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Volume 90, Issue 99
Thursday, April 03, 1997
The Great One
More than eight tits
©Gazette file photo
LOTS OF GLAMOUR, LACKING IN SPICE. Fluffy bring its rather in-yer-face music to North America, a place that the fourpiece would prefer to call home.
By Lisa Weaver
The current British music scene is riddled with whiny, wimpy-boy shoegazer rockers, with not much to offer in the way of female musicians except for maybe the Spice Girls. The four punk divas who make up England's Fluffy have dissed the whole Brit pop scene entirely and have embraced American rock'n'roll, with their debut album Black Eye.
"The whole music scene happening in England right now is very uninspiring," complains Angie Adams, the 21-year-old drummer of Fluffy. "There is not a lot of passion in what people are doing. There are lots of boy bands that are dressing down and staring at their feet. It's boring."
Fluffy, on the other hand, have established themselves as energetic and charismatic entertainers who are into glamour and performance.
The band makes no effort to hide its dissatisfaction with the current status of punk music. "There is no punk scene in England," Adams laments. "People are still stuck in this Brit pop thing."
Fluffy has vocally and blatantly dismissed the talents of many British bands, except for mentors The Sex Pistols, whom Fluffy opened for at a festival in the summer.
American bands have attracted Fluffy's interest, with names like The Ramones, The Stooges and grrl-rockers Bikini Kill mentioned most frequently. "Iggy Pop is like my biggest hero ever," Adams says. "In America they know about The Stooges, they know about The Ramones, all our favourite bands, and they're into that. Whereas in England there's no interest."
Fluffy has had some trouble generating interest itself in Britain, simply due to the gender of the band members. "In England they make a real issue out of you being women," Adams says. Meanwhile the band feels more at home in the United States because the concept is more accepted and common.
The British press has given Fluffy little substantial exposure, with emphasis on the image and actions of the band rather than the important messages it has to offer in its music. Adams says derogatory phrases like "eight tits, no talent" have bombarded the band in the past. She laughs about it, however, candidly describing the British press' materialistic obsession with Fluffy. "All they talk about is what we're wearing, blah, blah, blah."
Ironically, Adams can only offer positive advice for young female musicians attempting to enter the rock music world. "If you want to start a band you just have to do it, even if you're shit." She also admits this is the exact way Fluffy was formed. "For a long time we played in Amanda's basement and we were terrible. We couldn't play our instruments."
Amanda Rootes is the 23-year-old vocalist/guitarist of the band, who also writes all the lyrics. A lot of Fluffy's songs focus on serious women's issues, like domestic abuse. Adams explains Rootes' frank lyrics as an attempt to relate the whole band's views on "what it's like to be a young woman in this crazy world." It seems very obvious an all-girl band would focus on female issues, but Adams clarifies that their opinions shouldn't be seen as so radical. "We're not feminists," she explains. "But we're very pro-girl."
Apart from addressing serious social issues, Fluffy enjoys taking satiric jabs at the egos of British musicians. The songs "I Wanna Be Your Lush" and "Too Famous" voice Fluffy's disapproval of such superior attitudes. "In England there's a lot of boy bands who walk around thinking they're so great," Adams observes. "Because they've got an article in a magazine and they've played a gig, they walk around in these big shades thinking they're the fucking best thing on earth."
Fluffy is very aware of the ironic connotations of their band name, which was taken from a lesbian-centred novel entitled Fluffy Butch. Despite the air-head image which the name presents, as well as all the fashion and image attention the band has been given, Black Eye has a lot of valid and urgent messages to deliver. Fluffy uses the political power of punk to present its pro-girl attitudes energetically and with a little bit of glamour.
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