Rubella Ballet in session for John Peel to end the week. Recorded on May 29, 1982 and broadcast July 6th, it was their first of two sessions done for Peel.
Rubella Ballet is a gothic anarcho-punk band formed in Summer 1979, who released several albums before splitting up in 1991. They reformed in 2000.
The band was formed by drummer Sid Truelove (born 18 April 1960, Sutton Coldfield, a former chef and later also the drummer with Flux of Pink Indians), together with former Fatal Microbes Pete Fender (Dan Sansom, guitar), Gem Stone (Gemma Sansom, bass) and It (Quentin North, also bass), with vocalists Annie Anxiety and Womble. Their first gig was at the Triad Leisure Centre in Bishops Stortford on 5 August 1979, where they crashed the bar to play at a Crass/Poison Girls/Epileptics gig that was happening in the main hall. Several other gigs followed throughout the summer of 1979, until Annie, Womble and It left, to be replaced by vocalist Zillah Minx (born Zillah Elaine Ashworth, 31 March 1961, Birkenhead) towards the end of the year.
Zillah’s first performance was when they took to the stage at the end of a Crass/Poison Girls concert at Conway Hall, Holborn. The new band’s first proper gig was a fundraiser for the Theatre Royal in Stratford on 28 October 1979 supporting Poison Girls, which ended in a riot due to an invasion mid-way through Poison Girls’ set by the local contingent of the British Movement, during which several members of Poison Girls were injured. Rubella Ballet had agreed to be interviewed by Mike Diboll for Toxic Grafity fanzine after their performance and thus escaped the attack, although the stage had already been partially invaded during their set. Following this the band played frequently around the UK, often asking audience members to put them up after gigs.
Pete Fender left early in 1980 to pursue a solo project, the Four Formulas EP, produced by Richard Famous for XNTRIX Records. He was replaced by former Flux of Pink Indians guitarist Andy Smith, and synth player Eugene. The new line-up were soon known for wearing brightly coloured dayglo clothes on stage, to differentiate themselves from the anarcho-punk bands who tended to wear black, ‘army-surplus’ style clothing, and it was this line-up which featured on the Ballet Bag cassette album at the end of 1981.
Pete Fender rejoined the band at the beginning of 1982 to record and promote the Ballet Dance EP and the first of two John Peel sessions for the BBC, leaving at the beginning of the following year to join Omega Tribe as a full-time member, having been their early mentor and record producer.
To get an idea of what their first session for John Peel sounded like, click on the Play button and crank it up.