Fad Gadget

About Fad Gadget

Ostensibly the solo project of London-born vocalist and synth player Frank Tovey, Fad Gadget enjoyed cult success throughout the ‘80s, first as part of the U.K. post-punk boom, later as progenitors of the “darkwave” of synth-pop. In the late-‘70s, Tovey plied his college training in performance art toward wildly unpredictable stage shows involving self-mutilation and dark, unnerving lyrical themes. He began experimenting with sound collages as soundtracks for his performances, eventually making forays into drum machine and synth-based songwriting. Signing to Daniel Miller’s fledgling Mute label in 1979, Tovey released four albums as Fad Gadget, several solo albums, and collaborations with underground luminaries such as Boyd Rice and Einsturzende Neubauten. By the ‘90s, Tovey’s solo activities were winding down just as he began exploring traditional acoustic songwriting and standards. In 2001, Tovey resurrected the Fad Gadget moniker to support his former label mates, Depeche Mode, on their EXCITER tour. The group's planned return to recording and performance was cruelly curtailed by Tovey’s death from heart failure in April of 2002.

London, England

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