Features / Golden Oldies

Golden Oldies | The Bodysnatchers

My hunger for an old school girl band and needing to hear more ska music and finally been satisfied at once by the discovery of The Bodysnatchers.

The Bodysnatchers were a seven piece all female ska band, the only all female band on 2 Tone Records, who started life when bassist Nicky Summers put an ad in Melody Maker after being blown away by The Specials at an early gig.

She recruited vocalist and songwriter Rhoda Dakar, Stella Barker on rhythm guitar, SJ Owen on lead guitar, Pennie Leyton on keyboards, Jane Summers on drums and Miranda Joyce on saxophone.

Like all of my favourite bands the Bodysnatcher girls were either self taught or didn’t know how to play at all so they just winged it and hoped something good came out.

Apparently they settled on their name because “the music is body snatching” which is a great way to look at music.

They played their first gig in November 1979 in Windsir Castle pub in London. Within a couple of months the band landed a support slot on tour with Selector and got signed by 2 Tone Records.

Due to their lack of experience the band mostly played covers including their biggest hit ‘Let’s Do The Rocksteady’.

As quickly as they rose to fame, they descended in the same way. The Bodysnatchers disbanded in October 1980 citing ‘musical differences’.

Nicky and Rhoda were meant to work together afterwards but nothing came of it. A few band members found success with The Belle Stars and Rhoda released a single with Special AKA.

It’s a shame how history has more or less erased this group but we can still enjoy them for the rude girls they were.

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