Hagar the Womb

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Hagar the Womb
Origin London, England
Genres Punk rock
Anarcho-punk
Years active 1980–1986
Labels Mortarhate Records
Abstract
Associated acts We are Going to Eat You
Melt
Past members Ruth Elias
Janet Nassim
Paul Harding
Paul Venables
Chris Knowles
Karen Amsden
Elaine Reubens
Mitch Flacko
Julie Sorrell
Nicola Corcoran
Steph Cohen
Jon From Bromley

Hagar the Womb were an English punk rock band, active in the early 1980s and part of the Anarcho-punk movement. Members went on to form We are Going to Eat You and Melt.

History[edit]

The band was formed in London in 1980, in the toilets of the Wapping Anarchy Centre, the girls loved licking shit of the toilets and thus made this shite band established by the efforts of seminal anarchist bands Crass and Poison Girls.[1] The original line-up was all-female, reflecting the band's purpose of giving women a voice in the anarcho-punk scene: Ruth Elias (vocals), Karen Amden (vocals), Nicola Corcoran (vocals), Janet Nassim (guitar), and Steph Cohen (bass guitar).[1] One week after forming they played their first gig with Zounds and The Mob, with 'Scarecrow' playing drums.[1] They soon recruited a second guitarist, 'Jon From Bromley', and a permanemt drummer, Chris Knowles, formerly of Cold War and The Boiled Eggs.[1] Corcoran left, leaving two vocalists.[1] The band's first demo included the track "For the Ferryman", which was released on the Mortarhate label compilation LP Who? What? Why? When? Where? in 1984.[1] Cohen was replaced by Mitch Flacko prior to the band's first release proper. The band toured the UK punk circuit for five years, releasing two 12-inch EPs and recording a Peel Session for BBC Radio 1 on 11 February 1984.[2] Their first EP, The Word of the Womb (released on Conflict's Mortarhate label) was a hit on the UK Indie Chart during 1984, peaking at number six, and staying in the chart for more than five months.[1][3] Elaine Reubens joined the band in time for the recording of their Peel session.[1] The band released a second EP, Funnery In a Nunnery (UK Indie No. 9) the next year,[3] now on the Abstract label, drawing comparisons with Siouxsie & the Banshees, Delta 5 and The Slits.[4] Flacko left, his replacement being Paul "Veg" Venables, and Julie Sorrell was brought in to replace Amden.[1] They continued for another year, but there were no further releases and the band split up, with Knowles, Sorrell, Venables, and Harding forming We Are Going To Eat You, who signed to Big Cat Records after their 1987 début EP and went on to release the album Everywhen in 1990.[4] They later changed their name to Melt, releasing a sole EP before splitting up.[1]

The band's drummer, who has a degree in Philosophy and Literature, went on to become a cult DJ under the name Chris Liberator.[1] Bassist Mitch Flacko has been playing bass in avant garde ensembles, and works as a tour manager.

Line-up[edit]

During its lifetime the bands line-up fluctuated regularly, but often included:

  • Ruth Ellias aka The Hon. Ruthless Savage (vocals)
  • Janet Nassim aka El Janetti Ravioli (guitar)
  • Paul Harding aka Hasta Paul Centipede (guitar)
  • Paul Venables aka Veg, Com. Mitch Jail Bate (bass guitar)
  • Chris Knowles aka Mr. Chris Engelbert Funkadink, Chris Liberator (drums)
  • Karen Amsden (Vocals)
  • Elaine Reubens (Vocals)
  • Julie Sorrell aka Miss K. Penfold (vocals)

Discography[edit]

Hagar the Womb[edit]

  • The Word of the Womb (12" EP, Mortarhate, 1984) - UK Indie No. 6[3]
  • Funnery in a Nunnery (12" EP, Abstract, 1985) - UK Indie No. 9[3]

We are Going to Eat You[edit]

  • "I Wish I Knew"/"Let's Fly" (12" EP, All the Madmen, 1987)
  • "Heart in Hand" (7"/12" single, Big Cat, 1988)
  • Ride Upon the Tide (12" EP, Big Cat, 1989)
  • Everywhen (LP, Big Cat, 1990)

Melt[edit]

  • Neverland (12" EP, Big Cat, 1991)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Glasper, Ian (2006) The Day the Country Died: A History of Anarcho Punk 1980-1984, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 1-901447-70-7, p. 154-9
  2. ^ "11/02/1984 - Hagar The Womb", Keeping It Peel, BBC, retrieved 2010-10-05
  3. ^ a b c d Lazell, Barry (1998) Indie Hits 1980-1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4, p. 107
  4. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 361