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
3 Mustaphas 3 were a British World music band formed in 1982. Core members are Ben Mandelson (under the name Hijaz Mustapha), Tim Fienburgh (1954–2008) (under the name Niaveti III) Colin Bass (under the name Sabah Habas Mustapha), and Nigel Watson (under the name Houzam Mustapha), around which orbit many other Mustaphas – all supposed to be the nephews of Uncle Patrel Mustapha. They claim to originate from the Balkans, but play music from almost every continent; their slogan, "Forward in all directions!", is an expression of this musical diversity. Active at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, they have now stopped producing and performing together but haven't officially disbanded. they issued ten albums between 1985 and 2001. there were no less than seven sessions for peel, who must have really liked them! here's the third one, recorded on 21/01/1984.
backed by his mancunian group the dakotas, the liverpudlian vocalist billy j kramer enjoyed a number of big hits (some penned by lennon and mcartney, of course) in the sixties but when the hits dried up (mid-to-late-sixties) the singer and group parted company. Billy, then living in Rugby, had a solo career over the next ten to fifteen years or so working in cabaret and television with a new band, after which he eventually went to live in the United States. The Dakotas re-formed in the late 1980s and recruited vocalist Eddie Mooney and session musician Toni Baker. They still tour and record. In 1983 Kramer released a solo single called You Can't Live On Memories which failed to chart. here's one of the oddest choices for a peel session, recorded on 17/04/1973.
The Diagram Brothers were a post-punk band from Manchester, England active between 1979 and 1982. The band comprised Andy Diagram (bass guitar), Fraser Diagram (vocals, guitar), Lawrence Diagram (guitar), Jason Diagram (bass), and Simon Diagram (drums) (not actually brothers). Andy Diagram was also a member of Dislocation Dance from 1978 to 1982, and in 1985, and was a member of The Pale Fountains and James. he explained the band's approach: "We called the music 'Discordo'. The music was made to a strict formula or set of rules. All the guitar chords were based on discordant notes, all the beats were very simple rock or disco, and all the words were very very straightforward and down to earth." The first release was a 7" EP on the Construct label in 1980. They were then signed by The Buzzcocks' New Hormones label, who issued a single, "Bricks", an album, Some Marvels of Modern Science, and a 10" EP, Discordo, before they split up. They have been compared to The Residents and XTC. Their collected studio recordings have since been released on CD by the LTM label. here's the first of three sessions for uncle john, put down on 17/03/1980.
The Monitors seem to be a bit of an engima. this uk postpunk combo had a splendid bubblegum pop single, telegram, out on an indie label in 1979 which our hero played a lot on his radio show. then he gave them their only session, which i present for your delectation this month. their line up ran as follows: Lee Wellbrook (Guitar, Vocals), Chris Kitchen (Guitar, Lead Vocals), Nick Bidgood (Bass) and Gary Porter (Drums). the session was taped on 26/06/1979.
new wave tryers New Hearts were from London and were active in 1977-78. they evolved out of college band Splitz Kidz, who met at Loughton College, comprising Ian Page (vocals), David Cairns (guitar), John Harty (bass) and drummer Rob Milne. At the start of 1977, Milne was replaced by Matt McIntyre (he later drummed with The Clash on the Anarchy In The UK tour). Renaming themselves New Hearts, they were signed by CBS Records at the height of punk rock just two months after their debut gig, and with an average age of just 17, directly from CBS managing director Maurice Oberstein, who had taken a personal interest in the band. New Hearts recorded two singles for CBS, "(Just Another) Teenage Anthem" and the Martin Gordon-produced "Plain Jane", inspired by acts like Dr. Feelgood and Eddie & The Hot Rods. They also supported The Jam during their lengthy UK Modern World tour, and
accompanied them at the 1978 Reading Festival, where they were joined on stage by Hawkwind guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton. Disillusioned, Page and Cairns then folded New Hearts, and set about creating a new band inspired by the dress code and musical stylings of the 1960s mods, changing their name to Secret Affair for the mod revival movement. In October 2009, a new CD containing 23 songs (20 for CBS and three pre-CBS demos) was issued by Cherry Red Records. Nineteen of the recordings were previously unissued. their one peel session was immortalised on 03/10/1977.
Plummet Airlines were a British pub rock band of the mid-1970s, formed in Nottingham. Band members later joined The Pogues and Darts. The band was formed by students at Nottingham School of Art (now Nottingham Trent University, School of Art and Design), who needed a band for a film that fellow students were making called 'One More Chance' about a fading rock and roll star. The band were initially called The Brothel Creepers, after the group in the film. Harry Stephenson (vocal/guitar) had previously been in Harrogate band Junkyard Angel, whilst Richard Booth (guitar/vocal), Darryl Hunt (bass) and Simon Bladon (drums) had played in a jazz-influenced band, Moonlight Drive. Having completed the film they started playing gigs and writing their own songs, mostly written by Stephenson. In 1974 Duncan Kerr (guitar/vocals) joined. They changed their name to Glider and got a residency at The Kensington, Olympia, London; one of the new pub-rock venues. An existing band called Glyder forced them to change their name and they became Plummet Airlines. They played at the Hope and Anchor, Islington, where they met Malcolm Morley (ex Man and Help Yourself) who was living in the pub, and they soon moved in, after Fred Grainger and John Eichler, who ran the place, became their managers. Dave Robinson, who ran the recording studio at The Hope, gave them a one record deal with Stiff Records who issued their first single: "Silver Shirt" / "This is the World" produced by Sean Tyla. Morley started jamming with them and joined them for a Dutch tour in 1976; he recorded a solo album at Foel Studios, using Plummet Airlines as the backing musicians but the master tape was lost until 2002 when it was issued as Lost and Found. Gasper Lawal, who had been in Clancy, joined the band and they supported Van der Graaf Generator, Rockpile and other bands. A second single "It's Hard" / "My Time in a While" was issued on State Records, but Grainger, their manager, could not agree an album deal. They split with him and sued him for mismanagement, as he was being ousted from "The Hope" by a coup d'état. When punk arrived they could not agree what direction to follow. Booth left first, followed by Stephenson, and the band broke up in 1977. Booth compiled a double album of their work, including live and studio recordings. This was issued in 1981 as a double LP, On Stoney Ground, on Armageddon Records. In 2004 there were two reunion concerts in Nottingham and one in London at former manager John Eichler's pub 'The Three Kings', Clerkenwell. In 2006 Kerr appeared in the Richard Booth Band, along with Ken Whaley on bass. Booth now fronts his own trio, releasing an album, Spill the Moon, in early 2014. Harry Stephenson continues to write and perform his material with his group The Last Pedestrians, who have played in Nottingham pubs since 2004.
Here's the first of two sessions for uncle john, recorded on 31/08/1976. (THANKS, Nigel, for supplying the missing track. you're clearly a wonderful chap.)
eg white started his career in Yip Yip Coyote and, with his brother David, went on to form Brother Beyond in the late 1980s, leaving when they became involved with the songwriting team of Stock, Aitken and Waterman and just prior to their chart successes. yip yip coyote also included guitarist and songwriter carl evans, formerly of the chefs. the music was enjoyable if cheesy cowgirl punkypop, all twangy guitars and yodelling. peel obviously admired them as he gave them three sessions. this is the first, taped on 28/05/1983. again, annoyingly, one track, 'You're Keeping Us Talking', is missing. so if you have it then...you know what to do! click my email link! go on, you know you want to.
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.