Thursday, 3 September 2009

FRANK CHICKENS - FAT SAMS - 1986

These lassies made me laugh when I went to see them play. Called, Frank Chickens, I caught them live at Fat Sams in 1986. Two Japanese girls - Kazuko Hohki & Kazumi Taguchi, and although both are singers/musicians, I think you could also add "performance artistes" as well, because they kind of acted out each song on stage, usually in a comical manner. They wore matching white dungarees (or was it boiler suits), and they had a great rapport with the crowd...plenty witty banter flying around all night.
I got handed this cassette from them in Fatties, containing a few live tracks recorded that year, so thought I'd let you hear a track to give you an idea of how they sounded on stage. This particular track below, "Blue Canary", always brings a smile to my face every time I recall them performing it. During the "jungle noises" part of the song, the pair whipped out 2 shopping bags, as if they'd just raided John Menzies toy dept, then proceeded to play with squeaky ducks, whistles, wind-up animals etc, much to the amusement of the crowd.
There is a band line-up listed on the cassette cover but I'm fairly sure they just used backing tapes on the night.
2 of the musicians mentioned I recognise though - Steve Beresford & David Toop, a couple of music heavyweights, both serious music critics/journalists (Wire mag etc) as well as recording artists in their own right.
Blue Canary was also one of John Peels faves.


3 comments:

  1. I remember seeing them support someone at the Uni around about 1984. Might have been the Kane Gang.

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  2. They supported Billy Bragg & Hank Wangford at DUSA. It must have been around 84. I remember they all did an encore of Route 66, but changed it to something like M56. 'We Are Frank Chickens' is worth a listen. It certainly got played a good bit in the shop when it came out.

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  3. It was in October 1984. The Frank Chikens stole the show at The Big Rig Disco in the Students Union, Billy Bragg coming second and Hank Wangford 3rd in my opinion. Pretending to be flies with sieves for eyes, amongst other costumes. It was a memorable evening.

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