Fifteen years ago, in a time before Mayor Giuliani, New York City’s Lower East Side was alive with squalid music dives oozing fresh, young and exciting Rock’n’Roll bands, the likes of which the world hadn’t seen since the Ramones burst out of the same neighbourhood some twenty years earlier.
Amongst this new wave of young, loud and snotty kids stood out a female-fronted band called Loose, who soon became known as The New York Loose after legal proceedings from an unknown band of the same name. Brijitte West, the group’s singer, songwriter and driving force, had cut her Rock’n’Roll teeth playing in bands alongside the likes of Dee Dee Ramone. But by the early 90s she was ready to go it alone and was preparing to give the music scene the kick up the arse it needed!
NY Loose were true to Rock’n’Roll’s uncompromising musical principles mixing up New York City references with their own Lower East Side experiences to create a unique portrait that lay somewhere between the city’s historical collision with violence, tragedy and beauty, and the Ramones’ song book. They sounded like Joan Jett fronting the New York Dolls… or put another way, Blondie (before they discovered disco) updated, fuel injected, asexual and fully equipped to take on the next foreboding millennium with a late 20th Century punk rock, cynical, hard-edged attitude.
NY Loose released two independent 7” singles, ‘Bitch’ and ‘Green Light Semaphore’, before being spotted by Chris Parry, chairman of UK label Fiction; the label for which The Cure also recorded. The band spent nearly six months during the first half of 1995 recording for Fiction and playing shows across the UK, earning them a residency at a London club. The culmination of their first stint in the UK resulted in the release of the 7” single ‘Pretty Suicide’ on the Fiction label.
Their return to New York saw the release of Loosen Up, a five track EP released through Flipside magazine which brought a lot of major label interest and eventually saw The New York Loose sign an album deal with Hollywood Records (a subsidiary of Disney!). 1996 saw the release of their only album Year Of The Rat, on Hollywood Records, and another tour of the UK followed, as did tours of the USA with the likes of Marilyn Manson… Unfortunately, as with a lot of the best hard, uncompromising bands of this time, due to bad management and poor record label support NY Loose split up towards the end of 1997 and that seemed to be the end of the story… until now!
…So if you missed The New York Loose 10 years ago or, if like me, you’ve just been missing them for the past 10 years, then it’s time for all you ‘Monolith Kids’ to ‘Loosen Up’, shake off those ‘Late 20th Century Blues’, slap a 21st Century smile across your face and make sure that you don't ‘Trash The Given Chance’ this time around!… Yes! Brijitte is back with The New York Loose and ready to play some UK tour dates with a new band line up, all in support of a new compilation album called Born To Loose that collects together the ultra rare first three 7”s, the Flipside sessions and a whole load of other rare and unreleased songs!