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Rose McDowall, Cult With No Name

Sunday, September 22, 19:00
adv £18



Rose McDowall was born in Glasgow on 21.10.59. Along with Jill Bryson they formed new wave band STRAWBERRY SWITCHBLADE in 1981. Best known for their hit single ‘Since Yesterday’ and their flamboyant clothing with bows and polka dots! The band’s first single was released on Echo & The Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant’s indie label ‘Trees And Flowers’ was picked up by John Peel and subsequently sold in excess of 10,000 copies! It was written about Rose’s anxiety disorder ‘agoraphobia’.

They were originally managed by KLF’s Bill Drummond who signed them to Warner Brothers with who soon paired them with up ‘n’ coming producer David Motion who subsequently went on to produce several hits including RED BOX.

There was much anticipation from the label of great success after Since Yesterday hit the top 5 spot and the Tim Pope directed video certainly helped spread their unique sound and vision! The follow up single the ballad ‘Who Knows What Love is’ was one of the 2 tracks on the album produced by The Cure’s Phil Thornally but failed to make a great impression on the charts. Their 5th single was an electro pop version of Dolly Parton’s anthem ‘Jolene’ which also surprisingly didn’t bother the charts much, although their popularity in the UK had waned they were very much more in demand in Japan where a further 2 singles were released! The last of which only featured Rose as by this time in early 1986 the partnership had irreparably broken down and the group disbanded shortly after this.

In December 2005 Warner Brothers Platinum released a career retrospective compilation 16 track album which was received favourably by the critics and fans alike complimenting the band’s popularity in what can often seem a shallow field.

Rose McDowall continued in music, singing and playing with many very respected neo-folk and post industrial acts including CURRENT 93, DEATH IN JUNE, COIL, FELT, PSYCHIC TV, NURSE WITH WOUND etc. She collaborated with BOYD RICE, under the band name SPELL producing a 1960’s style pop, country and psychedelia type covers for Mute Records. Around the same time she formed a folk rock band called SORROW with then husband Robert Lee. Between 1993 - 2001 they released two albums and one EP through World Serpent and performed in Europe and the US.

Rose McDowall is best known as a vocalist but also plays guitar, melodica and drums.

On Sunday 22nd September 2019 she plays a rare show at London’s Lexington venue where with her band, she will play a career spanning set featuring her best known songs from her entire back catalogue!

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The Lexington is an 18+ venue - please bring ID!
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