Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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No Hoovering

After a strong afternoon set at London's Finsbury Park Sex Pistols reunion--not much drift-off and minimal "Show us your tits"--Fluffy are pursuing video ops backstage. MTV Brazil? "Buy our records, I want a yacht," urges singer-guitarist-lyricist-leader Amanda Rootes, still wearing her leopardskin coat in the cool June sun. "Goal! Bra-sil! Bollocks! Animals!" the four girls chorus. But then this boring Englishwoman asks them about feminism and their goals in life. "I'd like larger breasts," is Rootes's piss-take. "And I'd like to try time travel."

In a Shepherd's Bush caf next day, I buy lunch and/or Diet Cokes for Rootes, 23; Philippine-born drummer Angie Adams, 21; Austrian au pair turned rhythm guitarist Bridget Jones, 23; and Mancusian bassist Helen Storer, 21. Major clubgoers who decided to do it for themselves, something few Brit females dare even now, they love American punk from Iggy to Bikini Kill and hate when the U.K. press slags the "brilliant" Pistols. But they're "insulted" by my comparison to Elastica's short hard songs about sex. Amanda: "When you listen to their album everything's so clean." Angie: "I admit every time me and Bridget cleaned our house we put Elastica on." Bridget: "It was because we had the Hoover on at the same time."

Fluffy are no fans of musical hygiene. The CBGB-recorded 5 Live EP is a dirty punktoon right down to the fetchingly vulnerable "Bed of Vomit," and Black Eye, their well-financed new debut album with Clash/Pistols veteran Bill Price, never stints on loud or raw (or sex either). Proud of Price's credits even if they cost money in the studio, Fluffy prefer the Pistols. "The Sex Pistols are political in a great teenage fuck you way," explains Amanda. "The Clash are political in a mature way, like they've done politics A levels."

"I felt like such a teenager yesterday," Angie continues. Helen agrees, but Angie's in gear. "It was brilliant. Even today when I woke up I was in that teenage mood. It was so nice."

"Says auntie, age 20," Amanda puts in.

Er, goals?

"There's a lot more girl bands here now coming up to me going, `I've got a girl band and we're really pleased that you're doing it.' If that's our impact, that's really cool," Amanda allows.

And, well, feminism?

"You've got to be progirl, really," says Amanda, after much discussion. "We're in a band in England and we're all girls and that's something really rare so . . . "

" . . . I guess we are feminists," Helen concludes.

Spin, Nov. 1996