier and the song shows a conscious worldview that is to be applauded. The final six tracks (which begin with “Terrible Times”) reveal that the sisters’ lovely voices are somewhat ageless. This innocence is marvellous and is mingled with the voices of some of the girls from their music camps (from whence several of the songs originate). I have not had such a pleasant surprise since 3:15 p.m. on July 3, 2004, when overhearing the youthful sounding voices of a female choir coming from within Tutbury church and entering to find a group of octogenarian ladies, singing as if reborn.
// Notes from the Road
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