Freur in concert tonight. Virtually unknown in the U.S., aside from “Doot Doot” which had been used in Vanilla Sky, Valley Girls, a second season episode of Gossip Girl, the last episode of Glory Daze and in the 2009 US ad campaign for the Palm Pre smartphone. Most recently it can be heard in the movie Let Me In (released 1 October 2010 in the US) from a tape player in the basement scene. Freur was formed in the early 1980s in Cardiff, Wales by Hyde, Smith and Alfie Thomas. It originally had only a graphic ‘squiggle’ for a name. In 1983, after recruiting John Warwicker and drummer Bryn Burrows (formerly of the Fabulous Poodles), they got a recording contract with CBS Records. As the label insisted on a pronounceable name, the band made the compromise that the squiggle was pronounced Freur.
Their first and only hit single (number 17 in New Zealand, 24 in Germany, 36 in the Netherlands and 59 in the UK Singles Chart), was “Doot-Doot” (1983). It was recorded and co-produced by Alex Burak at The Point studio in London, which was controlled by Rupert Merton of Point Music publishing. Merton (who also had an early version of the Thompson Twins on his roster of artists) signed Freur.
Freur released five further tracks after “Doot-Doot”, between 1983 and 1985: “Matters of the Heart”, “Runaway”, “Riders in the Night”, “The Devil and Darkness” and “Look in the Back for Answers”. All failed to dent the UK chart.
Freur released two albums: Doot-Doot (1983) and Get Us out of Here (1986). The second LP was only released in Germany and the Netherlands. Freur also composed and performed the soundtrack to the movie Underworld (aka Transmutations), written by Clive Barker. Warwicker left the band in 1986 and Freur went into recess. In 1987, Hyde, Smith, Thomas and Burrows, along with bassist Baz Allen signed to Sire Records under a new name, Underworld, and found some success with the single “Underneath the Radar” (1988) (it peaked in Australia at No. 5), before initially folding in 1990. The band re-formed in 1991 under the same name to become the successful dance and electronica act responsible for a number of well received albums and the 1996 hit single “Born Slippy .NUXX”.
So now you know.