Fried Egg Records was a record label set up in 1979 by Andy Leighton, administrator of the Bristol based Crystal Theatre. Its first release was by the Theatres anarchic “house band” Shoes For Industry. In its short two year existence the label did manage to produce records from some of Bristols’ more notable bands, plus a compilation LP, E(gg)clectic 1.
Art Objects: New Wave “Art band” (1978–1981). Fronted by Bristol Beat Poet Gerard Langley, brother John Langley on drums, dancer Wojtek Dmochowski (all later of Blue Aeroplanes), Bill Stair, and brothers Jonjo and Robin Key (both simultaneously in the band Various Artists). After their Fried Egg single they released another single and the album ‘Bagpipe Music’ on Heartbeat Records.
Various Artists: Pop band fronted by Jonjo Key, brother Robin Key, bassist Christian Clarke and drummer John Langley. Released a track on Avon Calling, a Fried Egg single and the ‘Solo Album’ LP (VA 1) on their own label (this was later released in Japan on CD in 2002). Jon Jo and Robin later became Either/Or and released a single in Holland before signing to Virgin Records as Lovetrain and releasing a LP and 3 singles. According to Andy Leighton of Fried Egg, “…we got Trevor Horn…to see Various Artists for the second time, he wanted to sign them and record them. … the dream remained for a break out band, unfortunately Jon Jo … turned Trevor Horn’s overtures down and the main chance was gone.”
Pete Brandt’s Method: Large jazz-funk band, this was their only single. Pete Brandt is now producing melodic acoustic folk.
Exploding Seagulls: Manic guitar based band from Hampshire. Nick Jacobs (guitarist) joined up with ex-members of Art Objects to form The Blue Aeroplanes.
The Fans: Guitar band formed in 1978 in Bristol, England. Consisting of George Smith, Barry Cook, Tony Bird and Rob Williams, their first release was an EP with ‘Giving Me That Look In Your Eyes/Stay The Night’ and a version of Jim Reeves’ song ‘He'll Have To Go’. A second single in 1980 had ‘You Don't Live Here Anymore/Following you’, the band then split up. The Fans singles were picked up by Japanese indie label 1977 Records and re-released in 2001. A CD album containing the singles, demos and live recordings from a Bristol gig was released on 1977 Records in 2004. Japanese metal/punk band Brahman recorded a version of ‘You Don't Live Here Anymore’ in 2008 and The Fans have reformed to tour Japan in 2010.
Shoes For Industry: Crystal Theatres’ anarchic “house band”. Fried Egg Records was formed to release their 2 singles, and an album called ‘Talk Like A Whelk’. Their singer P. B. Davies provided the ‘Ideas Are Animals’ quintet of tracks on Bristol Recorder 3, he also performs at the Edinburgh Fringe and writes for radio.
The Stingrays: New Wave/Rockabilly band (1977-current). First single was on Fried Egg, second was on Circus Records, they also contributed a track to the LP Avon Calling. Band are still gigging, but out of Wales now.
The Untouchables: Youthful R’n’B band in the Dr. Feelgood model, so much so that Wilko Johnson produced their single for Fried Egg. Post break-up the vocalist Jerry Tremaine was filmed by Julien Temple singing with the original Feelgood line-up at Southend on 9 May 2008, as part of the annual Lee Brilleaux memorial.
The Viceroys: Rock band including Nick Sheppard and Mike Crawford, their only release was ‘Angels in the Rain’ on the Fried Egg World Tour EP, which was sold exclusively at gigs. Another Sheppard and Crawford band, The Spics, went on to play ‘Angels in the Rain’ at their very last appearance, on the BBC West TV arts show RPM.
Wild Beasts: R’n’B band, only released one single. Bassist and vocalist Andy Franks became a Tour Manager for Depeche Mode and drummer Ken Wheeler became a producer and ran Sound Conception recording studios.
Bristol Archive Records are currently providing Fried Egg back catalogue tracks for download, through the usual outlets (Amazon, iTunes, etc.). In February 2010 they released a CD of The Best of Fried Egg Records (Bristol 1979-1980), which consists of the LP E(gg)clectic 1 (FRY 002) plus 8 additional tracks.
The Best of Fried Egg Records (Bristol 1979-1980)
Shoes For Industry – Jerusalem
Pete Brandt’s Method – Positive Thinking
Art Objects – Hard Objects
Exploding Seagulls – Johnny Runs For Paregoric
The Wild Beasts – Minimum Maximum
Shoes For Industry – Invasion of the French Boyfriends
Various Artists – Original Mixed Up Kid
The Fans – Following You
The Stingrays - Exceptions
Various Artists – Unofficial Secrets
The Untouchables – Keep on Walking
Electric Guitars – Continental Shelf
The Fans – Giving Me That Look in Your Eye (Additional Track)
The Stingrays – Countdown (Additional Track)
Art Objects – Fit of Pique (Additional Track)
Electric Guitars – Health (Additional Track)
The Viceroys – Angels in the Rain (Demo/Additional Track)
Various Artists – Stephens Body (Additional Track)
Electric Guitars – Work (Demo/Additional Track)
Shoes For Industry – Sheepdog Trial Inna Babylon (Additional Track)