Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Yeah Yeah Noh - Sumo, Leicester 21/12/2013

Christmas isn't Christmas nowadays without YYN's annual pre-festive spirit warm up in what is generally considered their hometown, despite the fact that all but Derek either live in or are from Birmingham.
Second gig with new keyboard player Fiona Hodgson, following the departure of Eva Landsberg to concentrate on whatever it is departing musicians concentrate on. First ever performance of new song She Pulls The Petal From The Flower, and Queen's Highway, first unveiled at the Peel All-dayer in Preston back in October. For the grey hairs wishing to relive their student days as cappacino-supping armchair socialists, Cottage Industry is also here.
The set kicks off with a radical new arrangement of Blood Soup. The song has been transformed into a medium paced rave for the middle aged who've lost that luvved up feeling and whose recreational highs are gained from nothing more nefarious than sucking on an aniseed ball or two.
YYN are set to go into the studio in January to record a new ep, slated for release in February. Several shows have already been scheduled for 2014, the next being in March at The Cross, Moseley supporting Vic Godard and The June Brides.
Thanks once again to Mr. Symons and his magical contraptions for doing the honours.

Monday, 9 December 2013

The Beta Band - Black Session 10/6/2004

Hearts around the globe may have skipped a breakbeat or two with the unexpected appearance of The Regal Years, a 6 cd retrospective comprising every note the much-missed group committed to vinyl, along with a healthy two disc dose of rarities and largely unreleased material, as well as stray b sides.

Retailing at little more than the price of a single cd, the expansive set should appeal to a new generation of fans and those of us who witnessed them first hand who, if like me, bought everything they ever did on vinyl and wore out their copies through excessive spinning and frequent moves from one unsafe address to another until arriving at semi-detached sanity.

Minor gripes about the release: there appears to be no evidence of remastering, and aside from some entertaining liner notes in the accompanying booklet by non-founder member Richard Greentree, little or no involvement from the band itself. The rarities perhaps rely too heavily on radio broadcasts, with several songs duplicated more than once, the set concluding with highlights from the last gig at Shepherd's Bush Empire - the full set had already been released as a bonus disc with The Best Of compilation. The debut Breezeblock session from 1998 (posted elsewhere on this blog) would have been a far worthier inclusion in my humble opinion.

But the package does include the sketchy demo tape that features Gordon Anderson which ultimately clinched the deal with Parlophone, as well as the 1997 Radio 1 Steve Lamacq session containing the ultra-rare Shepherd's Dub and the version of Dry The Rain which was my introduction to the band and had not heard since the original broadcast.

With The Aliens seemingly orbiting distant galaxies and Mr. Greentree presumably settled in a career in carpentry in Pompey, only Steve Mason continues to raise his public profile - this year saw the release of his strongest solo set to date with Monkey Minds In The Devil's Time. Whether The Regal Years is a taster/tester for the eventual - and in today's musical climate, inevitable - reunion remains to be seen. And with Velvet Underground out-takes still being excavated from the vaults half a century after the fact, it's probably only a matter of time the fans will be treated to super deluxe editions of The Betas three albums with appropriate demos and out-takes.

Until whenever, here's a session that you won't find on the box set, recorded for a French radio station in front of a small audience just a matter of months before the break up. This was the second time the band had visited the Parisian studios, the first around the time their eponymous debut album in 1999. Both these sets surfaced briefly as bootleg cds about five or six years ago, along with other artists that had recorded sessions for the show. Sound quality is excellent, the performance is spot on (as you'd expect), marred only be some clumsy track splitting.


Inner Meet Me
She's The One
Lion Thief
Dog's Got A Bone

Monday, 2 December 2013

Folk Devils - Peel Sessions 1984-85

Great unsung punkified blues combo whose slim output has yet to receive a cd reissue.
The original incarnation of the group released just three singles/eps and recorded these three sessons for John Peel before imploding amid the capital's notorious heroin underground at the end of 1985.

In 1987, frontman Ian Lowery emerged with a new Folk Devils line-up who signed to Beggars Banquet and released The Best Protection 12" and the album Goodnight Irony - a collection of earlier singles and unreleased material. Lowery would finally issue his first full length album proper at the end of the decade, under the King Blank monicker, but to these ears the disc was a toned down affair of the Folk Devils ferocious potential.

Lowery would continue working as a solo artist until his untimely death in 2001.

The Peel sessions have recently been doing the rounds on youtube, mostly likely in better audio quality than the files presented here. But if you're sensible enough not to risk having your hard drive hijacked by all manner of malware by using online youtube to mp3 converters, then this post's for you.

While not exactly compatible with the C86 bracket, the revitalised interest in that scene in recent years has seen the group overlooked on recent - and possibly imminent - releases on the bailiff-baying reissue market. It would be nice if Lowery's works with the various bands and projects he was involved in were compiled on a box set. Should that time not arrive, thankfully there's the official Facebook page with lots of rare and unseen photos, unreleased songs and much more.

More info on Wikpedia.

Where The Buffalo Roam
Beautiful Monster
Tight Sleep
What's That Smell?
Big Car, Big Car
Broken Head
Ink Runs Dry
This Traitor Hand
It Drags On
Under The Bridge
Dead Heat

Update Nov 15:
All files have now been deleted.
The complete sessions are now officially available from Amazon and other leading digital outlets.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A Witness - Peel Sessions 1985-88

All four sessions A Witness recorded for Uncle John before their career was truncated by the tragic death of Rick Aitken. There's very little to be found on the net concerning the group, although some interesting live footage has surfaced recently on youtube. For the uninitiated, I'll direct you to Wikipedia. Accusations of laziness will be counteracted with the fact that there's nothing more I can add to the scant and semi-reliable information already available on t'net. So there!

