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|The Berlin Blondes - A ghost from my past and one of GLASGOW's finest bands ever in my opinion. I first saw them around spring of 1979 at Glasgows "Mars Bar" club, who's regular bands had included Simple Minds, The Zones and other Glasgow post punk bands.
A local fanzine writer that that I knew had been following them since a support gig they played with the Simple Minds the previous year thought they were "ripping off' Simple Minds..I could see comparisons but the Blondes took off in a more electronic or Techno direction by only using drum machines in their "Classic" line-up ( Bonomi, Spender, Farrel, Rudden), and their homage to this is the fact that they used to play a rocking version of Kraftwerk's "The Model" during this period. Bass player David (Endgames) Rudden's bass lines were simple and effective and suited the minimalistic drums well, James Spender( AKA Jim McKinven -Altered Images/One Dove)played swirling piano/strings and synths and Robert Farrell played excellent lead/rhythm guitar. This was fronted by Steve Bonomi's "Numanesque" monotone vocals. All songs and Musicians provided lots of hooks to keep the music interesting, but visually the group were stunning, looking like early Roxy Music clones (lots of make-up, eyeliner, mascara etc).
Rudden left the band when they signed to EMI and went on to form Endgames, while Spender(McKinven) left soon after to play guitar for other Glasgow new-waver's Altered Images.
The bands sound was never the same after this and on the one album the band recorded, the sound is much "thinner" than the early days ( not saying it may not suit other peoples tastes), and although the band recruited Bass virtuoso Nick Clark from the "Cuban Heels", I never thought his flamboyant style of Bass playing suited the band, although thats only my opinion, but may have been a deliberate change after the departure of Rudden. - - Johnnyboy ( New Wave Outpost Message Board )
Yes, the first single was released early in 1980, so that was before the phrase 'New Romantic' had been coined. I guess they would have been called 'Futurists'.
Something I've noticed from looking in old copies of Sounds mag from 1980 is they often used term "New Musik" for anything weird that used synths. Though maybe this was just Sounds! - -