Flannel were a 1990s band based in Brighton, England. Their style has been described as "anarcho-narco", meaning that they were influenced by anarchist politics and narcotic-using lifestyles. This should not be taken too literally; far from being simple advocates of drug culture, their music often contained serious social references and messages. It attempted to blend unadulterated good fun with more than a little bit of intelligence and conscience.
The band played some conventional venues such as pubs, but were most often to be seen at squat parties, direct action protest sites such as the Newbury bypass and Reclaim the Streets, and summer festivals. They also committed "guerilla gigs" in shopping centres, parks and other "highly inappropriate" places. In the later 1990s, they shared stages with political comedians Mark Thomas and Rob Newman.
The tune (Let's all go to a) Ketamin Party received a surprise airing on the BBC's 1998 Children in Need charity show.
During 2005 the band had technically chosen to split up but continued performing because, they announced, they were very happy with the arrangement.
In November 2005 the bass player, Bloke, died in an accident in the south of France.
Lead singer and guitarist Cosmo continues to make and perform music in the Flannel vein from his base in Cardiff.
Cosmo (guitar and vocals)
Fat Stan (drums)
Mohammed el Gimley (tablas) (until 1997)
DiscoDaveDaRave (keyboards) (until 1997)
Releases (not an exhaustive list)
Just Another Screwed Up White Kid with a Guitar (1996, produced by Al Scott, who had worked with The Waterboys and The Levellers)
Gravy Train (1997)
Shameless Acts of Self Promotion (1997)
Vogue Gyratory (a collection of demos)
(What this world needs is a) New Kind of Man (1998)
Featuring (Let's all go to a) Ketamin Party (1998)
The National Gunpowder Plottery (2002)
Collaborations and connections
Both Cosmo and Bloke's partner, Sally, were involved in a previous Brighton band, Moist.
Night-life and popular music of Brighton and Hove
Much of this information is interpreted from the Flannel website; see external links, below.
Load of old Flannel ("official" site with news, photos and music downloads)
Tribute site for Bloke