Sunday, 16 March 2008

Internet Radio - Finally ...

Welcome to Fuzzy's Indie Radio (UK)

Well I finally got round to working out the SHOUTcast server. You, The discerning Indie radio listener out there can now tune into my station. The latest addition to my blog is a "Listen" button found at the top of the right hand frame. This is a simple but cute enhancement - If the button shows "online" then it's streaming live cool Indie / Alternative / Unsigned Band's tracks for your listening pleasure.
I am going to try and be streaming between 5pm and Midnight UK time, and most of the weekends - if their is demand, I can arrange for different schedules. The key is feedback - let me know!
The station should stream perfectly well in your Media Player of choice - when presented with the .pls file, simply clicking "open" should connect to the Fuzzy Indie Radio. If your player is not configured, just associate .pls files with the player and your done.

Why not check it out - it's free!

BANDWIDTH NOTE: Hey, its limited to 32 concurrent listeners at the moment - If you are experiencing choppy or intermittent sound, please LET ME KNOW - I can get hold of more bandwidth for a small fee, but not until its necessary. I am also applying for a royalties license which all costs: So TUNE IN, CHILL OUT & KEEP THE FEEDBACK COMING.
I need to know what your listening experience is like: Good or Bad!

This could be your Station of choice if you're interested in any of the following Styles / Record Labels / Bands:
Indie, Alternative, New Wave / Punk. Sub Pop, Transgressive, Young & Lost Club, Domino, Mute, Creation, Moshi Moshi, Fierce Panda, Beggars Banquet, 4AD, Fiction, Pub Rock, Doll By Doll, Elvis Costello, Dogs, Senseless Things, Muse, Indie mix tapes, Vinyl, Punk Pop, 1990's, Air Traffic, Aliens, Animal Maths, Arctic Monkeys, Art Brut, Automatic, Baddies, Biffy Clyro, Birdmonster, Bloc Party, Bombay Bicycle Club, Brakes, Brinkman, Bromheads Jacket, Burningpilot, Cinematics, Constantines, Copter, Cribs, Crimea, Damone, Death Set, Deerhoof, Delorentos, Draytones, Driveby Argument, Dykeenies, Early Years, Editors, Electric Soft Parade, Enemy, Field Music, Fields, Foals, Fratellis, Futureheads, Good Shoes, Harlem Shakes, Heights, Holloways, Kids In Glass Houses, Long Blondes, Maccabees, Mighty Roars, Morning Runner, Muffs, The Forensics (Nathan White), Noisettes, Paddingtons, Pigeon Detectives, Rakes, Reuben, Rumble Strips, Lethal Bizzle, Shiny Toy Guns, Spoon, Switches, The Answering Machine, These New Puritans, Tunics, White Man Kamikaze, White Rabbits, White Rose Movement, Windmill, Winterkids, Wolf Parade, Wolfmother, Yourcodenameis:Milo (R.I.P), Ladyfuzz, Battles, Battle, Young Knives, Audioslave, Angular Recording Company, Cherry Red, Criminal Records, Crossflow Recordings, Damaged Goods, Fantastic Plastic, Household Name, Island, Kitchenware, Nude, One Little Indian, John Peel, Jackie Leven, Rough Trade, Surbia Records, Tigertrap, Too Pure, Warp, Artrocker, Shifty Disco, The Punk Mod Pop Archive

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Records to shape a life ...

From the age of ten, until my mid twenties (and this must be true for most of you out there too) was the most enlightening musically for an impressionable lad. Looking back now is a privelige that rests easily on older shoulders despite the trials and memories of a former time, when everything required effort, dedication, and single-mindedness on a scale, thankfully, rarely required since. The small black discs appeared like a bountiful treasure (much to the annoyance of plural parents) and were collected with vigour, stashed carefully, and only withdrawn from their pristine sleeves when a musical discovery was imminent. A discovery, that, looking back, must have happened in slow motion and yet appeared, at the time, to be a journey being undertaken at breakneck speed. Teasing the fabulous sounds from the invisible grooves was a revelatory experience, when peers were still musically buried in seventies "adult" rock, the aural delights were (even then) self evident to impressionable ears. What on earth was going on? Surely these sub 3 minute blasts of shambolic irreverence and anarchy could not be "The future"? It was all about the "now", the instant gratification and the knowledge that this was not (at the time) music for the masses. It was personal.

I still have many of these rabid, visceral, rough hewn slices of life affirming discs, and have recently begun to un-earth many of them. Although now not so pristine, having survived more house moves than I care to recount; I can honestly say that there are still those that make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. So here, then, is the rebirth of the journey which started some 3 decades ago.

I dont know, what shall we call it? "Part 1" or something equally ridiculous?

The Stranglers - Something Better Change. Like many of these early singles, I have only a vague idea how they managed to fall into my hands. This one was on Pink vinyl - something that just didnt happen! I mean - PINK? These four tracks were So different to anything I had heard: The snarl, the walking bass, & attitude! Not a duffer among them. I snuck this one into the treasure chest with no hesitation at all! .... Peachy.

Mp3: Something Better Change

Stiff Little Fingers - At The Edge. I was always acutely aware of the problems going on in Ireland at the time, but the Rigid Midget Digits (as they were affectionately known) brought the angst and aggression of that province right into my bedroom. The political theme was a whole world away, but in the safety of a teenage bedroom it was just something magical. This was by no means the SLF's first attempt at world domination, but for some reason the memories of the time gravitate towards this cut. Filthy gorgeous.

Mp3: At The Edge

XTC - Take This Town + The Ruts - Babylons Burning. Again, how I managed to get hold of this without any money eludes me. I think possibly that an older brother of a friend was discarding stuff that didnt fit his pre-conceptions. Either way I loved Babylon's Burning from the get go - I had never noticed the "From Times Square soundtrack" label on here, such was the desire to "fill brain through ears with noise". XTC were to feature heavily later as one of my favorite bands of all time, and much underrated even today. Sussed.

Mp3: Babylons Burning

X Ray Spex - Germ Free Adolescents. Amazingly listening to this track today, it feels like nothing has changed. A throw-away single at the time, this one just gets under your skin in all the right ways and plants itself. Time has been kind to the grooves here - from a bygone age when people called themselves Poly-Styrene and sneered a lot! And yet I still feel myself muttering "They dont make them like this anymore ...!". Toothpaste-tastic.

Mp3: Germ Free Adolescents

Simple Minds - Chelsea Girl. Dont get me wrong here, The Simple Minds that were to take over the stadiums of the world in the eighties were a million miles from the sub-cultural vibe that got me into this in the first place. Lets be blunt - I ended up loathing the monolith they became! However before the Lord came down and stole their credibility, this perfect slab of punk(ish) synthesiser punctuated with power riffage had already blown me away. Cred for the song (forever) and the group (for about 6 months). Bite me.