The Loudhailer Song
Smelt Like A Pedestrian
O'Grady's Dream
Sharpened Sticks
Faglane Morris Wind
Nodding Dog Moustache
Raw Patch
Hard Day's Love
Take Me To The Earth
McManus Octaphone
Sunbed Sentimantal
Zip Up
I Love You Mr. Disposable Razors
Life - The Final Frontier
Helicopter Tealeaf
Prince Microwave Bollard

Friday, 25 October 2013

Peelfest! #2

Today marks the ninth year since the passing of Uncle John, so in what's becoming a nascent tradition here at Maggot Caviar, here are five more sessions, one from each decade of Peel's broadcasting career.

Futile to speculate as it may be but it's curious to think how (and where) exactly Peel would fit in with today's music climate if he hadn't passed away so unexpectedly. Already feeling marginalised at Radio 1 in the final year of his life, it's tempting to think he would have found a home at 6 Music, even if it was at the expense of his youngest son's career, and continue to both delight and confound we the audience with strange sounds from the unknown, much like Tom Ravenscroft continues to do today.

First up is a set from Davy Graham recorded live on air in 1968 during one of Peel's short-lived Night Ride shows. Today the live session is the norm and seems to have consigned the pre-recorded Maida Vale sessions into the annals of history along with decades of accumulated master tapes sealed in the BBC vaults.

Bruton Town
I'm Ready
Rock Me
Good Morning Blues


Jumping forward a decade we have the first of two sessions The Selecter taped at Maida Vale. My knowledge of this Coventry combo doesn't extend much beyond the hits On My Radio, Three Minute Hero and Missing Words, plus a vague recollection of singer Pauline Black hosting a children's tv quiz show in the early eighties. However, a few weeks after returning to my hometown after a baker's dozen years languishing in redneck obscurity on the Sussex coast, I witnessed Selector Acoustic perform at the Tudor Rooms -  a venue usually the reserved for wedding-related functions - in Tamworth to an audience of no more than 20 people that were largely made up of the support band Fishnet Parachutes and its spouses. Just last Sunday gone I saw the full line up turn in a superb set at Birmingham Academy as support to Pil. I didn't have this session in my personal archive, so I've unashamedly copped the link from the Museum Of Radio Sessions.

They Make Me Mad
Carry Go Bring Come
Street Feeling

Link above expired. Try Fruitier Than Thou.

Isle Of Sheppey's finest popstars ever to grace the international stage recorded just this one session for John Peel; next Halloween marks the 30th anniversary of its first broadcast. Two of the songs taped at the session would be included on their hair-pulling outingly rare lone album (posted elsewhere on this blog) from 1986. With the formation of the Strange Fruit label a couple of years later many a Peel session became commercially available for the first time, initially in the 12" ep format housed in generic monochromatic sleeves. Amid the first batch of more financially viable releases that included the likes of The Damned, New Order and Stiff Little Fingers, at Peel's behest the Twa Toots session became the fledgling label's tenth release. Fans who may own the compilation Don't Send Me Flowers, the versions of Yo-Yo and A New Depression are not the same as those included on the album, and have been unavailable commercially since.
Please Don't Play A Rainy Night In Georgia
A New Depression
Lovely Day

Admittedly, I've posted this session once before, but upon the realisation I have little from the nineties that hasn't already been splattered across youtube or pressed up on the Satan's Frisbee format and with the release of Euros Childs new album Situation Comedy this week it seems fitting to repost this session here.
Meirion Wyllt
Dwm Ath Sain
Young Girls, Happy Endings
Patio Song

The Wisdom of Harry was the turn of the century nom de plume of former Loft/Weather Prophets mainman Peter Astor. After an unsuccessful dalliance with the majors, Astor found some success in France as a solo artist at the start of the nineties. Towards the end of the decade he began releasing a series of limited edition 7" singles as WoH later compiled of the Stars Of Super 8 album the following year. Continuing with the soporific melodic pop template of his previous outfits but adding subtle electronic beats and unique samples, debut lp proper, House Of Binary,  released in 2000 remains, to these ears, Astor's most satisfying work to date. One more album in under this guise, Torch Division, surfaced in 2003 in a more stripped down lo-fi vein. This is the only session WoH recorded for Peel, which includes a breathtaking cover of The Fall's Rebellious Jukebox, whereby Astor succeeds in making the song his own. The following month Astor was in attendance at the Peel Acres Christmas party where he performed Lawrence's rare Denim song I Will Cry At Christmas.
Shiny Shiny Pimp Mobile
I'm Gonna Make My Life Right
Rebellious Jukebox
Hail Tinseltown

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Bina - Kershaw Session 26/9/1991

In an age of Big Brothery nosy parkery on a level that not even George Orwell could have forseen, it's kind of heartwarming to know that there are some people out there in the real world who have managed, quite literally, to escape the net.

Born in Tanzania, Bina Mistry was a merchant banker living in London by the time she released her debut album, Ajnabee (Stranger) in 1991. Later that same year four songs from the album were re-recorded for the BBC and first transmitted on Andy Kershaw's show in November.

Later Bina would contribute a song, Hot Hot Hot, to the film soundtrack Bend It Like Beckham and release a more commercially-orientated cover of My Boy Lollipop as a single, far removed from the ghazal style recordings presented here.

