Velvet Thunder review:

When Girlschool emerged as part of the nascent New Wave Of British Heavy Metal back in 1978, the world was rather a different place for female musicians compared to the current, 21st century landscape. While it is true that female rock musicians had become more accepted and taken somewhat more seriously than a decade earlier – thanks largely to the pioneering trailblazing done by the likes of Suzi Quatro, The Runaways and the unfortunately-named Fanny – a female band would still be regarded as some kind of musical curio. Rock bands mixing male and female members were very rare, and while there were all-female bands springing up, they appeared to have to trade on the ‘gimmick’ by naming themselves accordingly to highlight the fact. In addition to Girlschool (who themselves were originally Painted Lady), there were Rock Goddess, Vixen and She to name but three. This act of focusing the attention on their gender may have got them column inches, but it certainly did no favours for the cause of female rockers to be regarded in the same light as their male counterparts. In the case of Girlschool, it came as a double edged sword, with the band arguably getting more press and a higher profile than a male band playing the same music, yet at the same time if they were named in a neutral way and played down the fact that they were all girls one cannot help but feel that they might have been treated in a more serious and respectful way by the media…

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