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Fugu

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There are two artists using the name Fugu. One is a 1) French 1-man band; the other is a 2) Dutch band.

1) Fugu a.k.a Mehdi Zannad is a one-man-band from France. the idea of Fugu germinated while he was studying architecture in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in 1993, as his first demo lead him to record a 7” on Liverpool label “Sugarfrost”. A couple of years later, with encouragements from both High Llamas’ Sean O’Hagan and Stereolab, Mehdi recorded his first E.P and a handful of 7” singles (among them, a split single with Stereolab, another one with St Etienne and a favourite, “F31-she’s coming over” on Elefant records). Fugu’s first album, “Fugu 1” was conceived as an idiosyncratic baroque sequel to “Sgt Pepper” meeting “Smile” and meant to be made in perfect 60’s facsimile. It gained critical success, got released in US by Minty Fresh and in France on Yann-“Amelie’s” fame-Tiersen label “Ici d’Ailleurs”. “For Us Records”, the in-house label of the Rough Trade Shop released it on vinyl in the UK and it became album of the week on Xfm. Fugu then opened for Stereolab on a coast-to-coast US tour which started at SF’s Fillmore East and ended at the Irving Plaza in NY. Mehdi collaborated on “happy-go-unlucky”, the last Lp from ultra-talented songwriter John Cunningham, who was part of the Fugu line-up for the US tour. Straightforwardness was the idea for “as found” which has just been released in France and Japan. These are pop songs in the true sense and most classical “canon”, tackling US 70’s early powerpop, post-60’s Beach Boys and McCartney in his first solo album impersonation.

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