Sunday, 20 June 2010


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?!!


  1. I was at these recordings , my brother jim drove the band through , I think andy may have had his own car but its all a bit hazy ! cant remember gavins surname though ! Will email the boy sturrock and get his memories on this as he was often sober !!

  2. So different from the associates, much more rough and ready. Good stuff though.

  3. remember it well drove band to edinburgh played ashtrays on track took brother mike to pub in leith walk stripper on.
    went on to play gigs with mike andy sturrock and neil mitchell on drums great times

  4. Ah....fame at last!

  5. The drummers second name was Gowans, more famous for being in a heavy metal oufit.

    1. Hi Andy , Jim, Stevie and the rest. Yea it's me here, Gavin Gowans. I am really pleased this got out there :-) And compliments to GG for putting this all together. A great reflection of some of the stuff that went on then. Basically the whole thing was completely chaotic. I am surprised we even managed to get Strange News going! Yes I played in Stax, later known as Colossus with Ronnie Boyd, Pete Caithness and Fran Docherty. We had a great time as the band started in 4th year at school we were very young.I also played with a jazz outfit with two bros called the Johnstons. One named Ivor! Later went to live in Haarlem, Holland, trying to escape the drug scene in Dundee. Little did I know!! Anyway I played in a band called Well Brian, who did pretty well there. The last big gig I did was supporting Burning Spear at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. That was in 1982. Anyway nice to have been a part of it all.