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Baker's Dozen

Stir My Teenage Soul: Karl 'Regis' O'Connor's Favourite LPs
Luke Turner , July 1st, 2020 08:47

Karl O'Connor guides Luke Turner through the 13 teenage hits that made him Regis, with tales of smelling like a badger on the mail train to Brum and what happens when you get a member of Einst├╝rzende Neubauten the wrong gravel on the way


Fad Gadget - Incontinent
From this point on it's chronological. There was a great magazine called Flexipop which was the ugly sister of Smash Hits. The great thing about it was that even as a young kid I could tell the people from the magazine were pushing it a little bit - there was a lot of weird people in it. They had a Depeche Mode flexidisc on the cover and the second track was Fad Gadget. It made me buy Incontinent from Rockers Records in Birmingham because it had the great Anton Corbijn cover of Frank Tovey dressed as Punch. I didn't know what to make of it, I'd assumed it'd be a pop record and it wasn't, but it was still really exciting. I couldn't put my finger on why I liked lots of these elements, the instrumental tracks like 'Diminished Responsibility' and the title track, as well as 'Swallow It', 'King Of The Flies' and all these proto-electro tracks. He was always a bit ahead for people to get it, or a bit too sophisticated for the pop audience to understand, maybe it was a bit too pop for the alternative crowd, so he occupied this strange place between things, and I think unfortunately you can slip between the cracks. All his albums as Fad Gadget are so complete in his vision, it was this difficult balance because he was putting so many ideas in, I think this is the one where the true nature of the experimentation came through. Frank Tovey was such an amazing person, he was so good with fans and I was lucky enough to have met him a few times. The person offstage was completely different from this really frightening performer - he studied under Lindsay Kemp and could performance art Bowie out of the fucking arena, you could see his music inhabit him and it was frightening. When I saw him support Depeche Mode it was so mind-blowingly confrontational, he pulled out his pubes, sprinkled them on the people at the front, and sent 22,000 Depeche Mode fans into a blind rage and it was the best thing I'd ever seen in my life.