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Mo-Dettes, The

Guitar-wielding expatriate American Kate Korus (real name Katherine Corris) was a founding member of The Slits, who at the time had more enthusiasm for just being a group than for actually playing anything approaching music, so she left early on, “determined never, ever, to be with a group who didn’t know what they were doing”. She was replaced by Viv Albertine.

Joining up with singer Ramona Carlier, bassist Jane Crockford and drummer June Miles-Kingston (the sister of Bob Kingston of Tenpole Tudor), Kate rehearsed a handful of numbers and the girls opened for a friend’s band (The Tesco Bombers) at a party as The Bomberettes.

modettes3

The party kept getting postponed, though, and since they had to keep rehearsing to stay prepared before they knew it they did one gig, and then another.

The party never did take place, but a band was born. ‘The Bomberettes’ seemed too much of a mouthful, though, so the girls kept the diminutive feminine ending and substituted the prefix “mod”, and later stuck a hyphen between the “o” and the “d” to avoid being called “the first all-girl mod band”, which was inaccurate.

French-accented Swiss lead singer Ramona looked like she stepped out of a mid-60’s fashion magazine spread on chic discotheques.

After two singles (White Mice on Rough Trade and Paint It Black on Deram) the band recorded an album under producer Roger Lomas (Bad Manners, The Beat) for Deram.

Ramona left in late 1981 to start a solo career, and was replaced by Sue Slack. Soon after, Korus left to be replaced by Melissa Ritter. The final split came in 1982 owing to further internal friction.

Miles-Kingston moved on to Fun Boy Three‘s backing band before producing a solo single for Go! Discs and joining The Communards.

Ramona Carlier
Vocals
Kate Korus (Katherine Corris)
Guitar
Jane Crockford
Bass, vocals
June Miles-Kingston
Drums