Gil Weston has been admired and well-known throughout the world for her work 1982-1987 with Girlschool – she played bass and sang lead vocals on some tracks. Since then, we hear that she’s been out of music for a while and is possibly working in the NHS.
What we’re interested in is Gil’s (full name Ghislaine) experience in punk band The Killjoys, working with another punk who went on to have further fame; Kevin Rowland. It seems like anyone who has dealt with Kevin Rowland portrays him as ‘difficult’. Like our previous blogs about working with Mark E.Smith and David Byrne, we get that there may be such a thing as an ‘artistic temperament’ but you don’t need to treat people badly.
Here’s a sample of the kind of thing members of the band used to say about working with KR:
“Kevin was the leader. He said so. If we had a contrary opinion, we were in danger of being ousted from the band. Kevin and Mark used to fight a lot at rehearsals….physically fight,…blood and all….`cause Kevin was a tyrant. ” Keith Rimmell
Before The Killjoys, Gil, Kevin and Mark Phillips formed ‘Lucy and the Lovers’ in 1976; it was a band influenced by Roxy music with two girl singers and a distinctive style, but once punk had taken off, the new band The Killjoys was faster, harder and shoutier. Gil says that Gaye Advert had been a particular inspiration, along with the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Wire, The Slits and The Buzzcocks. Their first single sold 18,000 copies and The Killjoys did two sessions for John Peel.
Although inspired by the early punk fashion and ethos, Kevin Rowland came from a working-mens-club band hard graft mentality. He made sure that The Killjoys were rehearsed and tight. Gil was previously a ballet dancer and so was willing to rehearse the whole set 10 times in a row – allegedly Kevin Rowland forced them to rehearse for 8 hours a day resulting in bleeding fingers to achieve the perfection he craved.