The Freeze – Paranoia

25th October 2022 · 1970s, 1979, Music, Punk

Does anyone remember The Freeze? Probably not unless you were living in Scotland in the early days of punk.

They supported many of the punk and New Waves who played on the east coast with a ramshackle mix of originals and covers (Ramones, Roxy, Eno) that showed their glam roots.

Aiming for a more complex sound than most of their contemporaries, they looked for inspiration to the New York bands like Television and Talking Heads.

Guitarist Gordon Sharp was wildly inventive with the use of effects pedals and, like Can’s Michael Karoli, also used a knife on the fretboard.

The Freeze were formed in 1976 by a bunch of schoolkids – Gordon Sharp, David Clancy and Keith Grant – from Linlithgow, 20 miles west of Edinburgh, completing the group a year later with drummer Graeme Radin. Their English teacher, Alastair Allison, served a dual role as manager and lyric writer.

They supported most of the punk and New Wave bands who toured Scotland at the time, especially Dunfermline contemporaries The Skids, and released two self-financed singles as well as the In Colour EP, which included this song, Paranoia, in 1979.

They also recorded two sessions for John Peel after releasing their final single, Celebration – backed with the slow, gentle Crossover, hinting at their future direction, in 1980; the second of them featuring a new rhythm section of Mike Moran and Neil Braidwood.

Two years later they changed their name to Cindytalk, releasing an acclaimed album called Camouflage Heart in 1984, and Sharp sang with Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil, including Kangaroo

Soon afterwards, Sharp travelled to London for a David Sylvian concert, where he met two young musicians – John Taylor and Nick Rhodes – who were starting their own band. Despite their repeated requests, he turned down an offer to join their group, Duran Duran.

Since the 1990s, when he started an electronic side project called Bambule, Cindy Sharp (as she now is) has focused on experimental laptop music, much of it released in Japan where she lives part of the time.

Several solo and Cindytalk albums have also been released by the cutting edge electronica label Editions Mego in Vienna, and she is still performing.