Stiletto formed in early 1976 and quickly gained a reputation of being a strong feminist band. At that point, their line-up included singer/songwriter JANIE CONWAY on guitar and vocals and Marney Sheehan on bass. Shortly after Chris Worrall joined the band", Janie left.
They first appeared on vinyl in July 1977 when they provided the B-side, 'Nights In Parlour', to Red Symon's single "Only A Flipside'. Later in the year, they gained prominence with the release of the Oz Records compilation album, Debutantes, to which they contributed three songs. Their first wholly Stiletto single, 'Bluebirds', written by Andrew, was followed in August '78 by their debut album, 'Licence to Rage' — unfortunately to become their only LP. Two tracks from the album, 'Goodbye Johnny' and 'Woman In A Man's World' were released as a single (Oz label) in the same month.
In November it was announced that one of their songs, 'Women In Trouble', was to be used on a film soundtrack (other tracks by the band had been used previously on movies). This news was accompanied by some not so good tidings — they were dropped by their record company, EMI. Regrettably, this seemed to precipitate their dissolution. Chris Worrall left to join Paul Kelly and the Dots. He was replaced by CHRIS DYSON (ex-High Rise Bombers) and briefly the band seemed to rejuvenate, and even appeared as special guests on Elvis Costello's Melbourne show; but early in 1979 the final decision to split was made.
ANDREW BELL (guitar);
JANE CLIFTON (vocals);
CELESTE HOWDEN (bass, vocals);
EDDIE VAN ROSENDAAL (drums, vocals);
CHRIS WORRALL (guitar, vocals).
(Chris had previously worked with Pelaco Bros, Captain Matchbox and Bleeding Hearts; Eddie, Jane and Andrew with Toads.)
"Half man, half woman! C'est Stiletto, one of Melbourne's few truly underground bands, burrowing upwards toward the light of wider recognition. Stiletto, whilst pretending to a certain cool, are closet flamboyant. Lots of colour and imagery, scrambled genders, and a sort of shivering toughness which has definite appeal. Constant revolving in the club 'n' pub circuit has polished this sharp little gem of a band until crikey they can really rock. There's been the odd line-up casualty, but always the replacements have been well selected, eventually beefing up the band." taken from...Pub Bands - An Ocassional Guide (Article by Jenny Brown, 'Bottom Line' Newspaper - March / April 1978, p12)
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