|Genres||Alternative rock, neo-psychedelia, post-punk|
|Years active||1977–1984, 1993–present|
|Labels||We ThRee, Rough Trade, ROIR, Blast First, Smells Like Records, DGC|
|Members||Ana da Silva
|Past members||Ross Crighton
The Raincoats are a British post-punk band. Ana da Silva (vocals, guitar) and Gina Birch (vocals, bass) formed the group in 1977 while they were students at Hornsey College of Art, London, England.
The line-up included Ross Crighton on guitar and Nick Turner on drums for the band’s first gig on 9 November 1977. Kate Korus, from The Slits and later The Mo-dettes, joined briefly but was replaced by Jeremie Frank. Nick Turner left to form The Barracudas and Richard Dudanski (exThe 101ers and later Public Image Ltd.) sat in on drums and film maker Patrick Keiller replaced Jeremie Frank on guitar.
Late in 1978, The Raincoats became an all female post-punk band, when joined by Palmolive of The Slits (drums), Vicky Aspinall (violin) and manager Shirley O'Loughlin. The band went on their first UK tour with Swiss female band Kleenex, in May 1979 after Rough Trade Records released their first single, "Fairytale in the Supermarket"/ "In Love"/ "Adventures Close to Home".
Palmolive left the band after their seminal first album The Raincoats and Ingrid Weiss joined in 1980, when the band began recording their second album Odyshape, and toured Europe and the east coast of the United States. Guest musicians on Odyshape included Robert Wyatt, This Heat's Charles Hayward and Richard Dudanski.
The band recorded Moving in 1984 and began work on solo projects shortly after the release of this album. Gina Birch and Vicky Aspinall formed Dorothy and Ana da Silva worked with choreographer Gaby Agis on a series of dance projects and formed Roseland with Charles Hayward.
In 1992 Kurt Cobain of Nirvana went into the Rough Trade Shop in Talbot Road, London in search of a new copy of The Raincoats and Jude Crighton sent him round the corner to see Ana da Silva at her cousin's antique shop. Cobain wrote passionately about this meeting in the liner notes of Nirvana’s Incesticide album. In late 1993 Rough Trade and DGC Records released the three albums with liner notes by Cobain and Kim Gordon.
"..I don't really know anything about The Raincoats except that they recorded some music that has affected me so much that, whenever I hear it I'm reminded of a particular time in my life when I was (shall we say) extremely unhappy, lonely, and bored. If it weren't for the luxury of putting that scratchy copy of The Raincoats' first record, I would have had very few moments of peace. I suppose I could have researched a bit of history about the band but I feel it's more important to delineated the way I feel and how they sound. When I listen to The Raincoats I feel as if I'm a stowaway in an attic, violating and in the dark. Rather than listening to them I feel like I'm listening in on them. We're together in the same old house and I have to be completely still or they will hear me spying from above and, if I get caught - everything will be ruined because it's their thing." — Cobain's liner notes for The Raincoats
Shirley O'Loughlin persuaded Ana da Silva and Gina Birch to play a show at the Garage in London in March 1994 with Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth on drums and Anne Wood on violin to celebrate the album releases. They recorded a session for BBC Radio 1's John Peel, which was released on Paul Smith's Blast First and Steve Shelley’s record label Smells Like Records. Cobain invited them to play on the tour Nirvana planned for the UK in April, but he died a week before the tour began. da Silva and Birch had written some new material and released a new album Looking in the Shadows on DGC Records and Rough Trade Records in 1996, produced by Britpop producer Ed Buller (who had previously worked with Suede and Pulp). Musicians included Anne Wood (violin, bass), Heather Dunn (drums) and Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks and solo artist).
