The best undiscovered guitar album in the world, ever?

Adorable -  Against Perfection

Adorable were one of the pre-Oasis bands on Alan McGee’s Creation label. Hailing from Coventry in 1991, they consisted of  Piotr (Pete) Fijalkowski (vocals, guitar), Robert Dillam (guitar), Steven ‘Wil’ Williams (bass), and Kevin Gritton (drums).

Apart from one of the best guitar rock bands ever, there is an additional element of interest for me in that Pete Fijalkowski is now based in Brighton and plays local pub gigs including The Wheatsheaf.

After recording a 12” of “Sunshine Smile” (b/w “I’ll Be Your Saint” and “Breathless”) that was pressed to be released on record producer Pat Collier’s ‘Money To Burn,’ label the band signed to Creation Records in 1992, and after a UK tour supporting Curve they released their first single, a re-recording of “Sunshine Smile,” in May of that year.

“Sunshine Smile” was NME’s Single of the Week, and topped the Indie Singles chart as well as entering the mainstream UK single top 100 charts for three weeks. A backlash in the press against the band’s outspoken image immediately followed, and the band weren’t ever interviewed in the mainstream UK press after their debut single. The band released “I’ll Be Your Saint,” “Homeboy” and “Sistine Chapel Ceiling” (NME single of the Week), which all went into the Top 5 in the Indie charts, but failed to enter the mainstream Top 75.

Their masterpiece – the album Against Perfection, released in 1993, went to #70 in the album charts, and the band toured the USA, Europe, Australia & Japan.

The second album, Fake, could be perceived as more insular, which Fijalkowski himself suggests was the result of the band feeling vulnerable. Creation was reviewing their contract and Pete himself admits in the Cherry Red release of their best work ‘Footnotes’ that he was expecting to be dropped at any time (Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine – got the courtesy of a phone call from Alan McGee, Adorable didn’t).  The album does contain two of their best songs – Submarine and Road Movie  – but whilst  two singles (“Kangaroo Court” & “Vendetta” – see below) again entered high in the Indie Singles chart, the album didn’t trouble the mainstream Top 75 – and strained relations both within the band and with Creation resulted in the band announcing their split onstage in Brussels in late 1994.

In subsequent years, the band has been re-classified as being part of the shoegaze movement. However, the poetry of the lyrics and romanticism present in much of the songwriting makes this a misnomer. ‘A to Fade In’ remains one of the finest paeans to the fleeting nature of fame and the human condition ever written. Pete went on to form Polak and bands such as Ash & Oasis have acknowledged their admiration of the band.

Subsequent to the band’s demise Robert Dillam moved to Scotland where he joined The Zephyrs, whilst Fijalkowski went on to form the band Polak, who signed to One Little Indian Records.

A few years ago he was selling second hand books on the beach in front of Brighton’s crumbling West Pier. Noel Gallagher is a millionaire several times over.

Buy ‘Footnotes’ on Cherry Red (CDM RED 327) via and discover the genius of Adorable for yourself.


Against Perfection (Creation / CRE 138) – Mar 1993
Fake (Creation / CRE 165) – Sept 1994
Footnotes – Best Of 92-94 (Cherry Red / CDMRED327) – Jan 2008

Sunshine Smile (Creation / CRE 127) – Apr 1992
I’ll Be Your Saint (Creation / CRE 133) – Jul 1992
Homeboy (Creation / CRE 140) – Oct 1992
Sistine Chapel Ceiling (Creation / CRE 153) – Jan 1993
Favourite Fallen Idol (Creation / CRE 159) – Apr 1993
Kangaroo Court (Creation / CRE 172) – Apr 1994
Vendetta (Creation / CRE 177) – Sept 1994

To enhance your listening pleasure and to rehabilitate Fijalkowski’s place in the annals of Rock I give you the following download of ‘Against Perfection’ and the singles ‘Kangaroo Court’ and ‘Vendetta’ – the latter being deleted and therefore impossible to find.


Released (to celebrate Callum’s 18th Birthday 15.8.09)

Callum in the garden



Through eighteen winters shedding their sweaters

to become summers

We have loved you.

The world seems old and hydraulic

as it shifts rheumatically on its oxidising axis.

The clouds purse for an open-mouthed moment

allowing the sun to bolt from its hiding place,

a startled doe, a scuttled exit from the woods.


Time moves, it is 1991 once more.

Here it lies,

A stuttering, spastic year, crying and spewing freedom

when midges and fireflies pull down an iron curtain

And Jeffrey Dahmes himself as he smiles in the dock

And we watch wide-eyed as Lithuania turns

from Communist to Eurovision in front of us

And on the earth’s flipside an exhibition soccer match in Jo’burg

becomes a showcase for death

While in the distance the eternal fire wells of Kuwait

snap like cheap cigarette lighters in Saddam’s hand

And we listen to the sound of a distant storm in the desert

Crying Bravo Two Zero boys and bidding

For the serial rights

To death

And as the oil burns in Kuwait, we set light

To the long black slick, slicker than Elvis

left by the Exxon Valdez, big enough to melt Alaska

And our hearts start melting in anticipation of your arrival.

In the middle of the Soviet disunion

We cross the days off a calendar,

Saying goodbye to weeks

As Yugoslavia waves goodbye to Croatia and Slovenia

Ticking the days away

4th August: 571 drown as the MS Oceanos sinks – but we are floating

6th August: the Web gathers like a matrix to come into being – we are expectant

13th August: Super Nintendo arrives – and we are taking slow steady breaths

And on the 15th you are born to the sound of an iron curtain closing

as we craft your cot

and listen to a few Kurt words as your favourite album shambles in

conceived and delivered at the same time as you

Nevermind cooes the Iron Lady to her Gorby

Nevermind grins Slick Willie as he press releases his open ambition

 in all the right houses

Nevermind we think as Maxwell’s silver hammer falls into contaminated waters

Nevermind we murmur as the Magic and the Mercury submit to the modern plague

And as we shout your name to the world

The KGB runs out of secrets to trade

And later, as you blink towards the sun

A Terry in Waiteing also blinks as a side door in Beirut releases him to the light

And as we christen you

Leningrad becomes St Petersburg again, re-released under a different, older name

with a new dialect of materialism

so when the old boyos provisionally blow their bombs

 in the early morning of a London peoplescape

We know that we have set the fuse to something more explosive.

 You are the point where the past released the future

and from the pieces came the best of us both.


Roy Stannard 6.8.09