Following on from the earlier post about all-girl punk/new wave cover band The Dolls parting company with both their guitar players, already the two axe-ladies have resurfaced with news of a newly-formed band. Having shed their Dolls stage names, lead guitarist Rosie Botterill (previously known as Connie Rotter in the Dolls) and fellow axe-slinger Holly Henderson (the former Kitty Vacant) have revealed they are to be part of a new all-girl outfit, DORJA. The band describes itself as a ‘transatlantic hard rock collective’ with members hailing from England, one based in LA and one coming from Kazakhstan of all places!
Little else is known at this stage other than the fact that this project also sees the return of another Dolls alumnus in Anna Mylee. Anna was the drummer with the Dolls for that band’s first year of touring, and her playing impressed many of their early followers (myself included). She left the band in late summer 2015 to move to LA, where she has been working with famous drummer Kenny Aronoff. Rounding out the lineup are two new names to me, bassist Becky Baldwin and singer Aiyn Almas. With the early blurb promising ‘guitar-driven hooks, heavy drums and vocals with the raw energy to challenge Janis Joplin’, that’s a big claim for such an unknown vocalist and one I’d very much like to check out for myself at the earliest opportunity.
The fact this band has been unveiled mere days after the announcement that Rosie and Holly had left the Dolls does suggest that this project has been long in the planning; presumably the band will feature original material as opposed to the majority covers-based set the girls had been doing up to now. There is a lot of fan goodwill around the girls stemming from their time with Nancy and company; it remains to be seen how many members of the Dolls Barmy Army will take the time to check out DORJA – particularly if there is a clash of dates!
Meanwhile the Dolls themselves are continuing; they appear to have already recruited one guitar player and will presumably unveil her at their upcoming appearances at Wellowfest and at the afterparty for the British Grand Prix. Another guitarist is expected to be recruited shortly. They have, as expected, reallocated the stage names previously used by Holly and Rosie for the new recruits and so Dolls fans will be getting acquainted with new faces at upcoming dates.
DORJA are currently counting the days to a debut release and have already announced some live dates for July. I look forward to hearing what the girls have been working on.
- Aiym Almas – lead vocals
- Becky Baldwin – bass
- Rosie Botterill – guitar
- Holly Henderson – guitar
- Anna Mylee – drums