A post-punk band whose music blended stripped-down rock & roll with the lean rhythms of dub, the Mo-Dettes were formed in London in 1979 by American-born guitarist Kate Korris (she also used the spellings Kate Korus and Kate Corris), who previously had performed briefly with the Slits and the Raincoats very early in each band's history.
Korris teamed up with bassist Jane Crockford, ex-Bank of Dresden, to form the Mo-Dettes, and they rounded out the lineup with Swiss singer Ramona Carlier (whose heavily accented vocals became one of the band's aural trademarks) and drummer June Miles-Kingston (whose brother Bob Kingston was also a figure on the British rock scene as guitarist with Tenpole Tudor). In 1979, the Mo-Dettes made their recorded debut with the single "White Mice" b/w "Masochistic Opposite," which was released on the band's own Mode Records label. Thanks to steady airplay from iconic radio host John Peel, the 45 fared well on the independent charts, and the band recorded three live-in-the-studio sessions for Peel's show between 1980 and 1981. The success of the "White Mice" single led to a deal with Deram Records, who released the Mo-Dettes' first album, The Story So Far, in November 1980. While the Mo-Dettes cover of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" was a minor chart success, the album didn't sell as well as expected, and a non-LP single, "Tonight," released in June 1981, failed to break into the Top 50. Bowing to pressure from their record company, the Mo-Dettes briefly expanded to a quintet with the addition of a second guitarist, Melissa Ritter, but the lineup became unstable after Ramona Carlier left the band in May 1982; Jane Crockford took over on vocals before Sue Slack took over as singer during the group's last few months. By the end of 1982, the Mo-Dettes broke up. June Miles-Kingston went on to a successful career following the Mo-Dettes, working with the Fun Boy Three, the Thompson Twins, Everything But the Girl, and the Communards. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi