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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Animal Magic were a brassy Bristol sextet led by vocalist Howard Purse, they swiftly developed from a punk to a hardcore dancefloor sensibility. and aside from those pithy comments i have no further information on them. if you know anything about them, please email me. their only session for peel was put down on 20/02/1982. and here it is.
The Au Pairs were a British post-punk band formed in Birmingham in 1978 and in existence until 1983. They released two studio albums and three singles. Their songs were said to have "contempt for the cliches of contemporary sexual politics" and their music has been compared to the Gang of Four and the Young Marble Giants. They were led by Lesley Woods, who was once described as "one of the most striking women in British rock". Their first album Playing with a Different Sex is considered a post-punk classic with strong, sarcastic songs like "It's Obvious" and "We're So Cool" taking a dry look at gender relations. Other songs, such as "Armagh" with its refrain, "we don't torture" criticized the British government's treatment of Irish Republican prisoners in the then ongoing Troubles in Northern Ireland, which caused some controversy at the time. The group performed in 1980 for the concert film Urgh! A Music War. The second album, Sense and Sensuality (1982), showed an even greater influence of jazz, soul, funk and disco on the band's sound, but was less well received. They broke up in 1983, just before they were about to go into the studio to record an album with producer Steve Lillywhite. Woods formed an all woman band called the Darlings in the late 1980s but then left the music industry. She now works as a lawyer in London. Guitarist Paul Foad remains an active musician, playing with Andy Hamilton and the Blue Notes, a Jamaican jazz band, and teaching guitar in and around Birmingham. He's also published a guitar technique book, co-written with Stuart Ritchie, titled The Caged Guitarist (2000). Bass player Jane Munro works as an alternative therapist (aromatherapy, reflexology and Indian head massage) in Birmingham. Pete Hammond also remains an active musician and teaches percussion in Birmingham. here's the first of four peel sessions, taped on 26/10/1979.
The Boys are an English punk rock band formed in London in 1976. They were born when singer/guitarist Matt Dangerfield left the fledgling punk band London SS in September 1975 to form a new band with ex-Hollywood Brats keyboard player Casino Steel. Dangerfield’s art college friend, guitarist Honest John Plain, was soon recruited and in June 1976, two of Plain’s co-workers at a t-shirt printing company, bassist Duncan "Kid" Reid and drummer Jack Black, successfully auditioned to complete the line-up. Steel (ex-Hollywood Brats) and Dangerfield played in the London SS together, a group which at some point included future members of The Clash, The Damned, Chelsea and Generation X. Dangerfield had converted his rented basement apartment in Maida Vale into a home recording studio where they recorded early on. The band played their first concert at the Hope and Anchor pub in Islington, London in September 1976. Notable attendees in the crowd included; Mick Jones, Billy Idol, Tony James and Gene October. After a handful of concerts, The Boys signed to NEMS in January 1977, and were at that time the only British
punk band to have a record deal (The Sex Pistols having just been dismissed by EMI). Their first release was the single "I Don't Care", and in support of that release, they toured with John Cale of Velvet Underground. Their 16-track debut album, The Boys, was recorded in early May 1977. However, the album's commercial release was delayed until the 9th September, which the band has blamed on the record company's "incompetence". The album eventually reached No. 50 in the UK Album Charts. A second single, the oustandinmg First Time — universally hailed as one of the greatest punk tracks of all time - was released on 27th July 1977. As a result Peel invited The Boys to recorded a session for his show, which became 'Single Of The Week' in Sounds magazine. The single was steadily climbing the chart, until 16 August 1977 when Elvis Presley died. Their records were distributed by RCA Records, who switched all their resources into satisfying the huge posthumous demand for Elvis Presley records. They released a second album on NEMS, the utterly sublime Alternative Chartbusters (1978), and toured in support of it with the Ramones. They then moved to Safari records in 1979: two albums and five singles followed before they broke up in the summer of 1981. Every Christmas, they rearranged the "B" and the "Y" in their name and became The Yobs, releasing four singles one album; 1980s Christmas Album. In this incarnation, the band members used the pseudonyms Noddy Oldfield, Ebenezer Polak, Kid Vicious and H. J. Bedwetter. On 31 July and 1 August 1999, four out of five original members, along with Steve "Vom" Ritchie (replacing Jack Black on drums, who was busy with his own band) played concerts in Japan. In September 2000, this new line-up played at the 'Holidays in the Sun Festival' in Bilbao, Spain. Original drummer Jack Black made a guest appearance and filmed the concert. It was the first time in 18 years that the five original band members had been reunited on stage. In 2006, the band
again performed concerts, including their first shows in London in 25 years. In June 2012 they went into Rock On Studios in Annecy, France to record their first brand new album since 1981's Boys Only. here's that first peel session, put down on 03/08/1977.
there's very little information on an enigmatic and superb UK band from the late seventies and early eighties, the Frames. they came from portsmouth, there was a 1979 single, 'false accusations.' they had two tracks on a local compilation lp called 'south specific' (1980) on Brain boosters records.
they were Sue Jonas (Vocals), Nick Radford (Guitar), Stephen Wood (drums) and Mike Marshfield (Bass). if you know any more about them, please email me. their only session for peel - an outstanding one - was immortalised on 24/02/1981. one track from it, 'shock of the new,' is simply brilliant, in my opinion. play loud!
