Tracey Lamb Interview
23rd July 2020
Life in Spain
Q: You live in Spain. How long have you been there?
TL: It will be twelve years in August. There were a couple of times I wanted to go back but it just wasn’t feasible financially because of all my animals and transportation. I would have had to get all their passports up-to-date, get them all vaccinated and everything and I wanted to do it at a couple of points but not now. (laughs) It’s just changed so much – a different world. It does get too hot for me here though in July, August and half of September it’s unbearable but I’m prepared. We didn’t even have a Spring this year, we went straight from our rainy and windy Winters to hot weather.
Q: How many animals do you have?
TL: I have four little dogs and a cat. Three of the dogs are mother (Fender), father (Ricky) and son (Marshall) – the father was my father’s dog and I promised I would look after him when my father died and then I rescued Badger and Ampeg, the cat. I also have thirty fish and I trained a parrot in a local bar who used to bite everyone. I wouldn’t be without them; they are my kids.
Q: You mentioned you’re a vegetarian since 1993...
Q: …but I seemed to recall you were vegetarian back in the Goddess years. Is my mind going?
TL: Oh we did dabble me and Jody! Yes we did dabble for quite a long time because we were involved in the animal club at school and when we left school at sixteen we didn’t want to eat animals but then we lapsed back into it when we couldn’t get anything else. (laughs) You’re right, I had forgotten about that.
Q: Spain was one of the first countries to go into lockdown and still coming out of it. What did you do to stop going stir crazy?
TL: Well thank god I had my animals because I didn’t see anybody for nearly three months. I couldn’t go in a car or anything. I have a dog-sitter and I used to pay him to come up here and he would leave the pet food at the fence. We both had masks on and I’d give him the money and he’d get me tobacco and things like that. They were very strict here, there was only one person from one household allowed in a car unless it was an emergency. I could only walk 200 yards outside my house to take my dogs out but luckily I have a mango orchard here that runs down the mountain hill so that was good exercise for the dogs and me going up and down that every day.
Japan 2019 and return to Girlschool
Q: Your trip here last year, not the best for your first time in Japan with the airline losing your luggage…
TL: Oh right! (laughs) That’s one we won’t forget but thank you for coming to the rescue. It was strange how we all filled in identical forms together but mine and Denise’s never turned up. This is what I couldn’t work out but amazingly you tracked it down because at one point I really thought we were going to Australia with nothing.
Q: Happy to be of service and the important thing is, it got done. Despite all that though, a terrific show and you mentioned to me that you and Denise do seem to have a musical telepathy.
TL: Yes it’s so strange because from the very first time we played together which was way we’ve had this musical chemistry. I have it with Jody and Julie as well but this is more off-the-cuff like when you jam with somebody, unrehearsed.
Q: When was that first time?
TL: I went to Israel with Girlschool in ‘83. Gil had to go to her sister’s wedding so I stood in. This was after Rock Goddess and I was in She at the time. Denise tracked me down in Newcastle (laughs) to see if I had passport. No rehearsal even back then and I had one week to learn set (laughs). It was amazing. First time I'd been on a plane as well.
Q: That chemistry was evident when you actually joined then.
TL: Yeah it’s amazing; it’s solid. I first joined band in ‘87 and that hasn’t changed. As you said, Denise is a ‘pounder’, she pounds the drums and she really does hit them and sometimes at rehearsals it really goes through you. Especially at sound-checks because she hits them when you’re not expecting her to! (laughs) As for the show though, yeah it was fab and we were all so excited to be there.
Q: It was also my first time to see you play with Girlschool as well…
TL: I know! That’s amazing…you’ve seen me so many times with Goddess and you’ve seen Girlschool many times and seen videos and heard vinyl of course.
Q: You do look very comfortable up there on stage with them. You had only been back in the band a matter of months, did it take you long to come up to scratch with the songs?
TL: We had only had one proper rehearsal since I rejoined! (laughs) We had one proper rehearsal before we did Spain last year and then we were trying to do a rehearsal for Japan…we booked a hotel and rehearsal room near the airport but we were walking around for two hours with all our gear trying to find it! (laughs) We gave up in the end and did it n out hotel room acoustically just to remind ourselves – especially me being new – and we did quite a few songs the other girls hadn’t done for a while and Bomber of course which we hadn’t done at all.
Q: Bomber was quite a special moment for me…
TL: It suits us so well with the double-bass drums and it’s manic. It’s good to have a few powerful songs in the set; another similar one is Take It Like A Band with the same tempo and power. I love it.
Q: So was Japan what you expected?
TL:Well I didn’t know what to expect. I had been watching all these tourism videos and it was such a whirlwind in and out with no luggage but it was amazing. The people were brilliant and friendly and helpful, even people in the street were so respectful. We
lost our luggage and the hotel staff couldn’t do enough for us, the people at the gig, the crew and everybody involved was brilliant and in such a short time we met the whole operation and of course we didn’t really want to go.
Q: I must say, the fans outside the dressing room door were the most manic I’ve seen at that venue.
TL That’s great. They were great.
Q: So what’s on the horizon for Girlschool?
TL: We had so many shows lined up that have been postponed all over the world and we are just hoping we can do something at the end of the year. Coming to Japan would take all the pain away of not playing and thank god we did that tour of the UK at the end of January and early February! It was so successful and we had so much fun and that’s kept us all going for a little while but it’s just such a shame everything is postponed. We are hoping to salvage something but it’s down to the countries concerned and the UK being a major part of it because I have to go there to get visas and obviously I don’t want to go into quarantine for fourteen days which is what I would have to do if I go. We still want to do a new album as well so if I go over there to rehearse for gigs, hopefully we can tie in a recording. It all depends on the UK and flying.
Q: The next time you’re staying longer. Anything you particularly want to do?
TL: Anything really. I’d like to see Mt Fuji.
Q: I’m sure we can manage that Tracey. Good to chat and hopefully, yes, we’ll see you soon.
TL: Cheers mate, all the best.