Kata Kolbert aka Penny Pepper

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Penny Pepper, long time resident of Islington, is a disability activist, writer, poet and musician. In her excellent new book “First in the World Somewhere” she recounts her struggles for identity and trying to live her life. Growing up in the 1970s and 80s, her juvenile arthritis often defined her with an oppressive health and social care system separating her from her peers. Young Penny adopted the stage name Kata Kolbert, wrote many songs and self funded her first single Live Your Life, hoping to break into the post punk world. Pop in the late 70s and 80s included disabled men, albeit with a struggle for access and recognition. Male performers, Ian Dury (polio), Johnny Rotten (scoliosis), Ian Curtis (epilepsy)and Robert Wyatt (spinal injury) did make it. Kata Kolbert as a female wheelchair user, was not able to promote her work in an industry acceptable way. Her wheelchair was not sexy. Her demo tape was met with blank rejection because she was disabled. Not to be put off Kata and friends laboured over several years to produce an LP Spiral Sky (1994) 8 numbers were written and sung by Kata. Performing at Disability Movement gigs this music proved very popular but the same prejudice continued in the mainstream. Listen to one track Marriage of Convenience https://youtu.be/MsZUASvt5PU. This LP featured at the top of the Greek charts for a week in 1994!

Penny-Pepper-at-Edinburgh-Book-Festival

Spiral Sky ‎– Spiral Sky
Label:
Acme ‎– AC8002LP
Format:
Vinyl, LP, Limited Edition, Reissue, Numbered Edition of 300
Country:
UK
Released:
1994
Genre:
Rock, Folk, World, & Country
Style:
Psychedelic Rock
Tracklist
A1 Lady Of Shallot
A2 Wanting Love
A3 Kingdom For A Meaning
A4 Matty Groves
A5 Slime Pits
B1 Marriage Of Inconvenience
B2 Bold William Taylor
B3 Folk Song
B4 Cats Whiskers
B5 Sensing The Blue
Credits
Bass, Percussion, Flute – Anthony Clough
Drums, Tablas, Percussion – Mike Webb (3)
Flute – Steve Johnson (12)
Guitar – Andy Boot
Guitar, Tamboura, Sitar – Edward Kent
Keyboards – Tryphena Cohen
Violin – Joe Townsend (3)
Vocals, Dulcimer, Keyboards – Kata Kolbert

Penny has eritten about coming to London in the 1980s and her attempts to break into the music scene in an excellent and hilarious book “First in the World Somewhere: The True Adventures of a Scribbler, Siren, Saucepot and Pioneer” 2017
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