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 edinburgh during 1977 a teenage budding songwriter, mike scott, became interested in the UK punk scene and began writing for fanzines, eventually starting his own, Jungleland. he and a guitarist named Allan McConnell formed a band,
The Bootlegs, which gave way to Another Pretty Face in 1978. The friends created their own record label, New Pleasures, and began issuing singles, achieving success with their first release All the Boys Love Carrie when New Musical Express named it Single of the Week. The band signed a contract with Virgin Records and toured with Stiff Little Fingers but Virgin released them four months after the signing. between 1980 and 1982 Scott, amongst other projects, worked occasionally with swell maps member nikki Sudden. Another Pretty Face continued to release music and came to the attention of Nigel Grainge, founder of Ensign Records. Grainge signed them up and the group moved to London, changing their name to Funhouse (taken from the name of The Stooges' album). however, Scott had become dissatisfied with the band. He later described Funhouse's sound as "similar to a jumbo jet flying on one engine". he began working on solo songs and recordings, a decision that led to the creation of The Waterboys. here's the only peel session by his fascinating fledgling combo, recorded on 18/02/1981. sorry for the poor audio quality on this, i've done what i can but it's better than nothing.
Camera Obscura are a Scottish indie pop band from Glasgow, Scotland. they were were formed in 1996 by Tracyanne Campbell, John Henderson and Gavin Dunbar. others performed with them before Kenny McKeeve joined as a permanent guitarist. Their first releases were a couple of singles in 1998. The first album, Biggest Bluest Hi Fi, was released in 2001 and was produced by Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian. The second album, Underachievers Please Try Harder (2003) was followed by their first
tour of Britain and the United States. Founding member John Henderson left following these tours. In early 2004 they recorded the songs "I Love My Jean" and "Red, Red Rose" following their third Peel session, in which Peel had asked them to put these poems by Robert Burns to music. Camera Obscura recorded their third album, Let's Get Out of This Country, in Sweden over the course of two weeks with producer Jari Haapalainen. It was released in June 2006. The first single, "Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken",
is an answer song to Lloyd Cole and the Commotions' song "Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?" in February 2009 they signed to 4AD records and a new album, My Maudlin Career, was issued that April. It was their first UK Top 40 success, also reaching the top 40 in the US Billboard Top 100. On 18 April 2009 they released a special edition Record Store Day 7," "French Navy." Another album, Desire Lines, was released by 4AD on 3 June 2013. here's the first of five sessions for uncle john, put down on 06/08/2001.
Modern Eon were a British post-punk band formed in Liverpool in 1978. They released one album, Fiction Tales, on Dindisc in 1981. originally called Luglo Slugs, they were founded by guitarist/vocalist Alix Plain (real name Alex Johnson) and bassist Danny Hampson. After two more name changes, the group (joined by guitarist Ged Allen and drummer Joey McKechnie) decided on the name Modern Eon and released their first recordings ("Benched Down" and "70s Sixties") in late 1978 on the compilation album
Street to Street: A Liverpool Album. After one self-released EP, Pieces, released on Eon Records in 1979 they recorded the single "Euthenics" for Inevitable Records in 1980. Allen and McKechnie left in 1980 prior to the recording of their debut album and were replaced by Bob Wakelin (strings/vocals/percussion) and Tim Lever (guitars/saxophone), with Cliff Hewitt (drums) joining shortly thereafter. In early 1981, a re-recorded version of "Euthenics" was released as a single on Dindisc followed by two more singles, "Child's Play" and "Mechanic". Fiction Tales was released in mid-1981 to much critical acclaim. After a tour was arranged that year, drummer Hewitt critically injured his wrist, forcing them to go on tour using Hewitt's drum playing on a tape machine. Modern Eon dissolved by the end of
1981 while working on demos for a second album which was never released. Lever later played with Dead or Alive, while Hewitt was a member of Apollo 440. this is their only peel session, immortalised on 28/01/1981.
