Saturday, January 17, 2009

a blog without qualities: New Fast Automatic Daffodils

Today we're taking a slight detour from the producers/5 songs memes I've been developing on the blog. Instead, per request, let's explore one of the lesser-known acts that came about during the "Madchester" era of Manchester music 1988-1992, New Fast Automatic Daffodils.

While not a Madchester act per se, the New FADs benefitted exposure-wise from coming out of Manchester during this hotbed of musical activity. Bereft of baggy, yet funky and scratchy, the New FADs took The Fall, Wire, dub and indie and created their own unique thing, topped off with stream-of-consciousness "vocals" from actor Andy Spearpoint.

It's funny... Most bands it's fairly easy to describe their sound, but with the New FADs, I'm skint. So you'll just have to hear for yourself below.

The internets are fairly bereft of New FADs discussion, but here is an (inactive) fansite that has a bit more info on the band.

I saw the New FADs in 1991 in Chicago at the Metro, opening for Neds Atomic Dustbin and Urge Overkill (yes, an oddball pairing, we left after the New FADs played...), as well as at an instore performance at Chicago's Reckless Records the same afternoon. Great, great live band, very tight, and I had a chance to chat with them all at the instore - as you'd imagine, they're "nice people to do business with" and were very cool indeed.

Today's selection, split into two RAR files (, features their collected works from 1989 thru 1991. They went on to record two more LPs after this era, but IMHO this is their best.


(you'll have to download both files to extract, it's one archive split into two files)

What's missing? The Peel Sessions EP, which I'm saving for a future entry.
(edit: Future entry posted.)


LIONS (single)

(Debut single, 1989 Playtime Records AMUSE 04T)

01 Lions (extra track on Music Is Shit 3" CD)
02 Fate Don't Fail Me Now
03 Your Dreams My Nightmares
(tracks 2 and 3 are the b-sides taken from vinyl)


(Compilation CD, 1989 Sheer Joy SHEER CD001)

04 Jaggerbog


(1989 Playtime Records AMUSE 06CD)

05 Beam Me Up
06 A Man Without Qualities
07 Music Is Shit

BIG (single)

(1990 Playtime Records AMUSE 07CD)

08 Big (original single version)
09 Big (edit)
10 Big (baka)

FISHES EYES (single)

(1990 Play It Again Sam Records BIAS 162CD)

11 Fishes Eyes (original single recording, different from the album version)
12 Fishes Eyes (underwater) (mixed by Slow Bongo Floyd)
13 White


(1990 Play It Again Sam Records BIAS 185CD)

14 Get Better
15 Fishes Eyes
16 (interlude)
17 Working For Him
18 Part 4
19 Big
20 You Were Lying When You Said You Loved Me
21 Amplifier
22 Reprise
23 Partial
24 Penguins
25 (untitled outtro)

GET BETTER (single)

(1991 Play It Again Sam Records BIAS 193CD)

26 Get Better (single version)
27 Pigeonhole
28 I Found Myself In Another Room
29 Get Better (Version 1)


(1991 Play It Again Sam Records BIAS 199CD)

30 All Over My Face
31 All Over My Face (Split Decision mix)
32 All Over My Face (Off The Road)
33 Why The Hard Man Fail


Hope you enjoy it all!


  1. There's at least 1 track missing here, Big (instrumental) from the Big 12"/CD single. I don't know of any other released tracks from this era that aren't here! I will upload the instrumental track at some point for everyone...

  2. Hey there,
    Gotta thank you greatly for those files, I've been on the lookout for MP3s of the first two EP's for ages as I only have the vinyl versions & no longer have a fully functional my collection is complete & I can die a happy man, although with so much quality music to listen to I fear that would be a bit of a waste...THANKS AGAIN!
    Rico Von Smallhausen.

  3. Thanks so much for posting all of this! Loved the band back in the late 80s/early 90s (even managed to interview them for my college paper when they made it all the way out to Los Angeles) and I've been trying to track down the early 12" singles on MP3 for years now (after having my vinyl "borrowed" indefinitely by a disappearing deadbeat). So incredible to finally hear "A Man Without Qualities", "Music Is Shit" and "Beam Me Up" after all these years. Keep up the great work, your blog is fantastic!

  4. glad you guys enjoyed the New Fads links!

  5. I was studying and working in Yorkshire between 1988 and 1995. Looking back now, I didn't go to anywhere near enough gigs (some of the things I missed make me want to go back and kick my younger self, hard). I did, however, manage to catch New FADS live quite a few times and they were always fantastic. Thanks for these uploads, I have all the original singles on vinyl so these are very welcome.

    Missing tracks - my vinyl copy of Pigeonhole has a free 7" which includes a cover of the Velvet Underground's 'I'm Set Free'

    Just found your blog yesterday, great work, I'm already on the RSS feed. You may find something of interest here, if you're not already aware of the site:
    Another person doing some great archiving work.

  6. I spent the early nineties playing guitar in a band called Hug. Our proudest moment was clinching the tour support for the FADS on the Its Not What You Know tour. Four unforgetable weeks. They were great guys to know and we had riot but we also got to watch them every night playing on real form. We had to ban everyone from singing Stockholm in our van as it was just so infectious you couldn't get it out of your head.

    We managed to persuade Feargal Sharkey (then an A&R man for Colombia or one of the majors) to come and see us at the London show. I took him backstage to meet New FADS who were not expecting this. Turned out that Justin had been an Undertones fanatic in his teens and his usually sardonic cool evaporated leaving him speechless which was probably just as well as he was on the brink of falling on the floor in Wayne's World "We're not worthy" mode.

    A year later things fell apart for Hug and a year after that for New FADS despite producing Love It All - still one of my favourite all time albums and surely one of the most cruelly overlooked masterpieces. It's difficult to come to terms with your dream crumbling but "Kill My Instincts" from that album certainly helped put disillusion with the music biz into perspective - "As you pull another teenage combo in out of the limbo - you know how to kill my instincts. A week or two and we'll call you.." - genius.

  7. Full UK "Big" CD single, and the Peel Sessions, posted now. Get it here!

  8. Any chance of reupping pt 1 please? All I'm getting is "download session has expired".

    I've been able to download pt 2 without a problem.


  9. copy of pigeonhole has a couple extra tracks. the 'outro' track that you have listed isn't on mine, and the last two tracks are 'i found myself in another room' and 'pigeonhole.'
    just sayin'

    thanks for everything else, though! i've been looking for the EPs and singles forever! i only had the LPs and the Peel Sessions.

  10. I'm late on these commments, but I have to agree with GeorgeK above - Love It All, great album. It'll be recognised one day.

  11. What about the Extended Mix of "Get Better" off the US CDsingle for "Big"? Also the Velvet Underground cover of "I'm Set Free" off the 7" as mentioned above. And I think you should give the second and third albums another try. There are some sublime moments on those albums and their accompanying singles/EPs. "Aches & Pains", a b-side off the last album, makes me shiver.