Frank Sidebottom - C or D ?

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so, is he 'fantastic' or 'bobbins' ? and where is he now ? I used to go and see his gigs about ten years ago, around the time he started to become a fixture on silly tv shows. Who can forget as well his cameo as a warm-up for the epic Man Utd-Oldham FA Cup semi in 1990 - imagine the suits at the FA allowing that now, 'new' footy and all ?

darren (darren), Friday, 9 May 2003 10:30 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

For me, he was classic until the joke wore off. I loved what he was because it was so so silly at a time when rank, po-facedness in UK pop culture and humour hadn't quite yet been vanquished by the Acid and Baggy generation. And for Little Frank. And for having a Kylie fixation years and years before she became SexKylie or the bottom-showing icon of today.

darren (darren), Friday, 9 May 2003 10:34 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I saw him once on TV, and he was talking about how to be TV personality you had to have a gimic, and his was a garish tie.

DV (dirtyvicar), Friday, 9 May 2003 10:40 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Classic. I remember him from various TV shows of the same period Darren describes, I always enjoyed him. He also had a regular page in Oink! Comic too, which was ace. I believe the guy who plays him, Chris Seivey (sp?) still occasionally does the odd infrequent gig as Frank.

This site has lots on him, though it hasn't been updated for three years.

Chriddof (Chriddof), Friday, 9 May 2003 11:52 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

classic of course! oh yes

gareth (gareth), Friday, 9 May 2003 11:56 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

80s comedy genes were a little more.. all over the place than they are now.

N. (nickdastoor), Friday, 9 May 2003 12:09 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I can't for the life of me remember anything about his version of 'Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite' on that 1987 Sgt Pepper Knew My Father compilation. It's odd cause I rememeber the other tracks pretty well.

N. (nickdastoor), Friday, 9 May 2003 12:12 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

He is my uncle.

Momus (Momus), Friday, 9 May 2003 12:40 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

His '...Mr Kite' was, as you might expect, pretty nasal.

Definitely classic. Oh yes he was. He really was.

And I remember the pre-papier mache head Chris Sievey stuff fondly too. 'I'm in love with the girl from the Manchester Virgin Megastore checkout desk' etc.

James Ball (James Ball), Friday, 9 May 2003 14:28 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I think he was very good indeed and if anybody can copy me all his records, I'll tell you about the time I saw him with his head off. OK, I'll tell you anyway - he was quite unpleasant. I particularly enjoyed his Tribute to Freddie Mercury - apparently he was watching Live Aid and Queen were so good he had to take the back off his telly and pour water inside.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller), Friday, 9 May 2003 19:28 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

A unique man. Fantastic audience participation at his gigs, with his call and response songs, such as Guess Who's Been on Match of The Day. You'd think it would be too culture-bound, but I know Japanese people who are wild about him.

Daniel (dancity), Friday, 9 May 2003 21:40 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I thought he was awful. Painfully unfunny. Am I the only h@t@? I am amazed!!

Pashmina (Pashmina), Saturday, 10 May 2003 00:31 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Classic, simply on the strength of his version of "Flying" on some Beatles tribute album or other. To which he added his own lyrics (you must sing these in your head in the Sidebottom accent for full effect):

We are The Beatles
There are four of us
Direct from Liverpool
We came in on the bus
John Paul George and Ringo
John Paul George and Ringo, that is us

John plays electric guitar
Ringo has loads of rings
George plays another guitar
And Paul McCartney sings
And then one day they broke up
And Paul McCartney formed Wings
Oh yes he did
He really did

Douglas (Douglas), Saturday, 10 May 2003 01:35 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

he used to do almost endless contributions - was it an a to z of stars? - to Mark Radcliffe's Hit The North on proper Radio 5 years ago. You just knew he had the head on when he did it...

simon b, Monday, 12 May 2003 11:33 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

The comedian behind cult character Frank Sidebottom has revealed he is fighting cancer. Chris Sievey is facing an operation to remove a tumour in his chest.