Mp3: Chelsea Girl

The Fly's - A Bunch Of Five EP. I've had this record since forever. Its insanely hard to find these days, and rightly so (issued on their own Zama Records). Back then it was dismissed as pseudo punk clap-trap. The band sold out to EMI later, but man oh man! These grooves are ALIVE! Holy crap Batman, I think its music from another planet! "Can I Crash Here?" is (for me) timeless ... I defy anybody who leans remotely towards the pub rock punk of the day not to be emotional about this one. Crackles and all. No contest.

Mp3: Can I Crash Here?

The Jam - In The City. What can I say about The Jam? I absolutely loved this record, and I didnt care who knew it! I was not the sweetest of teenagers (sorry mum) but to me the very essence of everything good in the world was hidden in the very grooves of this sub 3 minute masterpiece. "... A thousand things I wanna say to you ..."

Mp3: In The City

Doll By Doll - The Palace Of Love. I couldnt understand at the time why no-one had heard of Doll By Doll. Now, of course, I am familiar with the Jackie Leven story, but back then life was whizzing by so fast that any story or background to the people making the music would have to wait. This, for me, was the stuff of legend. Check the drawn out, rough cut, even shambolic beginning of this track .. marvel at Leven's vocal majesty ... and then die a thousand deaths at the train-crash of an ending that refuses to come to a halt. This was the greatest record ever made, and nobody I knew, was aware of its existence. I made it my own personal crusade to seek out anything and everything that resembled the vision of anti-excellence, that was being presented so urgently in these grooves. That crusade had begun in my formative years and still continues to this day. Thank you Mr Leven, and the band. Ssssshh ... dont tell anyone.

Mp3: The Palace Of Love

Click on images for actual size.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Transgressive Impressive

For over 3 years now, the likely lads (Tim & Toby) at Transgressive HQ have been pushing out some immense aural product to delight and tantalise our collective consciousness. They are about to release TRANS0068 (Probably Foals' "Cassius", taster single for the soon-to-be-mega "Antidotes" LP from Oxfords finest...) The story started way back in 2004 with a debut release from The Subways - 1am - a 3 track gem of a record for which you would probably need to stump up £50+ for on E-Bay (If you can find a copy for sale anywhere!). In a sort of homage-come-celebration to the prodigious output of this fledgeling label, I am providing, for a short time only, a few links to some of their finest vinyl moments. If these whet your appetite, then climb aboard the Transgressive groove-wagon and go buy some product. Beware! Some of these tracks may seriously twist your melon, man!

TRANS013 The mind bending bass riff of "Monster" first assaulted our senses back in December 2005. Sadly Ladyfuzz are no longer with us ..
Ladyfuzz - Monster

TRANS030 Lurking on the second single of a 2 disc release was this awesome rework of the headline track. Spine tingler...
Battle - Children (Union Of Knives Remix)

TRANS014 B-Side of "Two Words Two Syllables" by the most enigmatic of all the bands on the Transgressive roster, BurningPilot. In the words of the label management - we dont really know who they are. They just send us songs and we put them out ..
BurningPilot - Meat Product

TRANS018 The sound of Kate Bush for the noughties ... Miss Spektor arrived as one of the finest female singer/songwriters of the century. Its contagious.
Regina Spektor - Us

TRANS001 Track 3 on the debut release - Time will reveal this as a seminal moment in recorded rock history ...
The Subways - You Got Me

TRANS008 Hardly prolific in their output, Duels occasionally release blistering tracks like this one. Quality over quantity - 'nuff said ...
Duels - Potential Futures

TRANS004 Question: How many bands have listed father and son among their personnel? The Mystery Jets are one such outfit. This is probably one of the most eclectic, gender defying, slabs of art-rock ever to be cut in vinyl .. make up your own mind.
Mystery Jets - Zoo Time

TRANS034 Another 2 disc release on the Transgressive roster - "Headshaker" continued the trend of "B sides that could have been A sides". This sounds like it was recorded in a bedroom, and is all the better for it ...
Polytechnic - Headshaker

TRANS062 New Zealand's "So So Modern" released 4 singles in 4 weeks back in October 2007. This is a taster from the awesome 8 track synth-fest that collected under the banner of "Friendly Fires"
So So Modern - Vulture Kisses

TRANS046 The Shins are licensed to Transgressive in the UK from Sub Pop in the US. Sounding like The Beach Boys on a day trip to Transylvania, The Shins have released some of the biggest selling records on Transgressive to date ...
The Shins - Phantom Limb

TRANS042 "The Decision" was originally released on TRANS015 in November 2005. On its re-release a year later, it was another Transgressive 2 disc set, with the fabulous "Life To The Letter" as the B side to the 2nd of the 2 singles.
The Young Knives - Life To The Letter

TRANS049 The impossibly rare "live" 12" from Foals highlights a band in their creative prime with a gig at the Liars Club in Nottingham. Set closer "Mathletics" finally escaped from a cage somewhere in Oxfordshire as the bands second single - here it is a raw yet refined genre defining gem of a track .. Ride the moment in 2008
Foals - Mathletics (live)

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Virtual Radio Playlist November

20 Current favourite tracks spinning on the virtual turntable this month, plucked kicking and screaming from the airwaves and archives of the Red Baron catalogue.

All of these tracks are available for a strictly limited time in the folder Radio Playlist 1

1. Polytechnic - Man Overboard
Nearly a year since this was named NME's track of the month. Polytechnic are from Manchester, England and are set to storm the US of A anytime soon ... good luck boys!

2. The Heavy - That Kind of Man
Im just going to quote from the press release for this one: "Welcome to The Heavy, kings of a kind of (West) Country voodoo soul which mixes and matches Curtis Mayfield, RZA, H.P. Lovecraft, Stax, Led Zeppelin and Screamin' Jay Hawkins into the kind of cauldron-melting potion which is utterly original, haunting, weird, sexy and unsettling all at once." Enough said.

3. Aereogramme - Conscious Life for Coma Boy
A slow burning smouldering epic of a tune, superbly engineered and recorded. The outstanding opening track on 2006's "My Heart has a Wish that you would not Go"

4. British Sea Power - Atom
This 2007 track rattles along seemingly on the edge of control, but ultimately delivers a rocking indie classic to rival the best of 90's indie pop/rock. Makes being in the Navy an almost worthwhile occupation.

5. Siouxsie Sioux - Into a Swan
Officially recorded under the simple "Siouxsie" name, this is unmistakably Siouxsie Sioux, back on form and giving us the sort of tune that Marilyn Manson would surely be playing on his next visit to the Dentist. Goth Sei Dank!

6. Orgy - Blue Monday
I applaud any band that wants to tackle this eighties New Order classic (The first ever 12" single?). Orgy have managed it with aplomb. (is that a real word?)

