Sexy Pistols

Fluffy play punk rock so hard it'll cause heavy breathing

Robert Christgau

After a strong afternoon set opening for the Sex Pistols at London's Finsbury Park (Not much drift off and minimal "Show us your tits") The members of Fluffy are pursuing video ops backstage. MTV Brazil?

"Buy our records, I want a yacht," urges singer/guitarist/lyricist/bandleader Amanda Rootes, still wearing her leopardskin coat in the hot June sun. "Goal! Bra-sil! Bollocks! Animals!" the four women chorus. But then a boring Englishwoman asks them about feminism and their goals in life. "I'd like larger breasts," is Rootes's piss-take. "And I'd like to try time travel." In a Shepherds Bush cafe the next day, I buy lunch for Rootes, 23; Philippine-born drummer Angie Adams, 21; Austrain au-pair-turned-rhythm guitarist Bridget Jones, 23; and Mancunian bassist Helen Storer, 21. Major clubgoers who decided to do it for themselves (something few Brit females dare even now), they love American punk from Iggy to Bikini Kill. But they're "insulted" by my comparing Fluffy music to Elastica's short, hard songs about sex. Rootes: "When you listen to their album, everything's so clean." Adams: "I admit every time me and Bridget cleaned our house we put Elastica on."

Jones: "It was because we had the Hoover on at the same time." Fluffy are no fans of musical hygiene. The CBGB-recorded 5 Live EP is a dirty punktoon right down to the fetchingly vulnerable "Bed of Vomit," and Black Eye, their well-financed debut album, produced by Clash/Pistols veteran Bill Price, never stints on loud or raw (or sex either). Proud of Price's credits even if they cost money in the studio, Fluffy still prefer the "brilliant" Pistols. "The Sex Pistols are political in a great teenage fuck-you way," explains Rootes. "The Clash are political in a mature way, like they've done politics A-levels."

So, then, um, goals?

"There are a lot more girl bands now coming up to me going, 'I've got a band and we're really pleased that you're doing it.' If that's our impact, that's really cool," Rootes allows.

And, well, feminism?

"You've got to be pro-girl, really," says Rootes, after much discussion. "We're in a band in England, and we're all girls, and that's something really rare so..."

"I guess we are feminists," Storer concludes.