It may be surprising to some, but an unlikely music scene has emerged in the Midlands, showcasing the longevity of the rebellious punk spirit. The group of women in Leicester are breaking barriers and demonstrating that the spirit of punk rock can endure well into middle age.
Ruth Miller, a born-again punk, was in her late 50s when she decided to revisit her passion for music and pick up her guitar once again. Her reinvigorated love for music and her inner guitar hero inspired an entire community of all-female punk bands, who are now on the brink of releasing their first album together.
This thriving punk scene in Leicester, consisting solely of women in their middle age, is breaking stereotypes and proving that age is just a number when it comes to pursuing your passions. These women, who have come together to form bands and create music, are not only challenging gender norms but also showing that it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Their determination and perseverance are an inspiration to others, encouraging them to pursue their passions regardless of age.
The emergence of this music scene in Leicester is a testament to the timeless appeal of punk rock and the unyielding spirit of the people who embrace it. These women, who are now on the cusp of releasing their first album, are making their mark and leaving a lasting impact on the music world. Their story serves as a reminder that it’s never too late to follow your dreams and pursue your passions, and that the restless punk spirit will continue to live on, inspiring generations to come.
This group of women in Leicester, led by Ruth Miller and her band, The Verinos, is creating a new approach to music, producing great art rock that has not been seen before from women in their age group. Miller, who had the idea for the all-female lineup in May 2021, initially faced challenges in finding recruits who could play. But she refused to give up on her passion, and instead, came up with a unique solution.
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She realized that with punk rock or garage rock, which typically involves only a few chords, she could easily teach women how to play and support them as beginners. With this idea in mind, Miller set out to create an all-female band, empowering and inspiring women of all ages to pursue their passion for music.
Ruth Miller had always been musically inclined and played guitar in bands in her youth. However, it wasn’t until she was pushing 60 that she decided to jump back into the music world and form her all-female band, The Verinos. Despite initial struggles in finding willing and capable recruits, Miller was able to teach women how to play instruments and write simple songs through her Unglamorous Music project. This eventually led to the formation of seven all-female punk bands, who made their debut performance on International Women’s Day. Miller emphasized that one doesn’t have to be young or fit a certain stereotype to start a band and create great art rock. The all-female punk scene in Leicester serves as proof of that.
The shows are described as fantastic, with the women writing and performing funny, witty, and angry songs about their experiences. Cathy Loughead, who went from a complete beginner to singing in the punk outfit Velvet Crisis, says that performing through Unglamorous was a way to relieve her post-pandemic isolation blues. For her and others, being a part of the project has been an unexpected adventure that has brought a sense of achievement and pride. A compilation album featuring the bands under the Unglamorous Music project is set to be released in March.
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