Sunday, 30 August 2015

Peelfest! #5

 Today would have been John Peel's 76th birthday, so I thought I'd pop back out from the woodwork from whence I originally came to enlighten the masses with another eclectic smorgasboard of sonic wonderment that is Peelfest #5.
Since I announced my "retirement" last October, whereupon a nation mourned and wept uncontrollably, sparking off severe flood warnings far and wide across the land, I seem to have spent most of my leisure time clearing out my email inbox notifying of ever-increasing downloads from this blog. I've even acquired 7 or 8 new members in my absence. Hmmmm.... maybe I should just keep quiet.
There was a time in the not so distant past when comebacks were frowned upon and were normally the reserve for burned out heavy metal bands who were forced into earning a living again due to unexpected tax bills or having their homes repossessed due to monies squandered on excessive drug usage.
But after many sleepless nights pacing the floorboards and writhing feverishly in contemplation and indecision on sweat soaked sheets, my decision was swayed when one night a bearded apparition swathed in golden light appeared at the foot of my bed.
"Young fawn!", the spirit asserted. "I hearby command you to post the Mandrake Paddle Steamer session. I realise it received a limited vinyl released a few years back, but here in the afterlife there are no turntables. I've not heard the session snce the first night of broadcast and will not rest until I have done so. Failure to comply and I will quite happily - and, for that matter, mercilessly - unleash the ghosts of my dead dogs upon ye!"
"Y-y-y-yes, Your Greatness", I stammered as the incandescent figure dematerialised into the windswept, crepuscular night.
So here he have a whopping ten sessions, two from each decade of Uncle John's broadcasting career, that are 100% guaranteed to eat up precious disk space on your hard drive. And if that wasn't more than enough, at the bottom of the post you will find ten links to upgraded sessions - including, at long last, a pristine-ish upgrade of Bogshed's fourth session from 1987 and Big Flames debut from 1984. For zydeco fans, the John Delafose 1992 session for Andy Kershaw is now complete with all six tracks.
That should keep you all amused for now. Back in October.

Senlac Lament
Cooger and Dark
Janus Suite
Ivory Castle Of Solitaire Husk
East Wing

Time Of No Reply
River Man
Three Hours
Bryter Layter
Cello Song
Some Of That Stuff
Hurry On Sundown
Seeing It As You Really Are


Pearly Winged Fly
Go and Sit Upon The Grass
Life In A Scotch Sitting Room Vol 2 Ep 11
True Humility
Nigerians In A Tunnel
I Spent Ten Years
Sleepy Old Snake
Little Black Buzzer
A Wooden Tree
Mr. Cutler's sixth session for Mr. Peel. Complete set taken from a medium wave transmission in December 1975.

Cripple Creek
Hickory Holler
Long Tall Texan
Little known band I know little about. Mining similar territory to Terry & Gerry and Lash Lariat & The Long Riders, they appear to have released just one single in 1984 and an album, Skiff Skat Stuff, in 1985. This was their debut session for Peel, recording a follow up In February 1985 which you will find at the indefatigable Fruitier Than Thou youtube channel. 
Kuroja Chete
Chemedze Vana
Writing On The Wall
Let's Work Together
My Foolish Heart
Tracks 1-5: Peel #1 6/7/86
Tracks 6-9: Peel #2 21/12/86
This month marks the 20th anniversary of Biggie Tembo's tragic demise, so it seems appropriate to post the Bhundus two Peel sessions, recorded just five months apart, by way of tribute.
A couple of ropey versions of the debut session (tracks 1-5) have been circulating on youtube for eons, so here's a pristine-ish version largely taken from a re-airing when Vic Galloway sat in for Marc Riley only last month.
Kamata Lupembe
Remmy Ongala recorded at least three sessions for Andy Kershaw, which were compiled on a cd on the short-lived Strange Roots label in 1994, but this was his only session for Uncle John. If Kamata Lupembe doesn't have you dancing in your own inimitable interpretation of dancing, then quite clearly you are not in possession of legs.
The Wedge
Night Rider
3rd Stone From The Sun
Calling Up Spirits
 Kiss Of Fire
Tracks 1-6: Peel TX 8/4/95
Tracks 7-10 Kershaw TX 7/5/95
The King of the surf guitar was undergoing a bit of a renaissance thanks to the inclusion of Miserlou as the main theme to Pulp Fiction by the time he made his first trip to the BBC Maida Vale studios. The first of five sessions Dale recorded for Peel, this was recorded in tandem with Andy Kershaw's show. The Peel tracks (1-6) are complete and got their debut airing 8th April 1995. The remaining tracks were broadcast on the Kershaw programme the following month. 