the English synthpop group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark formed in 1978. the founding members, Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass guitar) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), are originally from the Wirral Peninsula, North West England. cultivating a fanbase in the UK
from 1978–1980, they gained popularity throughout Europe with the 1980 single "Enola Gay" and achieved broader recognition via the album Architecture & Morality (1981) and its singles. OMD also garnered acclaim for their experimental recordings. Although retrospectively
lauded, their album Dazzle Ships (1983) eroded European consumer interest during the mid 1980s; Junk Culture (1984) marked a shift toward more pop-oriented songwriting. Concurrently, OMD reached their peak in the United States and had a major hit with 1986's "If You Leave",
written for the film Pretty in Pink. Humphreys departed in 1989 with Martin Cooper (various instruments) and Malcolm Holmes (drums) to form The Listening Pool, leaving McCluskey to lead the outfit; Sugar Tax (1991) and its initial singles were sizeable hits in Europe. By the mid 1990s, however, synthpop had become unfashionable amid the guitar oriented musical climate, and McCluskey dissolved the band in 1996, months after their last successful single, "Walking on the Milky Way". He founded Atomic Kitten in 1998. OMD reformed in 2006 and began releasing new material a couple of years later. Their European fanbase remained steadfast: History of Modern (2010) became the group's biggest hit on the German chart; English Electric (2013) their largest in the UK since 1991. there were three sessions for the
great broadcaster; this is the third, taped on 29/09/1980.
American indie rockers Pavement formed in Stockton, California in 1989. The group mainly consisted of Stephen Malkmus (vocals and guitar), Scott Kannberg (guitar and vocals), Mark Ibold (bass), Steve West (drums) and Bob Nastanovich (percussion and vocals). Initially conceived as a recording project only, they at first avoided press or live performances, while attracting considerable underground attention with their early releases. Gradually evolving into a more polished band, Pavement recorded five full-length albums and nine EPs over the course of their decade-long career, though they disbanded with some acrimony in 1999 as the members moved on to other projects. In 2010, they undertook a well-received reunion tour. Though only briefly brushing the mainstream with the single "Cut Your Hair" in 1994, Pavement were a successful indie rock group. Rather than signing with a major label as many of their 1980s forebears had done they remained signed to independent labels throughout their career and have often been described as one of the most influential bands to emerge from the
American underground in the '90s. Some music critics called them the best combo of the 1990's. peel was a loyal fan, handing them no less than seven sessions. here's the fourth, recorded on 11/02/1994.
Stiff Little Fingers are a punk group from Belfast, Northern Ireland. They formed in 1977 at the height of the Troubles. They started out as a schoolboy band called Highway Star (named after the Deep Purple song), doing rock covers, until they discovered punk. They split up after six years and four albums although they reformed five years later, in 1987. Despite major personnel changes they are still touring and recording. In 2014 they released their tenth studio album and a world tour followed. Jake Burns, their lead singer, is the only member during all the group's incarnations but in March 2006 original bass guitarist Ali McMordie rejoined them following the departure of The Jam bass player Bruce Foxton after fifteen years. listeners to peel's show during the halcyon new wave years will surely never forget the napalm effect of hearing their legendary debut single on his show, a life-altering experience. there were four sessions for john - here's the very first, a stunning BBC debut. it was preserved on magnetic tape on 12/09/1978. play this loud.
The Yummy Fur were an indie rock band from Glasgow, formed in 1992 and disbanded 1999. They consisted of lead singer and guitarist John McKeown and a regularly changing line-up of other musicians. McKeown has since gone on to form the band 1990s. Their name was taken from the comic book
Yummy Fur by Chester Brown. After leaving in 1997 Lawrence Worthington would drum for both The Male Nurse and The Fall-influenced art punks The Country Teasers. Two future members of Franz Ferdinand played in The Yummy Fur – drummer Paul Thomson who joined the band in 1997, and multi-instrumentalist Alex Kapranos (who was going by his birth name of Alex Kapranos Huntley at the time), who joined in 1998. Tragically, keyboard player Mark Gibbons committed suicide in 1999. this is the second of two peel sessions, recorded on 22/02/1998.
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.