Chris Sievey

Real Name:
Christopher Mark Sievey
* 25. August 1955 in Ashton-on-Mersey, Sale; † 21. Juni 2010 in Wythenshawe, Manchester, U.K.

Singer of The Freshies, ran the independent Razz Records (2). Came to fame in the later 80's early 90's as Comedian Frank Sidebottom.
In Groups:


CV 2 Chris Sievey - Denigration Now album art Chris Sievey Denigration Now(Cass, MiniAlbum) Razz Records (2) CV 2 UK 1982 Sell This Version
ETS 1 Chris Sievey - The Johnny Radar Story album art Chris Sievey & The Freshies Chris Sievey & The Freshies - The Johnny Radar Story(Cass, Album) 11:37 ETS 1 UK 1985 Sell This Version
Ericat 015 Chris Sievey - Big Record album art Chris Sievey Big Record (Album) Cordelia Records Ericat 015 UK 1986 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

RAZZ EP1 Chris Sievey - Washed Up / Baiser album art The Freshies / Chris Sievey The Freshies / Chris Sievey - Washed Up / Baiser (EP) Razz Records (2) RAZZ EP1 UK 1978 Sell This Version
TOSH 109 Chris Sievey - Baiser / Last album art Chris Sievey Baiser / Last(7", Single) Rabid Records (2) TOSH 109 UK 1979 Sell This Version
RAZZ 5 Chris Sievey - We're Like You / Hey album art The Freshies / Chris Sievey The Freshies / Chris Sievey - We're Like You / Hey Razz Records (2) RAZZ 5 UK 1980 Sell This Version
RAZZ 9 Chris Sievey - Last / Skip The Flight Jim album art Chris Sievey And The Freshies / The Freshies Chris Sievey And The Freshies / The Freshies - Last / Skip The Flight Jim (Single) Razz Records (2) RAZZ 9 UK 1980 Sell This Version
RAZZ 8 Chris Sievey - Red Indian Music album art Chris Sievey Red Indian Music(7", Single) Razz Records (2) RAZZ 8 UK 1980 Sell This Version
CVS1 Chris Sievey - If You Really Love Me, Buy Me A Shirt album art Chris Sievey And The Freshies Chris Sievey And The Freshies - If You Really Love Me, Buy Me A Shirt (Single) CV Songs CVS1 UK 1981 Sell This Version
EMI 5398 Chris Sievey - Camouflage album art Chris Sievey Camouflage (Single) Random Records (11) EMI 5398 UK 1983 Sell This Version
HANNAH 1 Chris Sievey - Untitled album art The Freshies / Chris Sievey The Freshies / Chris Sievey - Untitled(12", Promo) Virgin HANNAH 1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
none Chris Sievey - Five Songs album art Chris Sievey Five Songs(Cass, EP) 11:37 none UK 1985 Sell This Version


ETS 3 Chris Sievey - Early Razz album art Chris Sievey & The Freshies Chris Sievey & The Freshies - Early Razz(Cass, Comp, Ltd, Num) 11:37 ETS 3 UK 1985 Sell This Version
7A023 Chris Sievey - Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story album art Frank Sidebottom & Chris Sievey Frank Sidebottom & Chris Sievey - Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story (Album, Comp) 7A Records 7A023 UK 2019 Sell This Version