If anyone has any information on Bina Mistry, please leave a comment below.

Ay Dar Masty
Beautiful People Are Never Faithful
Teaching Me Like This

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Orchestre Virunga & Samba Mapangala - Kershaw Session 17/11/1991

Orchestre Virunga formed in Nairobi, Kenya in 1981. The following year they scored a big hit with Malako ( a version of which was recorded for this session) and a big selling debut album, It's Disco Time with Samba Mapangala.

The group were largely made up of musicians of Congolese origin. Mapangala was born in the Congo, before he decamped to Uganda in the mid-seventies, eventually settling in the United States when the gained international popularity in the nineties.

The group continue to perform across the globe and release albums, the most recent cd, African Classics, surfacing in 2008.

Here is the Orchestre's only session for the BBC. Sound quality is a bit washy, suggesting a MW recording on a clear night.

Vunja Mifupa

Thursday, 19 September 2013

John Delafose & The Eunice Playboys - Kershaw Session 24/9/1992

Hi-energy Zydeco from deep within the heart of the crawfish ponds of Louisiana.

Born in 1939, Delafose took an interest in music at an early age. As a child he would make his own instruments out of any material available to hand. Later he would gravitate towards more conventional instruments, mastering the harmonica and button accordion.

A farmer by day, it wasn't until the early 1970s that Delofose actively began to pursue music, initially playing in a couple of local Cajun groups, before establishing the Eunice Playboys midway through the decade.

The group released several albums before somehow coming to the attention of Andy Kershaw. This their only session for the beeb was first aired on 28 November 1992. Sadly, less than two years on, Delafose passed away after a brief illness aged just 55. His son, Geno, continues to lead the band to this day.

Watch That Dog
Johnny Can't Dance

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Gabby & Grynner - Kershaw Session 21/4/1991

For the next few weeks I'll be posting a few salvaged sessions from the much-missed Andy Kershaw shows, mostly from his tenure at Radio One. In a cosily nostalgic vein, I'll be posting the sessions every Thursday, the day Kershaw's shows were initially aired on the 10pm to midnight slot that had previously been occupied by Peel for over a decade. If wannabe Anglo-Saxons can perform battle re-enactments across this green and peasant land, I'm sure the psychological damage in broadcast re-enactment will be minimal.

Can't find much information on G&G, but there are several clips circulating on Youtube at present. The duo hailed from Barbados and, perhaps unsurprisingly, performed in a calypsonian stylee, both as a duo and individually. As far as I'm aware tis was their only session for the BBC, first aired in spring 1991 and then repeated on 1 March 1992 where these recordings were extracted.

We Want More Grynner
Get Out De Way
Easy Come, Easy Go

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Chills - Peel Sessions 1985-88/Live 1990

Earlier this week it was announced that The Chills will be releasing a live album, Somewhere Beautiful, in October. Recorded at a private party on New Years Eve in 2011, the album will be available as a standard to 2cd edition and a limited 3LP set with lavish packaging and an art print by Shane Cotton. Available to pre-order via Fire records, details of which can be found on the official Chills Facebook page.

In the meantime, he's some more choice Chills tunage to whet your appetite. The Peel sessions gained a limited commercial release on the ridiculously rare Secret Box rarities set, self-released by Martin Phillips in 2000. Recorded by three different "phases" of the group in three years, highlights include Moonlight On Flesh and Christmas Chimes, neither of which made it on to record at the time, and early stabs at tracks that would grace their major lable debut, Submarine Bells.

Rollin' Moon
Brave Words
Wet Blanket
Night Of Chill Blue

Dan Destiny & The Silver Dawn
Living In A Jungle
Moonlight On Flesh

Part Past, Part Fiction
Christmas Chimes
Effloresce And Deliquesce
Dead Web

It was 23 years ago today.....

Excellent audience recording of the Submarine Bells-era line-up/phase. 19 songs in total, including equal dollops of songs from the first two albums, early singles and two ultr-rare originals, I Saw Your Silhouette and Smile From A Dead Dead Face.

Update Jul 16:
All files have now been deleted.
The complete BBC sessions are now officially available in all manner of formats from record stores across the globe.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Bhundu Boys - Glastonbury 1989

 Today would have been Uncle John's 74th birthday. In a similiar vein (well, actually there's no similiarity whatsoever, but I shall continue with the analogy regardless) to the Israelites roasting an unfortunate member of their cattle entourage as a sacrificial offering to The Gods for guiding them safely through their meandering journey towards Canaan, here is an audio offering that will hopefully reach and please the ears in the great bearded DJ booth in the sky.

Fans may have been polarised over the "Euro-friendly" production values of major label debut album Jit Jive, but live the Bhundus were still a force to be reckoned with, attracting large ecstatic dance-crazy crowds who made your average raver look like they were merely fannying about on a bouncy castle.

For a band whose music evinced unprecedented heights for highness of life it is painful and confounding to think of their well-documented tragic demise. Within five years of this performance three of the five band members were dead: two succumbing to Aids; lead singer and main songwriter Biggie Tembo, whose mental health deteriorated following his 1990 sacking, would take his own life while incarcerated in a Harare psychiatric hospital.

Peel famously shed tears upon first witnessing the Bhundus live experience on their debut UK tour of 1986. Death and poignancy looms large in this post and may bring a lump to the throat, but just one listen to this excellent quality performance is life-affirming and will eke out the last dregs of sunshine before summer fades into autumn once more.

