Tuesday, 22 October 2013


My name is Pete Fij. Welcome to my world.

You might know me as  the lead singer of Adorable or Polak, maybe through my ongoing project with Terry Bickers, or perhaps my recent collaboration with Tiger Stripes. This isn't planned as a standard music artist website, although I'm sure that this will have more than it's fair share of musical aspects, but it's more of a meandering through my thoughts - a journey through my nervous system.

Not quite sure where it will go - it will probably be like a part-work magazine that comes out in instalments, and grows week-by-week into either a fascinating insight into a particular topic, or more often than not , an untidy pile of magazines in the corner of your room that you end up putting in a box and forgetting about for a few years, until one day you finally snap and take it to a car boot sale to sell. Of course it's only then that you realise that no-one else wants it either, so it remains unsold and ultimately the box ends it's days at the local rubbish tip - recycled so that they can make some more part-work magazines that no-one else really needs.

Hope this untidy pile gives you an insight into a little bit about me and some of my work. Don't be a stranger - pop on back as this will be an evolving, living thing. Enjoy your trip around my nervous system, though please be careful where you  probe, and if it all gets a bit too much, just head for the nearest orifice, and get the hell out.

The posts will be sporadic, but I aim to have something posted at least once a month.

Monday, 7 October 2013


 I am giving a talk on Wednesday October 9th in Petworth, Surrey for the Petworth Society entitled "Things I Have Found In Books". 

Here is the official spiel:

By night Pete Fijalkowski is a singer-songwriter (formerly on the iconic Creation records label), by day he sells second-hand books. In 'Things I Have Found In Books' , first aired at the Latiutude Festival in 2012, he talks about some of the forgotten objects that he has discovered amongst the pages of the paperbacks that he sells by the broken down West Pier on Brighton seafront - lost photos, bizarre shopping lists and letters. Using slides, he guides us through the sometimes funny, and sometimes poignant flotsam & jetsam of these forgotten artifacts. 

In the second part of his talk "From Petworth to Baden-Baden" Pete tells how he set himself the task of selling seemingly unsaleable books culled at the end of Petworth Society's monthly booksales. Will he ever sell a 1986 book entitled 'Setting Up Your Own Mail Order Business', a 1971 hardback of "Better steeple chasing  for jockey's", a spotters guide to birds of New Zealand,  and is there anyone who wants to buy a 1974 guide book to the small German town of  Baden Baden? He tells of the people who bought some of these orphaned books that most had given up hope of ever finding a home for - and of the some of the intriguing & surprsing stories of why people decided to give these seeming lost causes a loving home.

It starts at 7.30pm at Leconfield Hall, Market Square, Petworth. tickets are erm...not sure - about £4 or £5 ish on the door.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

AGAINST PERFECTION - 20th Anniversary

Well it's been 20 years since the release of Adorable's debut album Against Perfection back in March 1993. To celebrate the occasion  I've uploaded an acoustic version of 'Homeboy' that I recorded back in about 2006 that you can download for free at my new Bandcamp site . It was part of an album that I recorded, but never released, almost like my own private, secret album. After finishing it I hardly played it to anyone, and I just sat on it, not quite sure what to do next. It ended up morphing into the current project I'm doing with Terry Bickers.

'Homeboy' was always one of my favourite tracks by Adorable, and was one of the first songs we wrote when we originally called The Candy Thieves. It was the last song we ever played live at our final gig in Brussels in 1994.

Sunday, 27 January 2013


POLAK May 1996 - December 2003
Pete Fijalkowski - Guitar / Programming / Vocals, Krzys Fijalkowski -Guitar, Bob Brown - Bass / Guitar, Simon Dunford - Keyboards, Matt Sigley - Keyboards, Richard Brincklow - Keyboards, Chris Parsons - Drums
DISCOGRAPHY - 'Cha Cha Cha' (on 33 1/3 Single on Noisebox 7"), '2 Minutes 45' (Genereic CD single), 'Im Sick' (Generic CD single), 'Impossible' (Generic Cd single & 7") , '3x3' (Generic compilation album), ''Swansongs' (One Little Indian album) , 'Joyrider' (One Little Indian Cd single), 'Rubbernecking' (One Little Indian Cd single)'

After the split of Adorable, I was in a post-car crash haze, not quite sure what had happened. Still concussed from it all, I spent a year working on a pop project called Casino with my friend Sian -  a kind of Pet Shop Boy/Girl thing with me taking more of a back seat as the keyboard player (a bit like hte guy in Sparks, only without the Hitler moustache). We demo'd for a couple of majors, but I wasn't convinced we were on the right track, so just before we released our debut single I pulled out of the project. I craved the sound of guitars, and was taken with the idea of working with my brother. One day if I manage to convert the Casino cassette demos into MP3s I might post them up , and tell you all about it, but that's for another time.

