Friday, October 22, 2010

Lion Heart

My online time has been seriously reduced lately and as a result, I've only just heard that Ari Up of The Slits died on October 20th. She was just 48 years old and died after a long battle with cancer. I was lucky enough to have caught The Slits on their reunion tour in 2005. I stood in the middle of The Crawdaddy, bass juddering through my body and gawped in awe: Ari's force of nature personality, her Medusa mane and formidable shriek made for a magnetic presence on stage.

Ari (born Arianna Foster) formed the Slits with drummer Palmolive in 1976 at the age of 14. They were trailblazers: Young women playing punk music in a male dominated environment and at a time where anyone involved in the punk scene was a target for abuse. The Slits created music that fused punk with reggae rhythms and was joyous, mischievous and feisty. Much like the ladies themselves.

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