In 1979, local Leeds (Yorkshire) punk heroes James “Jez” Alan (guitar) and Gerald “Terry” Swift (bass) recruited art student Judy Evans (vocals) and formed a ramshackle band called The Butterflies. They responded to a half-price recording offer from a studio in Cambridge where (with Chris Oldroyd on drums) they recorded two songs; Getting Nowhere Fast and Warm Girls.
Rough Trade distributed the songs in March 1980 as the debut single of Girls At Our Best! – the new name taken from a line in Warm Girls. The single topped the UK indie charts.
Getting Nowhere Fast was a bright, confident noise which mixed the directness of punk with a natural pop flair, and Evans’ voice (and clearly enunciated phrasing) helped the group develop a cult following in short order.
Augmented by drummer Paul Simon (who was recommended to the band by his pal Glen Matlock), they released their second single, Politics, in the autumn of 1980. It followed its predecessor to the top of the indie charts.
In 1981, after recruiting permanent drummer Carl “Tich” Harper, the band made their live debut, at the University of York.
A third indie hit, Go For Gold, preceded their sole LP, Pleasure (1981). The band ground to a halt and called it a day shortly thereafter.
Gerard Swift and Carl Harper left the music business while guitarist James Alan moved to London and played in various bands. Judy Evans reportedly moved to Holland.
Judy ‘Jo’ Evans
James ‘Jez’ Alan
Gerard ‘Terry’ Swift
Carl ‘Tich’ Harper