Everett True

Song of the day – 109: The Freshies/Frank Sidebottom

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Sad news this morning.

Chris Sievey, the musical and comedic genius from Hale, Greater Manchester – a man best known for his big-headed, squeakily-voiced, paper-mâché creation Frank Sidebottom – passed away, aged 54. I was a fan of both Frank and his tiny, aggressively challenging sidekick Little Frank: their footballing exploits based around the club of Timperley kept both myself and my house-mate Jamie amused throughout the 80s. I was also a big fan of Chris Sievey’s pre-Frank musical group, The Freshies (best-known for their near-miss ‘I’m In Love With The Girl On The Virgin Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk’) – inventive, endearingly homemade, vaguely psychedelic (in the early Syd Barrett tradition) and totally full of catchy, beautiful 60s pop harmonies (powerpop, they called it back then).

I posted a link to some of their videos a while back, here.

I don’t really know that much about Mr Sievey, beyond loving his music – but there are some touching tributes already up on the Internet, particularly the one at John Robb’s blog.

The Guardian tribute points out that Caroline Ahern’s Mrs Merton character began as a sidekick on the Frank Sidebottom radio show.

Here’s The Freshies WITH Frank Sidebottom.

(The image that accompanies this entry has been taken from Crash Online, where you can also find a fine interview about Chris’ early creation of a Spectrum ZX81 game for the B-side of a solo single.)

P.S. I’ve also recorded my own tiny musical tribute to Chris/Frank on my other blog here.

One Response to Song of the day – 109: The Freshies/Frank Sidebottom

  1. EverettTrue July 18, 2010 at 9:54 am

    (from Facebook)
    Candy Ballard, Kai Jones, Ken Berney and 2 others like this.

    Graham Henry
    met chris a few times when we both used to work for virgin,a genuine nice guy……r.i.p. chris
    Tuesday at 09:22 · Like ·

    Roddy Thomson
    Was just watching some Frank videos on youtube. Sad news. I saw him play the comedy stage at Reading 92. He was just as exciting as any of the bands. Seeing his huge head close up.
    Tuesday at 09:22 · Like

    JUNE 25, 2010 1:38 PM

    Anonymous said…
    Yes it’s very sad, he was a genius how he poked fun at everyone in music, from the The Kinks and his version of Waterloo Sunset to the Beatles and his covers and even the Teardrop Explodes with “I Can’t Get Bouncing Babies By The Teardrop Explodes” – always with a great sense of humour. He will be greatly missed. I remember picking up what I think was his only album as a solo artist, in Montreal in the 80’s, and it came with a free 7″ single and every song on the LP and the 7″ was brilliant.

    He also had recently agreed to record a TVP cover for us, so it’s also sad that no one will get to hear it as I’m sure it would have been amazing.
    JUNE 30, 2010 1:43 PM

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