Hangovers Up And Running With First U.S. Tour

Eclectic English band led by ex-Raincoats member will be joined on three dates by modern punks Sleater-Kinney.

The latest outfit by former Raincoats bassist Gina Birch, the Hangovers, which earlier this

year released its eclectic, genre-hopping debut, Slow Dirty Tears (Kill Rock

Stars), is set to launch its first-ever tour of the United States this fall.

The English band will make eight stops in the second half of October, beginning in New

York and making its way through the Great Lakes states and Pacific Northwest before a

final show in San Francisco.

In Detroit, Chicago and Minneapolis, Birch and her band will perform on a bill with

modern punks Sleater-Kinney, one of today's most prominent inheritors of the Raincoats'

abrasive, post-punk style.

An open fan of both Sleater-Kinney and recently disbanded riot-grrrl groundbreakers

Bikini Kill, Birch said she is proud that her band has influenced modern bands of

upstarts. "They make the music very much their own, and it's nice that you've somehow

been part of their journey," Birch, now in her early 40s, said shortly after the release of

Slow Dirty Tears.

Although she was accompanied by a variety of musicians to record the album, Birch has

assembled a steady lineup of Hangovers members for the tour. Joining her onstage will

be Mary Deigan (bass), Ida Akesson (keyboard and samples) and drummer Dave

Barbarossa (Adam and the Ants, Bow Wow Wow, Republica).

The 13 songs on Slow Dirty Tears interweave a variety of styles, from the

Dylanesque sound of


Song" (RealAudio excerpt) to the disco bump of


Pain" (RealAudio excerpt) to the raw, aggressive emotion of "Sorry."

Birch said her pairing of particular lyrics and sounds is born in part from her reliance as a

songwriter on intuition, rather than studied analysis.

"It's like if you choose two colors, you might choose orange and purple and put them

together," she said. "You might not think, 'I love orange and purple together!' but you put

them together and they seem to talk to each other. It's the same thing with sounds and

words. They may not seem obvious, but you put them side by side and they seem to sit


Kill Rock Stars owner Slim Moon predicted that Birch's new work will attract fans beyond

those who know the Raincoats' 1970s and 1980s work or their 1996 reunion record,

Looking in the Shadows (DGC). "I think when they find their audience, it's not

going to just be Raincoats fans," he said. "It's gonna be kids who like the music they're


No matter who listens, Birch said she's found a rare sense of contentment with the

Hangovers, which is echoed in the trip-hoppy "I'm Glad I'm Me Today."

"Some days you feel like you're the right person in the right shoes," she said. "That's the

way I feel. I felt like I was standing in my own shoes properly when I made the album.

There was an expression and a form that came into sync."

Hangovers Tour Dates:

Oct. 20; New York, N.Y., Acme Underground

Oct. 21; Cambridge, Mass., Middle East Club

Oct. 23; Detroit, Mich., Magic Stick (with Sleater-Kinney)

Oct. 24; Chicago, Ill., Metro (with Sleater-Kinney)

Oct. 25; Minneapolis, Minn., First Avenue (with Sleater-Kinney)

Oct. 27; Portland, Ore., 17 Nautical Miles

Oct. 28; Seattle, Wash., Crocodile Cafe

Oct. 30; San Francisco, Calif., Bottom of the Hill