Although The Associates had only been in existence for a year or so at the time, in 1980 Billy MacKenzie got involved in a little side project with a few friends that ended up a short-lived outfit called Strange News.
Billy, vocals - Steve Reid, guitar - Andy Sturrock, bass - Gavin (surname?), drums.
They must have liked the sound they were making because it lead to them recording a couple of tracks in Edinburgh.
Here's a wee blast of one below, a song called "Hungry Look".
Check out Steve's guitar in it. Wicked! The driving chords of the main tune sounding like John McGeoch of Magazine, while a 2nd layer of plinky plonky notes are sprinkled about randomly in the background.
This tune also appears to be a precursor to Club Country, lyrically at least.
I don't have a photo of the Strange News line-up, but I do have this rather strange news item (above) from the same year - 29th April 1980, to be exact. A quirky wee feature from the Record Mirror telling of the time when Billy missed out on getting a cut of Howard Hughes billions!
Bit of a strange picture of him too as a matter of fact...bathing with his beret?!!