About this item
Fifteen years and four stone ago I used to hang out at Manchester's Retro Bar, a cheap n cheerful scenester haunt with a proper sleazy basement. Amongst other attractions on offer there was a night called Barbed Wire Kisses run by the infamous Jake Barnes. An acolyte of the Dark Wired Sound, Jake introduced me to many a musical oddity, but none were as strange, terrifying and totally irresistible as Frank Tovey's Fad Gadget. The first signing to Mute, Tovey operated at the foremost fringe of the UK's DIY electronic movement, composing lust-songs for drum machine and synth from his 80s bedsit. Bursting onto the scene like an electronic Iggy Pop with a penchant for uncompromising performance art, Tovey spent the next two decades auto-asphyxiated by the microphone lead, covered in tar and feather while shaving his pubic hair - all on stage.
Despite his best efforts to outweird anyone and everyone, these challenging antics did nothing to distract from the music, and a quick listen to the soundclips here should tell you exactly why. Wasting no time on the foreplay, "Fireside Favourites" dances from the skewed white funk of "Pedestrian" through the low slung growl of "State Of The Nation" to the unhinged electro pop of "Salt Late City Sunday". Then comes the unstoppable, unparallelled sleaze synth hit "Coitus Interruptus". Not only was this the first Fad Gadget track I ever heard, it has remained my favourite ever since, and a constant feature in my record box. The titular "Fireside Favourite" closes the side with a completely batshit and utterly hilarious pub-rock piss take.
I could keep going, maybe mention the serrated post punk of "Newsreel", the uncompromising techno of "Insecticide", medicated storytelling of "The Box" or cinematic scuzz of "Arch Of The Aorta", but ultimately, words will never do this justice. The finest moment in the Fad Gadget repetoire, and arguably the best synth pop record ever made, this is an essential item folks. Now available on orange vinyl.
Patrick says: I love my job. Today I got to listen to my favourite Fad Gadget record, from start to finish, at punishing volume. Bedsit synth's most uncompromising figure, Frank Tovey is a legend around my gaff, and his debut LP is also his best. Twisted, tongue in cheek lyricism set to infectious (and infected) synth grooves, "Fireside Favourite" balances the funk and punk spirit in the most visceral fashion.
State Of The Nation
Salt Lake City Sunday
Arch Of The Aorta