Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Moe Tucker - Peel Session 18/02/1992

Post- Velvet Underground break up, two thirds of the key band members eventually found their way into the BBC Maida Vale studios - the excptions being Lou Reed and Doug Yule. Nico got their first in 1971 and was invited back for a second three years later. The latter was recently issued for the first time as bonus material on the deluxe edition of The End; the former was pressed onto a Strange Fruit 12" ep in 1988. John Cale recorded his one and only Peel session in May 1985, but nearly two decades would pass before another Velvet would get the official Peel seal of approval.
Maureen Tucker - with Sterling Morrison in tow - was touring the UK to promote her latest album, 1991's I Spent A Week There Last Night. Three songs from that lp were showcased for the session, along with new track, Trains, that would feature on what to date is her last album of new studio material, Dogs Under Stress from 1993.
Peel Intro
Blue, All The Way To Canada
Fired Up
Too Shy
Nico's debut '71 session can be found @ I Love Total Destruction,
while her second from '74 is on youtube.
Fruitier Than Thou has the John Cale session.

Tortoise - Peel Sessions 1996-98

Both sessions Chicago's post-rock pioneers taped for John Peel in the mid-90s. Cool Britannia may have been sweeping the nation if the brain-pummelling media hype was to be believed, but in the hearts and minds of the more discerning household it was Tortoise and their ilk who ruled the (air) waves.
No new material has been released since 2009's Beacons Of Ancestorship and the last entry on their website was dated September 2011 announcing a score recorded for Blair Witch Project director Eduardo Sanchez.
The Taut And The Tame
Tin Cans And Twine
Aldeia De Olgum
In Sarah Mencken Christ And Beethoven There
I Set My Face To The Hillside
Check out Tortoise live @ ATP 2001 on a post I published in July 2012.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Pixies - Peel Sessions 1990-91

I'm afraid I'm one of the dissenters when asked for an opinion on the Pixies comeback album Indie City, but I won't bore you with the details. Instead let us marvel in awe-inspiring wonderment when it seemed the fiery foursome were the only group that (ever) mattered.

The Pixies recorded seven sessions for the BBC which have been much bootlegged, highlights of which were officially issued in 1997 on 4AD's At The BBC compilation. It was Simon Mayo who first gave the band exposure on British airwaves with a session broadcast on 8th March 1988. However, the four songs (Here Comes Your Man, Down To The Well, Break My Body, Subbaculcha) were leftovers from sessions that Come On Pilgrim (aka The Purple Tape demos). These tracks, along with a further five unreleased from tape would see release on an eponymously-titled album in 2001.

By the close of '88 the Pixies had notched up two sessions for Peel in quick session, followed by a third in 1989 - all available from Vibracobra.  The fourth from 1990 was actually a Black Francis solo session. Is She Weird? was made available on 4AD's Pixies At The BBC set, but all the other tracks - including an early run through of Brian Wilson's Hang On To Your Ego, later to grace Frank Black's 1993 debut lp - remain unreleased.

Two months later the full band line-up were back at Maida Vale, this time to tape a set for Mark Goodier, before returning for a final time to nail down their fifth session for Peelie in 1991.

Hang On To Your Ego
Is She Weird?
Palace Of The Brine
Letter To Memphis
Motorway To Roswell

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Adventures In Stereo - Brand New Day (Bobsled 7" 1997)

Seven 7" Singles In Seven Days #7:
Final instalment of our week long wander into lost wonderment.
Adventures In Stereo were formed in 1994 by Primal Scream founder Jim Beattie and his partner Judith Boyle after their previous outfit Spirea X broke up. Swapping roles with Boyle handling lead vocal duties, the pair were initially joined by Simon Dine who created the rather unique samples that acting as the backing track to the short but sweet songs. Dine would leave the group before the eponymous debut album was released in 1996.
Brand New Day was their fourth single and lifted from their second album Alternative Stereo Sounds, both issued in 1997. Three versions of the single exist: a 2 track 7" and 4 track cd issued in the UK by Creeping Bent, and this here 4 track half clear/half purple 7" issued in the US on Bobsled.
Beattie and Boyle continued for a third album, Monomania released in 2000, adopting a sound similar to pre-Sonic Flower Groove Primal Scream. Since that a time both appear to have dropped out of the music business altogether.

