Pop metal goddess who received extraordinarily hostile reactions from some quarters of the music business in Ireland at the time (famous Egghead and all round groovy 'enlightened' dude B.P.Fallon lost his cool and dismissed her as a 'tart' on Record Cabinet on RTE Radio. The mask slipping, oh groovy one?--ed.). She was listed among Ireland's Worst Dressed Women in the Sunday World by Micheline McCormick. And this in the age of Samantha Fox et al? Her raunchy image seems tame by todays standards. Shame on Hot Press for even questioning her about it. The past really is a foreign country.
Before all that April South (AKA Marian Curry) left school at 16 and moved to Dublin
in search of a career in music. She landed a job singing and playing keyboards with The Pennies
showband, AKA The Silver Pennies, who were fronted by Paddy Boyle AKA Paddy Boy, from
County Cavan. They sometimes practiced in a bus parked in a side street in Kingscourt, County Cavan.
April spent a number of years on the showband circuit with The Pennies, often billed as
April and The Pennies. They recorded a single for Velvet Records which is unlikely to be
of interest to the reader.
In an interview in Hot Press in the early 80s, April claims to have spent four years with the Pennies. As the single featuring April dates from 1973, this suggests she left the band circa 1977. What she did during 1977-79 is unclear but by 1979 she was fronting her own hard rock band, the April South Band, who played the clubs and more unusually toured the ballroom circuit in Ireland. April played bass and was the main songwriter along with guitarist Gerry Curtis (AKA Jerry Curtiz).
Though her days with the showband didn't do much for her credibility, her negative experiences during this period informed the April South persona she later adopted. She penned a fake bio (claiming to be an American) and played up the sex angle in her live act. He act was described as "raw and crude" by Hot Press, and "her assertiveness vulgar rather than showbiz savvy". Her show was "Rock'N'Roll Burlesque, a comedy of errors and eros, that absolutely leaves it to the eye of the beholder". This kind of thing was simply 'not on' in 1981 and it led to bannings by the clergy, etc, but also a lunchtime show at TCD was picketed by feminists.
April South recorded a handful of singles in the early 80s, all of which are sought after now,
especially the three Rockelly releases of 1980-81. "Light of Love" is a brilliant piece of pop punk magic.
Most of these Rockelly singles still include the Pennies name
in the credits. As her career took off, she toned down her
image considerably and drifted into slicker presentation and production.
Her final single released in 1985 was a cover of Dobie Gray's 1973 hit "Drift Away" (recorded
under the guidance of Louis Walsh?). The tracks on the "Green Metal" LP (1985) pre-date this drift into
April South still performs to this day under her original name.
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