Chris Sievey

English musician and comedian (1953-2010)

Christopher Mark Sievey (born 17 November 1953) was an English singer, musician and record producer, known for the lead singer and guitarist of his backing band the Freshies in the late 1970s and early 1980s and for his comic persona Frank Sidebottom from 1982 onwards.

Chris Sievey
Born (1953-11-17) 17 November 1953 (age 70)
Salford, Manchester, England
GenresPunk, power pop
LabelsStiff, Rabid
Website1137enterprises.com

Sievey, under the guise of Sidebottom, made regular appearances on North West television throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, even becoming a reporter for Granada Reports. Later, he presented Frank Sidebottom's Proper Telly Show in B/W for the Manchester-based television station Channel M. Throughout his career, Sidebottom made appearances on radio stations such as Manchester's Piccadilly Radio and on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 5, alongside Mark and Lard.

Early life and career (1953–1978)

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Sievey grew up in Salford, Manchester, England.

In 1967, when he was 14, Sievey began writing and recording his own music, and by the age of 15 was playing in local bands. In 1969, he hitch-hiked to London with his brother, staging a sit-in at the Apple Records HQ, demanding to see one of The Beatles. When they were asked to leave they insisted on recording something, and were booked into the studio after playing a song to head of A&R Tony King. Sievey subsequently recorded several demos, which he sent to record companies, receiving many rejection letters which he later compiled into a book. He was an attendee to saw Dr. Feelgood and Kilburn and the High Roads concert in December 1974. Unable to get a deal, he set up his own punk band Bee Knees in November 1976.

Bee Knees released two albums in June 1977 and November 1977, Girl in My Blue Jeans and All Sleeps Secrets and their debut single I'm Her Man in May 1977. Bee Knees disbanded in February 1978. In March 1978, Sievey, along with musician for Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoias and John Cooper Clarke, John Scott and record producer Martin Hannett, provided lyrics for "Jilted John" a song featuring music performed by post-punk performer and comedian Jilted John.

Chris Sievey & The Freshies (1978–1982)

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In March 16, 1978, Sievey formed his backing band the Freshies, with Barry Spencer (born 1956; vocals, guitar), Rick Maunder (born 1955; vocals, bass), Paul Whittle (born 1955; drums), and Bob Dixon (born 1956; vocals, keyboards). They supporting Elvis Costello on his UK tour in March to April 1978. In June 1978, He signed to Stiff Records. Invited by Dave Robinson to participate in the forthcoming Be Stiff Route '78 Tour in 1978, Sievey quickly recorded his first album for Stiff, Rough 'N' Ready, was produced by Pete Shelley, which contained "I'm in Love with the Girl on the Certain Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk", "Heart to Heart", and another Top 20 hit, "No Money". Sievey's musical style combined his own quirky inventions with punk and power pop styles. A string of singles and four albums were released between 1978 and 1981. Chris Sievey's biggest UK hit was "I'm in Love with the Girl on the Certain Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk", released initially on Stiff label (BUY 36). The record peaked at No 34 in November 1978. They had commercial success in England with "Yellow Spot" and "No Money".

Sievey released further singles, "Wrap Up the Rockets" and "I Can't Get Bouncing Babies", and also although commercially successful in England, they failed to make the national charts.

The following year he had a solo release, "Camouflage", with the A-side a song, and the B-side being computer programming.

Filmography

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[1]
Year Title Role Director(s) Notes
1985 TX: Episode 16 Actor, as "Frank Sidebottom" Richard Bradley & Tim Sullivan TV appearance, debut of Frank Sidebottom
1986 No 73: Sit Janie Grace TV appearance
1987 No 73 (Series 7) Unknown TV show
No 73 (Series 8) Graeme Matthews
1988 7T3 Actor, as "Frank Sidebottom", & "Reg" Unknown
1989 Kazuko's Karaoke Klub: 15 July 1989 Actor, as "Frank Sidebottom" TV appearance
1991 Motormouth (Series 4) Actor, as "Frank Sidebottom" & "Little Frank". Soundtrack Graham C. Williams, J. Nigel Pickard, Simon Pearce, Michael Kerrigan, & Nick Bigsby TV show
1992 Frank Sidebottom's Fantastic Shed Show Actor, as "Frank Sidebottom". Writer Dave Behrens
What's Up Doc? (Series 1) Actor, as "Life with the Amoebas", "Frank Sidebottom", & "Mr. Fantastico"

