1979 – present (40 years)
Family Fodder are a group of musicians based around Alig Fodder, often with French singer Dominique Levillain. Other core members are Ian Hill , Felix Fiedorowicz, Martin Frederix, Bazz Smith, Graham Painting, Mark Doffmann and Lynn Alice.
Family Fodder was formed in London around 1979, emerging from the post-punk melting-pot of '70s/'80s London alongside This Heat, Flying Lizards, The Pop Group, The Slits and many others. They released 11 vinyl singles and 3 albums before disbanding in 1983, but have been reforming sporadically ever since.
The original formula consisted of psychedelic and new wave influences, incisive song-writing, improvisation, experiment and far-out dub mixing. Lyrics are in English, French and German. They paid tribute to Debbie Harry in a song as well as made a cover (with a dub version) of Blondie's title 'Sunday Girl'. They also have a version of Syd Barrett's title 'No man's land'. Other known songs are ‘Playing Golf’ and ‘Savoir Faire’, and albums ‘Monkey Banana Kitchen’, ‘Sunday Girls’ and ‘Schizophrenia Party’.
Family Fodder was often more at home in the studio than on-stage, but completed several European tours as well as cherished performances in their native London.
The album " Classical Music" was released in 2010, coinciding with a flurry of musical activity from Alig. He recorded a track for artist David Shrigley’s new ‘Worried Noodles’ album; collaborated with Domino Records’ Psapp; has a 7” out on the Berlin Tom Lab label and just out is a new mini-album ‘Baby Talk’ as ‘Idol Fodder’ with Dominique’s daughter Darlini, on Slender Means Society. ‘More Great Hits!’ includes a brand new track ‘Hippy Chick’ (“Devon is full of them – it’s now 2nd and even 3rd generation hippy chicks”).
The album ‘Water Shed’ was released on US indie Dark Beloved Cloud along with other recordings. They’ve been covered by Unrest, Steveless and Zion Train, coveted by DFA Records and hailed as ‘unsung heroes’ in The Wire and elsewhere.
Reviewers are often effusive in their comments: -
‘A dozen shining moments turn arty abstraction into astonishingly delightful thinking man’s bubblegum. Debbie Harry is easily one of post-punk’s best and weirdest 45s.’ – CMJ New Music News.
‘Alig can write songs. Byrne-quality love-songs’ – New York Press.
‘Family Fodder exude an exhilarating sense that everything was possible, that there weren't any limits to imagination and humour. The scope of their musical range remains as dizzying and exciting as it once was.’ - Time Out New York
Some words from a fan…
“On the rare occasions I’ve had to describe Family Fodder I have not really been able to do it very well. I reviewed their strange 12” 45 rpm album ep thing from years ago and said it was “total mayhem” and involved “children singing and some hyper fast mental decisions”.
This album is really no different. I don’t think any children were involved this time but it is no less charming. Musically I’ve got no idea what they are up to (just like before), but what they manage to create is a strange engaging sort of sound that messes with your head in a most peculiar way. It’s a little invasive, and very touching at the same time, a bit like being beaten to sleep, or having sex with a big cactus. The influences that seep through the album come from all corners of the globe and the mind, there are unexpected instruments, bizarre arrangements, plinks where you expect plonks and other things, including warped hooky vocals and really clever bits that you’ll only get after about ten listens. It’s possibly best if I sum it up as something like nothing else. And if you can think of something Family Fodder sound like then please let me know.
I’ve just realised children are involved.”
Jonny Trunk 2010
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