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Frank’s Fantastic Farewell

Sam Jones watches as thousands flock to Castlefield Arena to celebrate the life of legendary local comedian

Published on July 9th 2010.


Frank’s Fantastic Farewell

A crowd of more than 5000 made their way down to the Hyundai fan park on Sunday to celebrate the life of Chris Sievey, the man behind the papier-mâché head of Frank Sidebottom.

Attention now turns to a new campaign to get Frank his first ever top 40 single. The ‘Get Frank to Number One’ campaign aims to get Timperley’s finest to the top of the charts this weekend.

The event couldn’t have been more different to the last time I was at the fan-park. That day thousands of people gathered at the big screen to watch a group of over-paid and over-rated footballers get taught a lesson by the old enemy. The whole fan-park in a mood of doom and gloom as they left, whereas the England players were now free to spend the rest of their summer on holiday.

This time however the mood was one of joy and happiness.

Despite being brought together by the loss of a life, the crowd were remarkably upbeat with all involved enjoying a selection of clips of a man who spent his life entertaining audiences of all ages, yet died without a penny.

With many sporting fancy dress, or wearing homemade papier-mâché heads, a carnival like atmosphere was created as a series of Frank’s ex-colleagues or friends performed and paid their respects.

A screening of Frank’s premiere animation ‘Frank’s World’ was screened to a great reception, with the audience in hysterical laughter at the tale of an ill-fated canal barge trip that ends up in Liverpool. After this, animator Steve Blacknall explained in great detail what it was like to work with Frank and how Frank’s World was created.

As the night continued, all of the acts were greeted enthusiastically. Local troubadour Badly Drawn Boy told tales of his time in New York with Frank before playing a set of his own, Charlie Chuck had the audience in stitches and Frank Sidebottom’s Oh Blimey Biggest Ever Band performed multiple times with Chris Sievey’s brother filling Frank’s shoes for one night only.

Between acts the audience were treated to a host of Frank footage on the big screen with the best of his Channel M shows and Fantastic Shed shows being shown, as well as a hilarious pilot for Frank Sidebottom’s Celebrity Sleepover, in which Frank goes to live with Smith’s drummer Mike Joyce making his life hell along the way.

The night was ended when Chris’ son Harry took to the stage, with members of the Freshies – Chris’s band from long ago - to blast through renditions of some of his dad’s bands songs. However the final act was played out on the big screen as exclusive footage of Frank’s last ever encore with John Cooper Clarke was shown for the first and last time.

Attention now turns to a new campaign to get Frank his first ever top 40 single. The ‘Get Frank to Number One’ campaign aims to get Timperley’s finest to the top of the charts this weekend with his double A-side single ‘Guess whose been on Match of the Day’ and ‘The Robbins aren’t Bobbins’.

To get involved you can download the single from iTunes and all transactions must be completed by 1.30pm on Saturday the 10 July.

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DibigoJuly 9th 2010.

England's footballers don't get paid ot play for the national side. The salary their clubs pays them is irrelevant to the national teams failings. Stopped reading this at that point. Can man con explain why when I use my real e mail address my posts don't appear anymore but when I use this totally made up one they do? 'Random'.

Sue17320July 9th 2010.

It was a great evening with Frank as the star of the show in the film clips shown on the big screen. The 'Celebrity Sleepover' had me crying with laughter! Sad loss of a really unique talent.

Michael JacksonJuly 12th 2010.

Frank was a true legend

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