The Scroggins sisters will be coming to town on 26 May
Seminal punk-funk combo ESG will be playing a rare UK live show at Electric Brixton on 26 May.
ESG (the name stands for Emerald, Sapphire and Gold) were formed in the South Bronx in 1978 by sisters Renee, Valerie, Deborah and Marie Scroggins, plus friend Tito Libran on congas. The sisters had been encouraged to take up music from an early age by their mother, in a bid to prevent them from falling into the clutches of heroin addiction as their older siblings had, and their blend of new wave, funk and Latin influences soon found favour on dancefloors worldwide: they released an EP on Factory Records, and played live at both The Hacienda and Paradise Garage.
Though their records weren't hugely successful commercially at the time, they have gone on to influence countless other musicians and producers as well as being sampled by artists as diverse as Nine Inch Nails and Miles Davis, not to mention the likes of Public Enemy, Nas, Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane and Gang Starr. One of their best-known tracks, Moody, was covered by Dave 'Joey Negro' Lee, in his Sessomatto guise, for a Junior Records release in 2000.
They continue to tour and record sporadically to this day, though the line-up fluctuates somewhat (younger siblings and other relatives are now involved, but apart from Renee the other founders participate only on an occasional basis). Renee Scroggins remains an outspoken advocate of diversity and equality in the music industry - as you'd expect the frontwoman of a punk-era, female-led outfit would! In particular, she has publicly criticised rappers for sampling her beats and basslines, and using them to underpin lyrics she considers misogynistic.
Tickets for the London show are available now, priced £24+BF. To get yours, click here.
ESG pic: Neonwar/Creative Commons, via Flickr