Welcome to the second annual Keeping It Peel, a celebration of the music brought to us by the late John Peel (although he wasn't "the late John Peel" when he doing the bringing, of course. Just in case there was any confusion, like). I and like-minded souls are commemorating the man by posting Peel session tracks and various related goodies on our internetted medium of preference (check out the Keeping It Peel site to see what others have been doing). Below is our selection, chosen at random by 's-Hertogenbosch, the SIATVS blind lots-drawing dog.
(Here's how we did it last year.)
Thanks, as so often, go to Webbie, for the whole thing is his doing; and, of course, to John Peel. He may only have been a conduit, but what a conduit.
Elvis Costello & the Attractions — "Less Than Zero"
Deco is more associated with Charlie Gillett, who was the first DJ to play his demos. But he actually did four sessions for Peel. This version of "Less Than Zero" is taken from the first of those, in 1977. This would, I suppose, be one of the first recorded appearances from the Attractions (perhaps the first?).
Also, for no extra cost, have "Shipbuilding". It's actually from a session for Peel's Top of the Pops co-presenting bud David Jensen (see above), but it's irresistible.
Laura Cantrell — "Indoor Fireworks"
And here's a Costello song performed by Laura Cantrell. The sound quality takes a dip in the middle of this, but the performance more than compensates.
McCarthy — "An MP Speaks" — from That's All Very Well, But...: The Best of McCarthy
A rumour that McCarthy were actually from Barnsley and named themselves after Mick was started by me earlier in this sentence, and flatly denied by me in this later section of same.
The Manic Street Preachers covered a couple of McCarthy songs: "Charles Windsor" and "We Are All Bourgeois Now". Strangely, they never did a Peel session. However, in their early days, they sent Peel a letter whose revolutionary brio so impressed him that he gave them their first airplay. The band were prolific letter writers at that time, as they aimed to spread the word. My parents even got some:
"Beauty exists only in struggle. There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character. Poetry must be a violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man.": F. T. Marinetti
Dear Mr. and Mrs. O'Rrarci,
We suffer from the putrid stench strangulation of the aristocratic hegemony. Ours is a culture of underclass barricade rust death. The QEII futurepast atrocity spectacle rains down on our boredom like Chapterhouse's piss. It's time to fill the galleries with slurry. It's time to blow up the museums, rebuild them from their own rubble, then blow them up again. It's time for a new art stance. Our single New Art Riot is out next Monday on Damaged Goods.
PS. Belated thanks for the Monopoly game you got us for Christmas. I (Nick!) like to play as the iron (natch), James likes to be the car, Richey uses a scab he picked off his arm and Sean plays as the hat, which he sometimes wears on his head!
Viv Stanshall — "In the Final Analysis"
"An Absence of Whelks" (Parts 1-4)
"English as tuppence, changing yet changeless as canal water, nestling in green nowhere, armoured and effete, bold flag-bearer, lotus-fed Miss Havishambling opsimath and eremite, feudal still, reactionary Rawlinson End..."
Leader of the Bonzo Dog Band, eccentric, and lifelong Viv Stanshall, Viv Stanshall was ... Viv Stanshall.
The Fall — "The Mixer" — from The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004
The Fall, The Fall, The Fall, The Fall, The Fall.
The Fall, The Fall, The Fall, The Fall, The Fall, The Fall, The Fall, The Fall.
John Cooper Clarke — "Readers' Wives"
I don't think Clarke sounded as good with a band behind him as he does on his own. But it's all relative, is it not?
Those of a certain tendency may listen to the following and come away singing "C-O-R-G-IIIIIIIII..."
Pulp — "I Love Life" — from The Peel Sessions
From Pulp's last Peel session proper, in 2001.
Datblygu — "Baban, Nerfau Mor Rhydd" (Baby, Nerves So Loose)
I'm cheating a bit here. Neither of these are session tracks; I'm not that sold on most of that album, to be honest. But there's some cracking stuff on the Wyau, Pyst and Libertino albums, which are available on a 2-CD collection. The tracks above are from Wyau and Pyst respectively.
Half Man Half Biscuit — "Uffington Wassail" — from hmhb.co.uk
"A Country Practice" (live)
Also, some studio "cuts", as I'm totally sure Nigel Blackwell calls them:
The Delgados, "Pull the Wires from the Wall"
I've misplaced my Delgados Complete Peel Sessions, so you'll have to make-do with a YouTube upload. (Make do, says he!)
And on that note: till next year...