7. Milburn - Wolves at Bay
Hailing from Sheffield (Arctic Monkeys, Bromheads Jacket etc..) Milburn can lay claim to being the second most popular band from that City. Its not hard to see (hear?) why - also check out the very fine "What will you do (when the money goes)"

8. Meat Puppets - Disappear
Lead singer Kirkwood claims this song is about Yeti's who are supposedly always "disappearing". Well weird. What I want to know is why when the Meat Puppets are re-appearing after a long hiatus, they choose to write a song called Disappear? Whatever the answer, this guitar heavy anthemic tune is a corker.

9. Jacknife Lee - Making Me Money
Kicked off by a walking bassline, this track drives on through some effective digital high hat and canned drums the jam on the toast being Lee's bluesy vocal delivery. I really love it and its making me money....

10. Liars - Plaster Casts of Everything
Lumped into the punk/dance scene most famously inhabited by Yeah Yeah Yeah's, Liars are true to genre with this catchy experimental slab of hedonistic dance-rock.

11. Fury of the Headteachers - Farewell Comrade
Another band from current hotbed of British talent, Sheffield. This is quirky, perpendicular, indie-pop at its most brutal. These boys play like they have spent too much time in detention - hence their name, I guess. This is your execution.

12. The Weakerthans - Civil Twilight
Everytime I hear this I think its Grandaddy! Anyway all I know is they are BIG in Canada - a sort of Rock and Roll Polar Bear then ....

13. Dragons - Here are the Roses
A sentimental throw back to the best electro-synth pop of the eighties new wave. Superbly done, and no apologies for the retro feel to this one. Very refreshing. I hope these guys continue to make classic records like this one .... please?

14. Two Gallants - Despite What You've Been Told
Lyrically this pared down track is exceptional, sort of reminds me of something Elvis Costello might have written in a parallel universe... Melodically it builds layer on layer into an intense indie-folk tale of failed relationships. The video to this song is a step-by-step tutorial on how to put on a Clown's make-up. "Despite what you've been told, I once had a soul". Brilliant.

15. The Cribs - Dont you Wanna to be Relevant
The Editors take the Enemy on a day out to Sheffield to meet the Arctic Monkeys. OK, I made that bit up - but listen to this and hear what I'm getting at. I liked the Cribs first album "Mirror Kisses" and this tune ratchets up the pop pretentions another notch or two. 8 out of 10 - see me after.

16. The Cliks - Oh Yeah
Someone once wrote of the Cliks: "what might happen if Chrissie Hynde and the Murmurs' Leisha Hailey fell in love, got Bowie to help out with insemination and gave birth to an indie rock love child." And furthermore, if you think the lead vocalist is female, think again. Lucas Silveira handles the excellent vocals, and long may it continue, although somehow I think the band's instability will be their ultimate downfall. Shame.

17. Guster - One Man Wrecking Machine
Not new to the Indie scene (the band formed in 1992) this is the sort of track that lodges itself in a part of your brain normally reserved for complex Algebra and trigonometry, and without warning you find yourself humming it in the middle of Double Maths. Yay! splodgenessabounds.

18. Brindle - Fallout
Good Indie rock fodder - I know, I know, its all been done before .. but I'm a sucker for this stuff. Indulge me. Deb Suckling drives the band along with classic elastica shaped melodies - and the world is a better place for that.

19. British India - Tie Up My Hands
British India are another reason to look towards Antipodian lands for some Indie pop inspiration. This song actually made the No. 1 spot on JTV's music television ("What's that"? you ask). I have no idea but it sounds half good. It was their second single release from the debut album Guillotine, and saw the light of day down-under on May 28th 2007. Fresh (ish)!

20. Elbow - Mexican Standoff
What can I say about this track? Its been around for a few years now and is (in my opinion) the head-and-shoulders stand out track off the album "Leaders of the Free World". I cannot find enough superlatives to describe how this track pushes all the right buttons, so I'm not even going to try. If you havent heard it, you must have been hiding under a rock for the last 18 months. Come out right now! Pull on your best pair of headphones, whack the volume up to 11 gaffa tape it on "max" and dont move until the last pair of Mexican heels has subsided in your brain.

Look out for 20 more classy post-punk indie offerings from the Red Baron Catalogue - coming soon.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

The DOGS Danglies ...

Rarely has any band crept under the skin and pressed all the right stylistic and musical buttons as current fave "The Dogs". Shameful to admit that I completely missed out on the first Album "Turn against this Land" a real blockbuster of a debut that has recently burnt a searing furrow on these ears. Not since I first heard the Skids "Scared to Dance" or XTC's "Black Sea" (to name but two) has an album sounded so complete and utterly devastating as a statement of serious intent. Only now, that the second DOGS album "Tall Stories from under the Table" has emerged from the punk ghost of Joe Strummer's brain, can I come clean and tell you, the reader, that The DOGS have most definitely been let out. These two albums are insistent, anthemic, and yes, a throwback to the early post-punk years. These are the albums that Paul Weller was dreaming of writing when the Jam ruled London, but somehow never quite delivered. The Clash would have been looking nervously over their shoulder if these two 21st Century gems had appeared 30 years earlier. Jake Burns would be tapping out his CV right now to apply for the position of lead singer/guitarist in the forlorn hope that they might not realise just how good Johnny Cookes' vocals really are, or how perfectly crafted Rikki Mehta & Luc Vargas's riffs come across. And as for the rhythm section - forget it - Rich (Mitchell) and Duncan (Timms) pound out a visceral, explosive & passionate tempo as if their lives depended on it. I can even hear Dave Grohl muttering between gritted teeth "jeez ... these guys are good".
It doesnt matter which track you pick to switch on to the Dogs, whether it be the smouldering 5 minute (plus) epic track "Red" from Turns against this land, or current angst ridden single "This Stone is a Bullet". Whether it be catchy first album opener "London Bridge" or the jaunty acoustic-led "Chained to no-one" from Tall Stories.. you wont be disappointed by chancing upon "filler". There isnt any.
Yes, this band has crept under the skin and I think they are going to be there for a very long time indeed. Turn up the volume while you're there fellas, faith is restored. Sweet.

Check out THE DOGS Website

Monday, 9 July 2007

Hot Snakes (R.I.P)

They may be no more, but the HOT SNAKES will always have a place in our post-punk hearts. A reminder here that theres still plenty for all ...

Bromheads Jacket (Slight Return)

Further to my recent post on Sheffields finest, Bromheads Jacket, thought I might try a more technical approach. (well technical for me) so will give this a go, as the previous links dont appear to be too secure. Now I just got to get the formatting sorted... cue a long list of post edits ..