But Chris, from Timperley, near Altrincham, said: "I am very well. You have got to be chipper and fight it. You have got to be positive. The show must go on."

The papier mache-headed character became famous in the eighties. He has hosted television and radio shows and TV news reports as well as starring in a commercial. His stand-up shows remain firm family favourites.

Chris, who would only speak to the M.E.N in character, said: "I am OK and I am going to be OK. It is just bobbins. I have had worse. I had a cold over Christmas and that was worse."

James Mitchell, Monday, 17 May 2010 08:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

Weird, I was just thinking about him the other day. I was in Manchester and saw that he had signed his name on the cafe wall I was eating my breakfast in. Is he really Momus's uncle?

Ned Trifle II, Monday, 17 May 2010 08:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

S(i)everely unlikely.

Mark G, Monday, 17 May 2010 08:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Comedy legend Frank Sidebottom has died after he was found collapsed at his home in Hale.
The comedian, whose real name was Chris Sievey, was recovering from an operation to remove a tumour from his chest.
His comic creation Frank, known for an outsized papier-mache head, became famous in the 1980s and went on to have his own radio and TV shows.
Only last week he launched a comedy song for the World Cup, titled Three Shirts On My Line. He posted a message on his Twitter account on Sunday morning saying: "I'm still feeling very poorly".
Mr Sievey was found collapsed at his home in Hawthorn Road, Hale, by his girlfriend and she called an ambulance at 12.40 am on Monday.
It is understood he was still alive when the ambulance arrived and he was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital but he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

mdskltr (blueski), Monday, 21 June 2010 16:01 (eight years ago) Permalink


ailsa, Monday, 21 June 2010 16:10 (eight years ago) Permalink


henri grenouille (Frogman Henry), Monday, 21 June 2010 16:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

Never got his particular joke, but still, sad times.

Background Zombie (CharlieNo4), Monday, 21 June 2010 16:13 (eight years ago) Permalink


display-name aesthete (snoball), Monday, 21 June 2010 16:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

you know he's dead
he's really dead

zappi, Monday, 21 June 2010 16:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

There's something really sad and a bit eerie and seeing people's final tweets from like 19 hours before their death. Looks like he was still planning to attend gigs. Very sad.

Vulvuzela (Matt DC), Monday, 21 June 2010 16:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

Very sad.

fit and working again, Monday, 21 June 2010 16:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

Damn, what a shocker. Amazing how he could make a career out of one joke last for 25 years, though was rather fond of his version of Anarchy in the UK back in the day.

State Attorney Foxhart Cubycheck (Billy Dods), Monday, 21 June 2010 16:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

very fucking sad about this.... so many great reworkings of classic songs.

Feel lucky to have seen him live a few times - good clean fun!... I still have the t-shirt he sold me about 20 years ago..

RIP Frank...

Deluxe Merseybeat Wig (Jack Battery-Pack), Monday, 21 June 2010 17:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

Mods please updated with an RIP..

Right now, Frank is 2nd in the Twitter trend list... crazy...

Deluxe Merseybeat Wig (Jack Battery-Pack), Monday, 21 June 2010 17:11 (eight years ago) Permalink


James Mitchell, Monday, 21 June 2010 17:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

No wonder that second album took so long:

James Mitchell, Monday, 21 June 2010 20:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

christ, RIP dude

Mark Ronson: "Led Zeppelin were responsible for hip-hop" (acoleuthic), Monday, 21 June 2010 21:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

RIP. I bought his computer game back in the day, a music biz simulation thingy for the Spectrum.

anatol_merklich, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 09:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

There is no truth in the scurrilous rumour that Chris Sievey was Frank Sidebottom. I interviewed the pair of them on the phone for my ‘North Will Rise Again’ oral history of Manchester book and after about an hour of brilliant stuff from Chris I asked him about Frank figuring he must know something about the nasally comic genius.
The phone went click.
A few minutes later the phone rang and oddly it was Frank on the phone coincidentally ringing to sort out an interview.
Nice obit by John Robb:

James Mitchell, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 09:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

The comic genius behind Mancunian legend Frank Sidebottom is facing a pauper's funeral after dying virtually penniless.

