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About Rose McDowall

Rose McDowall (vocals, guitar) was one-half of the '80s new wave duo Strawberry Switchblade. However, the bouncy, keyboard-laden pop of Strawberry Switchblade bears little resemblance to the work she would later do. McDowall formed Strawberry Switchblade in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1981. Initially consisting of four members, McDowall named the band after a fanzine devoted to Postcard Records. A year later, Strawberry Switchblade's lineup was reduced to McDowall and guitarist Jill Bryson. Performances for two radio deejays generated interest from record labels. Bill Drummond from Warner Bros. and former Teardrop Explodes member David Balfe became their joint managers. In 1983, Aztec Camera's Roddy Frame contributed to the group's first single, "Trees and Flowers." Strawbery Switchblade recorded one self-titled LP in 1985 before splitting up a year later. After Strawberry Switchblade, McDowall became involved with darker and far less commercial artists like Current 93 and Nurse With Wound, acts known for delving into gloomy folk and industrial noise. She also sang backing vocals on albums by Felt, Nurse with Wound and many others. In the '90s , McDowall collaborated with Boyd Rice in the band Spell, releasing one album of cover songs for Mute in 1993, and with her then-husband Robert Lee as Sorrow, releasing a string of spooky gothic folk albums (1993's Under The Yew Possessed, 1999's Sleep Now Forever and The Final Solstice (I/II)). She kept a low profile after that, resurfacing in 2015 when Night School and Sacred Bones released Cut With the Cake Knife, a collection of songs she recorded between 1986 and 1988. ~ Michael Sutton

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