Thursday, 5 June 2014

Sophisticated Boom Boom - Peel Session 28/10/1981

Sophisticated Boom Boom were an all female quintet formed in Glasgow circa 1980. Taking their name from a Shangri-Las song, they recorded a total of three sessions for the John Peel show between 1981-83. These trips to the Maida Vale studios were the only times they ventured inside a recording studio. Apart from a live track that appeared posthumously on a Rhino compilation album, The Girl Can't Help It, they released no records whatsoever.

It's hard to imagine today, but even around the time the group were active all-female bands who played there own instruments and wrote and sang original material who weren't striving to be pop divas were still a relative novelty, and those aiming to make "serious music" (for want of a better term) were perhaps not necessarily taken seriously by some quarters of the music industry.

Peel evidently loved them, broadcasting this their debut session no less than five times between November '81 and December '82. The second session, recorded in September ''82, had already received two separate airings in October of that year before the final broadcast of the first.

The group would tape a further session in June 1983, which again received two airings within the space of a month, and showed them moving in a more melodic guitar pop direction. Soon after, original vocalist Libby McArthur left the group and was replaced by Moira Rankin. The band would changed its name to His Latest Flame and finally release the first of half a dozen singles in 1986, went on tour with The Housemartins when they were riding high in the charts with Happy Hour, and eventually released a lone long player in 1989.

Surrender To Me
White Horses
Is It About Sex?
The 1983 session can be found on youtube.
The second session is nowhere to found! Likewise a photo of the group, so I've used a pic of His Latest Flame instead.


  1. Cheers for this - replaces my copy which was 90% hiss. In return, here's a SBB interview, see p14

    1. Many thanks for the link. Is the article from a fanzine or some long forgotten music weekly?

      I'm afraid my recording of the session isn't brilliant, but it has been languishing on a cheapo Curry's ferric cassette since back in the day.