Sim Lister outside Spin City
Musician, composer, producer and label manager.
Sim was a co-founder of Sheffield-based industrial funk outfit Chakk, and FON (Fuck Off Nazis) Studios; the first professional 24-track recording studio in Sheffield, + FON Records - which worked with internationally-known record producers including Sly and Robbie, and Richard Burgess. FON's recording clients included Boy George, Pop Will Eat Itself, Yazz, Erasure, Take That, The Spice Girls, 808 State, Lulu, Tom Baker, Moloko and Pulp.
At FON they started working with fledging digital recording techniques, including investment in Apple-based Greengate sampling software. Sim was also involved with the build and installation of two early recording studio projects in Sheffield - Human League and Comsat Angels / Axis.
A highly regarded saxophonist, Lister has worked as a producer and musical director with Factory Records in Brazil, the USA and the UK. He also plays and records trumpet and French horn as well as using wide-ranging digital techniques.
Tours and performances as theatre musician have included full seasons at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with the Sheffield-based Compass Theatre. In the 1980s Sim gave music workshops at the 'Leadmill' arts venue in Sheffield as part of the arts organisation 'Manifesto' - one of his students was the comedian and broadcaster, Linda Smith.
Sim was saxophonist with The Funky Worm, which was produced by Mark Brydon (Chakk, Moloko) and also featured DJs Parrot and Ping Pong (Carl Munson), and vocalist (now actress) Julie Stewart; they were signed by WEA.
The Funky Worm track "Hustle! (To the Music...)" went to number 1 on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart 1988, before reaching number 13 in the UK Singles Chart. Other tracks were "The Spell! (Get Down With The Genie)" (1988) and "U + Me = Love" (1989) - "The Spell!" appears in the Only Fools and Horses episode "Yuppy Love".
Lister's recording sessions have included Boy George, Cabaret Voltaire (saxophone on the tracks "Sex, Money, Freaks" and "No One Here" from the 1987 album 'Code'), Ashley and Jackson, Subsonic Two and Guy Barker - radio sessions include The John Peel Sessions, and his TV appearances have included Top of the Pops and The Tube.
As a composer he was jointly commissioned to compose a piece for Phoenix Dance Theatre in Leeds, one of the UKs leading contemporary dance companies.
Sim Lister's most recent releases are Two Thousand and Six (2005) by Heights of Abraham (a collaboration with Steve Cobby and Jake Harries) - and in 2006 Put Me On A Planet by J*S*T*A*R*S (with Steve Cobby): from this album the track 'Loose Nuke Threat' was chosen for a national TV advertising campaign by the John Lewis Partnership.
Nowadays he is also label manager of Twentythree Records: the label of Fila Brazillia, Heights of Abraham, Mandrillus Sphynx and The Solid Doctor, though 'The Solid Doctor' and 'Heights of Abraham' have since (April 2013) relocated to Steel Tiger Records, the label Sim co-founded with Steve Cobby in 2006
Sim Lister 'Sandman Magazine' interview
1984: "One week we actually had the choice of whether we'd have the front cover of NME or Melody Maker. Complete madness, fun though." The 1990s: "We had a very grim time of it. It was a horrible slow lingering death." (Sim Lister)
Read Sim Lister's interview with Sandman Magazine