Jit Jive

Both Bhundus Peel sessions are available on Youtube.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Wolfhounds - Peel Sessions 1986-88

Another eighties indie combo recently liberated from the cryogenics lab, the Wolfhounds create(d) their own inimitable brand of abrasive pop - Byrdsian jingle jangle played on Dragnet-era Fall guitars, mixed in with strangulated riffs and intelligent, socially-observant lyrics egested by the nasal operatics of Dave Callahan.

The first two Peel sessions have been bandied about blogsville in recent years, but the second session (in my humble opinion) is the best quality I've come across so far. For a long time I'd thought I must have imagined the final session from 1988 as it's not listed on the Keeping It Peel site and had never seen it on t'net until it magically appeared last November on the excellent Did Not Chart. I've unashamedly purloined those files and edited out the Peelspeak, plus raised the pitch a tad as the originals sounded a little slow to me. But if you diagree, click on the above link to hear the original files.

Anti-Midas Touch
Hand In The Till
Whale On The Beach

Boy Racers
Disgusted, E7
Rule Of Tumb

Non-Specific Song
Happy Shopper
William Randolph Hearse
Son Of Nothing

* Update 5/13/2015: new files for 1987 session added.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Nightingales - Fighting Cocks, Birmingham 1983

Here is the final Nightingales live offering I have for you. I expect my readership figures to plummet drastically - The Gales gigs seems to pull in the punters. Although I do have one to two more Bogshed goodies stashed in the Maggot Caviar vaults that I hope to share with you, dear reader, before the year's out.

As with the 1982 set from the same venue I posted last year, audio quality is excellent. Also includes Ted Chippington's set - whether you own Big Print's 4cd box set Walking Down The Road or not, you won't have previously heard this.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Black-I-Ts - Madweadziva (LP 1991)

I can find no information about this obscure Zimbabwean group whatsoever, or this album released in 1991 on the RTP label (RTP 22.)

I purchased this record recently from Henry's in Burton-upon-Trent, quite possibly the last of the great second hand record shops still standing. Turns out the owner is a mate of one Andy Kershaw (he can be seen pictured on page 120 of Kershaw's book, No Off Switch) and recently bought his entire 4000+ vinyl collection, of which the above album is/was a part.

Dohwaka Iwe
Zvito Zvako
Karinga Wangu

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Presidents Of The United States Of America - The Studion, Stockholm 29/3/1996

As the eighties drew to a close and the shambling C86sters ceased sucking on mummy's tit to get proper jobs to pay off debts accrued by commercial failure, and with most ravers either institutionalised or in morgues, the dawn of the nineties was largely the domain of workshy grungers (dressed, somewhat conversely, as lumberjacks or construction labourers) who ponced of their hard working girlfriends and wrote songs about how crap their lives were to pass time until their dealers arrived with a fresh batch of exotic phrmaceuticals. The UK's antidote to all this was to sing about daily life in Britain, including subjects on obese people dossing on park benches in the sarf and stoned dole-spongers walking down hallways faster than cannonballs.

Enter the Presidents Of The United States Of America who roused the nineties youth from teen torpor with songs about tinned fruit, unidentifiable species of pondlife, beach transportation and cocaine-snorting frogs and their curious musical instrument hybrid of guitbasses and bassitars.

At the time of this session, PUSA were pop picking their to prosperity in the UK charts with Lumps. Debut album, originally released on a small independent label, was snapped up by Colombia and went on to sell several million copies worldwide.

The group would split up soon after the release of overlooked second album "II" in 1997, but in the noughties have periodically reunited for packed out tours and the odd album or two, most recently in 2008.

TV Eye
Kick Out The Jams
Lunatic To Love
Feather Pluckn/Baby, You're A Rich Man
Bug City
Boll Weevil
Naked and Famous
Man (Opposable Thumb)
Dune Buggy
Back Porch
Feel Like Makin' Love/Peaches

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Jasmine Minks - Living Room, London 8/6/1984

The Jasmine Minks were perhaps the great white hopes on the early roster of the fledgling Creation label. Legend (i.e. bullshit) has it that Alan McGee discovered the group after hearing sweet sounds emanating from a damp 'n fusty garage in the bad part of town and signed them on the spot.

Debut single Think! was released in spring 1984, the fourth Creation 7" and the first that wasn't a shambling vanity project of McGee's mates. Despite the giro-budget quality of the recording which didn't do the song justice, it seems the Minks were ahead of the pack when it came to songcraft and musicianship, and with the unique and distinctive soulful voice of Jim Shepherd, a singer who could REALLY sing.

However, on the night of this gig, McGee would prioritise his passions towards a young, undernourished bunch of social misfits from East Kilbride: The Jesus and Mary Chain.

By the end of 1984, The Minks would have the distinction of having the first non-various artists album released on Creation, albeit in the form of the ubiquitous mini-lp, which contained just six song, including both sides of second single Where The Traffic Goes.

A proposed Spiral Scratch-inspired 4 track ep was recorded and then left languishing in the vaults for several months, eventully surfacing in summer 1985 as What's Happening with just two tracks. Towards the end of the year they began recording their debut lp, originally titled Everybody's Got To Grow Up Sometime. However, McGee was unhappy with some of the songs, and the eponymously-titled album which emerged in spring 1986 was re-sequenced with two songs (Cold Heart, Forces Network) that had been recorded over a year prior to the album's release.