British oddballs the Mekons formed in the late 1970s and are one of the longest-running and most prolific of the first-wave British punk rock bands.Through the years their musical style has incorporated aspects of country music, folk music, alternative rock and occasional experiments with dub.
These days The Mekons are often described as a post-punk, cowpunk and/or alt country band. They were formed in 1977 by a group of University of Leeds art students: Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan and Tom Greenhalgh - the Gang of Four and Delta 5 formed from the same group of students. They took the group name from the Mekon, an evil, super-intelligent Venusian featured in the British 1950s-1960s comic Dan Dare (printed in the Eagle). The first single was "Never Been in a Riot", a satirical take on the Clash's White Riot. For several years the loose-knit line-up played noisy, bare-bones post-punk, releasing singles on a variety of labels. The first album, The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strnen, was recorded using the Gang of Four's instruments and due to an error by the Virgin Records art department featured pictures of the Gang of Four on the back cover. After 1982's The Mekons Story, a compilation of old recordings, the band ceased activity for a while, with Langford forming The Three Johns. By the mid-1980s (revitalised by the 1984 miners' strike) the Mekons had returned as an active group. They were now augmented by vocalist Sally Timms, violinist Susie Honeyman, ex-Damned member Lu Edmonds, accordionist/vocalist Rico Bell (a.k.a. Eric Bellis), and former Rumour drummer Steve Goulding and Kelvin Weech on lead guitar. They began to experiment with musical styles derived from traditional English folk (tentatively explored on the English Dancing Master EP prior to the hiatus), and American country music. Fear and Whiskey (1985), The Edge of the World (1986) and Honky Tonkin (1987) exemplified the band's new sound, which built on the innovations of Gram Parsons and blended punk ethos and left wing politics with the minimalist country of Hank Williams. Subsequent albums continued to experiment with diverse instrumentation (notably the fiddle and slide guitar). The Mekons Rock and Roll was the band's first major label release. Issued by A&M Records in 1989, Rock and Roll was not a commercial success but met with critical acclaim. Just as the Mekons began to grow in critical stature, their relationship with A&M Records became tense and the group were dropped by the label, unable to fulfill their commercial expectations. However, they continued to record at a prolific rate, releasing a number of albums. In April 2009 they returned to the studio to complete a new collection of songs,
released in 2011 as Ancient and Modern on Bloodshot Records. In a February 2011 interview Langford discussed the music documentary about the band, Revenge of the Mekons, directed by Joe Angio. The film premiered in 2013 at the DOC NYC festival with members of the group in attendance. peel was a big fan, giving them no less than six sessions. this is the fourth, recorded on 17/12/1980.
UK dub-reggae enthusiasts Red Beat issued three 12" singles between 1979 and 1982, then seemed to have split up. A compilation album, The Missing Album, was issued in 2004. A second compilation, clones By Contact, came out in 2015. their one and only peel session was put down on 02/12/1980. it's here!
Shirley Collins and her older sister, Dolly grew up in the Hastings area of East Sussex in England in a family which kept alive a love of traditional song. Songs learnt from their grandfather and from their mother's sister, Grace Winborn, were to be important in the sisters' repertoire throughout their career. On leaving school at the age of 17 Collins enrolled at a teachers' training college in Tooting, south London, also involving herself in the early folk revival and in 1954, at a party hosted by Ewan MacColl, she met Alan Lomax, the famous American folk collector, who had moved to Britain to avoid the McCarthy witch-hunt, then raging in America. Lomax and Collins made a folk song collecting trip in the Southern states that lasted from July to November 1959 and resulted in many hours of recordings, featuring performers such as Almeda Riddle, Hobart Smith, and Bessie Jones, and is noted for the discovery of Mississippi Fred McDowell. Recordings from this trip were issued by Atlantic Records under the title "Sounds of the South", and some were re-enacted in the Coen brothers’ film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. The experience of her life with Lomax, and the making of the recordings in religious communities, social gatherings, prisons and chain gangs was described in Shirley's book America Over the Water (2005). Back in Britain she proceeded with her own singing career, and in a series of influential albums helped to introduce many innovations into the English folk revival. In 1964 she recorded the landmark jazz-folk fusion of Folk Roots, New Routes, with guitarist Davy Graham. 1967 saw the essentially southern English song collection, The Sweet Primroses, on which she was accompanied for the first time by Dolly's organ. In 1969 there was another collaboration, this time with The Young Tradition (featuring Peter Bellamy, Heather Wood and Royston Wood) and Dolly, The Holly Bears the Crown. However, the album was not released until 1995. Shirley married her second husband Ashley Hutchings in 1971. He left Steeleye Span and the couple created the all acoustic Etchingham Steam Band with Terry Potter, Ian Holder and Vic Gammon. The Etchingham's repertoire was drawn from the traditional
music of Sussex. 1978's For As Many As Will was the last studio album recorded by the sisters. Shirley retired from public performance although she continues to lecture and to appear on radio as an authority on traditional music. In 2004 she was awarded a Gold Badge by the English Folk Dance and Song Society and became patron of the South East Folk Arts Network in 2006. She was awarded the MBE for services to music in the Queen's 2006 New Year's Honours List. here's the first of two sessions for peel, a top gear appearance taped on 08/05/1968. this is rare, so enjoy it while you can.
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.