Ever seen a Sinclair ZX music video? Here’s one created by the man who would become Frank Sidebottom

Fine, be boring and use the B-side of your single for another dull song – all the cool kids use theirs for Sinclair ZX81 programmes

In 1983, Chris Sievey of The Freshies released a solo single called Camouflage – the B-side of which contained a series of impenetrable noises; impenetrable that is, until recorded onto cassette and played into a ZX81, when it was revealed that they were actually the code for a game called Flying Train and a music video for the song.

Here’s the full thing, lovingly restored by a dedicated fan:

Getting a clean enough recording of the ‘data’ side of the record apparently proved to be a challenge, and required cleaning using PVA glue!

The following year, Sievey went one better and released a ZX Spectrum video game about breaking into the music industry

This time, the game was accompanied by a 12-inch promotional record, supposedly recorded by a fan of The Freshies, but actually performed by Sievey. The fictional fan’s name? Frank Sidebottom.


Sidebottom rapidly became Sievey’s main public persona, developing a large cult following, and (very loosely) inspiring the recent movie Frank

Sievey sadly passed away in 2010, but we’ll always remember him fondly, both for his early Sinclair ZX experiments, and his later, charmingly bonkers, output as Frank. Cheers, Chris!

by UsVsTh3m Staff

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