Chris Sievey, whose alter-ego became a comedy icon thanks to his over-sized papier-mache head, had no assets and little money in the bank, his family have revealed.

Chris leaves sons Stirling, 31, and Harry, 18, and daughter Asher, 30. Stirling said the family have been in discussion with hospital bereavement officers and a funeral director.

He said: "My father has not left any money behind and we are struggling to try and sort his funeral out. He spent money as it came in and was always a man for the moment. He never planned ahead. We have spoken to a funeral director and the sort of figures that they are talking about are too high."

James Mitchell, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 08:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

Did a gig with Frank almost 4 years ago to the day. It was a 2006 world cup gig with England v Trinidad on a big screen followed by a the bands, followed by Frank. Chris and his manager/promoter had driven down from Manc in a van with his keyboards, Frank's heads/costumes and a mountain of wholesaler's boxes of crisps and cheese puffs which they continually served out to fans watching the game in the bar of the Bull & Gate. Out of costume, he was a small, retiring figure who sat nervously on his own. As Frank, even though everyone knew all the material backwards, he was warm, larger-than-life and v.v funny. RIP

Dr.C, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 08:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

even though everyone knew all the material backwards

I think a major part of Franks appeal was that fact that the audience participated and was part of the show..

Deluxe Merseybeat Wig (Jack Battery-Pack), Wednesday, 23 June 2010 11:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

you can help pay for Franks funeral expenses here

zappi, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 12:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

it would appear that frank is well regarded as they've raised more than enough already, about £6k in a few hours

(but don't let that stop you)

koogs, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 12:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

(oops, extraneous ""s, was going to try and explain why jon ronson is involved, but i'm not sure myself 8)

koogs, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 12:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

JRonson is another of Chris Sievey's past associates, along with Caroline Aherne, etc.

Mark G, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 17:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Guess Who's Been On Match Of The Day? is currently at number 46 on the pop charts.

James Mitchell, Wednesday, 7 July 2010 21:52 (eight years ago) Permalink


Mark G, Thursday, 8 July 2010 07:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

Think it's higher than that now.

James Mitchell, Thursday, 8 July 2010 07:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

Go Frank!

Mark G, Thursday, 8 July 2010 07:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

There's a celebration of him tonight, somewhere in Manchester. Don't know the details though.

djh, Thursday, 8 July 2010 12:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

number 22 or something now. i've bought it.

Humbert Humberto Suazo (jim in glasgow), Thursday, 8 July 2010 15:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Because of the sheer amount of love and goodwill, the family have also
agreed to host another seperate send-off for Frank Sidebottom which will be
held at Castlefield Arena on 8th July between 7:00pm and 10:00pm. The event
is totally free and will feature the likes of Badly Drawn Boy, Charlie
Chuck and others. More details can be found at "

koogs, Thursday, 8 July 2010 16:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

No, not at all. It's quite good though. Well, it's hit and miss throughout but really nails the ending.

Insane Prince of False Binaries (Gukbe), Thursday, 28 August 2014 05:17 (four years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

What a very strange film...

Non-Stop Hongrotic Cabaret (dog latin), Monday, 29 September 2014 09:53 (four years ago) Permalink

Took me ages to realise the bits when Frank was speaking because of the US accent. Huge tonal shifts all over the shop, especially in the last third. Had trouble understanding many of the characters' motivations. Sometimes it played out like a whimsical UK comedy drama, other times like an avant-garde Spinal Tap, and other times like a surrealist Silver Linings Playbook. I was never sure whether the music Frank's band was making was supposed to be fractured genius or a deluded experiment...

And yet somehow it worked. I was enchanted by this film for the most part and I feel as though it's going to stay with me for a long while.

Non-Stop Hongrotic Cabaret (dog latin), Monday, 29 September 2014 09:58 (four years ago) Permalink

did you guys really like the ending that much?

Non-Stop Hongrotic Cabaret (dog latin), Monday, 29 September 2014 10:01 (four years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Yeah, I liked the ending.

