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
The legendary Nick Drake was an English singer-songwriter and musician, known for his acoustic guitar-based songs. He failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime, but his work has gradually achieved wider notice and recognition. he signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and was
a student at the University of Cambridge, and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded two more albums — Bryter LayterandPink Moon. Neither sold more than 5,000 copies on initial release. nick's reluctance to perform live, or be interviewed, contributed to his lack of commercial success. There is no known footage of the adult Drake; he was only ever captured in still photographs and in home footage from his childhood. Nick was clinically depressed, particularly during the latter part of his life. This was often reflected in his lyrics. On completion of his third album, 1972's Pink Moon, he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural Warwickshire. On 25 November 1974, Drake died from an overdose of amitriptyline, a prescribed antidepressant; he was 26 years old. Whether his death was an accident or suicide has never been resolved. his remarkable music remained available through the mid-1970s, but the 1979 release of the retrospective album Fruit Tree allowed his back catalogue to be reassessed. By the mid-1980s Nick was being credited as an influence by such artists as Robert Smith, David Sylvian and Peter Buck. In 1985, The Dream Academy reached the UK and US charts with "Life in a Northern Town", a song written for and dedicated to Drake. By the early 1990s, he had come to represent a certain type of "doomed romantic" musician in the UK music press. His first biography was published in 1997, followed in 1998 by the documentary film A Stranger Among Us. Nick's one and only BBC session appearance seems to be this very rare Top gear performance for Peel, taped on 05/08/1969. the take of "Bryter layter" here was almost certainly an oouttake from the session, as it was not broadcast at the time.
Isotope were a British jazz-rock band fronted by guitarist Gary Boyle, who founded the band in June 1972 and a first album, Isotope, was largely composed by keyboardist Brian Miller. Jeff Clyne played bass and Nigel Morris played drums. Clyne and Miller left in 1974, however, and were replaced by
Hugh Hopper and Laurence Scott respectively. After touring, this new line-up recorded the band's second album Illusion. In late 1974 they appeared on film on BBC 2's The Old Grey Whistle Test playing "Spanish Sun" from the album. Further touring followed and there were various personnel changes.
Deep End was recorded in 1976 with two keyboardists Zoe Kronberger and Frank Roberts. Hopper played on one track, but the bass was otherwise played by Dan K. Brown. Morris Pert also played percussion. Boyle subsequently focused on a solo career.There were four albums, one of which remained unissued until 2008. There were three BBC sessions for our hero, and this is the last one, recorded on 07/07/1975.
The British electronic music group the Orb are known for spawning the so-called ambient house genre. Founded in 1988 by Alex Paterson and KLF member Jimmy Cauty, The Orb began as ambient and dub DJs in London. Its early performances were inspired by ambient and electronic artists of the 1970s and 1980s, most notably Brian Eno and Kraftwerk. Because of its trippy sound, the Orb developed a cult following among clubbers "coming down" from drug-induced highs. The Orb has maintained its drug-related and science fiction themes despite personnel changes, including the departure of Cauty and other Orb members Kris Weston, Andy Falconer, Simon Phillips, Nick Burton and Andy Hughes. Paterson has been the only permanent member, continuing to work as the Orb with the Swiss-German producer Thomas Fehlmann and, later, with Killing Joke's Martin "Youth" Glover and Tim Bran of Dreadzone. Alex Paterson prides the Orb
on manipulating obscure samples beyond recognition on its albums and during its concerts; his unauthorised use of other artists' works has led to disputes with musicians, most notably with Rickie Lee Jones. During its live shows of the 1990s, the Orb performed using digital audio tape machines optimised
for live mixing and sampling before switching to laptops and digital media. Despite changes in performance method, the Orb aintained its colourful light shows and psychedelic imagery in concert. These visually intense performances prompted critics to compare the group to Pink Floyd. Their success in the UK peaked in the early 1990s with the albums The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld and U.F.Orb, the latter of which reached #1 on the British album charts in 1992. This success led to its infamous appearance on Top of the Pops, where the group showcased its quirky style by playing chess (an interest of Paterson's since his early youth) while the group's single "Blue Room" ran in the background. the Orb's mid-1990s albums were met with mixed reactions from British critics; however, its work received praise from American publications such as Rolling Stone. The group experimented with vocalists on its
next two albums, which critics generally described as bland and uninspired. the Orb then shifted gears to a minimal techno style spearheaded by member Thomas Fehlmann, releasing its new material on the record label Kompakt. There were no less than thirteen studio album releases between 1991 and 2015. Here's the first of five sessions for uncle john, immortalised on 03/12/1989. It comes in the form of one long track.
