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The Donnas

The Donnas

Who: The Donnas, Hoggboy, The Casanovas
Where: University - Bar on the Hill
When: Thursday May 15, 2003

LAST Friday, America's Queens of Rock and Roll, The Donnas, celebrated their 10th birthday.

It marked 10 years since four 13-year-old girls from Palo Alto, California held their first band practice in drummer Torry Costellano's (Donna C) garage.

Ten years later and The Donnas, now averaging 23, celebrated their lengthy union with a party while on tour in Japan.

You see, The Donnas have come a long way from being a teenage garage band.

With four albums behind them, including the latest Spend The Night, The Donnas have become one of the few female bands who know how to rock, just like their original contemporaries Bikini Kill and L7.

"We're celebrating 10 years together this year and we're really excited about that," guitarist Allison Robertson (Donna R) said.

"The second Friday in May represents our first practice 10 years ago when we went to Torry's house and practiced in her garage, playing a few covers.

When we finished we went and walked downtown, which was where everybody went on Friday night, and I remember we were just so excited because we were like "Wow, now we're a band!" and we felt different after that.

" The band made its debut in 1993 and went on to win a local band competition a few months later.

But rather than flaunt the fact that they had their own band, Robertson said they kept it quiet simply because it was the guys who had the bands, not the girls.

"I don't think that we were embarrassed about being in a band but it wasn't something that we wanted to wear on our sleeve.

"We didn't hide it because people found out of course, but it wasn't the kind of thing you wanted to brag or boast about because we weren't really popular.

"We were regular kids but Maya (Ford, bassist) and I were especially geeky.

We wore REM t-shirts and Billy Bragg t-shirts to school.

" Today, The Donnas often spot old school mates at their shows.

Following an Australian tour which will bring the girls to Newcastle University's Bar on the Hill on May 15, The Donnas will tour on the US festival Lollapalooza for two months.

After years of attending the festival as fans, The Donnas will find themselves on the other side of the stage when they share it with the likes of Jane's Addiction, Queens of The Stone age and Incubus.

"We're really excited about Lollapalooza because it's nostalgic and not trend related.

``It's isn't just a lot of nu- metal bands or just all punk bands, it's pretty much straight ahead rock bands which I am proud to be a part of.

'' Although The Donnas were taunted for their musical taste in high school, the band continues to take much of its influence from the 70s and 80s.

Spend The Night is stocked with the sound of retro rock and full of lyrics that you rarely hear coming from the mouth of any other female musicians today.

Some may recall The Donnas' hit 40 Boys in 40 Nights which proudly proclaimed that yes, girls can also have fun and brag about it too.

Spend The Night maintains the fun lyrics which have earned the band a reputation for being a group of girls with a taste for boys, parties and .



boys! "I think the appeal of our band is that there are a lot of issues and topics that appeal to both girls and guys .



girls can listen to our band and even though it's not offensive to guys, it's still empowering the females.

``I think a lot of girl bands are really anti-men and turn men off so much that the girls who listen to them can't really share them with other people.

"But we're the kind of band that everybody can go to the show and have a good time.

" The Donnas will perform at the Bar on the Hill with UK band Hoggboy and Australia trio The Casanovas.

Tickets are on sale now on campus from Contact.

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