There’s a common pattern emerging when you try and find out about early punkgirl bands. Very few photos, no sound recordings, a couple of facts or fanzine quotes that are repeated endlessly over dozens of different blogs and websites. And then the important bit – the bit that says that these young women went on to do other creative, amazing, groundbreaking things after their first punk band.
So it is with The Derelicts. The three female members, Barbara and Susan Gogan and bass player Marion Fudger are better known for the bands they went on to create: The Passions, Prag Vec and The Art Attacks respectively. No doubt, each of them will feature in future punkgirldiaries blogs in their own right, but we’re particularly interested in The Derelicts, because that was the start.
In a wide-ranging interview with Perfect Sound Forever, Susan Gogan explains a childhood of contradictions between affluent Irish bohemia, boarding school and then relative poverty in Dublin, Paris and London. At the start, The Derelicts were more of an experimental rock band, but the influence of punk quickly took hold:
” I went to see a few bands, and what came across most significantly was the right to tell your own story, and invent your own music. This was unequivocally a liberation for me. Sourcing your own melodies and writing your own lyrics was such a delicate thing to attempt. That has never gone away.” Susan Gogan
Susan Gogan describes The Derelicts as “inherently antiestablishment” and goes on to describe how they adopted many of the styles and values of punk, but that it was not a complete conversion:
“Some bands imported the political iconography wholesale, and I found some of that a little exploitative and contradictory. I searched for my own ‘art’ whether it was informed by sexual politics, (Kate Millett) or science fiction writers, particularly Philip K Dick, or the all revealing beatnik prose and poetry of Charles Bukowski. Somewhere in between all this the voice of Dusty Springfield and pop sensibilities of the Small Faces or the Hollies added fizz to the polemic.” Susan Gogan in Perfect Sound Forever
Sadly, there’s no more pictures, videos or soundclips to illustrate this. So here’s a little clip from the 1956 Hitchcock episode “The Derelicts”. I don’t know if there’s a link.