Tuesday, August 16, 2016

'Blade runner

Very credible band, now, the ' Blade

Well connected

(If there's not a whole chapter  on SS in the new Xpanded England's Hidden Reverse I'd be most surprised)

I wish there was footage on YouTube of 'Blade being the guest musical act on Pebble Mill At One  in '85 i think it was. Pebble Mill being this very middle of the road, lunch-time TV show aimed at the older, squarer crowd i.e. the kind of people likely to be at home at midday  -  and which I wouldn't normally watch except Stubbs had left his TV with me when he went home to Leeds for the summer and it had this terrible, corrupting, life-devouring effect on me -  then claiming supplementary benefit after graduating - I would switch it on as soon as I entered my digs. Thank God David came back and took it off me!) But yes, this edition of Pebble Mill stuck in my mind because one of the girls - Rose, I think - was dressed head to foot in skin-tight rubber. Or maybe it was leather. At any rate a serious Skin 2 type fetish outfit. That overt kinkiness was the first occasion it occurred there was anything more going than the squeaky-clean cutesy-poo retro-Sixties shtick, which hitherto had been redolent of nothing so much as Dolly Mixtures.

Well, this ain't the exact performance that made such an indelible impression on me. But it's almost certainly the exact outfit that made such an indelible etc etc!

But  really the 'darkness' and 'magick' (later to flower in Rose's solo career and collaborations) is really not present at all in the music, is it, at this stage...

Twees and flowers more like

The other contemporary things this sound / look would be in alignment would be Talulah Gosh, We've Got A Fuzzbox and We're Gonna Use It, perhaps  Dream Academy a little, perhaps Virginia Astley slightly, Danielle Dax slightly...

Still you gotta love the look - the make-up - and their voices / mien

"Strawberry Switchblade" is one of the first examples of the  sweet/cuddly word juxtaposed with violent/scary word aesthetic in indiepop isn't it?

Resulting also in images like this - the cover to 'You made Me Realise'

1 comment:

  1. My memory of all this is that I had about 1/2 hour at home between walking home from school and back (15 mins each way) during a 1 hour lunch break during the mid-80's.

    BUT, I'm pretty sure "Pebble Mill At One" was all over by 1983 or earlier. Pebble Mill was just the name of the Beeb's Birmingham studio, and they then made pseudo versions of Pebble Mill At One afterwards - just like there were programmes a bit like Tiswas and Swap Shop that nevertheless weren't Tiswas or Swap Shop long after those had finished.

    In fact, fuck me, my memory is incredible, I remember this as being one of the very last live performances that Pebble Mill entertained:


    I remember that performance as a thirteen year old so well. Probably, like The Smiths a year later, its weirdness was in its normality, compared to Duran Duran, Soft Cell etc.

    A couple of years later, I vaguely remember Strawberry Switchblade, but there seemed to be lots of that kind of thing at the time, e.g. Voice Of The Beehive, Goodbye Mr. McKenzie etc.

    Nothing in the world less sexy than very thin, pale people in fetish clothing, imho.