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January 6, 2018
edited over 3 years ago
I only ever saw Chris Sievey once. Performing live in concert that is, as Frank Sidebottom. That was in York in the very early dark, cold days of 1992. Me and a friend, a fellow Frank fan, from college went along after I saw an ad in the gig listings in the NME. We had to. It was a must-see. I mean, lets be honest, not a great deal I enjoyed at the time, muisc, comedy or otherwise bothered to venture 'oop north' to this neck of the woods, so to have this chance of seeing a genuine one-of-a kind comedian like Frank Sidebottom - we were instantly sold, tickets bought in a flash. Oh, I wish of course, that I had got to see Chris/Frank perform many more times than just that one concert but such is life and once is better than never at all and I still treasure the memories to this very day. I still recall the obligatory Frank & Little Frank T-shirt I bought that night (along with badges & posters) I wore out till it was so thin as almost being invisible. Anybody at that concert in York that night would all agree it was fantastic, it really was.
Looking back on that time now, it's quite clear that Frank Sidebottom was at the peek of his popularity of his fantastic showbiz career. Frank had built up a bit of a cult following, especially it seems amongst the student crowd (of which I was one) off the back of a number of television appearances during the mid 80's to early 90's like Number 73, The James Whale Radio Show, Hit The North (on Radio 5) and Remote Control ('student' TV with fellow Manchester legend Mr. Anthony H. Wilson (RIP) as the quiz show host. Any chance Channel 4 could release that series on DVD? Pleeease, C4??). These appearances were admittedly quite sparodic but were enough for me to fall for his odd-ball, quirky comedy both eccentric and almost child-like charms. He was just hugely hilarious. What a very, very funny fella I thought. What I didn't know at the time was living out in the sticks of Yorkshire and not living in the Manchester region was just how famous and popular he was in the north west. Apparently he was near enough everywhere in that part of the country. An almost permanent fixture on Granada TV, Piccadilly Radio etc, etc. But everyone else outside of the North West/Manchester region had to make do with catching the odd TV appearance here or there. Or of course we could always turn to Franks record/tape releases and listen to his adventures from his garden shed with Little Frank and Little Denise and Mrs. Merton (yes, that Mrs. Merton!) which were equally hilarious too.
But just 4 or 5 months after I had the privilege of catching that live York gig Big Frank stepped up big time and had an ITV series (thank you, Yorkshire TV) of his very own broadcast during the summer of 92 called 'Frank Sidebottom's Fantastic Shed Show'. Yes indeed! Old Big 'Ed had finally gone national!!
1992, and I felt like I was in a very small part of Frank's World. He seemed to be everywhere for a while and Frank Sidebottom had never been more popular. But the strangest thing seemed to happen. By the end of the very same year my memory says that Frank just seemed to disappear. It was strange. ITV sadly, only gave him the one series of '...Shed Show' (shame on you ITV! I'm sure Frank could have done so much more with the Shed Show. It's apparent now that Chris had so many ideas just bursting at the seams - he just needed the outlet to do it. Anyone remember the Subbuteo episode with Skeletor playing for Franks team? He could have had his own channel - no doubt - and he would loved it!) and well I know that didn't hear anything from him or about him for a very long time. What exactly happened? I now think Chris probably/most likely 'retired' Frank at some point. Was it Chris or Frank that made the choice to just pull away and take off the head? Was the fame getting too much? Possibly so. I just don't know. But I missed him. I really did.
What was it with Frank Sidebottom I loved? Obviously the humour - he was adorable too. That innocent chlld-like questioning and wonder at well, everything in the world! This 'anything is possible' aspect of his character. What was he going to do next? What's he going to say next to the famous personality he was err, kind-of 'interviewing'? You just didn't quite know. Quite unpredictable. I also think he was something of a throw-back to olden days comedy - in his smart suit and with his mannerisms. Kind of alternative-retro (if there is such a thing). And watching the '...Shed Show' DVD recently it's apparent he was quite physical too - always waving his arms and hands about, gesturing and falling over or falling off things. Brilliant! Side-splittingly funny. And not an expletive in sight!! Yes, no swearing - at all. That in itself is most unusual and refreshingly so.
But I suppose the mystery of the Frank Sidebottom character was pivotal too. Rather intrinsic to me. Who exactly was this Frank Sidebottom? Where did the idea of Frank come from? Where on earth did he appear from? (Was it a garden shed in Timperley!?). Does he live like this, all the time? Does the head always stay on? I used to ask all these questions! What a complete mystery it was back then for me in 1992. Nowadays I don't think you could produce a character like Frank Sidebottom and keep any secrets or any mystery for very long due to the internet - twitter, facebook, YouTube etc. All would be revealed much too soon. And the mystery solved and spoilt. Back then, it was all possible. I didn't know for many. many years the name of the chap playing Frank went by the name of Chris Sievey. And I never ever saw a picture of Mr. Sievey for even longer. I have to wonder - did anyone outside his immediate circle know who Frank Sidebottom really was? That it was an amazingly gifted and creative chap called Chris Sievey who used to be in a rock band called The Freshies during the punk days of the late 70's? I think it's staggering how this mystery lasted for so long.
It was genuine shock to me when I heard that Frank/Chris had passed away. I had no idea he had been so poorly. Like David Bowie, it was genuinely sad news and so young too. I knew though that Mr. Sidebottom was going through something of a renaissance at the time of his passing - over in the Manchester area he was a regular fixture on a local radio & TV stations - Channel M I think it's called, which I was absolutely gutted I couldn't pick up over here in Yorkshire. Apparently he was on it like, nearly all the time, appearing with big movie & music stars! And so many of us Frank fans couldn't see it. I missed out on that, but I'm pleased to say that I and all fellow Frank fans still have our Frank memories and he will always be remembered for his very unique and special humourous takes on the world and providing us with great big bouts of laughter. And that is a priceless gift. Thank you Chris / Frank - rest in peace.

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