b. Angela Penhaligon, 16 May 1974, Kansas City, Kansas, USA. This sassy, eternally busy, London, England-based indie pop scenester migrated from Kansas in 1998, following a strict Pentecostal upbringing in Wyandotte County. Although Penhaligon’s father enforced a ban on television and modern music in their household, her more liberal mother would occasionally allow an indulgence in popular culture. Piney Gir was a nickname that she retained from this period of her life. On moving to London Penhaligon began to develop both professionally and creatively. She started a job at Mute Song, and carved out her own retro and kitsch niche on the indie scene by organising low-key club nights and solo performances. For a short while she sang and played keyboards in Adrian Morris’ Vic Twenty, before leaving in 2003 and signing to Truck Records. Her solo debut, Peakahokahoo, contained a baffling mishmash of genres and was written and recorded with the help of another emerging 80s-influenced electro pop outfit, A Scholar And A Physician. Ash Verjee (aka A Technician) was also on hand to assist this line-up with Piney Gir’s European tour supporting Erasure, and their subsequent remix of Andy Bell and Vince Clarke’s UK Top 20 hit ‘Don’t Say You Love Me’.
Piney Gir’s follow-up, Hold Yer Horses, a collaboration with new band the Piney Gir Country Roadshow, was a more focused, fun and straightforward, feel-good country record. It nodded towards a full band sound similar to that of Cambridge contemporaries the Broken Family Band, with whom Penhaligon had co-written the witty ‘Alone In The Make-Out Room’ for 2006’s Balls. By late 2006 she was working on another Piney Gir electronic album with assistance from London-based band the Age Of Reason. The Scha La Las, a five-piece all-female garage pop outfit for which she played guitar, were also gaining coverage in the UK music press.