Thursday, December 21, 2006

Polka Dot Pop

The world has gone polka dot crazy, has it not? People blame the Pipettes, but in the spirit of everything from the early 80s being recycled in the world of music these past few years, this polka dot madness is obviously a revival of those ‘two witches from Scotland’, Strawberry Switchblade.

A comprehensive website dedicated to the polka dot pop of Strawberry Switchblade has heaps of interviews with informative snippets:

ROSE: I was sitting on a bus with James Kirk from Orange Juice. He was coming out to my house and he'd done this fanzine called Strawberry Switchblade. He said he wasn't going to continue doing the fanzine, I said that's a fantastic name, it can't just die, and he said 'have it'. I went 'really?' and he said yes, have it. So I went, that's it, and basically I had the name Strawberry Switchblade so I had to form a band cos it was such a good name!

Namedropping galore for fans of the Sound of Young Scotland:

JILL: I was at art school when we started to do it, so I was a bit older. I had a flat round the corner from Alan Horne, the guy who ran Postcard Records in Glasgow. They were just a real strange bunch of people who shared a flat. They were just great. They shared a flat, a very neat flat with a Polish girl called Krysia Klasheski who was an artist, and this guy called Brian Superstar who ended up being in The Pastels. It was such a weird, strange, great place to go. And then Edwyn who was the singer in Orange Juice lived round the corner, and David McClymont who was the bass player lived up the road. The drummer in that group worked at the dole office. We all tried very hard not to work so we could rehearse - THEY all did, I was at art school - but nobody wanted a job in the holidays when they were at college, so him and Edwyn I think, both of them, got grabbed and made to work in the dole office. We'd go down to sign on and they'd be behind the counter going 'you bastards!', a really resentful look on their faces.

And some completely bonkers interview answers:

What's The Weirdest Idea You've Ever Had? Rose: Judging by people's reactions, it's when I go on about how my organs wobble. I sway from side to side all the time and that's because I can feel my organs wobbling so I sway to keep up with them. (What on earth is going on here? - Ed)

There are also stacks of downloads, including BBC sessions aplenty, first single Trees And Flowers (it’s got Roddy Frame on it! And Woody and Mark from Madness! And Kate St John! And it’s completely ace!), The Pastels’ I Wonder Why (the girls did backing vocals on it, completist fans!) and a version of Since Yesterday by Minipops (I dunno, it might be funny after a couple of eggnogs this Chrimbo).

Other things we should know: Jill married Frog from the Farmers Boys and Rose married Robert Lee from The Band Of Holy Joy. Rose teamed up with Dave Balfe and Einar from The Sugarcubes to re-record solo track Crystal Nights under the band name Ornamental, which was obviously one of the greatest singles of 1988, but now I’m not so sure because Jill says Rose is a Nazi sympathizer and it’s about Kristallnacht. Ooh, controversial. Jill and Rose aren’t very good pals anymore.

It’s a great site, really well put together, jam packed with a huge array of downloads and interviews. Well worth a couple of hours of anyone’s time (unless you’re a fan of Entombed or Cannibal Corpse or Dying Fetus, in which case I’ve got no idea what you’re doing here, but thanks for dropping by).


ally said...

it took me years to realise trees and flowers was about being agraphobic - which one of them (i get them mixed up)was. i think all the polkadots distracted me

FireEscape said...

It was Jill.