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PATRIK FITZGERALD (Buy CDs by this artist)
Grubby Stories (UK Small Wonder/Polydor) 1979 (UK Red Flame) 1983
Gifts and Telegrams (UK Red Flame) 1982
Drifting Towards Violence (UK Red Flame) 1983
Drifting into Silence (UK Himalaya) 1984
Tunisian Twist (UK Red Flame) 1984

London punk folk singer Fitzgerald first attracted attention with his 1977 single, "Safety Pin Stuck in My Heart." (The story goes that his career began after he put a home-brew tape through the mail slot of Small Wonder, a local record shop that had begun a label.) After a few years and a few more 45s, he delivered the aptly titled Grubby Stories LP. Some tracks use just acoustic guitar and vocals, while others employ a full backing band that features the bassist from Penetration, the Buzzcocks' drummer and producer Peter Wilson on guitar and keyboards. The music is pretty mundane — Fitzgerald's strength is his angry/sad/pathetic/strange lyrics, not lasting melodies — but the singing and unique attitude expressed make Grubby Stories a slight treasure for occasional enjoyment. The similarity to pre-rock Bowie is striking, although probably unintentional.

[Ira Robbins]