Since 1996, The Raincoats have played some special events such as Robert Wyatt's Meltdown in 2001, at Chicks on Speed's 99 Cents album release in Berlin in December 2003. da Silva and Birch recently recorded a cover version of "Monk Chant" for a compilation album of The Monks songs called Silver Monk Time, and performed the song live with the Monks in the Volksbuehne, Berlin in October 2006. They played at Ladyfest Leeds in April 2007 and the Nuits Sonores Festival in Lyon on 18 May 2007 on the Girl Monster stage with Chicks on Speed. On 28 March 2009 The Raincoats-Fairytales-A Work in Progress, directed by Gina Birch and produced by The Raincoats was screened at the BFI in London and the band performed at Donaufestival on the Girl Monster stage with Girl Monster Orchestra on 25 April. The band performed at Matt Groening's All Tomorrow's Parties festival in May 2010 at Minehead in Somerset.
On 21 November 2010 The Raincoats performed a concert as part of the PopRally series at MoMA in New York City. The band were been invited by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to perform their debut album live at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in March 2012.
- 1979 - The Raincoats  (No. 5)
- 1981 - Odyshape (No. 5)
- 1983 - The Kitchen Tapes (live)
- 1984 - Moving (No. 5)
- 1996 - Looking in the Shadows
- 1983 - Animal Rhapsody
- 1994 - Extended Play
- 1979 - "Fairytale in the Supermarket" / "In Love" / "Adventures Close to Home"
- 1982 - "No One's Little Girl" / "Running Away" (No. 47)
- 1983 - "Animal Rhapsody" / "No One's Little Girl" / "Honey Mad Woman"
- 1996 – "Don’t Be Mean" / "Vicious" / "I Keep Walking"
Tracks on compilations 
- 1980 - "In Love" on Wanna Buy A Bridge? - Rough Trade
- 1981 - "Shouting Out Loud" on C81 cassette released by New Musical Express magazine
- 1990 - "No One's Little Girl" on A Constant Source of Interruption - Rough Trade
- 1993 - "In Love" on Lipstick Traces - compiled by Greil Marcus author of In the Fascist Bathroom - Rough Trade
- 1995 - "Off Duty Trip" on Razor and Tie Music - Razor and Tie
- 1995 - "In Love" on Upsalapalooza - WFMU
- 1996 - "Pretty" on Buy Product 2 - Geffen Records
- 1999 - "No One's Little Girl" on Postpunk Chronicles: Left of the Dial - Rhino Records
- 2001 - "Fairytale in the Supermarket" on Rough Trade Shops 25 years - Rough Trade
- 2003 - "Lola" on Rough Trade Shops Post Punk 01 - Rough Trade
- 2003 - "Animal Rhapsody" on Chicken Lips DJ Kicks - !K7
- 2004 - "Fairytale in the Supermarket" on Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the '80s Underground
- 2006 - "Only Loved at Night" on Rip it Up - compiled by Simon Reynolds author of Rip it Up and Start Again
- 2006 - "Monk Chant" on Silver Monk Time
- 2006 - "Shouting Out Loud" on Girl Monster - Chicks on Speed
- “Women and the Rock Business, and the story of the Raincoats” The Open University 7 February, 2005 open.ac.uk - Retrieved: 28 July 2007
- The Kitchen Tapes roir-usa.com - Retrieved: 28 July 2007
- "The Raincoats - Feminist Song (MoMA)". YouTube. 2010-11-23. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- "ATP curated by Jeff Mangum". Atpfestival.com. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- Anthony Riley (December 5, 2011). "The Raincoats to Make Historic First Ever Appearance at 35D in March; Other Notable Acts also Announced". D Magazine. Retrieved 2011-12-11.
- Lazell, Barry (1997) Indie Hits 1980 - 1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4
- Guardian review of "Little-known records with big influence" 20 July 2007 guardian.co.uk - Retrieved: 28 July 2007
- Stuart Murdoch: My Top 10 albums observer.guardian.co.uk - Retrieved: 28 July 2007
- Guardian Online review of book relating to female punk musicians/groups including Gina Birch and Ana da Silva