Au Pairs – live at Golden Eagle, Birmingham – September 13, 1980 – Band soundboard –
Au Pairs in concert tonight. Recorded at Golden Eagle in Birmingham on September 13, 1980.
Their first album, Playing with a Different Sex, is considered a post-punk classic, with strong, sarcastic songs such as “It’s Obvious” and “We’re So Cool” taking a dry look at gender relations. Other songs, such as “Armagh”—with its refrain, “we don’t torture”—criticized the British government’s treatment of Irish Republican prisoners during the troubles in Northern Ireland.
The band performed in 1980 for the concert film Urgh! A Music War.
The band’s second album, Sense and Sensuality (1982), showed a greater influence of jazz, soul, funk and disco on the band’s sound, but was less well received.
Following the departure of Jane Munro in 1983, the band recruited Nick O’Connor who also played piano and synthesizers. At this time the group were further augmented by Jayne Morris (percussion and backing vocals), Graeme Hamilton (trumpet) and Cara Tivey on additional keyboards. The band were scheduled to record a third album with producer Steve Lillywhite in 1983 but broke up. Woods has intimated that that the hostility and violence she and other women faced playing music was a factor in the group’s demise: “There comes a point where you can’t go on any more at that level,” she told Nige Tassell of The Guardian.
Woods formed an all-woman band called the Darlings in the late 1980s, but then left the music industry. Now, as Lesley Longhurst-Woods, she works as a lawyer in London. Guitarist Paul Foad published a guitar technique book, co-written with Stuart Ritchie, titled The Caged Guitarist (2000). Bass player Jane Munro works as an alternative therapist (aromatherapy, reflexology and Indian head massage) in Birmingham. Pete Hammond also remains an active musician and teaches percussion in Birmingham.
Enjoy the show.