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
Alternative TV (sometimes known as ATV) were an English post-punk band formed in London in 1976. They pioneered reggae rhythms in punk and then moved on to redefine the musical rules. They were formed by Mark Perry, the founding editor of Sniffin' Glue punk fanzine, with Alex Fergusson. Early rehearsals took place at Throbbing Gristle's Industrial Records studio with Genesis P-Orridge on drums
(recordings from this period appeared, long afterwards, on the Industrial Sessions CD). The band's first live appearance was in Nottingham supporting The Adverts. The debut on record was "Love Lies Limp", a free flexi disc issued with the final edition of Perry's fanzine. For their first two singles Perry and Fergusson were accompanied by drummer John Towe (ex-Generation X) and Tyrone Thomas on bass; Towe later left to join The Rage and was replaced by Chris Bennett. This line-up was the most straightforwardly "punk" version of ATV, although they combined short, fast songs with extended pieces such as "Alternatives to NATO", in which Perry read an anarchist political text and envisaged the possibility of a Soviet invasion of Britain. Shortly afterwards they released the "How Much Longer"/"You Bastard" 7" in December 1977. The A-side was a pointed critique of punk style: "How much longer will people wear/Nazi armbands and dye their hair?" At the end of 1977 Perry sacked his chief collaborator and co-writer Fergusson. The latter went on to form the short-lived Cash Pussies and, a few years later, Psychic TV along with Genesis P-Orridge. Tyrone Thomas switched to guitar, later replaced by Kim Turner, while Dennis Burns joined on bass. A dub-influenced single, "Life After Life", was released, followed by the band's debut album, The Image Has Cracked, both featuring Jools Holland guesting on piano. By the end of 1978 only Perry and Burns remained from the previous line-up, although ATV used additional musicians live and in the studio. The second album, Vibing Up the Senile Man (Part One), saw the band take a more explicitly experimental direction which alienated both the music press and audiences. The group eventually evolved into the avant-garde project The Good Missionaries, releasing a live album, Fire From Heaven, in 1979. Perry reformed ATV in 1985 and went on to release further records over the following decade with varying line-ups, Perry the only constant member. ATV's last studio album, Revolution, was released in 2001, followed in 2003 by the official live bootleg album Viva La Rock'n' Roll. Their first studio album in 14 years, Opposing Forces, will be released on July 10th 2015. here's their only peel session, taped on 05/12/1977.
Big Flame were a three piece band based in Manchester, England and active from 1983 to 1986. The members were Alan Brown (bass, vocals), Greg Keeffe (guitar) and Dil Green (drums). After a debut single (Sink) on their own Laughing Gun label they joined the Ron Johnson roster for a series of mid-eighties singles as well as an appearance on the NME's C86 compilation. On the reverse of the "Two Kan Guru" compilation, it was jokingly stated that Green and Brown played in the original line up of Wham! with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley; incredibly, this was accepted as fact by many people. They released 5 singles and a compilation EP. Keeffe and Green hosted a night at Manchester's Man Alive club which they christened "The Wilde Club" providing a useful venue for groups other than their own. This spirit was also reflected in Ugly Noise Undercurrents which was a band-swap concept conceived by Brown to provide emerging groups with a facility for securing gigs in towns and cities beyond their home base. After the band split in 1986, Brown joined Ron Johnson labelmates A Witness on drums, touring the UK and Europe and appearing on several records and three sessions for Peel. He left A Witness in 1988 to form solo project Great Leap Forward, while Keeffe joined Meatmouth (with Mark Whittam and Nicholas Blincoe) who released "Meatmouth is Murder" on Factory Records, FAC 196. After a break from music, Alan Brown teamed up with Daren Garratt (of Pram) and Vince Hunt (of A Witness) in the band Marshall Smith, releasing an album in 2006 on the Euphonium label. in 2007, Alan Brown joined Sarandon as bass player. Greg Keeffe is now professor of sustainable architecture at Leeds Metropolitan University whilst Dil Green became a london architect. mr. obscure is giving you their first (of four) sessions for our hero, put down on 10/07/1984.
The Cuban Boys are a British band and production team, currently composed of Skreen B and Ricardo Autobahn; they also (formely) included B.L. Underwood ("Blu") and Jenny McLaren (Autobahn's sister). Their music is characterised by fast electronic beats, samples and the repetition of the words "The Cuban Boys" in the background of many of the tracks. They achieved success after being aired on Peel's show with sample-heavy dance tracks and cut-ups and were responsible for the hit single "Cognoscenti Vs. Intelligentsia" which was released through EMI. The band focused mainly on internet downloads, and made much of their early discography available free of charge from their various websites and on MySpace. All the members became involved in other projects
and although the Cuban Boys never formally split up ceased to be active around 2001. Its members continued to work together under various names, most notably Spray. Following the death of Peel in 2004 they reformed to release a tribute song, "The Nation Needs You", as a free download. Following this they returned to producing individual tracks, releasing some of them as download-only or limited release CD singles. In 2008, they released their first full album since Eastwood, The Satellite Junkyard, on their own label, House Of Beauty. In 2010, they released a compilation of their singles called Art vs Commerce released once again on House of Beauty Records. here's the first of two peel sessions, recorded on 06/12/1998.
