Riot Girls

Riot Girls

Here to be Heard: The Story of The Slits charts the influence of punk rock’s original scream queens through the lens of surviving band members, never-seen-before archive footage and touching tales from the people who knew them best

“I’m not here to be loved, I’m here to be heard.” Such was the doctrine of punk rock’s first ladies, as voiced by lead rioter Ari Up. From the formation of The Slits in 1976, Up and fellow band members Paloma McLardy (aka Palmolive), Tessa Politt and Viv Albertine made their mark on the notoriously male-dominated punk scene, proving that women could scream just as hard – if not harder – than their male counterparts. Until now, their story has gone untold, since the band dismantled in 1982, but a new documentary seeks to highlight their rightful place as one of the most groundbreaking female groups in music history.

Here to be Heard: The Story of The Slits follows the trailblazing godmothers of punk from their inception, to 2010, the year when singer Ari Up died of cancer in the midst of creating the film. Alongside rare, personal archive footage, expect their riotous and uncompromising legacy to be told by punk legends Don Letts, Gina Birch, the Sex Pistols’ Paul Cook, as well as The Slits’ surviving band members.

Here to be Heard: The Story of the Slits will be screened across the UK from 25 March

  • Words: Monique Todd