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Bromheads Jacket: ON Gloves: OFF

Take Blur's parklife sensibilities, crank it up to Arctic Monkey oomph and throw in the acidic humour of The Streets and you start to approach what BROMHEADS JACKET are all about. Despite vocalist Tim's east London twang, the 3 piece band are from Sheffield, home of afore-mentioned Monkeys and are getting ready to take over the world!
Currently just finished a european tour and now getting into the studio to record their second album, look out for these boys around the festivals this summer. If you cant wait that long, then dip into LESLEY PARLAFIT or TRIP TO THE GOLDEN ARCHES here.
Have a blast! "It Wasnt supposed to turn out quite like this" but now it has, the gloves are most definitely off.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Classic Record Sleeves

The Knack - My Sharona

Monday, 28 May 2007

Maccabees make Brighton Rock shock

The Maccabees from Brighton have finally "arrived" with their new album COLOUR IT IN. This is the sort of music that stops me in my tracks and reminds me how great real post punk pop rock should sound like. Full of rawky riffola and dynamic contrasts, the opposition are going to have to step up several gears to beat this when the end of the year reviews are written and 2007 is just a memory. The Maccabees first came to my attention with the quirky but superbly enjoyable LATCHMERE single (Released on the wonderful FIERCE PANDA records). This wasnt their first recorded effort - that was a long deleted single called X RAY released on an unknown label called PROMISE records (29th May 2006) - If anyone has a recording of X RAY, I would love to hear it. COLOUR IT IN is definitely a huge leap forward for the Brighton boys, and will be up there in my end of year countdown. Enjoy.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Classic Record Sleeves

The Stone Roses - Sally Cinnamon

Saturday, 5 May 2007

The Virtual Turntable - MAY

So, I dont appear to have posted anything of note for a while (shame on me) - however its Bank Holiday weekend and I intend to put that right immediately.
The Red Baron's virtual turntable has been busy spinning up some great new tracks in May. If you managed to get hold of a copy of MOJO magazine this month, you should now be the proud owner of a wonderful cover CD showcasing the "best of British" new talent. I can confirm that the Noisettes' track is a fun slice of Garage Rockabilly that opens the CD. We are then led on a magical journey through some upbeat and melancholic A-class fodder, culminating in the Draytones' superb "Keep Loving Me". Although the CD does lose cohesion (as many of these compilations do), I can thoroughly reccommend the intent and sentiment of the 15 tracks contained on it, which represent some of the finest Indie work this side of the moon. Something for everyone.
Australia always seems to come up with some great jangly guitar oriented pseudo-psychedelic ruff-around-the-edges indie rock, and SOULS ON BOARD are in that vein, having been kicking around since 2005, their BLOOD FACE EP released in November 2006 seems to be honing their sound admirably. Try WHERE THE DANCE IS and see what I mean. I know its 6 months old now, but I cant seem to get it out of my head.
On the slightly more low-fi side, but definitely not minimalistic, California's THE LITTLE ONES are currently planning to woo us over here late in May with a series of dates as part of the NME New Music tour. A single release is planned for around that time too. Check it out: THE LITTLE ONES - LOVERS WHO UNCOVER
Our friends over on the ARTROCKER website are currently pointing us in the direction of some really great music (Was it ever any different, guys?). A few of my personal favourites getting almost constant play in my headphones are:
Go out and buy new alternative music - its what keeps the undoubted creativeness and innovation flowing. I have thousands of CD and Vinyl gems collected over many years and countless hours in backstreet record stores and I urge each and every one of you interested in this vibrant area of our rock heritage to do the same. Keep independant music alive. Spend a few quid and give these great new bands a leg up.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Classic Indie Record Sleeves

The House Of Love - Destroy the Heart

Monday, 9 April 2007

Nathan White @ Esquires

Well, the lovely Sonja snarled down the phone words to the effect that I had been instrumental in making her miss the inimitable Amy Lee (You know, the brooding singer from Evanesence) - which I vehemently denied, but to little effect. I mentioned that the gig wouldnt really get going until 9 ish, and she took me at my word thereby missing our Amy by over an hour. Apparently she had warbled through her set sometime after 7 and was now nowhere to be seen. On the plus side, Sonja proceeded to relate her experience of a great band called Nathan White who had somewhat lightened her mood by playing a storming set, and graciously handed out a few homemade CD's, one of which our Sonja had escaped with and was now standing outside Esquires in Bedford, explaining how only a well earned drink at The Ship would make her evening complete. And so it is that Nathan White find themselves the subject of tonights entry into the Red Baron Chronicles.
From their myspace website comes the following quote:
"hi im nathan white a singer song writer from bedfordshire in the good old uk.i have been writing my own material now for a good 8 yrs.been in a few bands local bands such as creeper/satchmo/kinkaid and now I have just finished recording my debut album entitled Pretty Ugly at Lost Island Studios, La Gomera in the Canary Islands.a 12 track rolacoster ride.The album is made up of some of the songs that I have written over the past 5 years and, as such, represents lots of different situations and emotions that I have experienced during this period of my life...Angry, happy, sad, fun, lonely, thoughtful and at times, a little bit psycho! ther are to types of music on this album pretty and ugly so why not call it by what it is.The album is everything that I always wanted it to be and my thanks go to the guys at Cow Inc. productions, who I have a production deal with, for helping me to achieve not new to the Bedford music scene and have played with bands such as cooper temple clause/proud Mary/the pecadilos/and the junket and many more.i started my music life playing in such places as Bedford esquires and other small venues around bedfordshire.then i joined the band kinkaid and went went gigging all over ipswish Cambridge London and huge gigs such as party in the park in suffolk.After a 4 month break I will be out gigging the songs again soon. I have missed being on the road while I have been in the studio but the results were worth all struggling musicians in the UK i am trying to take over the world and live up to my idols in the music check out the 4 tracks on this site get your arse to my gigs and suport the dying Bedford music scene ther is talent still out ther and don't we no it.nathan."
Nathan White is signed to the fledgeling Crossflow Recordings from which stable his new LP is to appear called simply "Pretty Ugly". If the EP in our possession is anything to go on, this will be a corker of a set. Check out FREAKSHOW and MOD from the EP and make up your own mind.

As a footnote to this entry, I chanced upon a new live music venue that had recently opened up in Luton called The Live Room which I will doubtless be checking out in the coming weeks. Have fun!

Saturday, 24 March 2007

John Peel Sessions on Strange Fruit (13-18)

Continuing the series of John Peel Sessions covering the first 54 12" Vinyl releases on Strange Fruit Records. (SFPS001 - SFPS-54).