Adam Sanderson quit the group soonafter, but the group remained loyal to Creation and released another two albums by the end of the decade before going on an extended hiatus throughout the nineties. In 2012, the original line up reformed playing a handful of gigs, and recently have been recording new songs at home, some of which are available on Soundcloud via their Facebook page.

I've not previously stumbled upon any Jasmine Minks live recordings on t'net, and while this audience recording is decent enough, there is a distinct lack of bass. Highlights of the tape include two unreleased Minks originals, Cold Logic and Don't Wait Too Long, plus a cover of We The People's In The Past. You can almost count the number of people in attendance by the sparsity of applause. In addition to JAMC, The Loft were also on the bill - presumably recordings of these sets must exist in someone's stair cupboard somewhere.

The Thirty Second Set Up
What's Gone Wrong
Work For Nothing
In The Past
Somers Town
Mr. Magic
Cold Heart
Cold Logic
Don't Wait Too Long
Where The Traffic Goes

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Pigbros - The Mermaid, Birmingham 8/5/1987

Formed in Birmingham in 1984 by former Hysterics-era Nightingales guitarist Nick Beales, Svor Naan (sax, ex-Cravats), Jonathan Cooke (bass) and a teenage Fuzz Townsend who would enjoy commercial success later with Pop Will Eat Itself and Bentley Rhythm Ace.

Between 1985-87 Pigbros released four 12" eps and one lone long player during their brief career, as well as recording two sessions for the John Peel show. However, with the odd exception, none seemed to capture the excitement and intensity as their live shows, as this excellent audience recording will hopefully demonstrate.

Their sound conjured up images of a group perfrming in a disused warehouse on an isolated, vacated industrial estate post-Orwellian nightmare. The bari(mono)tone of Nick Beales vocal delivery sounded like Ian Curtis impersonating a heavy smoking Dalek with binary coded lungs saturated in phlegm! However, any permeation of pervading doom was lightened with the powerhouse - at times funky - grooves of Fuzz Townsend.

In fact the group were not adverse to dabbling with showmanship; whenever it was time to play Excessive, Fuzz would bring a tin bath onto the stage to bash out the rhythms on.

Like Bogshed, Pigbros have yet to receive the digital reissue treatment and were disappointingly not included on the recent Scared To Get Happy box set.

Many thanks to Paul Symons from The Yeah Yeah Noh Ropey Audio Emporium for the recording.

Past Caring
Face Of Baby
In Doubt
Still Goes On
Immensity Home
Hedonist Hat
Cheap Life
War Food
Word Up

Both the group's Peel sessions are available to download @ Cliff Richard's Neck

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Diblo Dibala & Matchacha - Peel/Kershaw Session 19/7/1992

The heatwave may have subsided, but the swell summer soiree continues with a supersonic soupcon of Soukous!

One of the first, if not the first, double session whereby eight songs were recorded to be split equally accross both Peel and Kershaw shows. If memory serves correct, Kershaw was broadcasting on Sunday evenings directly followed by Peel who continued into the early hours. You can hear Peelie on the intro to the first song, presumably he'd come to Broadcasting House early to catch the whole session.

Clocking in at nearly an hour length,this is Diblo at most loose and raw. The few albums of his I heard from the 90s always sounded a bit smooth and polished for my liking. But if you don't own any of his records, this is really all you need.

Mondo Ry
Matchacha Wetu
Merci Papa
Laissez Passer
Extra Ball

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Datblygu - Complete Peel Sessions 1987-93

Datblygu have a new compilation hot off the pressing plants dispatch wagon entitled 1982-84 The Early Tapes/Y Tapiau Cynnar. For the uninitiated, and quite possibly for diehard fans too, this may prove too strenous on the old eardrums. But maybe that was always the point of Datblygu.

Anyway, if you are of a nervous disposition, then why not break yourself in gently with the five sessions Mr.Edwards and cohorts recorded at the Maida Vale studios in almost as many years. These tracks received a limited cd release a few years ago, and while it's not my policy (such as there is one) to post recordings that are currently/recently commercially available, I feel a Peel-related/inspired blog without the presence of Datblygu is unthinkable!

Bagiau Garth
Cerddoriaeth Dent

Fanzine Ynfytyn
Cristion Yn Y Kibbutz
Glwad Ar Fy Ngefn
Dros E Pasg Eto

Pop Peth
Slebog Bywedeg
Nid Chiwigi Pwdin Gwaeth
Rhag Ofn I Chi Anghofio

Hymne Europa 1992
Dim Deddf Dim Eiddo (No Statue, No Property)
Rauschgiftsuchtige (Drug Addict)
Hablador (Chatterbox)

Clwb 18-30
Wastod Absennol ( Always Wasted)
Mae Arian yn Tyfu to Mewn Coed (Money Grows Inside Trees)
Diarrhea Berfol

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Nightingales - Liverpool Royal Court 11/7/1986

It's four months since the last Nightingales post and I'm amazed I haven't been overwhelmed by all night vigilists pining for more outside my front door, or inundated with letters and messages ranging from the downright fawningly grovelling to the blatantly and menacingly life-threatening. Quite frankly, I'm disheartened.

Here we find The Gales playing second fiddle to Lloyd-championed headliners We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It, then rapidly rising darlings of not only the fledgling indie scene but no doubt hair salons accross the Brum surburbs and manufacturers of less conventional hair care products too. Ted Chippington was also on the bill, unsurprisingly, because as the genuinely cool kids "appreciated", summer '86 was officially the Vindaloo Summer Special of Love. 

