“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 one half of the legendary DIY label/arts collective from Newcastle – Slampt, a member of the riot grrrl era band Pussycat Trash who formed part of the legendary (to me and my ilk) “Some Hearts Paid To Lie” split 7″, and then the lo-fi duo Avocado Baby and Red Monkey with long-term Slampt associate and partner Pete Dale (Milky Wimpshake).

She has been in many bands including more recently Do The Right Thing. Incendiary when live, a deep-thinking artiste with granite solid integrity, she’s not keen on the limelight despite her keen legacy to the underground movement, so we’re lucky to have back on the pages of Velvet Sheep Rachel Holborow!

Pussycat Trash were a truly exciting band at the time I started writing Velvet Sheep fanzine, and the Slampt Underground Organisation were always very supportive of my efforts, so I’m chuffed to be back in touch with both Pete Dale and the truly inspiring Rachel Holborow.

And she has made an inspired choice, so without further ado, it’s over to Rachel…

“Hi Nick.

Well this is highly unusual for me. I am currently content to languish in obscurity as a Steiner School teacher. Pete tends to field any thing of this sort usually because he’s still “active”. Me, I’m intrigued with how people learn and how that leads to empowerment…..

So: way back, when Avocado Baby travelled round the squats of the Netherlands, something like 1994 or 5 we came into contact with much more non-white non-European music. Our tour organiser and sometime sound man Grrrt of Evil Twin publications /squatting/political activism was largely responsible for this. It was a fantastic opportunity to engage with other cultures via music. Grrrt also introduced us to Ethiopian food -wow! Table sized communal pancakes with complex curries on!

This gave me such a window into understanding more about that culture. It was important for me to go through experiences where I really had to suspend my judgement to further my understanding of otherness, and this was one way I managed to open up to the myriad of possiblities of life.

So the joyful song “Hasabe” by Ayalew Mesfin which can be found on an ethiopiques comp, Swinging Addis from 1969 – 1974, is the song I would like to bring you to share. It is often played in our house, and has been since the 90s….

Grooving. Scratchy. Warbly. Beat inverted. Layered. For dancing like you mean it, but without that oppressive Sex Machine feel of James Brown. A swallowing of rock’n’roll which is regurgiated into this simple complexity ; like the view through a non-trippy kaleidoscope. Bright! A view of a more basic garage than the Sonics lived in, but one that was probably more relaxed and fun.”