SFPS013 - Joy Division
Heres a bit about the early years of the band, courtesy of
Inspired by a Sex Pistols gig at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall on July 20, 1976, Bernard Sumner (also credited as "Bernard Dicken", "Bernard Albrecht" and "Bernard Albrecht-Dicken") and Peter Hook formed a band with friend Terry Mason. Sumner bought a guitar, Hook purchased a bass, and Mason a drum kit. The band placed an advertisement in a Manchester record store and recruited Curtis as their singer. Curtis knew Sumner, Hook and Mason from previous gigs and was also in attendance at the Sex Pistols concert with his wife, Deborah. Richard Boon and Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks suggested the name "Stiff Kittens" for the band. Although "Stiff Kittens" appeared on some gig flyers, the band didn't like the name and never officially accepted it.
Lacking confidence in his abilities as a drummer, Mason quit the group the day before their first gig to become their manager. He was replaced by Tony Tabac. Just before their first gig on May 29, 1977, supporting Buzzcocks and Penetration at the Electric Circus, the band renamed themselves Warsaw; though they had already appeared on the bill as the Stiff Kittens. Five weeks and half a dozen gigs later, Tabac was replaced by punk drummer Steve Brotherdale from another band called Panik. They recorded The Warsaw Demo on July 18, 1977, consisting of five crude punk songs.

After the demo, Brotherdale was fired; the remaining band members drove off without him. Brotherdale tried to get Curtis to join Panik but was rebuffed. Stephen Morris, who responded to an ad in a music store window, was hired as Brotherdale's replacement. He was hired primarily because Curtis remembered him from his academic days as Morris attended the same school two years below Curtis. Unlike the previous drummers, Morris clicked well with the three. His metronome-like drumming owed more to krautrock than the aggressive bombast typical of many punk drummers.

In late 1977, in order to avoid confusion with the London punk band Warsaw Pakt, Warsaw renamed themselves Joy Division. The name was in reference to groups of Jewish women used as sex slaves in Nazi concentration camps depicted in Ka-Tzetnik 135633's 1955 novel The House of Dolls. Although the choice of name was more reflective of a desire to challenge taboos, this choice along with Sumner's adoption of the surname Albrecht garnered the band a lot of criticism for perceived insensitivity. They were even dogged by accusations of neo-Nazism, a charge they strenuously denied. The accusations resurfaced to a certain degree after Joy Division broke up and reformed as New Order, a name that referenced Hitler's speeches promising "the new order of the Third Reich."

The band's music and style stabilized around this time. Sessions recorded in December 1977 sound considerably different from The Warsaw Demo.

From this session check out Transmission

SFPS014 - The Primevals.
Legendary Glasgow rock group formed in 1983. Influenced by the MC5, Stooges, Captain Beefheart, Pharoah Sanders, the Gun Club, Cramps and sixties US garage, this five-piece honed their sound from thrash to a creepy blues rush. Signature feature: howling slide guitar. The group, a quartet in 2006, consists of at least two founder members. An anthology of their work "On The Red Eye" for the New Rose record label was released in November 2005 on LastCall Records.
Current line-up (June 2006): Michael Rooney - vocals, harmonica, alto sax, guitar Malcolm McDonald - guitar, vocals John Honeyman - bass, vocals Paul Bridges - drums

The Primevals Website

SFPS015 - June Tabor.
June Tabor was born in Warwick. She worked as a librarian and with her then husband David Taylor, ran a restaurant called "Passepartout" in Penrith, Cumbria, England before finally becoming a full-time singer in the 1990s. Like many others she was inspired to sing by hearing Anne Briggs. In 1965 June heard the EP Hazards of Love. "I went and locked myself in the bathroom for a fortnight and drove my mother mad. I learnt the songs on that EP note for note, twiddle for twiddle. That's how I started singing. If I hadn't heard her I'd have probably done something entirely different." She went to Oxford University and appeared on University Challenge in 1968, as captain of one of the college teams. She joined the Heritage Society and sang with a group called Mistral. One of her earliest recording was in 1972 on an anthology called "Stagfolk Live". Her breakthrough occurred in 1976 when she recorded the album Silly Sisters with Maddy Prior and had her own first album. She later joined again with Prior, this time using the name Silly Sisters for their duo.

Starting in 1977 Martin Simpson joined her in the recording studio for three albums before he moved to America in 1987 to be with his American wife Jessica. In 1992 Elvis Costello wrote "All this Useless Beauty" specifically for June, and she recorded it on "Angel Tiger". Elvis didn't record it until 1996, on his album of the same title. At about this time June moved from Cumbria to Wales, and turned professional. Over the years she has wandered into areas that some might call jazz or art-song, but always with a sparse and sombre tone to it. Her 2003 album An Echo of Hooves marked a return to the traditional ballad after an absence of several years, and was highly acclaimed. "Always" (2005) is a boxed set of 4 CDs, spanning her whole career and containing rare recordings. Martin Simpson has returned from America to be a guest guitarist on recent albums.

In 1990, June Tabor recorded an album with the folk-rock band The Oyster Band titled "Freedom and Rain". She went on tour with the Oyster band, and they Rykodisc published a limited run promotional live album the following year. Many of her current fans first discovered her through this tour and album with the Oyster Band, which has a large international following.

In 2004 she was named Folk Singer of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

Thanks to for the above info

SFPS016 - The Undertones.
The Undertones emerged from Derry in Northern Ireland in the whole punk, ‘mew wave’ boom of 1977-1978. They had actually formed in 1975. The time-honoured five mates who played cover versions in youth clubs. The line up featured the O’Neill brothers – John and Damian on guitars, Michael Bradley on bass, Billy Doherty on drums, and on vocals Feargal Sharkey.

Like countless others, punk rock fired their imagination, and gave shape and direction to their material. A love of Garage bands as heard on the seminal Lenny Kaye compilation ‘Nuggets’ helped formulate their predilection for songs with strong chorus hooks, keeping songs short, economical and dynamic. It wasn’t until 1978 that their pop fizz bombs were finally preserved on vinyl, with the classic debut single ‘Teenage Kicks’, released originally on the Good Vibrations label. The song so enamoured influential Radio One deejay John Peel that he announced it to be his ‘favourite record of all time’, and played the single incessantly. "Teenage Kicks" has subsequently come to be considered one of the best rock songs of all time. The Undertones shared a musical commonality with The Ramones in the USA and The Buzzcocks in England, wherein their songs were distilled to an addictive core, but still finding time for lyrical invention and musical flair. Signing to The Ramones label, Sire, the bands eponymous debut album and its follow-up, ‘Hypnotised’, showed that ‘Teenage Kicks’ was no mere fluke. On ‘Hypnotised’, the band even spoofed label mates Talking Heads second album, ‘More Songs About Buildings and Food’ with the song ‘More Songs about Chocolate and Girls’, showing that there was a knowing wit at work amongst the addictive choruses and chunky riffing. The band earned a reputation as a ‘singles’ act par excellence, with cracking 45s such as ‘Here Comes The Summer’, ‘You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It)’, and ‘My Perfect Cousin’.

