This one crept back into my subconscious and playlist a few weeks ago and having revisited the single, the original version, the remix and parent album I can confirm it’s still stuck there. New Fast Automatic Daffodils were caught up in the Madchester scene and released some sublimely funky indie-dance-rock, sinewy basslines and scratchy guitars, left of centre and off kilter with singer Andy Spearpoint’s stream of lyrics adding to the fun- ‘the desert grow three miles a year, it just grows, it just grows, I put my pain in a jar, it will be full tomorrow’.

For the remix on the 12″ Jon da Silva added some dancefloor electronics and it is still cooking up a storm.

Big (Baka)

The Chart Show

The Chart Show was more or less the only place to watch videos in the late 80s and early 90s, MTV being the preserve of the well off. Every week it had a specialist chart, indie, dance or metal and was required viewing, often with a hangover and a day with no responsibilities in front of you. So, make yourself a cup of tea, sit back and slip back in time…

…to October 1989’s dance chart with Electribe 101 and De La Soul…

… and to the indie chart in April 1991, with New Fast Automatic Daffodils and The Shamen, showing dance’s influence on indie…

…and from a few years later, February 1994, this top ten run down has the mighty Inspiral Carpets and Mark E Smith collaboration and Suede…

No metal charts here I’m afraid but there’s plenty more where these clips came from if you look at the Youtube sidebar.


I’ve never been to Stockholm. I’ve been to Helsinki, which was lovely. Someday I’m going to do a Scandinavian tour. I’ll need to be significantly better off financially than I am now.

Stockholm was the title of the New Fast Automatic Daffodils’ single from their second album (Mind Body Exit). This doesn’t sound at all like the work of a Madchester band and in parts reminds me as much of Julian Cope’s early 90s work as anything. Good song- this is the five minute version rather than the three minute radio edit (which probably didn’t get very much radio airplay).


It Just Grows

If everyone who has left a comment below a New Fads song on Youtube or elsewhere saying how great they were had bought their records they’d surely have been millionaires. Fondly remembered, under-rated and a belting live band. The singer Andy Spearpoint’s wife/partner was a teacher at the school in Failsworth I did my first teaching practice in, back in 1993. We bumped into them in a Rusholme curry house once. I prevented myself from bumbling about what a good band they were. Which they really were.

Big was a hit on the indie chart and has busy percussion, some lovely off-centre horns, choppy guitar, a massive bassline and Andy’s cut-and-paste lyrics seemingly delivered from elsewhere. Indie-dance you can actually dance to if you’re so inclined.


>Let’s Call Flash Gordon

Much under-rated and way ahead of the times were Manchester’s New Fast Automatic Daffodils. They benefited from the Madchester hype and feeding frenzy but it didn’t translate into sales. I saw them live several times including one at Liverpool University where each Saturday a ‘secret’ band would perform for half an hour in the Union building. A screen would rise up to reveal the band, they got half an hour and then the screen dropped down. It was never much a secret who the band were, word being leaked to ensure people turned up I suppose. Paris Angels played there one time, frightening the student crowd, and also The Wedding Present, David Gedge in his soon to be trademark shorts after deciding gigging in jeans was too sweaty. It was very warm in there.

This is Fishes Eyes, a bass heavy groove with jagged guitar and sax, and Andy Spearpoint’s obtuse lyrics. They had a song, which I swear part of the lyric went ‘let’s call Flash Gordon’ but it’s not this one. Big maybe? Or Get Better? I can’t remember. Maybe I imagined it.