Strawberry Switchblade

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Strawberry Switchblade

Strawberry Switchblade sang about “Trees and Flowers” and covered “Jolene” before calling it a day. so what’s happened since yesterday…?

Strawberry Switchblade were a band of four that formed in Glasgow in 1981, but are best remembered as a duo fronted by Jill Bryson (b.1961) and Rose McDowall (b.1959). Both met in the late 1970’s and formed Strawberry Switchblade – named after a James Kirk song – in 1981. They spent their early years touring pubs and clubs around Scotland until being signed to Zoo Records, formed by David Balfe of the band The Teardrop Explodes and Bill Drummond, who would become one half of The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu/The Timelords/The KLF. They released their debut single, “Trees And Flowers”, independently in 1983, although this did not break the single sales chart, although following its release, the pair were signed to WEA Records. 1984 saw them writing and recording for their debut album with WEA and in late December that year, the first single was released.

“Since Yesterday” gained radio play post-Christmas and it landed in the top 40 as the highest new entry in the first week of January 1985. The song climbed to peak at No.5 later that month and Strawberry Switchblade were made. The pair followed this with “Let Her Go” in March, but sadly this flopped. Their self-titled album emerged the following month and peaked at No.25 in the UK. It produced just one more single, “Who Knows What Love Is?”, in June, which missed the top 75 on the sales chart. 1985 saw the Japan only release of “The 12″ Album”, which featured the Japanese single release of “Ecstasy (Apple of My Eye)” (Jap No.71), while the girls saw out the year with a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”, which made No.53 in the UK and No.90 in Japan. Following the single “I Can Feel” at the beginning of 1986, Strawberry Switchblade called it a day.

Rose McDowall has continued to record as a solo artist as well as in local bands. Jill Bryson became an artist, sculptor and designed and made her own range of clothing. In 2013, she returned to music writing songs for the band The Shapists, which featured her daughter Jessie. A reissue of all Strawberry Switchblade’s work was released in 2005 called “The Platinum Collection” but it is not known whether Jill and Rose have kept in touch or intend to revive the Strawberry Switchblade cult either today, tomorrow or since yesterday…!

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Take a look at our other Where Are They Now? posts or find out more here.