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
HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Hangovers,_The/Duck_Song.ram">"Duck Song" HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Hangovers,_The/Sweetest_Pain.ram">"Sweetest Pain"
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