A Double

In past years on music blogs October 25th was Keeping It Peel Day (October 25th being the day he died in 2004), a day to celebrate the life and music of the man. I remember this largely because October 25th is also my wife’s birthday.

This photograph/meme was doing the rounds a couple of weeks ago and I love it. In the spirit of the meme and for Keeping It Peel Day- Peel supported and loved both bands- I offer you a Joy Division song recorded by New Order in 1998 for a Peel Session.


Isolation contains one of Ian Curtis’ most distressing lyrics. The second verse has for a long time seemed to me like where he knew he was moving towards the place he ended up in on 18th May 1980.

‘Mother I tried please believe me,
I’m doing the best that I can.
I’m ashamed of the things I’ve been put through,
I’m ashamed of the person I am’

Musically Isolation is immense, Stephen’s urgent electronic drums, Hooky’s driving bass and Bernard’s keyboards which bring a bit of light into the shade. The second half of the song receives a real shot of adrenaline when the ‘real’ kit and hi-hat come in, propelling it onward. On Closer, Joy Division’s second album, it is a breath of fresh air, a few minutes of aural relief following the claustrophobic, intense and unsettling opener Atrocity Exhibition. If you can ignore the content of the lyrics. The New Order version above is well worth your time, an update and upgrade, a merged musical version of Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald, both black and pink.

And happy birthday to Mrs Swiss (Lou), a fan of The Breakfast Club and Molly Ringwald’s dancing.

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.


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

Keeping It Peel Day Slight Return

A second Peel Session song. It’s half term and I’ve got the time. Early 80s left wing skinheads The Redskins, with Young And Proud from a 1982 session. Get your red docs on and bounce.

Keeping It Peel Day

Keeping It Peel Day is organised across the web by Webbie, who you can find here explaining what it’s all about. I joined in last year posting a track from Sabres Of Paradise’s sole Peel Session. First up today is a Half Man Half Biscuit song, recorded for a Peel Session (in I think 2004) before it was available anywhere else, rapidly becoming an audience favourite. Paintball’s Coming Home attacks those people, those couples, you know the ones- they’ve got a new conservatory, they got married on a Caribbean beach, they’ve got a German Shepherd dog called Prince, they know where things are in B & Q, they made friends with people on Henman Hill, they buy soup in cartons not in tins, they hire stretch limousines, they’ve got a website for their cat, they keep a torch in the back of the car. Most damningly of all they’ve got nothing but total respect for Annie Lennox/the Mercury Music Prize (depending on which version you’re listening to). I once played this to a chap who took it as a personal attack on himself. And maybe he was right.

Here’s to John Peel and his memory. And this fairly bizarre photo.

Keeping It Peel

Today is Keeping It Peel Day, a celebration of the life, work and musical loves of John Peel. Organised by Webbie who runs the wonderful Football And Music blog (link down to the right), I thought I’d join in. I’ve been running through the enormous number of bands and artists I love, like and admire who had Peel Sessions, and have made various mental commitments over the last few weeks before going for this one. You so nearly got The House Of Love. Instead, just as many bloggers will feature The Fall and The Wedding Present (and there’s nothing wrong with either of those) I eventually decided on reverting to Bagging Area type and giving you a track from the only Sabres Of Paradise Peel Session. Sabres were Andrew Weatherall’s early 90s band, as you all surely know. Their Peel Session had three tracks -this one, a tribute to top nutter Vivian Stanshall called Stanshall’s Lament, and two others Duke On Berwick and Blackfriars Sunday. All three are lovely, laid back electronic music.

Credit where it’s due- all three Sabres tracks came from a reader of the outstanding but now sadly retired Ripped In Glasgow blog. So three cheers for Mr Weatherall, three more for Moggieboy and his reader, and at least three for John Peel.

Stanshall’s Lament.mp3