The latest live recording of 20th century Gales I have, and quite possibly one of the last shows they performed before Lloyd concentrated on Fuzzbox duties. Audio quality isn't great, sounding as though the tapist unknown was hiding in the toilets during proceedings for fear of being ejected from the premises if caught with illicit recording equipment.

Clocking in at little over half an hour, the sets comprises almost exclusively material from In The Good Old Country Way, along with an airing of the classic single-that-never-was Of Course You Can't. On first hearing, I was surprised that Rockin' With Rita wasn't included in the set, as the single was taking hit parades worldwide by storm following their appearance on Razzmatazz. But I guess most likely all three artistes gathered together on stage for an encore/finale after Fuzzbox had completed their set.

Thanks once more go to Mr. Wazzer for supplying me the recording.

Square Circle
The Headache Collector
Let's Surf
How To Age
Part Time Moral England
Of Course You Can't
Down In The Dumps
No Can Do
Comfort And Joy

Monday, 8 July 2013

Yeah Yeah Noh - 229, London 22/6/2013

Today is John Grayland's birthday, so it seems appropriate to post this the most recent YYN live extravanga from the Scared To Get Happy launch - this despite the fact that lead guitar duties were handled on the evening by Ian from the Peoples Republic Of Mercia. In an audacious flouting of rock 'n roll convention, the likes of which had not been seen since Half Man Half Biscuit turned down an appearance on The Tube in favour of watching a cup match at Tranmere Rovers, John was on holiday in Scotland.

YYN kicked off proceedings in the more intimate (ie smaller, lower ceilinged) room at the 229 venue in Great Portland Street, where thousands of old fuddy-duddies from C86 past has cajoled their carers into wheeling themselves out to this most auspicious occasion, huddled away at tbles in dimly lit corners enjoying a milk stout and a game of cribbage while the beat combo performed its reportoire, fondly recalling the days when anorak attire was an accessory for underground cool rather than a necessity to ward off ailments incurred by the inclement summers of modern times.

Due to time restrictions, the beat combo were unable to play their full set. so the customary closer Blood Soup is absent. But precedence was given to four new songs which are gradually evolving into fully fledged bona fide YYN classics with each performance. 

Prick Up Your Ears
Temple Of Convenience
Bias Binding
Up On The Downs
Another Side To Mrs Quill
Shooting From The Hip
Cottage Industry
Let's Start A War
See Through Nature
Stealing In The Name Of The Lord
Automatically Saturday

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Eton Crop - Peel Sessions 1983-88

Revised and expanded edition of an earlier (now deleted) post. Includes three sessions in completion, with only two songs missing from a total of twenty that the Crop recorded for the John Peel show.

Someone should contact the relevant authorities and put out a missing persons alert for Eton Crop: there is virtually no information about the group out in the junk-jumbled jungle of cyberspace whatsoever.

Eton Crop formed in 1979 in Nieuwkoop, South Holland, and released a total of 12 singles and four albums over the next 15 years. Frequent visitors to the UK, they toured with many of the "pre-C86" groups like The Membranes and The Three Johns, the latter with whom they shared a not too dissimilar musical approach. While many groups from that era downed tools towards the end of the decade, Eton Crop battled on into the mid-nineties, their last full length album, Get Real!, appearing (on cd) in 1992, eventually bowing out in 1994 with the 4 track ep Everybody.

Despite their longevity and high output, with many comparatively short-lived groups from that era reforming following reissues of their back catalogues and internet-generated interest ranging from those with first hand experience of the groups to a younger generation of fans not even born at the time, it seems the Crop have vanished from the face of the earth. A few of their artefacts have (ahem) cropped up on blogs in the past, but most of the links to the sonic delights have long expired. Even after much trawling through Google images I could only find the one band photo (posted above). But who knows, maybe they're still out there somewhere plotting their "next move" or playing the odd squat gig in a vacant room above Dr. Bongo's Coffee House.

The Crop recorded five sessions for Peel in the space of  five years - a total of twenty tracks, eighteen of which are included in this post. Their third session  from 1985 gained a limited commercial release in 1988. Cobbled together by my good self from tracks found on old cassettes, files on the John Peel Wiki, and the alluded-to Strange Fruit 12".

He Didn't Say Anything
Gay Boys On The Battlefield
Boring Isms

Get Something For Doing Nothing
Quality In The Grooves
Boy Meets Tractor

 Harry Nelson-Pilsbury
 It's My Dog, Maestro
You Won't Get Me Out In The Rain
Paraffin Brain
A Bundle For A Dead Dog
Jolly Adventures With Janus McManus
Banana Battle
A Jolly Cheerful Crowd
 Pavel Morozov The Bastard
Beating The Sicilian*

* Thanks to Stuart, missing track added 22/01/2014.

Update 6/4/2016: Upgrade of 2nd session aired on Gideon Coe's 6 Music show.
 Now includes Quality In The Grooves!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Felt - Complete BBC Sessions 1984-86

Well, so much for taking a breather from blogging!

I was rummaging through the 6 Music schedule online t'other day when I espied a Felt session that was to be broadcast on the Live Music Hour between 3 and 4am on June 24th. Although the listing didn't specify which particular session, the splinters in the eyes from the matchsticks that snapped under the weight of heavy eyelids proved to be worthwhile, as the featured session was none other than the group's very first for Janice Long from September 1984. I'd previously - and somewhat hastily with the benefit of hindsight -posted two songs from this session only last month after they were broadcast on Gideon Coe's show (the post has since been deleted), not expecting the complete session to be appearing on the airwaves quite so soon.