Mark G, Monday, 20 October 2014 13:47 (four years ago) Permalink

he just showed up without his mask and had a bit of a cry didn't he? maybe i expected more...

Shepard Toney Album (dog latin), Monday, 20 October 2014 13:48 (four years ago) Permalink

It was sentimental as hell: he had his defences broken forever, thought he couldn't do it without, managed to overcome and take steps forward. Naked and vulnerable.


(last sentence a bit spoilery, so removed: available on application)

Actually, I have had a great idea...

Mark G, Monday, 20 October 2014 14:32 (four years ago) Permalink

Spoiler post location, click and read if you are OK with it

Posted the spoilery bit here. Up to you.

Mark G, Monday, 20 October 2014 14:36 (four years ago) Permalink

Yeah, sorry everyone. That was my bad.

Shepard Toney Album (dog latin), Monday, 20 October 2014 14:40 (four years ago) Permalink

I think the whole 'who is Frank?' part was the least interesting bit about it for me. Once they went to SXSW, I felt the film sag a bit and I'd have sort of been happy with a sort of no-wave Spinal Tap movie with a very eccentric frontman.

Shepard Toney Album (dog latin), Monday, 20 October 2014 14:48 (four years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Bearing in mind that I had no knowledge or comprehension of who/what Frank Sidebottom was, I thought that the movie was very good.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 11 November 2014 01:37 (four years ago) Permalink

Probably makes it easier.

Mark G, Tuesday, 11 November 2014 10:37 (four years ago) Permalink

YEah, it's got nothing to do with the OG Frank Sidebottom

joni mitchell jarre (dog latin), Tuesday, 11 November 2014 10:57 (four years ago) Permalink

People who liked this should also see 'We Are The Best'.

joni mitchell jarre (dog latin), Tuesday, 11 November 2014 10:57 (four years ago) Permalink

If this is nothing to do with the original Sidebottom, then why use a similar mask and name. I don't understand.

(not seen the film btw)

Drop soap, not bombs (Ste), Tuesday, 11 November 2014 11:27 (four years ago) Permalink

nobody understands. i don't.

joni mitchell jarre (dog latin), Tuesday, 11 November 2014 11:33 (four years ago) Permalink

it took me ages to realise it was 'Frank' talking in the film, because he had a US accent.

joni mitchell jarre (dog latin), Tuesday, 11 November 2014 11:34 (four years ago) Permalink

If you want to know why, seek out Jon Ronson's "Frank" the making of the movie, hardback, small but cheap.

If not, stick with "they used a similar mask and name" and leave it at that.

In other news, I did get the original soundtrack CD for this film, I liked it a lot. I have placed it next to my Frank Sidebottom CD box set , they seem to be coexisting OK, so far

Mark G, Tuesday, 11 November 2014 12:28 (four years ago) Permalink

Another movie to come?

Mark G, Wednesday, 19 November 2014 01:46 (four years ago) Permalink


Mark G, Wednesday, 19 November 2014 10:45 (four years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

the film 'frank' is great, one of the best films about music i've seen

it entirely sympathises with frank and his band, and turns its gormless narrator/observer into a genuine monster, the aggressively vapid carcass of british indie and social media valorisation inflicted on the delicate integrity of artists. and yeah, the closing movement is absolutely incredible. the song, my god the song! and then the final five seconds are up there in final five seconds of any movie i've seen - it's perfect, a sort of miniature musical manifesto, a purging of evil

imago, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 15:39 (four years ago) Permalink

I had to seek out the soundtrack album. There is one.

It is also awesome...

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 15:44 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm really going to have to watch this again. As much as I enjoyed the film, I'm not sure I absorbed the whole thing, especially things like:

turns its gormless narrator/observer into a genuine monster

really? how so?

and I didn't notice anything remarkable about the ending at all?

dive inside water and you will know (dog latin), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 16:16 (four years ago) Permalink

A good companion to this film though is Moodysson's 'We Are The Best'

dive inside water and you will know (dog latin), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 16:16 (four years ago) Permalink

Now it's funny/appropriate you mention the Moodyson in context of _Frank_ in that this piece yesterday talks about both through the lens of the tortured artist myth (and a reaction to it in the context of these films):

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 16:25 (four years ago) Permalink

xpost because he ends up taking over the situation, separating Frank from the rest of the band, passively, to the point where the SXSQ performance is Jon doing his 'nice' songs while Frank stands by and is the focus of attention. And Jon loving it.

