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A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2011 : THE FRED EP

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From Saturday 24 September 2011

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Now I never thought I’d feature anything by Right Said Fred on TVV. But there was a charidee EP released back in 1992 which might be of some interest:-

mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Deeply Dippy
mp3 : Flowered Up – Don’t Talk Just Kiss (edit)
mp3 : St Etienne – I’m Too Sexy (edit)

For those who perhaps don’t know, Right Said Fred were absolutely massive in the UK in 1991 and 92. Their first three singles, all of which are covered on this EP, went Top 3. Since then, they have continued to record and tour without achieving much in the way of chart success….but they have an incredibly loyal fan base which ensures their gigs tend to sell out.

The EP features three of the best-known artistes on Heavenly Records and all profits from the release went to supporting the AIDS charity, The Terence Higgins Trust. As with most charity records, the cause is better than the music…..none of the three songs featured do all that much for me I’m afraid to say.

But feel free to disagree.

THE ULTIMATE BAGGY BAND?

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I only own a few singles or tracks on compilation LPs but it strikes me that Flowered Up made the sort of music that perfectly captures the feel, mood and ambience of the baggy movement. The shuffling drums, rinky-dinky keyboards to the fore and occasional 60s style guitar solos and a vocalist who would nowadays be laughed off the stage on the telly talent shows searching for the next big star when all the while he has more charisma and style in his little toe than they have in their entire genetic structure.

The backbone of Flowered Up were brothers Liam Mahey (vocals) and Joe Mahey (guitar) augmented by Tom Dorney (keys), Andy Jackson (bass) and John Tuvey (drums). This most Madchester sounding of bands were from London and are probably best known for the song Weekender, a 13-minute long epic which preached the virtues of a full-on hedonistic lifestyle in which the band were keen to drive home the message the drugs do work. Despite a near universal lack of radio play, Weekender went Top 20 in the UK in 1992.

I much prefer however, one of the band’s flop singles from a couple of years earlier.

mp3 : Flowered Up – Phobia (extended play)
mp3 : Flowered Up – Flapping
mp3 : Flowered Up – Phobia (paranoid mix)

The real tragedy of the band is not that they weren’t nearly as successful as they deserved but that the Mahey brothers couldn’t shake the lifestyle long after the band broke up in the mid 90s with Liam dying of a heroin overdose in October 2009 while Joe passed away in November 2012, both in their early 40s.