The songs were segued together so smoothly, I chose not to split the songs into individual tracks, so have simply left it as one single file.

By coincicence, over the weekend while I was attending the Scared To Get Happy happening in London, a friend thrust a pile of audio dvds into my hand. Among the multitude of Peel-related guff was a marginally superior quality recording of the Andy Kershaw session from 1986, although it seems to stem from the same source - All The People I Like...still abruptly fades out around the 3'10 mark.

And for completists sake, I've included the second JL sesh that I purloined from Fruitier Than Thou. Caspian Sea had approximately ten seconds missing from the intro, so I've tacked this on from a woefully inferior recording I had, with not necessarily professional results!

That should keep you amused for a while, dear reader.

Update 16/12/2014 - New, upgraded, pristine-ish files for '86 JL session culled from a recent Gideon Coe airing now available to download from link below.

Dismantled King Is Off The Throne
Roman Litter
Vasco Da Gama
Crystal Ball

The Day The Rain Came Down
Caspian Sea
I Didn't Mean To Hurt You
Ballad Of The Band

When The Dawn Starts Creeping In
Rain Of Crystal Spires
All The People I Like Are Those That Are Dead
Sapphire Mansions

Friday, 14 June 2013

Pop Off Tuesday - Peel Sessions 1998-99

As we approach the first anniversary of Maggot Caviar at the end of this month, I've decided to celebrate in true style by taking a breather. But not before we've had a bit of a weekend blow-out!

Mysterious London-based Japanese duo who have about as high a profile as Lord Lucan and Eton Crop combined. Delve into your favourite seach engine of choice and you will merely fing a brief outline of the group on discogs, four youtube clips, and the photo posted above.

Formed in 1995, the group released their debut single the following year, before signing to the Pickled Egg label of Leicester, going on to sporadically release a further two singles, one 10" ep, and two full length albums between 1996-2002..

Creating a curious blend of quirky ambient soundscapes mied with lounge jazz guitaar and vocal stylings, with a nod to the prevaling post rock genre of the times, the group recorded these two sessions in the dying months of the old millenium.

It Was A Strangely Emotional Moment For Me
Mad Tea Party
Mother Awake Her

Viola Fora De Moda
Ms Boo Boo's Return
A Field Of Blue Clover

Friday, 7 June 2013

Yeah Yeah Noh - Peel Sessions 1984-86

All three sessions YYN recorded for John Peel, plus broadcast highlights from their set at the ICA, London as part of the 1984 ICA Rock Week.

What's interesting listening to these recordings in chronological order is how rapidly the group were developing in such a short (18 months to be exact) time frame, before it all suddenly ended with band members retreatingto monastries from rock 'n roll excess burnout, hospitalisation through inter-band fisticuffs, and the bass player moving to Liverpool.

Shortly after the group broke, these sessions were gathered together for the long out of print album Fun On The Lawn Lawn Lawn; the final session was released independently by Strange Fruit in 1988. A handful of tracks ended up on the Cherry Red best of cd Leicester Square.

YYN are due to play their second gig of the year on June 22 as part of the Scared To Get Happy festival. Staged to coincicide with the release of the 5cd Cherry Red box set of the same name, the ten acts confirmed to play are the Wolfhounds, Blue Orchids, BMX Bandits, 14 Iced Bears, Brilliant Corners, Mighty Mighty, The Primitives, Popguns; The June Brides round off proceedings, scheduled to take to the stage at 11pm. More details on YYN's Facebook page.

Last month they played their first gig of 2013 at The Victoria in Dalston.  features of the live setThere are several clips from the show currently circulating on youtube, including this one of new song Shooting From The Hip.

1st 28/7/1984
Prick Up Your Ears
Beware The Weakling Lines
Starling Pillowcase

Temple Of Convenience
Another Side To Mrs. Quill
Crimplene See Lifestyle
See Through Nature

Superimposed Man
Stealing In The Name Of The Lord
(It's) Easier To Suck Than Sing
Cottage Industry
Blood Soup

Beware The Weakling Lines
Another Side To Mrs. Quill
Cottage Industry

Soup Dragons - Janice Long Session 1986

Several years before they reinvented themselves as long-haired lovegods and took to baggifying lesser known Stones tunes, the Soup Dragons started life as a credible punk pop thrill-billy Buzzcocks rip-off.

Two, possibly three, band members hobnobbed on and off with the BMX Bandits at various stages in their ongoing career. Sean Dickson and Sushil K. Dade would later go on to more critically acclaimed projects as The Hi-Fidelity and Future Pilot AKA respectively.

The Soup Dragons recorded three sessions for the BBC during 1986,  two of which were for John Peel (the second being all covers and included an interpetation of The Red Krayola's Listen To This). Sandwiched inbetween them was this session for Janice Long recorded sometime during the summer months of that year. As far as I'm aware, all four songs are exclusive to this session and were never comitted to vinyl.

Slow Things Down
Make My Day
Same Old Story
Lindy's Realised

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Melt Banana - Peel Sessions 1999-2003

Complete BBC recordings by Melt Banana to get you firing on all cylinders in time for the weekend. All excellent quality audio, with the live set from Brighton sounding partcularly vibrant - as you'd expect from a recording made on a good old fashioned Sony tape deck!

Curiously, this session isn't listed on the Keeping It Peel site.
 Track list details unavailable.
File split into three parts.

