Jon Ronson at the Dancehouse 30/3/14
Frank Sidebottom is not everyone’s cup of surreal nonsense. Half my chums still don’t understand why I find his silly and innocent escapades utterly hilarious. But they are.
Guardian journalist Jon Ronson was a member of Frank’s band. He has also written the screenplay for the forthcoming ‘Frank’ film in which bizarrely Michael Fassbender plays a version of Frank. Everything about Frank Sidebottom is brilliantly bizarre.
I strolled out to the Dancehouse on a hungover Sunday to watch Jon Ronson do a lecture about his adventures with him. I really should have remembered to take my ticket with me; fun at the door as I blagged my way in: “I’m Frank’s biggest fan!” Oh go on then…
The place was pretty much a sell out; a great tribute to his cultish popularity.
The lecture was half about Frank and half about Jon; a talk about growing up as a geeky bloke and then joining one of the craziest groups ever to exist. It was like listening to Woody Allen as if he’d joined Captain Beefheart’s band. Daft, funny, strange and very, very funny.
Tales were regaled about how all his tunes consisted of only three notes (C, F and G), the time they supporting Bros and brilliantly covered all of Bros’ tunes beforehand. Jon also mentioned the other criminally underrated outsider Manchester artist Edward Barton.
Chris Sievey- Frank Sidebottom- was an odd character; a character with two distinct personalities. When he was Chris he had real life problems with drink and drugs, when he was Frank he was an innocent man-child who did his shopping for his Mum in Timperely.
I saw Frank for the first time live in 1988. Me and my brother started a stage invasion towards the end of the gig. A bunch of blokes joined us on the stage and tried to pull his head off. Me and my brother battered them away shouting “Don’t destroy the magic!” Remember him this way; with his big paper mâché head on. RIP Mr. Sievey.