REGULAR FRIES

We are not of your world we mean you no harm

Dave Brothwell (Vocals)
Will Beaven (Keyboards)
Paul Moody (Moog)
Andy Starke (Percussion)
Rich Little (Vocals)
Steven Griffin (Guitar)
Pat O’ Sullivan(Bass)

Take seven men, a sackful of ideas, leave to simmer in a soupy funk stew for a considerable period, sign them to still the coolest record label working on the fringes of dance (JBO) and Ladies and Gentlemen-You have The Regular Fries. There is always suspicion when a rock journalist unleashes his band onto the world. The precedents are as glorious as they are tragic; for every Pretenders, Boomtown Rats and Pet Shop Boys (are these glorious or tragic? - I’m not holding these acts as tremendous artistic triumphs), there is a Goldblade. No matter how skilled the journalists are at playing the pop game, they end up wearing their references like a pair of Day-Glo bloomers. Ex-NME staffer Paul ‘Moogy’ Moody, the Fries leader/strategist has been able, however, to successfully avoid the pitfalls so far . Sitting always-downstage left in a wicker chair, he conducts the Fries proceedings with a serene and detached eye, leaving frontmen Dave Brothwell and Rich Little to lord it on stage. When they performed at Glastonbury 1999, the band were introduced by a shaman who urged the audience to consume what remaining drugs they may had to coincide with the Fries appearance. The Fries are a very special kind of live entertainment, sending as part of their act Styrofoam letters out above their audience's head. Second vocalist Little shakes ferociously a birdcage with keys attached, and banks of television show war footage. This is further enforced by the fanzine/literature they produce in which they extol the virtues of aliens and Sly Stone and are unafraid to namecheck King Crimson.

From their debut single 'Dust It (Don’t Bust It)' to their most recent work, 'Smoking Cigars With The Pharaohs', they bring high standards and quality references seldom seen in the twilight world of indie funk slackerdom. Their first EP releases on JBO, 'Free The Regular Fries' and 'Fries Entertainment' had an aura about them, and recalled obscure prog and Germanic rock with their funk workouts and vague mysticism . Their debut album, 'Accept The Signal' is more an overview of the Fries work to July 1999 rather than a highpoint. The opening track 'Dust It' has got to be the greatest tune the Happy Mondays never wrote, with its amusing lyrics, loopy moog and manically escalating building. The only problem is that , by placing it at the very beginning of the album, unlike the live shows where until recently it closed the set, the rest to an extent suffers by comparison. That is not to suggest though that it’s a duffer- far from it. 'Can’t Face The Animals' employs sitars and theremin and represents a collision between space rock and hip hop, 'King Kong' is a hit single that never was, 'The Pink Room' is a weird and noodly blues that’s OK to enjoy between meals and 'Supposed To Be A Gas' offers a degree of humour ansd light relief.

Enjoy 'Accept The Signal' as an entrée to the Fries: most of the highs of their concerts are here. It may not be the greatest work they will produce- recent material previewed on their July tour from the new album War On Plastic Plants shows more light and shade- but it stands as one of the more interesting and inventive albums of the late twentieth century.











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