SFPS017 - Xmal Deutschland.
Sounding like howling witches burning at the stake, the ghoulish shrieks of Xmal Deutschland's 1982 debut single "Incubus Succubus" immediately won the approval of goth rock connoisseurs. The German band wasn't able to maintain its black-clad sound, selling out to pop before the inevitable breakup, but Xmal Deutschland competed with Siouxsie & the Banshees for goth royalty. Xmal Deutschland was formed in Hamburg, Germany, in 1980 by Anja Huwe (vocals), Manuela Rickers (guitar), Rita Simon (bass), Fiona Sangster (keyboards), and Caro May (drums). Originally an all-girl lineup, Xmal Deutschland added a male when Simon was replaced by bassist Wolfgang Ellerbrock. In November 1982, Xmal Deutschland opened for Cocteau Twins in England, and the group caught the attention of the Twins' label, 4AD Records. The band was signed to the label and released their first LP, Fetisch, a year later. Fetisch hit number three on the U.K. independent charts. Xmal Deutschland headlined a U.K. tour in 1983 and recorded a live session for renowned British DJ John Peel. Percussionist Manuela Zwingman quit the group, and Peter Bellendir became the band's new drummer. The similarly gloomy Tocsin followed in 1984. On 1987's Viva, Xmal Deutschland hit their creative peak, puncturing their doom rock sound with the eerie hooks of "Matador" and "Sickle Moon." However, Xmal Deutschland's Halloween days were over by 1989's Devils. Despite its ominous title, the group cheered up, dropped the German lyrics for English, and lost all of their credibility. They disbanded soon thereafter.

Check out Jahr Um Jahr from the session.

SFPS018 - The Specials.
The Coventry Automatics first appeared in 1978, after the downfall of punk scene. They were a mix of Jamaican Ska and punk, which gave the music a more upbeat tone. The Coventry Automatics consisted of Jerry Dammers on keyboards, Lynval Golding on rhythm guitar/ backing vocals, Roddy 'Radiation' Byers on lead guitar, 'Sir' Horace 'Gentleman' Panter on bass, Silverton Hutchinson on drums, and Terry Hall on lead vocals. Soon after, Neville Staples, the groups' roadie, joined the band as a second vocalist. Drummer, John 'JB' Bradbury, also replaced Hutchinson. The bands first big break came when they toured with the Clash. The Clash introduced them as The Specials, and since another band called the automatics had just landed a record deal, they decide to change there name to The Specials AKA the Automatics. This soon was changed to a shorter version, The Specials, so it would be more tongue friendly. The band then created there own record label, 2-Tone Records, in collaboration with Chrysalis Records. The Specials put out many singles, which soared into the British top ten. The band then put out there first two Albums, 'The Specials', and 'More Specials' with the help of Rico on trombone, and Dick on trumpet. Due to disagreements within the band, Neville, Terry, and Lynval left to create 'The Fun Boy Three. Roddy Byers also left to pursue a more rock career with 'The Tearjerkers'. The Remaining Specials joined with other musicians, including the charismatic Rhonda Dakar, and reverted back to The Special AKA. 'Free Nelson Mandella' off of the 'In The Studio' album managed to be a hit. After that, the band quickly dissolved.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

The Virtual Turntable

So whats on the Red Baron virtual turntable for March?


"We're Dan, Dave, Jonny & Arthur. We started playing together at Christmas time. Our songs are very short. One is about WITCHCRAFT and sounds like Hawkwind and Black Sabbath. We'll start playing gigs in London soon.
Hope you enjoy the new tunes. We recorded them ourselves at Survival Rehearsal studios and Dan's front room. They're rough but we like them"

The virtual turntable is playing:
Animal Maths - Why Why Why

I cant seem to find out a busting lot about Animal Maths. Cant seem to find any upcomin live outings, but I think you'll agree, they have a very bright future! All I can offer are their own words: "We have no control over the things that thrill us"

Next up: COPTER

The band are:
Stevie Copter (Preacher)
David Evans (Guitar)
Warren Szpalek (Bass)
Stef Grindley (Moog)
Mark Aldridge (Drums)

Copter's Myspace website

The Virtual Turntable is playing: Copter - Testify (I Wanna)

Upcoming UK dates are:
29th March Sonic Dirt - Nottingham
8th April - Audio Montage Festival - Nottingham

"Five men and one robot, needle-down rock & soul from outer space to your inner ear. They play with a fierce right side of the brain and are all about fire and soul. They don't understand why you are crying. They don't care why you are crying. They just want your sandwich."
Copter's debut album 'STRANGEST TALES' was recorded by Matt Verta-Ray (Madder Rose/Speedball Baby/Heavy Trash) in 1 week at his NY Hed Studios on Ludlow Street, Lower East Side, New York City.
Strangest Tales has the honour of being the last album to be recorded at NY Hed, a place with a rich underground rock 'n' roll heritage... Andre Williams, Mick Collins (Dirtbombs), Blues Explosion, Kid Congo Powers (Gun Club/Cramps/Bad Seeds), Dolemite.... and the punk rock and soul history can definitely be heard and felt on the album too.
11 tracks clocking in at under 24 minutes, the high octane recording features guest appearances by Verta-Ray, Christina Campanella (Parker And Lilly/Heavy Trash), Ali Smith (Speedball Baby/The Oubliettes), Big Bang, Cameron Blain (Bakelite) and Mr. James Chance (The Contortions). Strangest Tales, from outer space to your dancing feet via your brain at 5000 mph. Dig it!

Also in the ears are THE MIGHTY ROARS

The Mighty Roars are:
Lara Granqvist: Sings & Bass
David Pringuer: Drums & Sings
Martin Pilkington: Guitar & Sings

