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The Raincoats are a British post-punk band. Ana da Silva (vocals, guitar) and Gina Birch (vocals, bass) formed the group in 1977 while they were students at Hornsey College of Artmarker, London, England.


The line-up included Ross Crighton on guitar and Nick Turner on drums for the band’s first gig on 9 November 1977. Kate Korus, from The Slits and later The Mo-dettes, joined briefly but was replaced by Jeremie Frank. Nick Turner left to form The Barracudas and Richard Dudanski (exThe 101'ers and later Public Image Ltd.) sat in on drums and film maker Patrick Keiller replaced Jeremie Frank on guitar.

Late in 1978, The Raincoats became an all female post-punk band, when joined by Palmolive of The Slits (drums), Vicky Aspinall (violin) and manager Shirley O'Loughlin. The band went on their first UK tour with Swissmarker female band Kleenex, in May 1979 after Rough Trade Records released their first single, "Fairytale in the Supermarket"/ "In Love"/ "Adventures Close to Home".

Palmolive left the band after their seminal first album The Raincoats and Ingrid Weiss joined in 1980, when the band began recording their second album Odyshape, and toured Europe and the east coast of the United States. Guest musicians on Odyshape included Robert Wyatt, This Heat's Charles Hayward and Richard Dudanski.

In New York, in December 1982, The Raincoats recorded a live album at the arts space The Kitchen. The Kitchen Tapes (live) was released on ROIR in 1983.

The band recorded Moving in 1984 and began work on solo projects shortly after the release of this album. Gina Birch and Vicky Aspinall formed Dorothy and Ana da Silva worked with choreographer Gaby Agis on a series of dance projects and formed Roseland with Charles Hayward.

In 1992 Kurt Cobain of Nirvana went into the Rough Trade Shop in Talbot Road, London in search of a new copy of The Raincoats and Jude Crighton sent him round the corner to see Ana da Silva at her cousin's antique shop. Cobain wrote passionately about this meeting in the liner notes of Nirvana’s Incesticide album. In late 1993 Rough Trade and DGC Records released the three albums with liner notes by Cobain and Kim Gordon.

Shirley O'Loughlin persuaded Ana da Silva and Gina Birch to play a show at the Garage in London in March 1994 with Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth on drums and Anne Wood on violin to celebrate the album releases. They recorded a session for BBC Radio 1's John Peel, which was released on Paul Smith's Blast First and Steve Shelley’s record label Smells Like Records. Cobain invited them to play on the tour Nirvana planned for the UK in April, but he died a week before the tour began. da Silva and Birch had written some new material and released a new album Looking in the Shadows on DGC Records and Rough Trade Records in 1996, produced by Britpop producer Ed Buller (who had previously worked with Suede and Pulp). Musicians included Anne Wood (violin, bass), Heather Dunn (drums) and Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks and solo artist).

Since 1996, The Raincoats have played some special events such as Robert Wyatt's Meltdown in 2001, at Chicks on Speed's 99 Cents album release in Berlin in December 2003. da Silva and Birch recently recorded a cover version of "Monk Chant" for a compilation album of The Monks songs called Silver Monk Time, and performed the song live with the Monks in the Volksbuehne, Berlin in October 2006. They played at Ladyfest Leedsmarker in April 2007 and the Nuits Sonores Festival in Lyonmarker on 18 May 2007 on the Girl Monster stage with Chicks on Speed. On 28 March 2009 The Raincoats-Fairytales-A Work in Progress, directed by Gina Birch and produced by The Raincoats was screened at the BFI in London and the band performed at Donaufestival on the Girl Monster stage with Girl Monster Orchestra on 25 April.


Chart placings shown are from the UK Indie Chart.




  • 1979 - "Fairytale in the Supermarket" / "In Love" / "Adventures Close to Home"
  • 1982 - "No One's Little Girl" / "Running Away" (#47)
  • 1983 - "Animal Rhapsody" / "No One's Little Girl" / "Honey Mad Woman"
  • 1996 – "Don’t Be Mean" / "Vicious" / "I Keep Walking"

Tracks on compilations

  • 1990 - "No One's Little Girl" on A Constant Source of Interruption - [25058]
  • 1993 - "In Love" on Lipstick Traces - compiled by Greil Marcus author of In the Fascist Bathroom [25059]
  • 1995 - "Off Duty Trip" on Razor and Tie Music [25060]
  • 1995 - "In Love" on Upsalapalooza [25061]
  • 1996 - "Pretty" on Buy Product 2 [25062]
  • 2001 - "Fairytale in the Supermarket" on Rough Trade Shops 25 years [25063]
  • 2003 - "Lola" on Rough Trade Shops Post Punk 01 [25064]
  • 2003 - "Animal Rhapsody" on Chicken Lips DJ Kicks [25065]
  • 2004 - "Fairytale in the Supermarket" on Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the '80s Underground
  • 2006 - "Only Loved at Night" on Rip it Up - compiled by Simon Reynolds author of Rip it Up and Start Again [25066]
  • 2006 - "Monk Chant" on Silver Monk Time [25067]
  • 2006 - "Shouting Out Loud" on Girl Monster [25068]


  1. “Women and the Rock Business, and the story of the Raincoats” The Open University 7 February, 2005 - Retrieved: 28 July 2007
  2. The Kitchen Tapes - Retrieved: 28 July 2007
  3. The Raincoats concert in Leeds 2007 - Retrieved: 28 July 2007
  4. Lazell, Barry (1997) Indie Hits 1980 - 1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-95172-069-4
  5. Guardian review of "Little-known records with big influence" 20 July 2007 - Retrieved: 28 July 2007
  6. Stuart Murdoch: My Top 10 albums - Retrieved: 28 July 2007

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