Boomkat Product Review:
Rubella Ballet were a gothic anarcho-punk band formed in autumn 1979 by former Fatal Microbes Pete Fender (guitar) and Gem Stone (bass) with vocalist Zillah Minx, and Flux of Pink Indians drummer Sid Ation.
"Sid and Zillah were living with the Poison Girls at Burghley House in Epping. Pete and Gem were the son and daughter of Poison Girls singer Vi Subversa. The band used Poison Girls equipment to jam and write songs, and their first performance was when they jumped up on the stage at a Crass concert. Zillah created and designed ultraviolet hand painted day-glo clothes for the band and dyed their hair multicolored to differentiate themselves from the death rock bands who tended to wear black, army-surplus style clothing.
For their psychedelic stage show they used nothing more than black lights, strobes, and a bit of smoke to illuminate the band. In 1980 Rubella Ballet released their first batch of material on a cassette album titled ""Ballet Bag” for Poison Girls' XNTRIX Records. Their sound went from fast punk to full on Goth, innovative like their clothing. Sounding like rather organized chaos this was the start of a very colorful part of the British anarcho-punk scene, which remains vital to this day. Lyrics tell of living under the grim rule of Thatcher's government, in haunting fashion. Despite the severity of the material, pop and even funk dimensions are discernible beneath the claustrophobic thrashing. “Ballet Bag” was a 100% DIY project, all artwork was drawn and hand-printed by the band. Each cassette came in a bag with a lyric booklet, badge and poster.
The band recorded two John Peel sessions for BBC Radio in 1982 and 1983, which are of much higher fidelity than the home-produced cassette. We’ve included 6 of those songs here as bonus tracks, complete with John Peel introductions from the original broadcast. All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley."