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Family Fodder are a group of musicians based around Alig Fodder, often with French singer Dominique. They’re best known for their compelling, now-collectable UK cult indie-chart hits such as ‘Debbie Harry’, ‘Playing Golf’ and ‘Savoir Faire’, and albums ‘Monkey Banana Kitchen’, ‘Sunday Girls’ and ‘Schizophrenia Party’.Read More...
They’ve regrouped a number of times since their initial early 80s releases, producing an album ‘Water Shed’ on US indie Dark Beloved Cloud along with other recordings and a ‘best of’. They’ve been covered by Unrest, Steveless and Zion Train, coveted by DFA Records and hailed as ‘unsung heroes’ in The Wire and elsewhere.
‘More Great Hits!’ is a double-CD anthology, with 42 tracks covering their entire history, including alternate versions and previously unreleased tracks.
Reviewers are often effusive in their comments: -
‘A dozen shining moments turn arty abstraction into astonishingly delightful thinking man’s bubblegum. Debbie Harry is easily one of post-punk’s best and weirdest 45s.’ – CMJ New Music News.
‘Alig can write songs. Byrne-quality love-songs’ – New York Press.
‘Family Fodder exude an exhilarating sense that everything was possible, that there weren't any limits to imagination and humour. The scope of their musical range remains as dizzying and exciting as it once was.’ - Time Out New York
The release coincides with a flurry of new musical activity from Alig. He’s recorded a track for artist David Shrigley’s new ‘Worried Noodles’ album; collaborated with Domino Records’ Psapp; has a 7” out on the Berlin Tom Lab label and just out is a new mini-album ‘Baby Talk’ as ‘Idol Fodder’ with Dominique’s daughter Darlini, on Slender Means Society. ‘More Great Hits!’ includes a brand new track ‘Hippy Chick’ (“Devon is full of them – it’s now 2nd and even 3rd generation hippy chicks”).
Formed around 1975 and disbanded in 1983, reforming sporadically ever since. Core members were Alig, Ian Hill, Dominique Levillain, Felix Fiedorowicz, Martin Frederix, Bazz Smith, Graham Painting, Mark Doffmann and Lynn Alice.
Their music can be described as crossover of acoustic and soft rock elements blending in punk. Lyrics are in English, Franch and German.They paid tribute to Debbie Harry in a song as well as made a cover (with a dub version) of Blondie's title 'Sunday Girl'. They also have a version of Syd Barrett's title 'No man's land'.
Family Fodder was originally formed in 1979 – with a cast of thousands over three decades. They emerged from the melting-pot of 70s/80s London alongside This Heat, Flying Lizards, The Pop Group, Slits and many others. The original formula consisted of psychedelic and new wave influences, incisive song-writing, improvisation, experiment and far-out dub mixing. They always managed to evade major exposure, but influenced generations of bands on five continents. Various compilations have been re-issued from the 11 vinyl singles and 3 albums of the early period. FF was often more at home in the studio than on-stage, but completed several European tours as well as cherished performances in their native London. Performances from the new band are eagerly awaited, preferably not paid in peanuts this time. Pistachios. Walnuts. The current album was a labour of love – assembled from performances, with attention to detail, layering the vocal blend of Alig and Darlini’s voices. Apart from the ubiquitous string arrangements, the music features Arabic oud (electric and acoustic) as well as guitar, keyboards and percussion. The lyrics tackle the familiar Fodder topics of emotion, philosophy, relationships and politics as well as the politics of relationships. There is a bittersweet leitmotif of nostalgia, loss, and deja-vu underscoring the childlike innocence of these songs. The next album is about Comedy. Sessions are booked for this autumn – provisionally entitled “Fast Songs” – with the emphasis on the old Fodder technique of ‘instant songs’. Meanwhile Alig keeps busy with remixes for Mirror Mirror and The Chap.
Family Fodder are releasing a new album " Classical Music" on 25th October 2010
Get a free download of The Onliest Thing from the new album by signing up to Family Fodder's mailing list here http://familyfodder.greedbag.com/freedownload/
Some words from a fan…
“On the rare occasions I’ve had to describe Family Fodder I have not really been able to do it very well. I reviewed their strange 12” 45 rpm album ep thing from years ago and said it was “total mayhem” and involved “children singing and some hyper fast mental decisions”.
This album is really no different. I don’t think any children were involved this time but it is no less charming. Musically I’ve got no idea what they are up to (just like before), but what they manage to create is a strange engaging sort of sound that messes with your head in a most peculiar way. It’s a little invasive, and very touching at the same time, a bit like being beaten to sleep, or having sex with a big cactus. The influences that seep through the album come from all corners of the globe and the mind, there are unexpected instruments, bizarre arrangements, plinks where you expect plonks and other things, including warped hooky vocals and really clever bits that you’ll only get after about ten listens. It’s possibly best if I sum it up as something like nothing else. And if you can think of something Family Fodder sound like then please let me know.
I’ve just realised children are involved.”