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Fishfood vs The Birth of Sharon

by Andy Fairley

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    100 copies on Yellow vinyl in a screen printed jacket. Insert signed by Howard Purse and Jimmy Galvin plus hand made and hand numbered limited to 100 copies replica cd

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Volition 03:36
Now 05:13
Film Titles 04:26
Dry Ice Hot 03:13



‘This album is like the missing link in Bristol's musical history. The good albums that is!! ‘

As the 1970s blurred into the 1980s, the sparks generated by the City's punk bands with their ‘can do attitude’ to the music business ignited and Bristol's music scene burst into life with a myriad of separate scenes springing up across the city, reggae, jazz, power pop, jazz funk and post punk. Many of the latter were part of what was called the Clifton set, named after Bristol's most famous Georgian suburb where they mostly lived, played and held court.

Alongside the better known Clifton bands, The Pop Group, Art Objects, Glaxo Babies, The Startled Insects and Rip Rig And Panic was Fishfood and its singer Andy Fairley who aptly enough was recruited, based mainly on appearance, in a Clifton pub. Like many great talents Andy burned brightly, but only for a short time, the nine tracks included here being the sum of his output recorded between 1980 and 1983.

The three Fish Food tracks are the earliest originally released in 1981 on the innovative “Bristol Recorder 2” compilation. The rest of the tracks are previously unreleased and date from three years later with Andy’s second band The Birth of Sharon. The music itself is experimental and avant garde, a mixture of influences from reggae to Captain Beefheart, from krautrock to industrial, from punk to funk, genuinely cutting edge; experimental there were no boundaries to their creativity.

This is a project born out of love for an artist that few have heard of. The album was compiled and the sleeve notes written by Howard Purse, who was Andy’s band mate in both bands. The sleeve design is a painting from local artist Jimmy Galvin who played guitar alongside Andy and Howard in The Birth of Sharon. Andy and his music touched them and thirty years later they wanted to expose it to a wider audience. Mike Darby and Bristol Archive Records are here for exactly this sort of project, genuinely original and creative music from Bristol’s past that has fallen through the cracks, blissfully ignored by the London centric music industry in the eighties it has finally found it's spiritual home with us.

The music touched others, especially musicians, The Pop Groups Mark Stewart calls Andy his generation's Chatterton, another great Bristolian talent lost at an early age, whilst Geoff Barrow chose Andy's music for Portishead to use as pre gig warm up soundtrack. Andy's music is still relevant today and now everyone can find out what the fuss is about and ponder over what might have been.

Andy Fairley’s “Fishfood vs. The Birth of Sharon” is released by Bristol Archive Records on 3rd February 2014 available on Limited Edition Vinyl with screen printed jacket, CD and digital download.


released February 3, 2014

Side 1

1. The Art of Wanking (Fairley, Purse, Galvin)
2. Volition (Purse, Galvin, Boswell)
3. Now (Fairley, Purse, Galvin)
4. Modern Dance Craze (Purse)

Side 2

1. Sex Is A Language (Fairley, Purse, Galvin)
2. Film Titles (Fairley, Purse, Galvin, Boswell)
3. Dry Ice Hot (Purse)
4. Man Made It So (Fairley, Purse, Galvin)
5. Seventeen Eels (Purse)

Track 4 (Side 1) and 3 and 4 (Side 2) recorded at Crescent Studios, Bath Oct 1980. Engineered and Produced by David Lord and Steve Street

All other tracks recorded at SAM Studios, Bristol 1983. Engineered and Produced by Steve Street

Mastered by Steve Street Oct 2013


Fish Food

Andy Fairley Vocals
Howard Purse Guitar,
Doug White Bass guitar
Dan Swan Drums

The Birth of Sharon

Andy Fairley Vocals / percussion on 3.
Howard Purse Analogue synth, tapes, Bombard & Melodica on 1.
Jimmy Galvin Guitar
Rob Boswell Drums
John Trombone

Photos by Simon Archer

Cover painting by Jimmy Galvin ‘BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY’'

All Rights Reserved
P&C Bristol Archive Records 2014

All recordings licenced to Bristol Archive Records by Howard Purse and Jimmy Galvin

Bristol Archive Records wish to thank the following people for their help with this project: Howard, Jimmy, Thomas Brooman CBE, all at the Bristol Recorder 1980 , David Hill, Steve Street, Martin, Sam and most importantly all the artists and musicians.

Cut by Leon at The Music Room, London

Artwork on this release by samgilesdesign@gmail.com

This album is dedicated to Andy Fairley RIP

For further information please email: info@bristolarchiverecords.com

Bristol Archive Records is a sister label of:

All tracks published by Archive Publishing Ltd

Cat nos: ARC269V

Made in UK


all rights reserved



Bristol Archive Records UK

Bristol Archive Records is a record label dealing in reggae, punk, rock, metal, pop and post punk 1977 onwards.

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