Lesbian history group events Spring/Summer

Saturday 6th May 2-4pm    Jam Today – Feminist Rock Band

Speakers: Terry Hunt, Alison Raynor, Barbara Stretch, Diedre Cartwright

Feminist rock band Jam Today grew from a group of women who met through a notice in the London Women’s Liberation Workshop newsletter in 1976. One of the many groups formed in the feminist culture created in this exciting era of WLM activism, the band developed through intense discussions, skill-sharing and collective work. They performed at many women’s conferences, festivals and protests, held workshops, and set up the Monthly Women’s Event to make a regular space for women-only gatherings, as well as playing mixed gigs in order to reach as wide an audience as possible. They wrote their own music or changed lyrics to create anti-sexist and anti-heterosexist songs.  While Jam Today did not set out to be a solely lesbian band it comprised mainly lesbian women and was informed by lesbian/feminist politics throughout its three incarnations until 1984, as well as being non-commercial and setting up the feminist venture, Stroppy Cow Records. Many of the women involved continue with musical careers and feminist activism today. You can hear and see some of Jam Today’s music in the Women’s Liberation Music Archive at https://womensliberationmusicarchive.co.uk/j/

Saturday 3rd June 2-4pm     Ova – the Radical Feminist band

Speaker Rosemary Schonfeld

Ova was formed in l976 by Rosemary Schonfeld and Jana Rumells. It was predominantly a duo, although other women played with the band when it first started. It was explicitly radical feminist, with the duo composing their own music, including songs on lesbian love and challenging male violence. A major principle of the band was to control its own music production and recording outside the misogynist and commercialised music industry. This was done through Stroppy Cow Records (see above).   Ova made four albums on this label and was known for its distinctive sound using a variety of musical instruments and percussion. As well as the UK, they toured in Scandinavia, Germany, Holland and the States, including the Michigan Women’s Music Festival. They also created the Ova Music Studio in London which ran workshops for other women on sound recording, voice, and drumming/ percussion. You can hear some of Ova’s music at  https://womensliberationmusicarchive.co.uk/o/