An Exciting Tale Of Defiance, Fury And Romance

Someone asked me if I had digital copies of these three songs. I do. So here they are. Sabres of Paradise in session for John Peel, March 13th 1993, recorded at the Sabres basecamp and not released anywhere officially. These rips came from the much missed Ripped In Glasgow website. The audio quality is much better than rips from radio to cassette to mp3 sound like you’d think they should be. The three tunes are all excellent and the recording session dates from after the Haunted Dancehall album so are pretty much the last thing the band did before Weatherall moved on to Two Lone Swordsmen.

Stanshall’s Lament

Blackfriar’s Sunday

Duke On Berwick


Keeping It Peel

Today is the tenth anniversary of the death of John Peel. Webbie (from Football and Music) organises this internet event annually, paying tribute to Peel and his life and the music he loved. This track isn’t from an actual Peel Session but it has John introducing the song on the radio,a bit of waffle in those familiar tones, and then Sheet Taft (Glasgow based, Creation Records, post-acid house outfit) and the long, languid, dubby and somewhat trippy Kali.


Last Rose Of Summer

Yesterday was lovely, largely. The sun shone all day, in the morning I had a great cycle ride round High Legh and through Tatton Park. Later on we wandered round Knutsford town centre, poking around a few pricey antique shops, went for a cup of tea and some cake, sat in the sun for a bit. Some idiots* in Leicester town centre spoilt it a little but you can’t have everything. The late September sun was making me wonder whether this would be the last really nice day of the year, as a sunny day at this time of year always does.

Then this song was linked to somewhere by someone- Last Rose Of Summer by North Lanarkshire’s Delgados. A beautiful, fragile and quietly-noisy song. The Delgados made a bunch of fine records and were named after Pedro Delgado, Tour De France winner in 1988 and the 1985 and 89 Vueltas. No bandwidth so no download. This was from a Peel Session.

* Those idiots would be, in no particular order 1) Referee Mark Clattenburg 2) United’s panicky, under equipped defence 3) Leicester’s thug-in-chief Vardy 4) Dutch ‘genius’ Louis van Gaal who has splurged £160 million quid without noticing we have a somewhat leaky back four.

Red Pullover

Clothing in song titles part three: recommended today by C from the wonderful Sun Dried Sparrows. This red pullover would look pretty good with yesterday’s denim jacket, although personally I can’t wear a polo neck- very irritating on the throat.

Red Pullover was a 7″ single by The Gynaecologists, released in 1980 and played by John Peel (and this sounds exactly like what Peel would play). C said she remembered Peel playing it on his radio show, thrity four years ago- isn’t it funny, the things we remember? I can’t find any reference to anything else they recorded and very little info about the band other than the song on Youtube and this on 45Cat. I’d never heard of it before but I’m glad C mentioned it because I really like it even if it’s a little disturbing- rudimentary drum machine on factory setting, some minimal instrumentation and quite haunting spoken vocals in a regional accent, Teeside possibly, in a typed out, folded half sleeve, probably put out in a pretty small run. A long lost, very obscure record. Maybe having made one 7″ single they achieved their ambitions and did nothing again which would be very 1980, post punk in ethos.

Turn The Heater On

This is New Order’s gorgeous cover version of Keith Hudson’s reggae tune Turn The Heater On, done for a Peel session in 1982. The marriage of early 80s New Order and dub works really rather well, Bernard’s melodica especially.

Turn The Heater On (Peel Session)

s far as I’m aware, it’s also New Order’s only recorded cover version.

1. Yes, I know they used to cover Sister Ray, but that appears on live albums and bootlegs only (including the very brilliant mid 80s Glastonbury gig they released. Bernard’s  between song banter including the legendary ‘Big songs, small dicks’). There’s also a US gig where they did Anarchy In The UK I used to have a recording of. Was it any good? No, it was shit.
2. Yes, I know they covered Jimmy Cliff’s Vietnam for a War Child compilation. But that was the reconvened New Order minus Gillian Gilbert and while I saw them live several times during that period and always massively enjoyed them I’m getting to a point where as far as being a recording band is concerned, I don’t include the stuff without Gillian. Sorry Phil Cunningham but that’s how it is. On the other hand, I do really like at least half of Get Ready, their 2001 comeback album, so I’m contradicting myself. Maybe the line above should therefore read…

As far as I’m aware it’s also New Order’s only recorded cover version apart from their 2003 cover of Jimmy Cliff’s Vietnam. 

Keeping It Peel

October 25th is Keeping It Peel Day across the internet. I’ve taken part previously- the sound of John Peel’s voice followed by something familiar and brilliant, or unfamiliar and brilliant, or just plain puzzling, was one of the joys of the man’s radio show. In previous years I’ve posted Keeping It Peel songs by Half Man Half Biscuit, The Redskins and Sabres Of Paradise. I dallied briefly with posting a song from The Cramps only Peel Session but we’ve had a surfeit of Crampiness in recent weeks- not that you can have too much but I thought some of you might be getting bored- and when searching my d/ls folder found this, Sonic Youth covering The Fall’s Rowche Rumble…

Rowche Rumble (Peel Session)

And also this from long lost blissed out, groovy, Balearic dance act Fluke, who I always had a soft spot for…

The Allotment of Blighty (Peel Session)

The two together, I think, kind of covers some of the spirit of the man and the radio show.

Keeping It Peel 2012: What Ain’t We Got?

We Ain’t Got Mates.

October 25th has become Keeping It Peel Day in recent years, a series of blog tributes to John Peel’s radio shows, eclectic tastes and the influence he had on so many people who just wanted to hear the stuff they weren’t playing on daytime radio. Recent news stories have left a bit of a bad taste in the mouth where Peel is concerned (even if none of the stories are actually news. He wrote about the underage Texan wife in his autobiography published after he died, having been completed by his wife Sheila). I’m not entirely sure where I stand on all of this re: Peel at the moment but we’ll Keep It Peel musically anyway.

Half Man Half Biscuit were Peel Sessioneers on six occasions (I think). The magnificently titled Four Skinny Indie Kids Drinking Weak Lager was from a 1998 session and features Peel introducing it. Verse 1 kicks off with –

‘Bleak cheap interview
Pool cue fancy pants
Chic Bates apricot
Short term sweat
Hamstring monument
Shark shit welterweight
Topsoil Chapterhouse
Christ-like mince’

And has this as a middle eight-

‘We’ve got lo-fi, we’ve got tie-dye
We’ve got grey and brown and black
We’ve got stickers on guitars
We’ve got a tape for Steve Lamacq
We’ve got celibate lead singers
We’ve got Sebadoh’s and Docs
But what ain’t we got?
We ain’t got mates’

Four Skinny Indie Kids Drinking Weak Lager