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on 29 September 2009
Superb read and a much welcome tribute to one of the most anarchic of all the first generation of Punk bands. Zoe blends the story with plenty of refreshing approaches, leaving the lasting impression that this Punk biography has been written from a true fans perspective. Uncynical and well paced, you could not go wrong in buying this book of a band of individual but 'untypical girls' that have proven to be far more influential in the modern world than they ever were during their original inception.

Out of Control: Punk Rock at the Doncaster Outlook and Rotherham Windmill 1976-1978 (Our Generation)

Our Generation: The Punk and Mod Children of Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster

London's Burning: True Adventures on the Front Lines of Punk, 1976-1977
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on 25 August 2009
I knew very little about The Slits before reading this book... well, I knew they were girls and that they had funny hair; however, I was also aware that they had a devoted following and that this book might help me get into their records... I think it has. A fun, interesting read!
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on 25 November 2009
'A perfect tribute in true kamikaze Slits fashion *****' Kris Needs, Record Collector
'As vibrant a jolt to punk literature as the band were to punk. Possibly one of the most important Brit-rock books of the year. Gavin Martin, Family of Rock
'Zoe Street Howe redresses the balance.... Warmly partisan, there are heroes, villains and a few shocks,' MOJO
'An ardent tale told with sheer verve,' Loud and Quiet
'It's hard to imagine a better book being written about the Slits' Ice Cream for Quo
'This is one of the most important books about punk.' Michiyo Kawada, Doll Magazine (Japan)
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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2009
At last....a book about the Slits.!!
Well researched..and for someone who lost the slits plot after "Cut"..very informative. I did make a "Return to the Giant Slits" a few years ago as I felt I should investigate what I had missed.
I just love books like this..they make me want to immerse myself in the music I'm reading about. Then I want to dip into some of the stuff I have tucked away that maybe took influences from them Kleenex/Liliput...Heidis Head/You etc. It's interesting how much influence these ladies had on artists even today..he author references Lily Allen(Viv dress style)..and the Bjork/Ari vocal styles
I would say sympathetically written..and some great they were such colourful characters. Fast forward`your Jubilee DVD to the car trashing scene and put the Peel versions of Shoplifting and Vindictive on really loud!! I saw them at their loudest and snottiest on a Clash kind of left an impression on me!!!!
When is that book about Adam and The Ants going to be written???
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on 12 July 2010
As a massive fan of The Clash, and having read a lot of books about them and in particular Joe Strummer, one of my heroes, The Slits have always hovered around my sphere of knowledge, albeit in a peripheral way. I read Zoe Street Howe's book because I met her whilst curating a film festival about Joe, but within a few pages the connection reason dissipated and I was totally hooked as a reader.

This book is a fascinating insight into a truly fascinating subject. It's a wonderfully written account of an underrated band and I felt ashamed that I had neglected their music. The passion of Howe for her subjects had me running to the record shop. It's sharply observed, full of fantastic interviews and Howe never lets her passion get in the way of telling a truthful story. I read it quickly, because it's gripping and fluidly delivered.

An invaluable book about a valuable part of British music history. Highly recommended
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on 19 June 2012
I have always had a fascination with the punk era, being only a little too young to have taken part. This book is a fascinating insight into the Slits and the whole punk movement. Written with style,passion and excellent knowledge. Very highly recommended!
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on 21 November 2009
As a long time fan of the Slits, I was delighted when this book was published, as for far too long the band's story has been shrouded in mystery. Now finally here's a chance to lay it all on the line, or almost all...

The first three quarters of this book is excellent. Author Zoë Street Howe had unfettered access to the main trio of Ari Up, Viv Albertine and Tessa, plus ex-members like guitarist Kate Korus, and drummer Palmolive, along with various managers, friends and colleagues, all of whom make fine contributions.
Howe explores in great detail the formation of the group, early gigs (notably the Clash's `White Riot' tour), that first legendary Peel session, the departure of Palmolive, and most importantly how the Slits worked to hone their music from it's original punk thrash into the stripped down, dub oriented sound that they are known for; refusing to sign to any label until the music was absolutely right. They finally signed to Island, and with producer Dennis Bovell started work on the classic album "Cut" (1979) Cut. Again, Howe goes into fascinating detail about the making of the album, with plenty of input from Bovell. There is also a full insight into that infamous cover shot - the girls blame the sumptuous meals that were served at the studios for the reason they look slightly chubby in the photo!
Following the album came successful tours of the UK and US, but it is at this point that the book begins to fail, as Howe races through the Slits last couple of years. The controversial but fascinating album, `Bootleg Retrospective" (1980) is dismissed in a few lines; I would have liked to have known a lot more about it and the origins of various tracks. There is also no mention of the fact that Y Records distributor Rough Trade hated the album and refused to give it a RT catalogue number. Also missing is the `Beat The Blues Festival'. Held in London in June 1980, it was headlined by the Slits, along with the Pop Group, Raincoats, Essential Logic, Au Pairs, John Cooper Clarke and Linton Kwesi Johnson. A post-punk line-up to die for!
The Slits second proper album "Return Of The Giant Slits" (1981) Return of the Giant Slitssadly does not get the same in-depth coverage as "Cut" which is another great shame as it does represent a genuine step forward for the band and their music.
By the beginning of 1982 it was all over for the Slits as they went their separate ways, but Howe doesn't bother to go into any real detail about their post-Slits lives and careers. Another missed opportunity.
I suspect there were marketing pressures to get this book finished and published in time to tie in with the release of the Slits 2009 reunion album.Trapped Animal It's a decision that has damaged what should have been the final word on the jungle sisters.
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on 11 July 2010
The post-punk era was one of unbridled liberty and experimentation, in the wake of the collapse of all manner of assumptions about what was possible and permissible in pop and rock following the explosion of punk. However, challenging the still deeply ingrained sexism of the era required courage as well as style. The Slits had both. Zoe Street Howe draws on an extensive trove of interviews with all the major players involved in The Slits' career in this excellent, evocative account, colourful, spiky and rich in anecdotal detail.
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on 11 July 2010
Damn, this is a good read, evocative and concise. It's now staring at my from the 'music biog' section of my shelves demanding I read it again.
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on 23 August 2009
Heard about this book in My Space and was soon ordering it from Amazon. It's an Essential Read for All Musicians and old Punks! You'll learn a lot more than just about how to form a band. Funny, Fascinating and certainly Enlightening. Buy Buy Buy! then Share. and buy the album CUT by ~The Slits too. and wait expextantly for Vivs solo album and for the 21st Century Slits incarnation to tour near you. Rah! x
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