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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.

1989 saw Kieran dissapear to London, and fortuntately discover a quirksome band called 'The Cardiacs', so bewitched with this band, he made it his personal task to convert all those unbelievers to this new level of musical excellence. This transition would be something of a catalyst in years to come. Whilst at college Lee taught himself to play lead guitar, this retireing af bass playing would also provide an advantage in the 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.

Fortune was beginning to smile on this plucky band of merry men, now all converted to the musical delights of the 'Cardiacs', living in a house with a substantial cellar, and an almost fanatical desire to write and perform bizarre musical indifferences. The cellar soon became the focal point of what was about to become 'FUNZiG', and a band was soon brought into the light, but the name 'FUNZiG' had not arisen, so the band continued nameless.

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.

Yet again fortune would lend a tiny digit, a gig at King Georges Hall in Blackburn brought together two people who shared a mutual friend, that friend having the talent known as drumming. A meeting was arranged, the cellar was the venue and an 'audition' performed. Nick Stevenson being the friend with the essential talent, and an equal but alternative fanatism about music, passed the test, if passing any kind of test could be achieved with these strange fellows. The line up was complete.

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.


Summer of 1993 saw 'FUNZiG' record their first demo 'MOREFiSHLiKE?' at Assembly Line Studios in Preston. Unfortunately at this point Pla had already left the band to travel the world for six months, and so missed the opportunity to record with the band. The tape recieved very favourable reviews in fanzines all over the country, and even one from Sweden. Gigs became more frequent, and the demand to see 'FUNZiG' far exceeded any expectation any of the band could have forseen.

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.

In 1998, Kieran celebrated his 30th birthday, and what better way, than to reform the band and play a one off gig where it all began, the borough. Kieran creates drum patterns for a drum machine, and rehersals commence. For one night in april 'FUNZiG' are back. The gig is a success, and it feels good to play again, but a continued existence in this form connot be sustained, so yet again, 'FUNZiG' is put back on the shelf, for now.

The year is 2000, and a new millenium is upon us, what could this new century bring forth, but the rebirth of 'FUNZiG'. This incarnation is triggered by the return of an old friend Jon, His desire to play drums again and his wish to play for his old friends prompts the remaining members Lee, Kieran and Woody to get their collective arses in gear, dust of unused instruments, and for one member invest in a new guitar. But that member is not Lee, Kieran has always played guitar, and wishes to play some in the new incarnation of 'FUNZiG'.

A rehersal space is aquired, that being a room above a pub going by the name of 'The Pub', and rehersals begin. Fortunately Jon is quite familiar with the back catalogue of songs, some are selected for rediscovery, many are discarded. But that is life,as new material is quicky coming together, using some elements each member has written in the non-'FUNZiG' years. Soon a target gig is organised to give focus to the band, and a new home is found. The Cellar Bar would be a regular haunt for 'FUNZiG' to perform its strange aural assault, but yet another strange would beset the band during its latest incarnation, what would 'FUNZiG' be without its strangeness.

During the summer of 2000, Jon and Woody travelled to London to pay witness to the bizarre world created by the band 'Fantomas', ordinarily that would be unremarkable, but Jon and Woody would have to travel back up to Blackburn the next day to play in a mini festival of music 'Arts In The Park'. Of course nothing is smooth sailing, spending the afternoon of the London gig meeting up with an old friend, Spark, and being plied with upteen pints of free Guiness, travelling across London feeling the effects of said Guiness, getting into the gig and imediately making a bee-line to the front of the crowd. The gig is amazing, an hour of hard core avant garde metal and screaming takes its toll on our happy travellers, sleep is required. Next day an early start and a 3 hour journey by train back to Blackburn is ahead, but that is nothing.

On arrival in Blackburn, what gear that is required is collected from the rehersal room, and transported to the park ready for the evenings performance. Waiting to go on prolongs the hangovers of our not so happy travellers, but being told they will be going on last, does have its perks, its gives time for hangovers to dissapate, and fortunately it works, by 10pm its time to go on.

Nothing can go that smooth. 'FUNZiG' go on stage to great applause, play their opening number, everything could not be better, sound on stage is excellent and the adreneline is pumping, but NO, it all must come to en end. A child has been declared missing from the park and the police wish to clear the park and proceed with a comprehensive search. All things must come to an end, so everything must be packed up and go home. Just as the band is leaving the stage, a second anouncement declares that the child is fine, and has been found. Quickly the band get their collective shit together and get back to what they do best. Starting the set from the begining, 'FUNZiG' blast through the songs like they have been possessed, the audience lap it all up, and all is well finally. The rest of the evenings performance goes without hiccup and 'FUNZiG' leave the stage to earn a welcome rest. the gear is stashed and the evening ends.

For now this incarnation of 'FUNZiG' would be the last, but for 18 months the creature that would be 'FUNZiG' breathes again, having fun is the name if the game and the game has many rules, most of which cannot be written down for fear of losing them. So for now that is it.

See you in the next evolution............backwards.

Woody