I heard from Grant McPhee who made the great Big Gold Dream documentary and has lately put together the unmissable Teenage Superstars documentary too. He has told me that there are 3 more in production (!!!). This was definitely fantastic news. He mentions that there will be Fast Forward, which will cover the Edinburgh scene of the mid 80s (think Jesse Garon & the Desperadoes, Shop Assitants, Narodnik Records) and it is almost finished, Revolutionary Spirit which will feature the Liverpool scene and Zoo Records and also Anything Could Happen which will focus on New Zealand indiepop. There might be another documentary, a fourth one, but we’ll see. Anyways, that is all great news to me. I’m more than happy to know that there are people documenting the music we love and its stories. It is well worth the effort and we should support if we can! Initiatives like these matter so much!

The Occasional Flickers: finally our friends from Edinburgh who released a CDR and a 7″ with Cloudberry are releasing their 3rd album! Yes, “Sleep and The Time in Between”, has just been released by the prolific Jigsaw Records and you can stream this piece of perfect pop on Bandcamp, or better order a copy of the CD. There are all in all 10 songs.  The band has seen many changes during the years but we see Giorgos Bouras leading the march. Completing the band on this record are Panayotis Baras, Fraser Hughes and Robin Campbell Oliver. Very excited, need to order this ASAP!

Gingerlys: the New York band seems to appear on the blog everytime they sneeze, right? Every song that they have released to promote their upcoming album have been recommended here. So now that the third song of the self-titled album is available to listen I couldn’t stop that trend. So do check out “Let Down” which might be my favourite so far because I’m a sucker for boy/girl vocals. Lovely!

The Seams: first time I hear this Toronto band, and it is thanks to the latest song that has popped up on BandCamp, “Lemonade”. The band is signed to the Toronto label Hand Drawn Dracula and with them they had already released a tape album titled “Meet the Seams” a year ago. The band is formed by Kyle Connolly, Jonathan Rogers, Jesse Mirsky and Simone TB. Their music is just straight up jangle pop in the tradition of early Creation Records or even The Go-Betweens.

Grupo de Inventores: just found this Zaragoza band thinking their latest song was a cover of Josef K. Silly me. Anyhow their song “Sin Ayuda (Joseph K)” is pretty good! I see that the band is formed by G. Inventor, Jorge C., Jorge P., Enrique and Thomas. The band has a few more songs on their Bandcamp worth checking out. Their first release actually dates from January, 2015, and is a digital single for the song “Aislamiento Perpetuo” with its digital B side “Ojos (Ella Arriesga Por Amor)”.

Slowdive: not much to say about this beloved band, so no introductions needed. I just wanted to share the new promo video for the song “Don’t Know Why”.

Bokunofune: got a press sheet on the mail the other day linking to this Japanese band’s new video for the song “Nanamagari”. The band, said to be influenced by the aforementioned Slowdive, as well as by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, will be releasing a new EP titled “Signal Flags” where I suppose this song will be included. At the moment there are no websites to buy their records, but maybe at some point?


The 34th country will be Switzerland. Quite surprised by all the bands and music I’m discovering by doing this exercise of finding indiepop or in some cases proper guitar pop in many different countries around the world. It has been a true adventure! And There are still many more countries and bands to feature in the coming weeks! The well hasn’t ran dry!

When it comes to indiepop and Switzerland, which bands do you usually think of? Maybe Sportsguitar? Probably Chin Chin? Well, that is my case too. I’m not very knowledgeable about bands in the alpine country. So my search for finding out any more bands started there, with those bands. It was going to be a happy surprise that there was a pop band with members of Chin Chin before they were Chin Chin. That was lucky. I struck gold. Esther and Marianne had been involved in Sophisticated Boom Boom in the early 80s and even released an album!

It wasn’t cheap to order the record from Discogs. But I’m very curious after hearing a handful of songs on Youtube. I thought they were pretty good! Definitely not proper indiepop but fun girl group pop, sometimes even sounding a bit like Dolly Mixture. Who is not going to like that! Now I wait patiently for the record to arrive, but of course I do my little research, see what else I can find about them.