Peel 3/10/2001
Transmitted live to air at Maida Vale 3 in front of a small studio audience.
Track list details unavailable.
File split into three parts.

Transmitted live to air. Peel sounds husky-voiced during the outro.
File split into four parts.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Monkey Steals The Drum - Peel Sessions 1999-2000

Short-lived combo from Ormskirk who hung around the turn of the century long enough to record two sessions and release two singles.

After sending in a demo cd at the tail end of the century, Peel chose to broadcast Injured Birds, an instant indie classic if ever there was one, as well as being an instant fave with Peelie himself, and one that promised greater things. Peel hastily arranged studio time at Maida Vale and the first session was in the bag before the century was out.

Fans may have anticipated Injured Birds as being the debut single (it was aired regularly by Peel), but My Chinese Burns was chosen instead, backed by two songs, Forvincent and Disco Kill, released mid-2000 on both 7" and cd fprmats by Action Records.

Injured Birds - the same demo version Peel first broadcast in late '99 - eventually saw the light of day in January 2001, released on cd only by the Shifty Disco label and limited to 1000 copies. The same month, the group's website announced that an album would be "coming soon", but it never materialised. The group continued to make sporadic live appearances as late as 2003, but there were no further record releases or radio sessions.

Tragically, singer/guitarist Christian Ashcroft committed suicide in 2006.

My Chinese Burns
St. Germain
Disco Kill

Mars Moss
That's A Cool Picture
Four By Zero
Person Of The Year

Injured Birds

Monday, 3 June 2013

Primal Scream - Janice Long Session 7/7/1986

Carefree summer fun continues, not only weather-wise here in the British Isles, but also in the virtual exotic, tropical paradise that is Maggot Caviar. Erm, yes...

Of the three sessions Jim Beattie-era Primal Scream recorded for the BBC, the Janice Long recordings are probably their most realised studio efforts of the time. Beattie's melodic magician's hat guitar lines have a vibrant, warmer texture than the tinny jangle of before, possibly enhanced by the medium wave reception on the night.

The radically different arrangements to Silent Spring and Imperial are more satifying to my ears than their laboured Sonic Flower Groove incarnations that emerged a year later. Velocity Girl is a faster, tougher take than the Crystal Crescent  b-side, with the addition of a second verse, but, despite a brave attempt, could never top the original. Fever Claw had been a regular in their live set since 1985 but the song never made it onto vinyl.

So cast your minds nostalgically back to a time when the drugs were no stronger than a morning dose of Haliborange, and the anorak-attired had yet to have their innocent bemuffed ears assaulted by the MC5 and the cod-cock rock copyism that ensued.

Velocity Girl
Fever Claw
Silent Spring

Saturday, 1 June 2013

June Brides - Marc Riley Sessions 2009-2012

The first day of June is upon us, so it seems appropriate to celebrate the non-existance of summer with some summery pop tunage courtesy of the June Brides.

Phil Wilson takes time out from his superhero status of saving the Buckfastleigh duck population from floods, foxes and fatal diseases, to lead his band oop north to promote The Junies first single release in a quarter of a century, copies of which can still be obtained from Occultation Recordings.

A January Moon
Every Conversation
In The Rain
The Instrumental

Up To London
Found A Friend
Heard You Whisper

Debut comeback session on national radio since the evils of rock 'n roll lured Phil Wilson away from nigh on two decades of civil servant monotony and anonymity. Initially starting out as a trio, with Arash Tarobi and Andy Fonda on bass and drums respectively, Phil was joined  for this session by old bandmates Jon Hunter and Frank Sweeney.

Bees had yet to return to the fold, and Phil was at first reluctant to trade under the June Brides monicker, preferring to continue where he left off as solo artist before his career was truncated after just two singles for Creation.

2010 saw the long awaited release of God Bless Jim Kennedy, strangely his first ever full length album proper. (Discounting compilations, lest we forget, There Are Eight Million Stories... was classed as a mini-lp, a format in abundance, particularly on the Creation label, around the mid-eighties, featuring a maximum of eight songs and usually retailing for no more than £3.49). Vinyl copies of GBJK are still up for grabs on Amazon.

Phil Wilson has never been exactly prolific as a songwriter, so it's unlikely fans will get to hear any great lost albums or rarities collections on a par with The Stooges Complete Funhouse Sessions. However, there are a couple of gems in The Junies slim but perfectly formed cannonette that have escaped digitisation for posterity on the satan's frisbee format.

In truth, not much different to the more familiar version nations across the globe have come to know and rejoice in. The backing track is the same, but the vocals and trumpet parts were re-recorded during sessions for There Are Eight Million Stories.... The middle eight is filled out with some choice "na-na-nas" in place of the yet-to-be written lyrics. There is also an alternate lyrical line before the "let's talk a little now" coda. The single mix is more trebly, giving it an over all thinner sound, with the guitars quite low in the mix.

If you purchased last years summer pop smasheroo, A January Moon, with the bonus cd, you'll be familiar with the incorrect tracklisting. While there may be no Phil Wilson solo version of This Town, let us console ourselves with this obscure Junies version instead, which quietly slipped out on the Ideal Guesthouse  compilation around the time the band called it quits in 1986.

Basically the same as the single but minus the bass and drums, this alternate "acoustic" mix gives the song a completely different feel. It seems the Junies were not only innovators of a whole new musical genre -dub in reverse - but may have also paved the way for every band and its Aunt Fanny  to board the Unplugged bandwagon in the mid-nineties.