Polvo are an American indie noise rock band from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The group, formed in 1990, is fronted by guitarists/vocalists Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski. Brian Quast plays drums, and Steve Popson plays bass guitar. Eddie Watkins was the band's original drummer but didn't rejoin the band on its 2008 reunion. Polvo are widely considered to be standard bearer of a genre which came to be known as math rock, although in interviews they disavowed that categorization. Their sound was defined by complex and
dissonant guitar harmonies and driving rhythm, complementing cryptic, often surrealist lyrics. Their sound was so unpredictable and angular that the band's guitarists were often accused of failing to play with correctly tuned guitars. Polvo's songs and artwork frequently featured Asian/"exotic" themes and references. The name means "octopus" in Portuguese and "powder" or "dust" in Spanish; in Spain it's also slang for sex. There were six albums, issued between 1992 and 2013.there were two sessions for the great broadcaster:
this is the first one, immortalised on 06/10/1992.
After legendary scottish punks the Rezillos split in late 1978, guitarist Jo Callis, bassist Simon Templar and drummer Angel Paterson formed Shake! with Troy Tate (who would go on to join The Teardrop Explodes), releasing an EP and two singles (the latter single under the name Jo Callis/S.H.A.K.E. Project). The group were not successful and after they split Paterson and Tate formed TV21. Sire records agreed to release Eugene Reynolds and Fay Fife from their contract, providing that the pair did not use the name "The Rezillos". Joining up with former bandmate Hi-Fi Harris and Reynolds' brother Rocky Rhythm (real name Nicky Forbes) on drums they renamed themselves the Revillos and continued to make music in a similar style to their former band. The Revillos had a longer career than the Rezillos
and toured and released music continually during the first half of the 1980s. They had an ever changing line-up but the focus and only permanent members during this period remained Reynolds and Fife. The Revillos (and Reynolds and Fife's relationship) came to an end in 1985, although versions of the group reformed briefly in May 1994 for a tour of Japan (where they remained hugely popular), and again in April 1996 for a UK tour. The 1994 Japan tour was recorded and released as the live album Live and On Fire in Japan; the 1996 UK tour
was to publicise a rarities compilation album, From the Freezer. there were two sessions for peel. this is the debut one, taped on 10/03/1980.
Steel Pulse are a roots reggae musical band, from the Handsworth area of Birmingham, England, which has a large number of Afro-Caribbean, Indian and other Asian migrants. They originally formed at Handsworth Wood Boys School, composed of David Hinds (lead vocals, guitar),
Basil Gabbidon (lead guitar, vocals), and Ronald McQueen (bass). After the band formed in 1975 their debut release, Kibudu, Mansetta And Abuku, arrived on the small independent label Dip, and linked the plight of urban black youth with the image of a greater African homeland.
They followed it with Nyah Luv for Anchor. They were initially refused live dates in Caribbean venues in Birmingham due to their Rastafarian beliefs. Aligning themselves closely with the Rock Against Racism organisation and featuring in its first music festival in early 1978, they chose to tour with sympathetic elements of the punk movement. Eventually they found a more natural home in support slots for Burning Spear, which brought them to the attention of Island Records. Handsworth Revolution was an accomplished album and one of the major landmarks in the evolution of British reggae. However, despite critical and moderate commercial success over three albums, the relationship with Island Records had soured by the advent of their third album, Caught You. Tom Terrell, who would later serve as their manager, was instrumental in masterminding a Steel Pulse concert on the night of Bob Marley's funeral, which was broadcast live around the world from the 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C, on 21 May 1981. They switched to Elektra Records, and unveiled their most consistent collection of songs since Handsworth
Revolution with True Democracy, distinguished by the Garvey-eulogising 'Rally Round' cut. A further definitive set arrived in Earth Crisis. However, Elektra chose to take a leaf out of Island's book in trying to coerce them into a more mainstream vein, asking them to emulate the pop-reggae stance of Eddy Grant. Babylon The Bandit was consequently weakened, but did contain the anthemic "Not King James Version", which was a powerful indictment on the omission of black people and history from certain versions of the Bible. There were eleven steel pulse albums
released between 1978 and 2004. peel was a big fan, giving them five sessions over the years. this one's the second, preserved on 04/04/1978.
The Woodentops are a British rock band that enjoyed critical acclaim and moderate popularity in the mid-1980s.They formed in 1983 in South London with an initial line-up of Rolo McGinty (vocals, guitar, formerly of The Wild Swans and The Jazz Butcher), Simon Mawby (guitar), Alice Thompson (keyboards), Frank DeFreitas (bass guitar), and Paul Hookham (drums). After a debut single, "Plenty" on Food Records in 1984, which received a glowing review from Morrissey in Melody Maker, they signed to Rough Trade Records, releasing a series of singles in 1985 and their debut album, Giant, in 1986. Generally well received by critics, the album's sound was characterised by acoustic guitars but also featured accordion, marimba, strings, and trumpet sounds. The album reached No. 35 on the UK Albums Chart. A single from the album, "Good Thing", reached No. 7 on the UK Indie Chart. The band then became more experimental and frenetic when playing live, using more electronic sounds. This first became apparent as documented on the live album Live Hypno Beat (1987), which was recorded in Los Angeles in 1986. The band also started to become more 'raw' and unpredictable live, becoming one of the most exciting independent groups from the UK, while gaining an early hit on the burgeoning club scene in Ibiza with '"Why". Vocalist and guitarist Rolo McGinty, who also wrote all Woodentops' songs, resurfaced with the DJ band Pluto in the 1990s, the Dogs Deluxe electronica project and also provided vocals for Gary Lucas's, Gods and Monsters. Guitarist Simon Mawby was briefly a member of The House of Love in the early 90s. here's the third of three sessions they taped for peel, recorded on 30/03/1986.
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.