Between 1984 and 1988, four people had played in various bands. 'Harold The Leper' and 'Rotten Swines', had Kieran Fleck, Lee Jorgensen, Jon Whitehead. THC had Kieran, Woody and later on Jon. 'Love Detonator'/'Cry Wolf' had Lee and Kieran again. Never had all four of them ever played together in the same band. Having met at Blackburn College, it was inevitable that some of them would go off to college to study further, thus preventing the three of them getting together in the forseable future.
1991 Lee returns from college, and along with Woody pay witness to a new and renewed upsurge in local bands playing in local venues to local people. This witnessing continues through into 1992 where it was decided that as a duo, fuelled by a love of the 'Cardiacs', could if accompanied by a drum machine, provide an outlet for the frustration they had been experiencing. That being, watching the same couple of bands, playing the same dodgy cover versions in the same local pub. A challenge was then initiated, to form a band, play their own material, in just one venue, if only to amuse themselves, and to proove they could do it.
With Kieran paying frequent visits from London to Blackburn, his interest in the idea of forming a band also grows. Lending Lee and Woody a small 4-track recorder, and a drum machine, on which they could record demo's of songs, so that when Kieran finally returned from London to live in Blackburn, he could join in with this musical creative merryment.
How and what were these funsters going to play, Lee desired the guitar, Woody the bass, Kieran having tinkered with keyboards decided that tinkling those ivories would solve many potential problems, and provide a more substantial sound on which 'FUNZiG' could be based.
Drums being required, but a drummer not being essential, as a drum machine could provide a much needed backbone without the physical emmensity of a drum kit. So for a few brief months the band that would become 'FUNZiG' remained a trio, songs would be written, arrangements arranged, and Lee decided, or was forced into the role of singer.
Nick brought a reggae backbeat to a diverse assortment of musical styles, and Pla, who also moved into the communal house, having known all the band at some point, was also asked to provide some musical input. Pla being of folky intent, played accoustic guitar and mandolin, and brought with him yet another dimension to the wild and wacky musical collective which was about to embark on the next stage. The band with no name required only one thing, a name.
It was during an all night party at the communal house, that Paul Dears was to be introduced to the band. Paul had written and produced a number of short films, one of which was entitled 'Funfzig Millionen, which detailed the descent into madness of the main character, caused by the watching of too many gameshows. This film and its subject appealed to the members of the band, and in some way described the eclectic approach they had to writing music, the final piece had made itself apparant, no need to search down the back of a litery sofa, a name was found, and the name was 'FUNZiG'. Over the next few months songs would be written, now it was time to present them.
It was time to get out of that damp cellar, and to see how people would respond to this mishapen style of music that five people with differing influences, had concocted. What better event than, new years eve 1992. Three bands would provide entertainment, 'FUNZiG', 'Honesty Box' (with Alan Hough) and 'Free Beer' playing Cajun style foot stomping Irish bog music. 'FUNZiG' went on with six songs and a surreal intent, what followed went beyond any of the band members expectation. Raptuous applause, lots of back slapping and shaking of hands, all kind of good words greeted 'FUNZiG' as they finished their set, 1993 would be an eventful year.
Taking the band to new frontiers would dictate most of 1993 for 'FUNZiG', playing Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Doncaster, Leeds, Burnley and Preston. With an assortment of unlikely people asking for tapes of what they had just heard a demo seemed the next logical move.
Pla made a surprise return to the fold in November, just in time to be a part of what was about to happen to the band.
December saw all the hard work the band had been a part of come to fruition, a slot at 'The Citadel' in St Helens, supporting the most excellent 'Cardiacs'. This for most of the band was the ultimate recognition for a year of gigging, and an experience non would forget. A contingent of support was ferried from Blackburn to St Helens, to bear witness to this most wonderful of events. A most wonderful response was given to the band, and the demand for tapes was so great that it exceeded supply. It was the ultimate end to a year that had started as something so different from how it began. New years eve saw FUNZiG celebrate their first anniversary, reflecting on a wonderful year non would forget.
1994 saw FUNZiG travelling the country, bringing their own brand of music discordia to many new audiences. Unfortunately the year is beginning have a few problems, the frequent travelling to new towns is creating tension within the band, but it does not stop the onward pursuit of playing their bizarre music to new audiences.
A second demo 'DEATH TO ALL FANATiCS' is recorded at the same studios as before, it heralds a shift in musical style, some of the 'Ska' elements are dropped in favour of a more 'metallic/punkier' edge. The songs remain eclectic, Pla manages to record himself on this demo, but personal commitments come first, and leaves the band to live in Cornwall. Also on this demo brings a guest appearance of Duncan Law on Didgeridoo. 'FUNZiG' are nothing if not eclectic.
Good reviews follow the demo around the fanzine circuit, and September brings another great opportunity to present themselves to a captive audience. A support slot with 'Chumbawamba' at Burnley Mechanics' provides a highlight to 1994, but the beginning of the end has started.
The year ends with a second anniversary gig, but not long after, into the new year a sad departure rears its ugly head. It was the events of travelling to a gig in Clacton, and some elements of what followed that provided a mutual parting of Nick from the band. His musical roots are in reggae, and FUNZiG are heading towards a more hard edged sound, that caused the inevitable. The remaining members concentrate on writing new material, and set about finding a new drummer.
Disaster strikes again, Woody falls off his bike and breaks his collar bone, unable to play for the forseeable future, the band is put on hold. Time passes, bones mend, and a new drummer becomes available. Tony Bentley has recently left 'Facectomy', but is unsure of joining 'FUNZiG', due to his style of playing, as he see's it, ' not like nick'. This style is exactly was 'FUNZiG' are after, as they are going through some kind of metamorphosis, dropping some of the old material in favour of new songs, these having a harder edge and a much more complicated structure.
'FUNZiG' re-emerge from its own ashes, in the new year of 1996, but limit the number of gigs they are willing to play. Experience and external commitments now have a greater bearing on the grand scheme of 'FUNZiG'. A much more scaled down gigging schedule enables the band to continue, despite what the universe throws at them, but this incarnation is short lived despite a willingness to continue, and the inevitable is about to happen. 'FUNZiG' comes to an end for now, but the spark that drives the band continues in strange forms, so the end is never complete.