High Fidelity to end the week. Formed by ex-Soup Dragons Sean Dickson, High Fidelity was around for only a short time (1995-2001), With two albums and a half-dozen singles to their credit. Dickson started the group when High Times magazine asked him to record a track for a cannabis-themed covers compilation album, Hempilation: Freedom Is NORML. Their debut album, Demonstration (2000). The LP was recorded largely in Dickson’s bedroom, with Adrian Barry (bass), Paul Dallaway (guitar) and Ross McFarlane (drums). The album was later augmented with a number of orchestral arrangements recorded in India. Musically, the record comprised experimental dance-pop songs, and was described by The Guardian as “an expertly composed pastiche of psychedelic pop”. Their single “Luv Dup” reached #70 on the UK Singles Chart in July 1998. The band recorded a number of sessions for John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 show, introducing the use of the omnichord, a vintage synthesiser, with which they performed a number of songs including a version of “Silent Night”. Peel shared the band’s enthusiasm for the instrument, and when they gave him an omnichord as a 60th birthday present it led to Peel co-writing and performing on one of the tracks on the band’s second album, 2001’s The Omnichord Album. He co-wrote the track ‘Pig might fly’ about his wife with Sean Dickson for the album, Both albums by The High Fidelity are very critically acclaimed pieces of work.
If you missed them the first time around, or heard about them via articles about The Sound Dragons, here’s a chance to hear the first one of their three sessions for John Peel in May of 1998.
Sadly, not all that well known here in the U.S. – but it would do you wonders to check them out and hear what you were missing.