The Howling Fantods – Top of the Pops (Track Premiere)

Listen to the new track from The Howling Fantods

Feature by Music Team | 20 Apr 2017

The Howling Fantods are a band made up of Angus Johnson, Martha Sanchez, Andrew Hell, John Tones and Jessie Taylor-Ferdinand… okay, you got us, we’re lying… the song is actually a duet from Craig Angus (Savage Mansion / Poor Things) and Martha Ffion, backed by a band featuring members of Catholic Action and Herbert Powell. They recorded one song as a unit, a pop hit called Top of the Pops. It was produced, engineered and mixed by Chris McCrory (Catholic Action) and mastered by Sam Smith. No, not that one…

The supergroup are set to release TOTP on limited edition flexidisc on 22 April, aka Record Store Day, via Edinburgh label Gerry Loves Records. It will only be available in record shops or at live shows, and the Fantods will come together for a one-off performance of the song at VoxBox’s RSD celebrations in Edinburgh on 22 April.

That’s enough from us; over to Angus to tell us more about TOTP: “This song dates back to about 2012; a friend had been talking about somebody who’d been saying how they wanted to be famous and his reply had been ‘Why don’t you kill someone then?’ or something like that. Which tickled me.

“I played around with it for a couple of years but it never really seemed to be a Poor Things song, although by the time we got to demoing album two it was in the picture and had been fully fleshed out. A boy/girl duet about the desperate need to be admired, adored, [and] about getting your 15 minutes of fame and then wondering what next?

“I have friends like that,” Angus continues, “or should I say people I used to pal about with who are fairly obsessed with celebrity culture and who judge success using that barometer. And it’s easy enough to get caught up in, and the best of us are fallible, jealousy is powerful and we’re only human.

“Poor Things split up before said album was tracked and consequently a whole bunch of songs got caught up in the amicable divorce (and won’t be heard again, really, which is sad in a way). Top of the Pops was one of those.  

“I’d booked a week off work to track the Poor Things album anyway and decided to have a bit of fun with that time, so roped a few friends on board and recorded a couple of the songs Poor Things had demoed, with a view to potentially using it as a springboard for a new project. By the time that came around I’d already written about five or six Savage Mansion songs that seemed to have a separate identity, and so it was those songs that kicked off that venture.  

“But here lies TOTP, and two years down the line my good friends at Gerry Loves Records have given it life, and it shall be heard, and maybe The Howling Fantods will do more with their sarcastic pop."

Top of the Pops is released on 22 Apr via Gerry Loves Records. The Howling Fantods will perform the song live at the Record Store Day celebrations at VoxBox in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, 22 Apr.