Hagar the WombHagar the Womb are an English punk rock band, originally active in the early 1980s and part of the Anarcho-punk movement. In hiatus from 1987, members went on to form We are Going to Eat You and Melt. A 2011 compilation of their back catalogue brought all members back into contact with each other, and invitations to reform and play gigs and festivals have had Hagar The Womb gigging again since 2012.
HistoryThe band was formed in London in 1980, in the toilets of the Wapping Anarchy Centre, established by the efforts of seminal anarchist bands Crass and Poison Girls. The original line-up was all-female, reflecting the band's purpose of giving women a voice in the anarcho-punk scene: Ruth Elias (vocals), Karen Amsden (vocals), Nicola Corcoran (vocals), Janet Nassim (guitar), and Steph Cohen (bass guitar). One week after forming they played their first gig with Zounds and The Mob, with 'Scarecrow' playing drums. They soon recruited a second guitarist, 'Jon From Bromley', and a permanemt drummer, Chris Knowles, formerly of Cold War and The Boiled Eggs. Corcoran left, leaving two vocalists. The band's first demo included the track "For the Ferryman", which was released on the Mortarhate label compilation LP Who? What? Why? When? Where? in 1984. Cohen was replaced by Mitch Flacko (also of The Mekons) prior to the band's first release proper. The band toured the UK punk circuit for five years, releasing two 12-inch EPs and recording a Peel Session for BBC Radio 1 on 11 February 1984. Their first EP, The Word of the Womb (produced by Pete Fender and released on Conflict's Mortarhate label) was a hit on the UK Indie Chart during 1984, peaking at number six, and staying in the chart for more than five months. Elaine Reubens joined the band in time for the recording of their Peel session. The band released a second EP, Funnery In a Nunnery (UK Indie No. 9) the next year, now on the Abstract label, drawing comparisons with Siouxsie & the Banshees, Delta 5 and The Slits. Flacko left, his replacement being Paul "Veg" Venables, and Julie Sorrell was brought in to replace Amsden. They continued for another year, but there were no further releases and the band split up, with Knowles, Sorrell, Venables, and Harding forming We Are Going To Eat You, who signed to Junior Delgado's Big Cat Records after their 1987 début EP and went on to release the album Everywhen in 1990. They later changed their name to Melt, releasing a sole EP before splitting up.
The band's drummer Chris Knowles (a notable figure in the Stamford Hill punk rock squatting scene in the 80s) has a degree in Hegelian Dialectics, Continental Philosophy and Russian Literature and went on to become a cult DJ under the name Chris Liberator. Bassist Mitch Flacko has been playing bass in avant garde ensembles, and works as a tour manager.