I think it is pretty obvious that they took their name from a Shangri-Las song that was written by George Morton around 1966. A song that came out at least twice as B sides, on the “I Can Never Go Home Any More” 7″ and on the “Long Live Our Love” 7″. They definitely didn’t take their name from Dead or Alive’s debut album of the same name as that record came out in 1984, at that time the band had already been around for at least two years. Now it is also important to mention that around the same time there was a band of the same name in Glasgow that recorded three Peel Sessions between 1981 and 1983. And it was also a girl group. But don’t confuse them!

So who were our Sophisticated Boom Boom? I go straight to Discogs to find out more about them.

Their self-titled album came out in 1982 on the label Off Course Records (catalog ASL-3306). This was an independent label from their home country that was based in Saas Fee, a resort town near the Italian border. Perhaps the most famous band they released was Grauzone. The album has fourteen tracks, on the A side we have “Yeah Yeah Yeah”, “Boom Boom Rap”, “Jimmy Jimmy”, “Frustration”, “Trocadero”, “Beat Girls” and “Numa”. On the B side there’s “Boom Boom A Go Go”, “Dance With Me”, “Number One in the Radio”, “Train to Boyscamp”, “Beat Girls”, “Ready to Dance” and “Out On My Own”. All songs seem to be credited to Ernest Maeschi, a Swiss guitar played and songwriter. On his profile it says he was part of the group. But he doesn’t appear on any of the photos of the record jacket. Were the girls just a front? I start to suspect that. I see that other credits for the songs are of Stefan Maeschi, Ernest brother, as a bassist and Pasquale Isernia as a drummer. I do see two songs where the girls are credited, “Beat Girls” has Monique Sieber and “Trocadero” has Marianne Sunier. All of them seem to have been based in Zurich.

So the girls are also all credited for vocals, Marianne, Monique and Esther. The organ was played by Chiclet and Jürg Naegeli. The saxophone by Rudi “Hotcha” Tüscher. The artwork was done by Martin Byland and Urs Steiger while the photography was taken by B. Kehrli.

There is a line that kind of clears the doubt about if the girls were a front or not. It says: “Backing band is The Sozz without their singer”. The Sozz being the Maeschi brothers and Pasquale Isernia. That would make sense. How did this relationship happen? Did the girls play any instruments on the record? I mean, they did when they were in Chin Chin. Or they were only learning the ropes of the instruments at this time? According to the press release that Slumberland Records put out when they re-released Chin Chin’s “Sound of Westway”, although Esther and Marie-Anne had experience as singers for local band Sophisticated Boom Boom, neither had actually played bass or drums respectively before.

The band appeared at least on two compilations. The first one dates from 1983 and is titled “Swiss Wave Album 2” that was released by the label Astan (catalog ASL 3307). The band appears here with two songs, “Trocadero” and “Boom Boom A Go Go”.  Later, in 2001, on the CD compilation “The Invisible Insurrection of a Million Minds” there is this song “Live at the Hellfire Club” that is credited to STT VS. SBB. SBB seems to be Sophisticated Boom Boom. I wonder how this song sounds like.

I keep digging and find a post on the blog Why Do Things Have to Change dating from 2016. Sadly it is one of those blogs that offer free full-album downloads so I won’t link to them. I don’t support that sort of thing. Though on the post it assures that the girl group hailed from Büren. That looks closer to Bern than to Zurich. Is that right then?

I look  for other bands the girls might have been involved. I do find that Esther aside from Sophisticated Boom Boom and Chin Chin was in the band Pull My Daisy. I must admit I’m not familiar with it. I will have to check them out. But what about the other two members, Marianne and Monique?

There is not much more on the web about them. I see comments where a lot of people confuse them with the Glasgow band of the same name. In any case both are quite obscure. Also because of their name most results are either for Shangri-Las or Dead or Alive. So it is hard to dig and find any important details about them. I wonder why did they split and start Chin Chin. If they had any more recordings. When did they start as a band. What was their relationship with The Sozz. And how did they all meet. Did they play many gigs. Many questions, no answer. But hopefully we’ll get to know more about them in the near future!


Sophisticated Boom Boom – Beat Girls