Stateside oddballs Pere Ubu formed in Cleveland, Ohio, in the mid-seventies. Despite many long-term band members, singer David Thomas is the only constant. The group's name is a reference to Ubu Roi, a play by French writer Alfred Jarry. While Pere Ubu have never been widely popular—they are usually categorized as "underground rock"—they have a devoted following and have received critical acclaim. Rocket from the Tombs were a Cleveland-based group that eventually fragmented: some members formed The Dead Boys, and others The Saucers, while David Thomas and guitarist Peter Laughner joined with guitarist Tom Herman,
bass guitarist Tim Wright, drummer Scott Krauss and synthesist Allen Ravenstine to form Pere Ubu in 1975. Their debut album, The Modern Dance (1978), contained a remix of "The Modern Dance" and the original mix of "Street Waves", sold poorly but has proven influential. Musicians of many types, including progressive rock, punk rock, post punk and new wave, were influenced by the dark, abstract record. Their second and third albums followed with much the same reaction and the group briefly disbanded in 1979, but reformed soon afterwards with Herman replaced by Mayo Thompson (of Red Krayola). between 1978 and 2014 they issued
sixteen alums, an inpressive legacy. On 24 April 2008 the Ether festival at the South Bank Centre (London) hosted the world premiere of Bring Me The Head of Ubu Roi. This adaptation by David Thomas of Alfred Jarry's play Ubu Roi was accompanied by animations by the Brothers Quay. It featured David Thomas as Pere Ubu and Sarah Jane Morris as Mere Ubu. In 2010 the group played a series of theatrical shows in the UK including a set at the Classic Grand in Glasgow's Jamaica Street. surprisingly, there's just the one Peel session, taped on 27/06/1989.
The Rezillos are a punk/new wave band formed in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1976. Although emerging at the same time as other bands in the punk rock movement, The Rezillos didn't share the nihilism or social commentary of their contemporaries but instead took a more light-hearted approach describing themselves at the time as "a New Wave beat group". Their songs are heavily influenced by 1950s rock and roll, 1960s English beat music and garage rock, early 1970s glam rock and recurring lyrical themes of science fiction and B movies, influences that mirrored those of US bands the Cramps and the B-52s who were starting out at the same time. The Rezillos' biggest hit in their home country was the UK Top 20 single "Top of the Pops" in 1978, but they're best known outside the UK for their cover version of "Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight", which featured on the soundtrack to Jackass: The Movie in 2002. Since The Rezillos recorded it, the song has been covered by other punk bands, including Youth Brigade and Murphy's Law. Released in July 1978,The Rezillos' only studio album Can't Stand the Rezillos is now considered a classic album of the first wave of British punk, but the group split up just four months after its release, following internal arguments about their future direction. After The Rezillos split the band's guitarist and principal songwriter Jo Callis briefly joined a couple of unsuccessful Edinburgh post-punk groups, before being invited to join The Human League. He went on to
co-write some of The League's best known songs during their most successful period, including their biggest worldwide hit, "Don't You Want Me". The Rezillos' vocalists Eugene Reynolds and Fay Fife formed the Revillos, a group with an ever-changing line-up that continued whereThe Rezillos left off. The Revillos split up in 1985, briefly reforming in 1994 for a tour of Japan, and again in 1996 for a UK tour. In 2001 The Rezillos reformed after being invited to play at Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations, and have continued to play live ever since, as well as releasing the occasional new single. There were two sessions for the great broadcaster: here's the first one, put down on 12/12/1977.
The Television Personalities are an English rock group with a varying line-up. The only constant member is singer–songwriter Dan Treacy, who uses the band as a vehicle for his music. The band's first release (January 1978) was the single "14th Floor"/"Oxford Street W1", while their second, the EP Where's Bill Grundy Now? features one of their best-known songs, "Part Time Punks". Their first album ...And Don't The Kids Just Love It was released in 1981 and set the template for their subsequent career: neo-psychedelia, an obsession with youth culture of the 1960s, a fey, slightly camp lyrical attitude, and the occasional classic pop song. Their second album Mummy Your Not Watching Me demonstrated increased psychedelic influences. Their third album, They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles showed Treacy's sense of humour; the TVPs were never to have any major commercial success in the UK – although their albums sold respectably in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. The first three albums featured Treacy and schoolmate Ed Ball; Ball left the band to found The Times, but rejoined in 2004. The band were offered the support slot on Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's 1984 UK solo dates, but were dropped after reading out former Floyd member Syd Barrett's home address. The 1984 album The Painted Word was unexpectedly dark in content, reflecting Treacy's despair at Thatcherite Britain and his personal circumstances. lineup changes prevented their next album (Privilege) from appearing until 1990. From 1998 to June 2004, Dan Treacy was incarcerated for shoplifting to feed his drug habit. He spent time aboard HM Prison ship Weare in Portland Harbour, Dorset, England. He has referred to the Weare as "The Good Ship Lollipop". The experience helped him put his life and career back on track. In February 2006, a new TVPs album, My Dark Places was released. It was reported in October 2011 that Treacy was seriously ill after an operation to remove a blood clot from his brain. the only BBC Peel session they made was preserved forever on 20/07/1980. here it is.
I have very little information on the Twinsets. They were a group active in the early eighties and came from Edinburgh (for their debut gig they were billed as Trevira Cardigan and The Twinsets). They garnered quite a lot of local interest, a loyal fan-base and attracted some attention from record companies down south. Sisters Rachel and Gaye Bell seem to have been the main protagonists. These peroxide-blonde Amazons liked a drink - a review of the band once stated that “these girls could drink a German trawler crew under the table.” Sometimes they would offer hecklers up onto the stage for a fight. The drummer was the girls’ father, Norman. Apparently they once played Saughton Prison in Edinburgh. from the sound of this session they were pretty damn good. Peel was a fan, as he gave them three sessions. This is the last one, recorded on 29/10/1983.
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.