was the brainchild of Leeds-born
electronic music pioneer Frank Tovey
He died on April 3, 2002, just as his career was entering a new phase with his first arena tour in support of Depeche Mode's Exciter tour. He left a legacy of 10 albums, most of which are now out of print, and his name is largely forgotten, although his legacy (ever so slightly NSFW)
Tovey was a British avant-garde electronic musician and vocalist working at near the start of industrial music, before moving into more experimental and folk directions, including an album of protest songs as heard on Tyranny For The Hired Hand
His music was originally created by a mix of DIY synths, tape recorders, and found objects such as drills
, bottles, pipes and electric razors.
He was the first artist to sign to Mute
with the track Back To Nature
, which was produced by Daniel Miller (The Normal).
Depeche Mode said they had “made it”
when they were supporting Fad Gadget.
Perhaps his best known song is Collapsing New People
, recorded in Berlin during the sessions for what would be the fourth and final Fad Gadget album: Gag
The B-side (Berlin Mix)
was a remix of the song featuring percussion by kindred souls in the "found object" school of hitting-things-make-music Einstürzende Neubauten.
he recorded an album with Boyd Rice Easy Listening for the Hard of Hearing
There as a transitional album (Snakes And Ladders
), and then set out to explore new sounds in a folk direction.
After his death of a heart attack in 2003 a documentary was released as part of a best of boxed set Fad Gadget by Frank Tovey
, telling his life story
as was a posthumous re-mix of
Collapsing New People (WestBam Remix)
(b/w Lady Shave - John Acquaviva Remix
There is still an official site
and a fan site
, and his legacy pops up sporadically, as in this art exhibitions
The following is a mix of live, TV and recorded Fad Gadget songs based around the singles:
Back to Nature
or Ricky's Hand - Live
State Of The Nation (demo tracks) 1979
Saturday Night Special
Hotel Suburbia (1983) Part I Part II
Lemmings On Lovers Rock (live at Hacienda, 1984)
King of the Flies
Life on the Line
For whom the Bells toll
Under The Flag
I Discover Love
Collapsing new People
One Man's Meat
And then we go folky...
Bridge St. Shuffle
The Liberty Tree
All That Is Mine
Worried Man (Live 2002)
Chasing The Blues Away (Live 2002)
A 1980s interview on the telly.