“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is another in a fine line of musicians I’ve made contact with through the ever astute and discerning Johny Brown of Band of Holy Joy, and it’s a singer-songwriter whose part joie de vivre, part vive le punk. Helen McCallum, also Dr. Helen Reddington is better known as Helen McCookerybook, a name coined as a spur of the moment brainwave during a photo shoot with the punk band The Chefs, a band for whom she played bass during the late 70s and early 80s.

Also leading the band Helen and the Horns, Helen has been a longtime solo artist and also a music writer and lecturer, whose book “The Lost Women of Rock Music: Female Musicians of the Punk Era” featured interviews with her peers like The Slits, Gina Birch (The Raincoats), Vi Subversa (Poison Girls), former VS guest Gaye Black of the Adverts and John Peel.

Recently Helen has been appearing at events promoting her film “Stories from the She Punks” made with Gina Birch and there’s a brand new album too, called “Green” and we’re tickled pink to welcome to these pages, the unmistakeable Helen McCookerybook!

Here’s a song from the kitchen and from the new album…

Helen is also touring the new tunes, check out the exquisitely illustrated flyer below…

The work ethic and quality threshold is definitely high, and that’s true too of the song choice for Velvet Sheep, which came back almost the minute I’d asked for it. And what a firecracking tune! Without further ado, it’s over to Helen McCookerybook with a “song for ewe”…

“Here it is! It’s a perfect disco record, fabulous bassline and orchestration, totally creepy and I absolutely adore Cristina’s voice.

She goes for it 100%. and I love the way the quirky bits of arrangement keep changing all the way through!”


You can get the new Helen McCookerybook album “Green” from the Bandcamp link below. 6Music’s Gideon Coe’s been spinning a few tracks don’tchaknow…


And here’s a fantastic review and more insight into “Stories from the She Punks: A film by Gina Birch & Helen Reddington” in selected cinemas right now, courtesy of the Louder Than War site…


Author: Nick Hutchings

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