Tag Archives: Catalogue

Frightwig

Frightwig was an American all-female band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1983.

Not more than five minutes after the formation of Southern Records and our first release (Fontanelle by Babes In Toyland), I had Frightwig on my hit list. The band had been a massive influence on me during my time in San Francisco in the early 80’s. They were the first all-female American band I was exposed to.

Sure, I was a Joan Jett fan, but her band The Runaways were before my time. I had been existing on a steady diet of British women – Crass, Poison Girls, and Girlschool! Now here were these incredible, loud, awesome-looking women making a joyous racket, screaming lyrics like “Yes, I base my worth on who I get to fuck me”. They looked sexy too – but in a very cool, very intimidating kind of way. Like a Halloween pastiche of what a glamour girl should look like, they played with their feminine power and perverted the traditional punk roles. Frightwig questioned the sexual status quo just as much as Crass did with Penis Envy, but they did it in an utterly American way – full of sarcasm and wit, and laughing through their anger.

I eventually tracked them down and in 1993 Southern released Wild Women Never Die. The release compiled the band’s first two albums on that new-fangled compact disc format. Included are lyrics, photos and liner notes from the band and some of their “celebrity” followers, including members of L7, Hole, Butthole Surfers and Faith No More.

Blazing a trail later trodden by bands like Babes In Toyland, Hole, L7 and Bikini Kill, they were often cited as an influence.

Bob Tilton

Bob Tilton by Sumlin

We recently found this photo of Bob Tilton in the Southern Records photo pool on Flickr, and dug out our copies of The Leading Hotels Of The World and Crescent, which we released back in 1999/2000.   For those of you who are unfamiliar, Bob Tilton (named after a television evangelist) were a Nottingham band who formed in 1993, and split in 1999, having recorded and released two EPs, two albums and a John Peel session in this time.   The band were lauded by the NME and received many words of praise, including a Single Of The Week, from the publication despite refusing all interviews and forbidding their labels to send out review copies.

Though they had their roots in the hardcore/emo scene and were themselves undoubtably influenced by early pioneers of those scenes in the USA, Tilton in turn influenced many UK bands who were forming at the time – perhaps the only survivor of that scene being Mogwai, who played an “NME Brats” show with Tilton, Bonnie Prince Billy and Clinic  in January 1999.

Here’s a track from Leading Hotels, which is still available on CD and LP, along with Crescent, their first album, from our web shop.

Bob Tilton – Beach Combing by Southern