The Lady and The Travelling Man
Out On The Side
How I Long To
Dim Brains Dot Com



  1. Aaaaannnd... he's back. :)

    Where to begin? Thanks VERY much indeed for the Nick Drake session, I'd not heard that before, wasn't sure it actually existed to be honest! I've never heard that 1st (great) Fire Engines session is such fine quality before ('cept when Mr. P rebroadcast it in the late '80s, of course), ditto those early Big Flame sets... But, for me, the most pleasant surprise here is the Meat Whiplash sesh: I have a decent tape of it, dutifully recorded at the time, but your version is even better... is it from that recent gravestone-like Creation Artefacts box-set perchance?

    Thanks for this lot, I'll get 'round to listening to the rest later.

    All's well I presume? :)

    1. It was long assumed that only two songs (one being incomplete) from the Nick Drake session existed. Then, somewhat miraculously, the complete set was issued as a 10" ep last year, but only as part of a hefty (and very expensive) tome which could only be bought from a website associated with Drake's estate.

      The Meat Whiplash sesh was something I converted from Fruitier Than Thou's youtube post. I thought I'd post an upgrade, such was the abysmal quality of the files from my original post, plus I've never come across it elsewhere.

      I snapped up the Creation Artefact box set on day of release, despite already owning about 80% of the material in its original form. But worth it for the MW session (it's unclear if they're from the BBC master tapes or cassette copies, but they're better than what's been posted here) and the three tracks from their unreleased single, including a surprisingly lengthy folky instrumental!

      Btw, Eton Crop are back on UK turf at the end of the month, playing three on dates in Leeds, Middlesborough and Preston.

  2. Hmm, I might drag myself up to Leeds for a middle-aged squint at Eton Crop then... I never saw them first time 'round, & I imagine all sorts of late '80s Peel-endorsed indie royalty might drag themselves out of retirement to reacquaint themselves, etc? Perhaps I'll finally be able to moan at John Hyatt about the 3 Johns T-shirt I sent him money for in 1986 that never, ever arrived? I'M STILL WAITING, JOHN!! :)

  3. p.s. Is there any chance you could send me rips of those unreleased MW songs from the box-set, I'm planning on buying it eventually - i.e. when the price comes down a bit as I'm between engagements at the mo' & living on my wits, guv - & they're probably the biggest draw for me. Don't Slip Up is (still) one of my fave 45s ever, in fact I may slope off in a sec & slide it in & out of it's polythene bag a few times for old time's sake (& for a minor erotic thrill obvs). (I'm SURE I can find something to send you in return for those MW songs btw -any requests?)

  4. Hi, thanks for posting the full Mandrake Paddle Steamer session. When I posted it on my blog Teenage Kicks in 2009, lead singer Paul Riordan (or somebody pretending to be him) asked me to remove them...after they had been online for nearly eight months. Hope the same fate doesn't befall you!

    1. I think the Overspill lp came out around 2009, although I doubt more than 500 copies would have been pressed, so it's unlikely your post would have greatly impacted on the sales figures! Maybe it's a generational thing or an old skool attitude where the internet is blamed for the so-called decline of the music industry.

      I've posted a fair few Peel sessions by obscure 80s indie bands and have received positive feedback from band members.

      A few years back I posted all five Peel sessions by Amsterdam's pop kings Eton Crop. Apart from one session that was released as a Strange Fruit 12", the group had never previously heard the sessions since recording them!

      They've since got back together and toured the UK twice and are planning to release new stuff soon. I'm not saying I'm solely responsible for their comeback, but what might be frowned upon as bootlegging copyrighted material can have a positive impact on bands who appeared to have been forgotten but in fact still have obsessive fans dotted about the globe!