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Legendary Japanese singer Phew makes her London debut

Phew to perform at Iklectik in October

Four decades after seeing The Sex Pistols inspired her to form her own punk group Aunt Sally in 1977, the legendary Japanese singer Phew is set to make her London debut. “I realised [punk] was not something you were supposed to watch, it was something you were supposed to do,” she told Biba Kopf in 2003 (The Wire 234).

Aunt Sally split up in 1979, since when Phew has followed her own ways. On her most recent solo album A New World, however, featuring herself on analogue electronics and vocals, she acknowledged her hardcore punk roots through her cover version of Johnny Thunders’ “Chinese Rocks”.

Phew made her first solo album Phew in Germany with Holger Czukay, Conny Plank and Jaki Liebezeit. In the 1990s she returned to Germany to record the album Our Likeness (Mute) with Chrislo Haas, Einstürzende Neubauten’s Alexander Hacke and Thomas Stern. And the German connection continued in the 2000s when Dieter Moebius collaborated with Phew and Erika Kobayashi on Project Undark’s post-Fukushima nuclear disaster album Radium Girls 2011. In between times and closer to home she has released numerous solo albums, as well as recording and performing with her early 2000s update of a punk group called Most (2000–10), the sampler/electronics duo Big Picture, and also collaborating with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Otomo Yoshihide and ex-Boredoms guitarist Seiichi Yamamoto, among others.

Now performing solo on analogue electronics, Phew plays at London Iklectik on 8 October. The programme also includes Olivia Louvel. Tickets are available here.