Soundtrack

Bob Collins & Simon Pearce
1993 What's Up Doc? (Series 2) Actor, as "Life with the Amoebas" & "Frank Sidebottom". Soundtrack Bob Collins
1994 Something for the Weekend: 1 July 1994 Actor, as "Frank Sidebottom" Dave Behrens TV appearance
1998 Endurance UK Unknown
2002 Gina and Stella Voice actor, as "Frank Sidebottom" Sarah Ball Short film
2006 Frank Sidebottom's Proper Telly Show (Season 1) Actor, as "Frank Sidebottom". Writer Unknown TV show
Flushed Away Voice Actor, as Sam David Bowers & Sam Fell Film
2007 Frank Sidebottom's Proper Telly Show (Series 2) Actor, as "Frank Sidebottom". Writer Unknown TV show
The Comedy Map of Britain: Episode 4 Actor, as "Frank Sidebottom" Ellen Evans & Matt O'Casey TV appearance
The Podge and Rodge Show (Season 2): Episode 30 Unknown
The Most Annoying Pop Songs.... We Hate to Love: Episode 3 Gareth Cornick, Nick Cory Wright, Richard Dean, Chris Hill, Kevin Hylands, Lindsay Jex, Kate Morey & Lyn Rowett
Comic Relief: "(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles" Peter Kay Film
2008 Magical Manchester Tour Actor, as "Frank Sidebottom", soundtrack Steve Sullivan Short film
2011 Phineas and Ferb: "My Fair Goalie" Voice Actor, as "British Announcer" Jeff "Swampy" Marsh & Robert F. Hughes TV appearance

Discography

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Studio Albums

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  • Rough n Ready (1978)
  • Manchester Plays (1979)
  • Chris Sievey play London (1980)
  • Denigration Now (1980)
  • Demolition (1981)
  • Big Record (1984)
  • Fantastic Tales (1985) As Frank Sidebottom
  • Radio Timperley C-60 (1986) As Frank Sidebottom
  • 5:9:88 (1986) As Frank Sidebottom
  • 13:9:88 (1986) As Frank Sidebottom
  • Medium Play (1988) As Frank Sidebottom

Singles

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  • "I'm in Love with the Girl on a Certain Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk" (1978)
  • "Heart to Heart / Wrap Up the Rockets" (1979)
  • "I Can't Get Bouncing Babies / We're Like... You" (1979)
  • "Dancin' Doctors / One to One" (1979)
  • "Fasten Your Seat Belts / Best We Can Do" (1980)
  • "If You Really Love Me, Buy Me a Shirt / I Am the Walrus" (1980)
  • "Camouflage" (1981)
  • "The Oink! 45" (1984) As Frank Sidebottom
  • "Frank's Indie Medley" (1985) As Frank Sidebottom
  • "Panic" (1991) As the Sidebottoms

Compilation albums

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  • In Love With... (1982)
  • Frank Sidebottom's ABC & D... The Best Of... (1997) As Frank Sidebottom
  • The Very Very Best Of... Some Long and Short Titles (2003)
  • E, F, G & H. The Best Of... Volume Two (2007) As Frank Sidebottom
  • Fantastic Show Biz Box Set (2008) As Frank Sidebottom
  • Early Singles (2011)
  • Cease & Desist (2017) As Frank Sidebottom
  • Telephone Line: Monologues And Messages (2017) As Frank Sidebottom
  • Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story (2019)
  • Self-released material

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    Released either on cassette or CD-r

    Albums

    • The Bees Knees (1977) With the Bees Knees
    • All Sleeps Secrets (1977) With the Bees Knees

    References

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    1. "Chris Sievey". IMDb. Retrieved 28 December 2020.