A1 Brand New Day
A2 Pass Me By
B1 Waves
B2 Nobody's Scared

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Oinklets - The Oink Song (Intape 7" Flexi 1986)

Seven 7" Singles In Seven Days #6
Friday flexi freebie frivolous frolicsome fun!
Oink! was a short lived comic founded by Tony Husband and Mark Rodgers that was first published in May 1986. Devised as a Viz comic for under 18s, it was originally a fortnightly publication that ran for 68 issues until October 1988. Among its staff writers was one Marc Riley.
Oink! proved quite controversial due it's "anarchic" - conservative groups and a chain of newsagents branded the publication unsuitable for children and successfully campaigned to have it "top-shelved" which had a direct effect on sales.
The first issue came with a free two track clear vinyl flexi disc. The identity of the performers has remained a mystery, but vocalist on The Oinklets track sounds like Chris Sievey/Frank Sidebottom, while Uncle Pig (track 2) definitely sounds like Marc Riley, presumably backed by The Creepers. But regardless of whoever was behind them these two quirky pop ditties  are guaranteed to leave you feeling - wait for it - happy as a pig in shit.

A1 The Oink Song - The Oinklets
A2 Oink Rap - Uncle Pig

Thursday, 24 July 2014

The McTells - Jesse Man Rae (Frank 7" 1988)

Seven 7" Singles In Seven Days #5
I previously wrote about The McTells in November 2012 when I posted their debut Bi-Joopiter flexi disc. After several cassette only releases under various guises, the group issued their first "conventional" disc in 1988 on the Frank label.  
The lead track was a radical re-write of Across The Sea from their debut eponymously-titled cassette only release, while the remaining three tracks had all appeared in earlier forms on the aforementioned debut and Expecting Joe cassettes.
The sleeve design was unmistakably Creation influenced with a fold out paper cover housed in a poly bag which included a colour 7 x 7 Bi-Joopiter mail order insert. As far as I'm aware none of the versions of these songs on this ep have ever been re-issued.
The McTells continued to release "proper" records into the 90s and the Bi-Joopiter label has been inspirational to many budding independent label bosses of subsequent generations.
Virginia MC was included as a bonus track on the deluxe edition C86 box set and the group reconvened to perform at the album launch at 229 in London last June.
A1 Jesse Man Rae
A2 If Only
B1 Rotten
B2 M.T.B.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Sinister Cleaners - The Gnomes Of Zurich (AAZ 7" 1985)

Seven 7" Singles In Seven Days #4
Hailing from Leeds bedsit land, The Sinister Cleaners were initially a trio of Len Liggins, John Parkes and Andrew Middleton, all sharing instrument and vocal duties, aided and abetted by trusty tinny drum machine. The Gnomes Of Zurich was their debut single, self-financed on their own label (as were all their subsequent releases) and released in early 1985. Astonishingly, it was Record Mirror that first gave them wider exposure with a small feature and interview (I think Gnomes may even have been single of the week). I say astonishing because at this stage the publication had shed its tabloid status rivalling the NME, Sounds and Melody Maker in favour of a colour magazine format almost exclusively dedicated to mainstream chart acts in direct competition with Smash Hits. (By the end of year the publication would do an about turn again and focus mainly on the independent scene).
It's fair to say that stylistically Gnomes doesn't stray too far from The Three John/Eton Crop pop stable, but B side The Architect seemed to demonstrate what was to come in future releases. Eighteen months would pass until they unleashed Lemon Meringue Bedsit, a bumper 6 track 12" ep in summer 1986. By this time they had acquired a "proper" drummer, Simon Smith, and built a bigger, individual sound with stronger vocal melodies and blues-tinged guitar runs suggesting The Magic Band playing Richard Lloyd's lead parts on Marque Moon.
The group toured the UK and Europe regularly and issued two more 12" eps in 1986-87, before calling it a day sometime in 1988. Len Liggins had become increasing involved with The Wedding Present, contributing violin and vocals on their Ukranian Peel sessions. This would develop into side project The Ukranians which later would turn in to a full time affair when Peter Solowka quit The Weddoes shortly after completing Sea Monsters in 1991. Simon Smith took over the drum seat from Shaun Charman in early '88.
In 2007 the group reactivated their AAZ label and released Shine, a 20 track cd collection compiling the latter three eps and five new recordings of previously unreleased songs. Strangely, both Gnomes and Architect were excluded from the set. All the more reason to post it here!
 A1 The Gnomes Of Zurich
B1 The Architect