The Mighty Roars My Space site

The Virtual turntable is playing: The Mighty Roars - Kiss It

"The Mighty Roars debut album 'Swine & Cockerel' is now available for sale CD and Vinyl in all good shops across Europe. UK Release 15th April. Record Label: One Little Indian.
Hailing from Sweden and London by way of Berlin, three piece female fronted indie rockers The Mighty Roars are a band with real teeth, a blistering combination of the Pixies, The Breeders and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs; frontwoman Lara Granqwist howling excitably against thrusting guitar riffs and powerful drum beats.
Blistering through proceedings on debut album SWINE AND COCKEREL, The Mighty Roars approach matters at breakneck speed, all punk rock guitars, frantic drum beats and screeching vocals. An explosive burst of energy this is a record that delivers an excitable and energised experience here; a frenzied sounding album that is as glorious as it is bloodied and bruised.
Opener SELLOTAPE finds The Mighty Roars taking all the very best bits from the Throwing Muses, Echobelly and The Breeders, throwing in some Pixies-esque guitar shapes and a healthy dose of infectiously hook laden melodic charm to produce the very best kind of effortlessly brilliant indie rock noise. Lara Granqwist purrs and hollers like the perfect mix of Kim Deal, Patti Smith and Karen O whilst the rest of the band basically make out like they've just discovered The Throwing Muses and the Pixies for the first time; giddy on the power of music.
Elsewhere, the similarly joyous indie rock of DADDY OH is another effortlessly brilliant slice of guitar driven pop that skips along on skewed guitar jerks and off centre rhythms. Former single WHALE is still as riotous, melodic and angular as ever whilst KISS IT manages to sound like Queens Of The Stone Age seducing Veruca Salt down the local indie disco. The acoustic driven WISH EVERYTHING is a more laid back affair that gives you chance to catch your breath, sweet nursery rhyme melodies enticing you in, whilst the abrupt FUNKY MACHINE sees The Mighty Roars getting back to business as usual, the trio oozing indie rock majesty, bristling with genius pop attitude and hook laden guitar abuse. Massive riffs and thunderous drum beats are the order of the day with ROMEO, Lara Granqwist yet again providing the melodic undercurrent with her howled vocal asides whilst the pretty JUDE AND SIENNA proves this a band also capable of softer sounding material when the time calls for it.
Climaxing with the explosive power punk of THE MUFFIN MAN and WHIPPED MY BITCH, The Mighty Roars end things much as they began; delivering upfront melodic indie rock that bridges the gaps between the Breeders, Veruca Salt and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.A band to cherish and adore, The Mighty Roars make a sound that's bruised, brilliant, vital and fresh and with SWINE AND COCKEREL deliver a record chock full of infectious slices of brilliant alt-rock glory."

Next, Australias finest, THE DEATH SET

"You really only need to know two things about Sydney’s The Death Set, that is they are two guys, one part insanity the other part profanity. Beau Velasco and Johnny Siera are the two members, with the third arguably an electronic accompanist that plays some disco beat while the two main men sing abrasive half coherent ludicrousies into two vintage microphone stands. I saw them for the first time at the AM Eyewear party at Sydney’s Gaelic Theatre in Surry Hills, armed with guitars and without inhibition they had the crowd in a psychotic state, and were systematically stripped, abused and close to molested by a number of the audience members throughout the high energy set. Not only did they enjoy it, but they provoked it!
It’s an abrasive strand of dance pop they play, and definitely one of the most entertaining local live acts I’ve seen this year. Though with much of their time being favoured to shows in the US, they prove a rare act to catch locally, and don’t really have a huge name for themselves at least amongst scenesters in Sydney, however their EP To is out in Australia with a full length release rumored to be due out sometime in early 2008. It will be interesting to see how they attempt to capture blood, near death and two tattooed tortured bodies on record, but one thing’s for sure, The Death Set are armed with a musical recipe for mayhem."

The virtual turntable is playing: The Death Set - Intermission

The Death Set's My Space website

And, from Ireland, DELORENTOS

"Delorentos are a Dublin based alternative rock band. The four-piece have been together for less than three years and in that time have produced two independent releases, the Leave It On EP and the recently released single, The Rules. Both went into the Irish charts, The Rules reaching number 14 in May 2006.
With songs jointly and individually written by Ronán (guitar, vocals) and Kieran (guitar, vocals) with Níal (bass, vocals) and Ross (drums, vocals), Delorentos resultant sound ranges from soft acoustic melodies to angular, driven guitar rock. Riffs and rhythms combine to produce powerful, intimate and captivating songs that have already won them a dedicated fan-base around Ireland through their regular live appearances.
The band have been compared to Talking Heads, Television, and Interpol, but comparisons change with each new song and exhilarating live performance.
This year Delorentos played a storming set on RTEs Other Voices: Songs from a Room, were nominated for Best New Irish Band at the Irish Meteor awards in February and over the summer played to rapturous crowds at this years Oxegen and Electric Picnic Festivals. November saw them play the CMJ Festival in New York, play the launch of Radio Station Phantom FM and join Bell X1 on their Irish Tour.
The band are currently finishing the recording of their debut album, and are gearing up for its release in spring 2007."

The virtual turntable is playing: Delorentos - Basis of Everything

Upcoming gigs
29 Mar 2007, 20:00 Osprey Hotel, Devoy Quarter, Naas, Co Kildare
30 Mar 2007, 20:00 Wexford town, Co Wexford
07 Apr 2007, 20:00 Music Factory, 52-54 Tullow Street, Carlow, Co Carlow

Delorentos My Space website

And last, but by no means least: BIRDMONSTER

Birdmonster are:
Zach Winter: Drums, Cello
Peter Arcuni : Vocals, Guitar
Justin Tenuto : Bass, Rhodes, Melodica, Banjo
David Klein : Guitar, Piano

The virtual turntable is playing: Birdmonster - Cause You Can

Birdmonsters My Space website

"Like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, with whom they share a sonic resemblance, San Francisco's Birdmonster have opted for the D.I.Y. self-released approach for their debut album. Based on the results here, they may have an equally bright future. On first listen, Birdmonster are just another interchangeable cog in the new wave revival machinery, and the rubber band basslines and angular guitars sound like familiar retreads of the Strokes and Interpol. Upon a more careful hearing, though, they mostly sound like no one but themselves. Sure, the first single, "'Cause You Can," sounds like a lost track (and a great one at that) from Is This It — but the understated use of banjo, cello, and melodica adds organic warmth to these songs that is missing from most of their icy new wave revival brethren, and lead singer/songwriter Peter Arcuni is surprisingly original, upping the ante on the wild-eyed schizophrenia of David Byrne and CYHSY's Alec Ounsworth by unleashing some memorably unhinged and desperate singing. Arcuni's songwriting is a consistent highlight, and his songs are full of artful, idiosyncratic details. The film noir storytelling of "Balcony" and the gothic horror trappings of the title track belie an English major behind the rock & roll bravado. Sonically it's all about fun, though, and the band is fond of the whisper-to-a-roar dynamics that the Pixies and Nirvana perfected. "Ice Age" starts out slowly and acoustically, and winds up somewhere just this side of frothing at the mouth, and that's a pattern the band reprises on several tracks. "The Bar at the Back of the Basement" adds some hoedown elements, with the banjo featured prominently, and serves as a fine cowpunk interlude between the more straightforward new wave tracks. Otherwise, these songs are characterized by frenetic energy, buzzsaw guitars, and over the top vocals. In short, they rock, and Birdmonster are off to a big, roaring, impressive start."

To download any of these monster choons, right click the song links and choose "save target as". Enjoy, fellow choonsters.

The Cinematics

This band are refreshing, a la Editors or The Automatic, great stuff. New Album due out any day now - check it out "A Strange Education"

Heres a taster from the album The Cinematics - Keep Forgetting

Get the album from 7 Digital here

Friday, 16 March 2007

Classic Sleeves - Half Man Half Biscuit


John Peel Sessions on Strange Fruit (7-12)

Second in the series showcasing the original STRANGE FRUIT 12" Vinyl releases of single artist PEEL SESSIONS. The first pressings of these came in a leather feel embossed sleeve. The front of each release plastered with an extensive list of bands that had at one time or other recorded a session (or sessions) for John Peels BBC Radio 1 show. The rear of each sleeve giving information about the particular session (Band, Tracks, timing, recording date, transmission date and personnel)
The images here are the session specific rear sleeve faces. These images are SFPS007 to SFPS012.

