A brand new crop of sessions will be here on the firstday of each month, replacing the ones before them. mr. obscure can be contacted via his old pal and cowering slave stuart Jones, at email@example.com
Irish new wavers The Boomtown Rats had a series of UK hits between 1977 and 1985. The group is led by vocalist Bob Geldof. The other members of the original line-up were Garry Roberts (lead guitar), Johnnie Fingers (keyboard), Pete Briquette (bass), Gerry Cott (rhythm guitar) and Simon Crowe (drums). The Rats broke up in 1986 but reformed in 2013 without Fingers or Cott. Most of the six members originate from Dún Laoghaire, Ireland with Pete Briquette originally from Ballyjamesduff, County Cavan, Ireland. Having been booked for their first gig under the name "The Nightlife Thugs" the group agreed on the name change to the "Boomtown Rats" after a gang of children Geldof had read about in Woody Guthrie's autobiography, Bound for Glory. They became a notable band but one whose accomplishments were overshadowed by the charity work of frontman Geldof, a former journalist with the New Musical Express. In the summer of 1976 the group played their first U.K. gig in London followed by more in the Netherlands before moving to London where they signed with Ensign Records later that year. Their first single, "Lookin' After No. 1", came out in August 1977. It reached the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart, the first of a long string of successes. The debut album The Boomtown Rats was released the next month. it included
another single, "Mary of the 4th Form". The next album, A Tonic for the Troops (1978), featured three hit singles, "Like Clockwork", "She's So Modern" and "Rat Trap". The US version of the album (with a slightly different tracklisting) came out the next year on Columbia Records. Mutt Lange produced "Rat Trap", which became the first rock song by an Irish band to reach No. 1 in the UK and the first of any description by an Irish band to top the official chart used by the BBC. (The Bachelors had topped the Record Retailer chart in 1964 with "Diane", but only reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart). In addition, "Rat Trap" was also the first new wave song to claim the number one spot. In 1979 "I Don't Like Mondays", was released. This was written in response to a school shooting in California, and also reached No. 1 in the UK. It was a worldwide hit, with the exception being the United States. It was the band's only song to reach the US Billboard Hot 100 and was included in the band's third
album, The Fine Art of Surfacing. The Boomtown Rats reformed in 2013. Bob Geldof said, "Playing again with the Rats and doing those great songs again will be exciting afresh. We were an amazing band and I just feel it's the right time to re-Rat, to go back to Boomtown for a visit." In June 2013 it was announced that the band would be embarking on a UK and Ireland tour supported by a new compilation album, Back to Boomtown: Classic Rats Hits. The group performed at the Brentwood Festival in 2016, where Geldof attracted controversy for criticising the audience. In April 2017, they returned to the studio to record new material for their first studio album since In the Long Grass in 1984. Like a lot of the sessions this month the rats recorded two, in all, for john peel. mr. obscure is giving you the second, committed to tape on 15/05/1978.
De Dannan (originally Dé Danann) are an Irish folk music group. It was formed by Frankie Gavin (fiddle), Alec Finn (guitar, bouzouki), Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh (bodhrán) and Charlie Piggott (banjo) as a result of sessions in Hughes's Pub in An Spidéal, County Galway, with Dolores Keane (vocals) subsequently being invited to join the band. The fiddler Mickey Finn (1951–1987) is also acknowledged to have been a founder member. The band were named after the legendary Irish tribe Tuatha Dé Danann. Since 2012 De Dannan have been performing as a 5-piece and have recorded Jigs, Reels & Rock n' Roll, an album with a line-up of Gavin (fiddle, flute, whistles), Damien Mullane (accordion), Eric Cunningham (percussion, flutes, whistles), Mike Galvin (bouzouki, guitar) and Michelle Lally (vocals). There have been fifteen albums issued between 1975 and 2012. I'm afraid i have virtually no information on this session: all I know for sure is that it was taped in 1978. great music, though! blimey!
What's left to say about elvis costello? come on, you all must surely know his story by now - i won't bore you by droning on about his early years with his band flip city or about how he met up with the people who ran stiff records
etc. he's one of the all-time great songwriters, in my opinion. here's the fourth session elvis and his attractions recorded for uncle john (there were five in all). it was immortalised on 25/02/1980.
Harvey's Rabbit were a five-piece from Manchester: Tim Lions (vocals) Mick Pullan (guitar) Dave Thom (guitar/keyboards) David Chorlton (bass) and Andy Bell (drums). The group were around for most of the 1990's having first got together in 1992. They played their last gig at the Night and Day Cafe on Oldham Street, Manchester in the Autumn of 1998. 1994 was a busy year. Tired of the process of recording demos, sending them off and being rejected, they decided to be a bit more ambitious and record an album "A Place For Beginners" at Studio Studio near Rochdale, releasing it on Cassette only on their own Rain Soaked label. 'Releasing it' meant getting a few copies on the shelves of Piccadilly Records, selling some at gigs and giving a load away. Around the same time they managed to get some dates supporting The Fall. There were four singles and an album, The New Spiritual Vacuum (1998, the year they split). here's their only peel session, laid down on 21/06/1994.
The English folk singer June Tabor is known for her awesome solo work as well as for earlier collaborations with Maddy Prior and with the Oyster Band. June was inspired to sing by hearing Anne Briggs' EP Hazards of Love in 1965. "I went and locked myself in the bathroom for a fortnight and drove my mother mad. I learned 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." Remarking on how she developed her now-characteristic style in an interview in 2008, she added, "I have no musical education whatsoever...I just learned the songs and copied the phrasing by playing those records ad nauseam, trying out both Anne Briggs and Belle Stewart's styles. Then I tried putting the two together, and missing a few bits out - and that's approximately what I've been doing ever since. It's also why I don't do singing workshops, because that's about as much as I can tell anyone." Her earliest public performances were at the Heart of England Folk Club, in the Fox and Vivian pub in Leamington Spa in the mid 1960s. She is, simply, incredible. There have been sixteen wonderful albums, issued between 1976 and 2011. here's the third of her six sessions for John, who was a loyal fan. It was recorded on 25/01/1977.
Monkey Steals the Drum were a short-lived combo from Ormskirk who existed long enough to record two Peel sessions and release a couple of singles. They sent a demo to peel, who, impressed, 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 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 formats 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. They 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. This is the first of their two peel sessions, put down on 12/12/1999.
Reggae Regular formed in London in late 1976. In 1979 they changed their name to The Regulars. Under this nomenclature they released two Albums: Victim (1979) and I & I (1980). In 1982, Reggae Regular reformed and collaborated with some of the artists from Greensleeves Records. In 1984 they worked with the Mad Professor and recorded their most acclaimed album, Ghetto Rock. Critics and the press considered it one of the best reggae albums of the 80’s. In 2011, after 27 years, they returned with a new album, If Only. Here's the first of two sessions for the great broadcaster, taped on 12/06/1978.
The list of band names below is purely for illustrative purposes - I don't pretend to have sessions by all these people - but I do have a frightening amount of them.