The Fans


How Did The Fans 30th Anniversary Tour Of Japan Happen!!!

We always knew that in our long and varied adventures into disparate realms of music, the vibe from The Fans’ music still stood out like the luminescent effulgence of a dislocated lighthouse lost in the timeless world that is power pop, flickering intermittently in what remained of our little grey cells.
It was always one of those things where you say “yeah we really ought to play this stuff again sometime...” but never did as we were all irresistibly sucked into the vortex of other murky musical ventures.

Then in 2001 (20 years after The Fans split), Mike Darby, Bristol Archive Records/Sugarshack supremo, introduced me to Nobutaida (Nobu) Yaita, CEO of 1977 Records, based in Tokyo and specialising in power/punk pop, who wanted to re-release the two Fans singles, originally released in 1979 and 1980 on Bristol’s wonderfully eclectic Fried Egg records, in a limited edition 7 inch vinyl format with the original sleeve designs. These sold out quickly and we slowly began to realise that The Fans’ stuff was actually being listened to and bought somewhere in the world, well not just any old place but in Tokyo, Japan!
This was followed up in 2004 by 1977 Records releasing a CD album compilation of The Fans entitled “You Don’t Live Here Anymore”, comprising the material on the 2 singles, some unreleased studio demos and a live recording of The Fans playing at Crockers, Bristol in January 1980.

I still occasionally saw Barry at various musical soirees, and I had played with Tony in a bizarre cabaret band which often unintentionally verged into avant garde territory (David Lunch would have been proud). George had literally “disappeared” for now almost 20 years: it was rumoured he was living in France and still making a musical living.

In July 2004, many years of burning the candle at both ends caught up with me and I almost died (heart attack+2).

Stopped playing live music for a while.

In the summer of 2007 Nobu contacted me to say that one of Japan’s biggest punk/metal bands, Brahman, wanted to cover one of our songs (the 2nd single “You Don’t Live Here Anymore”) on their new album “Antinomy” (released in early 2008). This was very exciting; to think that a top Japanese band wanted to record our tune!

By now it was almost 25 years since we had made contact with George; through the Bristol musical mafia I managed to obtain a number for him in the middle of rural France, some 50 miles south of Bordeaux. A very surprised George got a call from me, after having not spoken together for about a quarter of a century, to give him the news which he knew nothing about. This then developed into me going to stay with him in May 2008 to chew the cud.

Then towards the end of 2009, Nobu contacted me to say that the Brahman cover of our song had generated interest in Japan for The Fans. He proposed to re-release the two singles and also a new release of three previously unreleased studio tracks of “Used To Be”, “Come On Over” and “Like It Or Not” on 7 inch vinyl initially (digital platforms soon).

The next step was for 1977 Records to suggest a short tour of Japan to promote the singles (one of the gigs will be supporting Brahman) in April 2010!!

Watch this space.


P.S. We are doing a pre-tour gig at The Prom, Bristol on Friday 9 April 2010!! Be there or be elsewhere.


The Fans singles and a different Fans’ compilation entitled “One Way Or Another” are also available via digital download through Bristol Archive Records. Also 2 Fans tracks (Following You” and “Giving Me That Look in Your Eye”) are on the CD “Best of Fried Egg Records (Bristol 1979-1980)” ARC 119. Pre-order from Play.com, Amazon .com and HMV.com or through iTunes.

Released 1 February 2010.

Also The Fans’ material can be streamed via Spotify

Rob The Fans Jan 2010




The Fans live at Red Cloth, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan 19 April 2010