What a wonderful Bank Holiday present from Justin Thomas! These photos of The Raincoats from 22nd September 1978 have never been seen before. Taken at The Crypt, underneath the Great Western Hotel in Paddington. Justin says The Passions also played but he can’t remember which of the bands headlined.
The Raincoats formed in 1977 when they were students at Hornsey College of Art in London.
This is their debut single released on Rough Trade in May 1979.
Johnny Rotten was an early admirer of the band and later stated, ‘The Raincoats offered a completely different way of doing things, as did X-Ray Specs and all the books about punk have failed to realise that these women were involved for no other reason than that they were good and original’
When The Raincoats Gina Birch saw these photos she told me who this guitarist is ‘Jeremie Frank. She was an architecture student. She came to Poland with us. She had knee length, high heeled green snakeskin boots. She was glam. We were thrift shop/get your sewing machine out, that’s 20p please!!’ She also noted ‘Can’t remember anything else at the moment, but looking at the Crypt photos I see I have a tan. Ana invited me to go to Madeira where she grew up. When I got there, people laughed at me saying I was the whitest person they’d ever seen! Then I got a tan… ha!’
In 1992, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana went into the Rough Trade shop in Talbot Road, West London in search of a new copy of ‘The Raincoats’, their debut album, and was sent around the corner to see Ana da Silva from the band at her cousin’s antique shop. Kurt wrote passionately about this meeting in the sleeve notes of Nirvana’s ‘Incesticide’ album. In late 1993, Rough Trade and DGC Records reissued the band’s three studio albums, with sleeve notes by Kurt Cobain and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon.
Justin remembers ‘It was at The Crypt club, which was under that big hotel which used to be (still is?) on the corner of Paddington station.
Really weird place, like a proper crypt, dark & spooky with lots of alcoves and a damp & musty smell. The Passions (I’m in love with a German film star) were supporting, or maybe headlining.’
John Williams, had this to say when he saw these photos: ‘I was there! The cryptic club was actually stranger than that. It was actually the crypt of a church on Bishop’s Bridge Road, but the church itself barely existed (wartime bomb damage?). Really quite spooky. I saw Throbbing Gristle there around the same time.’
Once again, thanks very much Justin!