Sounds

3 July 1982

Blade In Heaven
Strawberry Switchblade
Glasgow


'THE VENUE' is probably the most inept name that could be conceived for this small hall with its gingham table cloths and quaint atmosphere. More quaint in-crowd humour (an overstatement) comes from a female MC who announces Strawberry Switchblade with verbose stutters of "for your sophisticated listening pleasure..."

Sophistication with Strawberry Switchblade is a thin veneer, the sugar-coating of their appearance which quickly belies their tremendous talent. They look as though they should be typical worker's co-operative feminists, or Nina Hagen melodrama with their freaky hair and Lene Lovich clothes. Perverted Claire Grogans. This image is misleading, the attempted sophistication is a game, a quick farce to make you surprised when they open their pursed little lips, shake their thin little hips and give us all the sweet innocence of lovely tunes and good pop songs.

Strawberry Switchblade could star in an Alternative Cliff Richard movie. They could be Californian girls singing songs on a beach with Jan and Dean. But they're not. They are one of the most exciting young bands to appear in Scotland recently. They are one of the two best (the other being Sophisticated Boom Boom) all-female bands I've ever seen.

They have a lovely lead singer with a clear pretty voice and good legs and songs that, if you heard them once, you could hum till doomsday. Live performances are pulling together very quickly indeed as they overcome their initial shyness at standing on a stage, and probably the reason why they have such a good feel about them is that they are learning together.

Strawberry Switchblade's best song, out of many others, must be 'Secrets', a strange and haunting, falling and rising vocal which is at least slightly removed from their usual pure pop. And although a few of the songs from their earlier days are incongruous, the rest more than make up for it.

ANDREA MILLER