(all pics c/o Rich Cundill)
1983 – 1985
Dominic Milne (bass / vocals)
Rich Cundill (guitars)
Martin King (drums)
John Lee (rhythm guitar)
Phil McNamara (guitars)
Fun N Frenzy formed in 1983. Rich had previously been in Fiction Romance with Ingo Dewsnap, Sharon Green and Steve Cuerton. Dominic, Rich and Martin had all at various points in time been members of Pete Stitt’s Strange Ways who had released the excellent Years Of Pain / I Don’t Know Who She Is single in 1982. Dom had been ever present bass player and Rich and Martin joined towards the end of that band. Pete and his partner had a baby on the way and therefore his energies were otherwise focussed…hence the birth of Fun N Frenzy (the name taken from a Josef K song).
Dom and Rich had a bunch of songs and new ones were very quickly emerging and being worked up via rehearsals at former Strange Ways guitarist Frank Johnson’s flat above his Dad’s dentist surgery on Spring Bank.
Early gigs included Melton Carnival, Spring Street Theatre (supporting Tracie & The Soul Squad), and a venue in Hornsea that nobody can remember. Early portastudio demos featured plenty of guitar parts that proved impossible to recreate live and so John Lee was drafted in on acoustic rhythm guitar. The other bonus being that he looked like Edwyn Collins.
Come early 1984 and the need to record a demo tape became apparent, in a bid to attract record companies, music press and radio stations. So three days in Fairview Studios in Willerby were booked and the three core members recorded eight songs with Roy Neave which quite excellently encapsulated what the band were about at this time.
That demo tape gleaned a lot of interest including an offer from Red Rhino in York to release a single. Red Rhino were part of the Rough Trade Cartel and there seemed to be some money being invested back into new bands at this time on the back of the success of The Smiths first album. So Fun N Frenzy grabbed the chance, went back into Fairview and spent 3 days re-recording Fallen Down In Love. Along with artwork by Danny Shackleton, Red Rhino released the 7” in May 1984 on local entrepreneur Dece Gambe’s Boiler Records imprint.
Feedback was very positive. A Melody Maker review ended with “so much talent, so little attention” and David ‘Kid’ Jensen chose it for his single of the week on his evening show. So signs of great progress being made.
A conscious decision was made to scale down the gigging and focus on aiming to convince a record company to stump up money for an album. This was kinda the beginning of the end. A poor performance dogged by dodgy hippy PA engineers supporting Tones On Tails at The Tower, was followed by Fun N Frenzy’s last gig at Hull University Xmas Ball in December 1984. John Peel was headlining with FnF and the Frank Chickens supporting. It was far and away the best gig the band ever played – ironic really.
Priorities changed to more demos in a bid to get a record deal. But money was tight, Fairview couldn’t be afforded and despite great help from old mate Phil McNamara and musician pals Grant Ardis, Kev Precious and Tim Allison helping out where they could, the resulting demos lost a lot of the original Fun N Frenzy focus. Eventually Dom and Rich conceded the fun (and indeed the …oh no I can’t!) had gone out of it and the band split in mid 1985.
The single remains a great recording of an excellent song. And the band were pleased as hell to see it included on the Fairview compilation A Perfect Combination in 2016.
The Melton Carnival photos shown on this page were taken by Tracy Pulford (later to become Tracy Cundill).
Fallen Down In Love / Untouchable Divine (7″) – Boiler Records, 1984
A Perfect Combination (CD) – Fairview, 2016 (track – “Fallen Down In Love”)