East London’s The Gymslips, Paula Richards, Suzanne Scott and Karen Yarnell, barged their way onto the post punk scene in 1981. They openly embraced drinking, Pie and Mash, monkey boots and double denim right from the start. Often credited with being the first female Oi! band, but they brought so much more to the table with their punky 60s influenced girl pop,
Formed in 1980, The Gymslips started playing live the following year, and opened for Dolly Mixture on a 1981 UK tour. The band referred to themselves as “Renees” a late 60s term for mod girls, the same subculture that named boys “Ronees”. Drummer Karen Yarnell told the NME that a “Renee was a girl who got as much shagging done as a bloke while also matching him for pint drinking, fag smoking, nose-picking, farting and the wearing of skinhead style double denim”.
They recorded 5 sessions for the John Peel show, after signing to Abstract Records their first single was a cover of Suzi Quatros 48 Crash, which was released in 1982. The following year they released Their sole album Rocking With The Renees along with 2 further singles “Big Sister” & “Robot Man”
After Karen Yarnell left to join Serious Drinking, this ended The Gymslips Mk 1. Although they were to return 2 years later with a new line up to release their final single “Evil Eye”.