For details of ALL the sessions recorded by BBC 1's John Peel show, follow the link below.

The Complete John Peel Sessions listings

SFPS007 Madness
The One-and-only session the nutty boys ever recorded for the Peel Show.
The origins of Madness lie in a ska group known as the Invaders, which was formed by Mike Barson, Chris Foreman, and Lee Thompson in 1976. By 1978, the band had changed their name to Morris and the Minors and had added Graham "Suggs" McPherson, Mark Bedford, Chas Smash, and Dan Woodgate to the group. Later in 1978, they changed their name to Madness, in homage to one of their favorite Prince Buster songs. The following year, Madness released their debut single, a tribute to Prince Buster entitled "The Prince," on Two-Tone. The song was a surprise success, reaching the British Top 20. Following its success, the band signed a record contract with Stiff Records and released another Prince Buster song, "One Step Beyond," which climbed to number seven.

SFPS008 Gang Of Four
The early musical adventures of Andy Gill and Jon King can be traced right back to their days at Sevenoaks School, where along with Tom Greenhalgh, Kevin Lycett and Mark White (later of the Mekons) they used to spend a lot of time in the art room (Mark's Dad was one of the art teachers). Towards the end of their time at Sevenoaks they began dabbling in music, including on one occasion playing reggae at the 'School Ball' - "somewhat to the horror of the deputy head". Paul Hubert (who I'm indebted to for this information) remembers them getting reggae played over the PA in their local pub, so it would seem that reggae was a big influence at that time. "Looking back," he says, "the combination of a certain '60s cultural and political openness, the events of the time, and a certain amount of pointless repression made the school experience quite a fertile one for left-leaning and oppositional types at the beginning of the 1970s".
Andy and Jon subsequently went to Leeds University where they met up with drummer Hugo Burnham. They formed Gang Of Four in Leeds in 1977, after recruiting Dave Allen who answered an advert for a 'bass player wanted'. After their first single in 1978, they were snapped up by EMI and released their debut album Entertainment! in 1979.

SFPS009 The Wedding Present
The Wedding Present eventually recorded a total of TWELVE sessions for John Peel! This one was the very first back in 1986.
On the 19th March 2007, Scopitones are releasing ALL of the Wedding Present sessions
Sanctuary Records will be releasing all of The Wedding Present's sessions for the late John Peel on Monday 19 March 2007.
This box set effectively traces the history of The Wedding Present as much as it does their close relationship with the legendary radio presenter, who continually championed the band on his long running BBC Radio 1 show. Commencing with their first session from 1986, it introduces their trademark fast guitars and David Gedge's idiosyncratic song writing. That first session also begins a trend for the group of recording unlikely and compelling cover versions - in this case, Orange Juice's "Felicity". Elsewhere you'll hear renditions of Altered Images' "Happy Birthday" and the "White Horses" TV theme, amongst others. The Wedding Present went on to record twelve studio sessions for Peel, the last of which [in 2004] previewed songs from the then, forthcoming Take Fountain album.

SFPS010 TWA Toots
Their one and only session for the John Peel Show.
- Twa Toots was reportedly based out of Kent in the U.K.. They formed in the very early eighties.
- They were one of John Peel’s favorite bands. Twa Toots recorded a Peel Session and then seemingly disappeared into thin air for awhile.
- Sporadically they’d put out an odd single here, a tape there, break up and then repeat the process. But pretty much nobody can confirm what was on these releases… or that they really existed in the first place.
- There was one full length release by Twa Toots. Don’t Send Me Flowers was released on 1997 on Accident Records. It’s long out of print and no one can even seem to agree about what formats it might have been released on.
- Twa Toots was mostly Philippa Richmond, Sara Brown, Will Cassell and Frank Brown. Sara Brown did one EP with another twee band in the nineties under the moniker Sundress. The three songs I’ve tracked down of theirs are pretty amazing.
- They were fucking amazing.

SFPS011 The Ruts
The second of four sessions (The first being January of the same year, 1979)
The Ruts like so many were born out of a pub rock band. This one was called Hit & Run that Dave Ruffy & Paul Fox played in. Ruffy was on bass, Paul on Guitar and Paul Mattock was on drums. Malcolm Owen a friend went with them on August 1977 to a rehearsal in Rotherhithe as a singer without knowing if he could sing!! Something clicked and 4 songs came out of it. Rich Bitch, Lobotomy, I Ain't Sofisticated and Out Of Order.
In A Rut their first record was financed by Misty and had taken the band seven months to get out. With support from John Peel it sold 20,000 copies. They signed with Virgin and released Babylons Burning which rocketed them to a top 10 position. More hits followed till shockingly Malcolm Owen was discovered dead from a heroin overdose. The one thing you notice though is the vein of sadness and irony in the lyrics that runs through some of the songs most obviously 'Love In Vain','H-eyes', 'West One' and 'In a Rut'. Malcolm was a heroin user before The Ruts but turned back to it after his wife left him... Malcolm Owen died on July 14th 1980 aged 26 .

SFPS012 Siouxsie and the Banshees
The first of five sessions they recorded late 70's to early eighties, riding the first wave of UK punk. This session notable for the different version of Metal Postcard (Mittageisen). Siouxsie & the Banshees were still unsigned and, according to the U.K. music industry, unsignable, when they visited the BBC studios for the first time; an absurd state of affairs that so wholly belied the band's live and critical acclaim that, for a time, there was talk of the BBC itself releasing their first single, a straightforward rendering of their debut John Peel session. Ultimately, it never happened. The BBC hierarchy was no more enamored of the Banshees' brittle, and so controversial, approach than any other label out there. But the story still serves to remind just how powerful the band's maiden Peel session was, and the four tracks that open Voices on the Air: The Peel Sessions, recorded in December 1977 (and including a ferocious "Metal Postcard"), offer a fiery statement of intent from what became one of the key bands of the next two decades. A second session the following February wraps up the key elements of the group's early repertoire, a dry run (and in some places, superior blueprint) for what would become their debut album, The Scream. An indication of the speed at which the Banshees were developing, meanwhile, can be drawn from their next BBC offering: four songs previewing Join Hands in April 1979. "Playground Twist" is especially effective here. Two years elapsed before the band's next session (and over a decade before their final one) and the performances that conclude this disc are excellent. But they cannot be compared with what had gone before. Through the '80s and '90s, after all, the Banshees were merely making albums. At birth through the late '70s, they were making epochs. ~ Dave Thompson, All Music Guide

Apologies for a little shaky photography in some of these images!