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 16:35 (four years ago) Permalink

that article, on frank at least, is self-contradictory and point-missing imo

imago, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 17:14 (four years ago) Permalink

I liked this movie but with reservations. The music was a let-down tbh (not talking about the final scene here). just this guy who was so into creating this select group of people to surround himself with and to play music with and yet his expression of himself was some ridiculous sub-Doors twaddle. thought that was lamely played for laughs rather than providing some illumination as to who/what Frank was.

everyday sheeple (Michael B), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 17:43 (four years ago) Permalink

Well, I thought so as well, but the songs on the soundtrack (effectively the 2nd time of hearing) I liked better.

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 17:54 (four years ago) Permalink

What's the chance of a Beefheart biopic d'ye reckon? Could be a cross between this and that Charles Manson movie, "Helter Skelter"?

Letsby Avenue (Tom D.), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 17:56 (four years ago) Permalink

Well, now this film exists, I can't see it happening.

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 17:59 (four years ago) Permalink

I imagine there would be legal problems too... plus people might not believe it could actually have happened.

Letsby Avenue (Tom D.), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 18:01 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

britishers: 'Frank' is on film4 tonight at 22:40

koogs, Wednesday, 31 August 2016 15:59 (two years ago) Permalink

Britishers: don't bother it's rubbish

ewar woowar (or something), Wednesday, 31 August 2016 19:35 (two years ago) Permalink

No it isn't.

Mark G, Wednesday, 31 August 2016 19:57 (two years ago) Permalink

it looks bobbins

ælərdaɪs (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 31 August 2016 19:58 (two years ago) Permalink

it's quite good, great ending

imago, Wednesday, 31 August 2016 19:59 (two years ago) Permalink

trailer does not entice

wan bobolink (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 31 August 2016 20:02 (two years ago) Permalink

don't suppose i'm the target market tho

wan bobolink (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 31 August 2016 20:03 (two years ago) Permalink

Thread idea:

Self-discipline: what are you the target market for?

poor fiddy-less albion (darraghmac), Wednesday, 31 August 2016 20:36 (two years ago) Permalink

cider, cheese snacks

wan bobolink (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 31 August 2016 20:43 (two years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

This was not a very good movie. Not helped by Domnhall Gleeson being almost inexplicably terrible.

I felt like its treatment of mental illness was completely uneven, and it very much confused what the movie was supposed to be about. The ending is a relief, mostly because you finally get to hear Frank and his band play a whole goddamn song.

El Tomboto, Sunday, 29 January 2017 04:07 (two years ago) Permalink

(Gleeson's been good playing an earnest yet self-serving twit elsewhere, namely Ex Machina, so I can't figure out what happened here other than weak material)

El Tomboto, Sunday, 29 January 2017 04:12 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

The 'Real' Frank Sidebottom docu-movie is finally getting its previews and release and so on!

Mark G, Wednesday, 14 March 2018 19:44 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

A review of the new documentary

The reviewer isn't familiar with Frank and doesn't seem to quite catch what he's all about so maybe the film misses the mark a bit? Still, can't wait to see this.

everything, Saturday, 14 April 2018 00:27 (one year ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...
two weeks pass...


El Tomboto, Sunday, 14 April 2019 13:01 (two months ago) Permalink

Boffins and bobbins in the same sentence but not in the title? :(

StanM, Sunday, 14 April 2019 13:41 (two months ago) Permalink

Gratifying to see the British secret services are good for least one thing.

Do you like 70s hard rock with a guitar hero? (Tom D.), Sunday, 14 April 2019 13:42 (two months ago) Permalink

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