Sounds

6 March 1982

Strawberry Switchblade / The Recognitions

Glasgow Maestro's

Strawberry Switchblade are playing their third ever gig at Maestro's. All things considered, they were absolutely brilliant. Although flawed in actuality, the conception was perfect. When they reach the point where they are as good as they want to be, everyone else had better just give up.

I should perhaps mention that they were all girls. Girl groups still tend to be treated as a joke, or at best a novelty, something to be patronised and smiled at. But Strawberry Switchblade proved that they have the songs, the style and the guts to be the best. Girls, it seems, have to do things twice as well to be thought half as good as boys. By that reckoning, Strawberry Switchblade are about eight times better than most.

At least three songs in their set sent shivers down my spine, which few groups seem capable of doing these days. There were folkish touches, and slightly jazzy inflections tender but gutsy as hell, with songs as good as 'Trees And Flowers' and 'The Key's In Your Hand' [meaning Dance, early version of Since Yesterday].

The Recognitious [sic] are not yet perfectly realised. There were problems with the drummer on the first couple of songs, probably due to the fact that s/he was a tape recorder, and hence synchronisation was of the essence. Tonight they were fresh enough to grasp the attention of a few people in the audience who normally prop up the bar and ignore the groups. They are almost ready to be taken from the oven and served up. Three months from now we'll be clamouring to hand paint suits like those worn by the Recognitions, a sort of tye dyed [sic] Jackson Pollock effect.

Anyone who has a heart will have it torn apart by the sheer emotion and strength of Strawberry Switchblade. People with brains and feet will be obliged to dance with irony to the tunes of the Recognitions. Only fools and creeps will sneer at this.

TOMMY UDO