Sounds

22 October 1983

Strawberry Switchblade / The Mekons

ICA

Was this an ICA Rock Week or a DeMob works outing?

Fortunately, The Mekons (plus guests - a Bert Tilsley lookalike on lead guitar and Ralph on lead rant) were on hand to show us the way. Not a case of 77 in 83 as might have been expected from one (or rather nine) of punk's finest. Instead, the mighty Mekons picked their way over the bleached bones of rock 'n' roll and still managed to find some tasty morsels.

Not satisfied with this electric and eclectic feast, they finished by gorging themselves on their own ageless 'Where Were You?' and the GO4's 'Armelite Rifle'. And what a glorious mess they made!

Unfortunately, Rose McDowell [sic] and Jill Bryson were in no position to clean up. Falling (and laughing) somewhere between Simon & Garfunkel and Hinge and Bracket, Strawberry Switchblade took us through a costumed drama of false starts, fluffed solos and forgotten chords.

As the two lasses blundered their way through the Velvets' 'Sunday Morning' and their own trender 'Trees and Flowers', those members of the audience who voted with their feet showed that this pecukliarly Scottish whimsy might, at last, be wearing thin.

BILL BLACK