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.


  1. Not to forget Lowery's first band Ski Patrol, singles originally released on Killing joke's Malicious Damage label. I got to see The Folk Devils perform only once and he had an incredibly intense stage presence. His King blank stuff is well worth checking out too.

    1. Just spotted a new post on their Facebook page about a planned anthology in 2014.

  2. ...With a Folk Devils one to follow, apparently. An expanded version of the Goodnight Irony compilation, I believe?

    It's a shame they never released a proper LP - if they'd just put these sessions out as an album it might've been their masterpiece.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. It would be great just for a decent quality version of Broken Head - my personal favourite song of theirs - rather than my chewed up tape effort.

  3. I can help you out there - that track was released on an NME tape of Peel session tracks (mis-titled as "Ink Runs Dry"), so I have a pristine version on my HD, happy effin' Christmas to you, eh? - (let me know if the link's farty)

    I still have my own recordings of all 3 sessions on tape, captured by all manner of piss-poor cheapo '80s Amstrad tower systems, et al. :)

    1. Mr, Rooksby, you're a genious! And the file works a treat - thank you. Merry Christmas to you, sir!

  4. New, superior quality file of Broken Head, kindly donated by El Rooksby, has now been added to the requisite folder.

  5. FYI... the Peel Sessions were released commercially this week on all the digital services

  6. Hey Sterling, recorded works album "Beautiful Monsters" coming Sept 16 via Optic Nerve label. First time on CD / 2xLP. Cheers, Nick

    1. Hi Nick. I've pre-ordered the album already. Alas, I'm unable to attend the upcoming gig.

      I'm preparing a new post in time for John Peel's birthday, in which The Folk Devils will feature.