The Raincoats, an Ode to the women



The Raincoats, an Ode to the women


There must be something in the air in Manchester, given the volume of musical talent that comes from the city,

This includes the Raincoats (a very well-made name for a Manchester band), a post-punk band founded by Ana Da Silva with her college mate Gina Birch.

After a series of line-up changes, they became an exclusively female band, including the manager. Also, their first tour in UK, in ’79, was next to a band of women only, the Swiss Kleenex.

The all-female training was certainly one of the winning cards that brought Raincoats to their second tour in the UK and their first one in the USA with their second album “Odyshape”.

Certainly the ’70s were years of revolution in which women have also made their way and took their space, but not without having to fight, so we can say that before the #metoo, before the Femen and the various feminist movements, together with Siouxsie Sioux and Debby Harry, the Raincoats have also helped to pave the way for female post-punk.

In their four albums, from 77 to 96, the Raincoats carried on their feminism, bringing to light those feelings we know very well today.

They sang in “Odyshape”, in 1981:

“She looks in mirror,
In magazine
She looks embarassed, embarassed
(I’m not glamourous or polished
In fact I’m no ornament
it could be my body shape
I wonder if I’ll ever look right)”


And these words today could not sound more current.

They gave voice to those emotions today’s women are still “slaves” to: not feeling height compared to the models of glossy magazines, or the desire not to want to conform to the traditional point of view that society has on women.

And basically this was the true female revolution of women artists of the ’70s: getting out of an already marked road and creating a whole new one in which the female figure is no longer seen as a fragile creature or the angel of the hearth, but as a strong individual with an personal conscience.

If today women do not necessarily have to feel like someone’s “little dolls”, they owe it to them too:

“I’m no one’s little girl, oh no, I’m not
I’m not gonna be – cause I don’t wanna be
I never shall be on your family tree”


Words by Federica Diaz Splendiani