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
in 1974 cerebral arthouse innovator and all-round british institution brian eno had recently left roxy music and had issued two amazing solo albums. he needed a backing band to go out and prmote these records and chose a bunch of powerpop r n' b scoundrels calling themselves (or dubbed so by eno?) the winkies. while they were at it, this odd enesemble assembled at the bbc to tape a session for our hero. the line- up was: Eno (Vocals, Synthesiser), Mike Desmarais (Drums), Guy Humphreys (Guitar), Philip Rambow (Guitar) and Brian Turrington (Bass, who had played on the Eno albums as a session man). this one-off, unique session is eminently collectable because not only has it never been officially issued, it also contains very different versions of a couple of eno classics plus a rare cover version of the Peggy Lee chestnut fever. blimey! it was preserved on 26/02/1974.
i have no information on icarus, sorry. who were they? maybe you were in the group! if so, please email me some information, or perhaps a link to a webpage with some sort of biography. their only peel session was taped on 26/11/1980,
and here it is.
Bridget St John is a British singer and songwriter, best known for the three albums she recorded between 1969 and 1972 for Peel's Dandelion label. Our hero produced her debut album, Ask Me No Questions. She also recorded a large
number of BBC Radio and Peel sessions and toured regularly on the UK college and festival circuit. Her popularity peaked in 1974 when she was voted fifth most popular female singer in that year's Melody Maker readers poll.
An accomplished guitar player, Bridget credits John Martyn as her guitar mentor. The second album, Songs for the Gentle Man, was produced by Ron Geesin. She then recorded another, Jumble Queen, for Chrysalis Records in 1974, after which she emigrated to the USA (Greenwich Village, NY) in 1976 and virtually disappeared from the public eye for over 20 years. She emerged to take part in the Strawbs' 25th Anniversary festival held at Stansfield in Suffolk in 1993, where John Martyn (among others) also performed. Bridget also appeared at a Nick Drake tribute concert in New York in 1999, performing "Northern Sky" and "One of These Things First". She toured Japan in 2006 with the minimalist French musician Colleen. Aside from work under her own name, Bridget has also recorded with Mike Oldfield on his albums Ommadawn (1975) and Amarok (1990), as well as the late Kevin Ayers. In 2007 she reunited with Ayers (in New York) to record a duet, "Baby Come Home," on his album The Unfairground. She was described by Peel as "the best lady singer-songwriter in the country". here's her seventh session for John - there are eight listed on the official BBC 'keeping it peel' website, but there were probably even more. It was recorded on 11/12/1975 and then broadcast on 07/01/1976, to bring in the new year.
The legendary Jam were an English punk rock/mod revival band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were formed in Woking, Surrey. While they shared the "angry young men" outlook and fast tempos of their punk rock contemporaries, The Jam wore smartly tailored suits rather than ripped clothes, and they incorporated a number of mainstream 1960s rock and R&B influences rather than rejecting them, placing The Jam at the forefront of the mod revival movement. They had 18 consecutive
Top 40 singles in the United Kingdom, from their debut in 1977 to their break-up in December 1982, including four number one hits. As of 2007, "That's Entertainment" and "Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?" remained the best-selling import singles of all time in the UK. They released one live album and six studio albums, the last of which, The Gift, hit number one on the UK album charts. When the group disbanded in 1982, their first 15 singles were re-released and all placed within the top 100. The band drew upon a variety of stylistic influences over the course of their career, including 1960s beat music, soul, rhythm and blues and psychedelic rock, as well as 1970s punk and new wave. The trio was known for its melodic pop songs, its distinctly English flavour and its mod image. The band launched the career of Paul Weller, who went on to form The Style Council and later had a successful solo career. Weller wrote and sang most of The Jam's original compositions, and he played lead guitar, using a Rickenbacker 330. Bruce Foxton provided backing vocals and prominent basslines, which were the foundation of many of the band's songs, including the hits "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight", "The Eton Rifles", "Going Underground" and "Town Called Malice" mainly using a Rickenbacker 4001 and a Fender Precision Bass and rarely an Epiphone Rivoli. Weller disbanded the group in December 1982, after a farewell tour of the UK and appearances on Top of the Pops and The Tube to promote Beat Surrender. Their final live appearance was at the Brighton Conference Centre on 11th December 1982. here's an entire gig taped at the Paris Theatre, London, for a BBC broadcast, on 01/06/1978.
Ultravox! formed in London in 1974 as Tiger Lily. Between 1980–86, they scored seven Top Ten albums and seventeen Top 40 singles in the UK, the most successful of which was their 1981 hit "Vienna". The band has been led by two different frontmen who never played together at the same time. From 1974 until 1979, singer John Foxx was frontman and the main driving force behind the group. Foxx left the band to embark on a solo career and, following his departure, Midge Ure took over as lead singer, guitarist and frontman in 1980 after he and keyboardist Billy Currie worked in the studio project Visage. Ure revitalised the band and steered it to commercial chart success lasting until 1987. Ure left the band in 1987 after establishing his own solo career and the group disbanded for a while.
A new line-up, led by Currie, was formed in 1992, but achieved limited success, with two albums failing to chart and one solitary single reaching 90 in the UK Singles Chart. The band's best-known line-up of Currie, Ure, bassist Chris Cross and drummer Warren Cann reformed in 2008 and performed a series of reunion shows in 2009 and 2010 before releasing a new studio album, Brill!ant, in May 2012 which reached 21 in the British Album Charts. In November 2013, Ultravox performed as special guests on a four date UK arena tour with Simple Minds. Their one and only session for john was recorded on 21/11/1977.
The Sicilian rock group Uzeda were formed in 1987. legendary producer Steve Albini recorded three of their releases. After the live tour promoting the album Different Section Wires, the band went on a lengthy hiatus. two of them subsequently formed Bellini, along with drummer Damon Che from Don Caballero. During this period the 2001 album Aria was recorded, as well as music for the animated
cartoon Momo alla conquista del tempo. In 2006, Uzeda came back with a new album, Stella. here's the first of two sessions for the former mr. ravenscroft, taped on 08/05/1994.
Wire are a remarkable English rock band formed in London in October 1976 by Colin Newman (vocals, guitar), Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), Bruce Gilbert (guitar), and Robert Gotobed (drums). They were originally associated with the punk rock scene, appearing on The Roxy London WC2 album – a key early document of the scene – and were later central to the development of post-punk. Inspired by the burgeoning UK punk scene, Wire are often cited as one of the more important rock groups of the 1970s and 1980s. Over their brilliant first three albums, they expanded the sonic
boundaries of not just punk, but rock music in general. They are a definitive art punk and post-punk ensemble, mostly due to their richly detailed and atmospheric sound and often obscure lyrical themes. The group exhibited a steady development from an early raucous punk style (1977's Pink Flag) to a more complex, structured sound involving increased use of guitar effects and synthesizers (1978's Chairs Missing and 1979's 154). The band gained a reputation for experimenting with song arrangements throughout their career. here's the first of five sessions for our hero, immortalised on 18/01/1978.
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.