The original idea was born out of a hung-over Boxing Day pub conversation in 1995 with Krzys, near the Fijalkowski ancestral home. Despite the fact that as kids we had recorded some songs together (entitled 'Changesoneflobberjowski' - a three song tape recorded on our dad's stereo comprising of a Beatle's cover, a Bowie cover & an original that I think was a note for note rip-off of 'Last Train to Clarksville' by the Monkees...plagarism started early in our childhood!) we had never done anything further of much note. Krzys had recorded a couple of 4-tracks with me in my early Candy Thieves days and played guitar for us at one gig when Wayne couldn't turn up, but the practicalities of teaming up together had never really been very realistic as we had always lived at least an 8 hour round trip for most of our adult lives.
The opportunity for turning the hazy pub conversation into something more concrete happened a few months later when I was invited to contribute a track a  US compilation album,. We recorded 'Not Listening' and Polak were born.

We recruited Simon who had previously fronted Krzys' old band The Bardots who kept him company on the long car journeys down from Norfolk, and Bob & Chris made up the Brighton contingent. After the previous high tensions in the tail-end days of Adorable, it was a welcome relief to be in a band with a group of people who enjoyed being in each other's company, and there was an exciting energy of being together. Releasing singles on our own label under the great guidance of our new manager Martine McDonagh we managed to get a little bit of press notice & a deal with One Little Indian.

Here's what I wrote on completing 'Swansongs' in early 1999:

"Sometimes we weren't even sure if we'd get to this point, but on a hunting & scavenging budget of Visa-card-debt & drive-by robberies, 'Swansongs' is now finally completed. recorded in studio downtime through the night at the Loophole, beginning when the pubs closed, and ending when the early morning cafes opened, wincing at the sight of six o'clock sun that signalled it was time for us to crawl home past the street cleaners, the milk men & the dazed. 

During the course of making of the abum we lost sleep (still catching up), guitars (sold to help pay for the recording), our van (stolen from outside the studio) and a keyboard player (farewell sweet Spike); but the pay-off was worth it for us. We're now One Little Indian'd up to the full, and with Mr Sigley joining our band of mariachis, we're now ready to take the next bus-ride down the line to see how this story will pan out. 

You only get to make your debut album once, and we decided to go about it as if it were also our last. of course, we hope that this is not the case - that Polak go on to become some lumbering dinosaur of a band - the kind that people say "they should have given up years ago". for us that would be bliss. but you never know; a failing satellite might be heading for our heads as we speak, we might be an identity parade away from being tripped up, helping the local police improve their drive-by-robbery clear-up rate, or our friends at Visa might finally ask for their card back." 

'Swansongs' came out to good reviews, unlike the follow-up 'Rubbernecking' which came out to no reviews at all, but it's the memories that you tend to carry with you, not press clippings - Hazy European nights, Texas (the state, not the band), a second album that put my fear of second albums to rest , a succession of keyboard players left strewn by the wayside in our wake, nights spent talking bollocks into the not so early hours with my sofa sleep-deprived brother, and friendships that extended beyond pub opening hours. Krzys decided to leave after Rubbernecking, and although we were offered a deal by One Little Indian for a third album, it wasn't enough for us to give up our day jobs, and there was a realisation that the remaining trio of Bob, Chris & myself wouldn't be able to tour to support any album we produced as we were all too poor, and I wasn't prepared to put my all into working on something that I couldn't see through.

 We didn't exactly trouble the hit parade (#112 for 'Impossible'), but if I had to put a listening post on my grave, after I've left this world for the great recording studio in the sky, of the four band studio albums I've recorded to date I think I'd chose 'Rubbernecking'.