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
The gifted British singer-songwriter and folk-rock musician Al Stewart rose to prominence as part of the British folk revival in the 1960s and 1970s. He developed a unique style of combining folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of characters and events from history. Al is best known for his fabulous 1976 hit single "Year of the Cat", the title song from the platinum album (a classic) of the same name. Though Year of the Cat and its 1978 platinum follow-up Time Passages brought him his biggest worldwide commercial successes, earlier albums such as the frankly awesome
Past, Present and Future from 1973 are often seen as better examples of his intimate brand of historical folk-rock, a style to which he returned in later albums. He is a key figure in British music and appears throughout the musical folklore of the revivalist era. He played at the first-ever Glastonbury Festival in 1970, knew Yoko Ono before she met John Lennon, shared a London flat with a young Paul Simon and hosted at the Les Cousins folk club in London in the 1960s. Al Stewart has released sixteen (mostly great) studio albums since his debut release Bed-Sitter Images in 1967 and continues to tour extensively in the US, Canada, Europe, and the UK. here's a rare top gear appearance taped on 08/05/1968, one of a handful al recorded for peel.
UK (Sussex) goths Bone Orchard grew out of an alternative Brighton nightclub run by singer Chrissy McGee in 1983. Their first 4-track demo led to this, their only Peel session, which quickly led to a record deal with Jungle (and a publishing deal with Mute/Sonet). The debut 6-track EP ‘Stuffed To The Gills’ was followed by the ‘Swallowing Havoc’ 12”, which veered between frantic rockabilly and laid-back Joplin-esque blues. Then came the album Jack, expanding on their potential, adding violin, sax and piano, gaining a fuller, jazzier sound but maintaining their avant-garde blues weirdness. They gigged with The Birthday Party, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Alien Sex Fiend and Johnny Thunders & The Meteors, with gigs up and down the UK and in Europe and worked with the best of Brighton’s video directors on a number of promotional videos, rarely featuring the band in any conventional sense. Their final release on Jungle records was the ‘Princess Epilepsy’ 12”. Later they issued a mini-LP, Penthouse Poultry on their own Vax Records before splitting in 1986, burnt out. That single session for uncle john was recorded on 18/06/1983. I have no idea which title belongs to which song, and it really doesn't help that the titles either don't appear in the lyrics and/or if Chrissy's vocal histrionics renders the titles indecipherable. So I'm afraid you'll have to sort this out yourselves. At the moment the tracks are simply called 'Track One' etc. Here are the four titles: Mankre, The Mission, Shall I Carry the Budgie Woman and Fat's Terminal.
De Dannan (originally Dé Danann) are an Irish folk music group. It was formed by Frankie Gavin (fiddle), Alec Finn (guitar, bouzouki), Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh (bodhrán) and Charlie Piggott (banjo) as a result of sessions in Hughes's Pub in An Spidéal, County Galway, with Dolores Keane
(vocals) subsequently being invited to join. The fiddler Mickey Finn (1951–1987) is also acknowledged to have been a founder member. The band was named after the legendary Irish tribe Tuatha Dé Danann. In 1985 the spelling of the name was changed from "Dé Danann" to "De Dannan" for reasons that have never been made clear. Since 2010, however, Finn and McDonagh have recorded and performed with a line-up named "De Danann", and, since 2012, Gavin has recorded and performed with another line-up named "De Dannan". this peel session was recorded on 25/01/1978.
Emerging from Leeds here in the UK in 1978, the Expelaires consisted of Craig Adams, David Wolfenden (later of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and The Mission) and Grape (later of 3,000 Revs and Groovin' With Lucy). After supports to Echo & The Bunnymen and the The Teardrop Explodes they signed a one single deal for "about £400" with Zoo Records. The first single "To See You" was released in September 1979 and featured Grape (vocals), Wolfie (Guitar), Craig (Guitar/Keyboards), Mark Copson (bass) and Carl "Tich" Harper (Darren Carl Harper, drums, who would later join Girls At Our Best!). A few months after this, due to the limited success of the single, things started to go wrong: Copson quit, to be replaced by David Harper (later of Five Or Six) and then Craig left not long after the release of their second single "Sympathy," in January 1980. The song also appeared on the "Hicks From The Sticks" compilation LP released the same year. The Expelaires reformed in 2012 to play at the F-Club 35th reunion and decided to continue as a working unit. 2014 saw the release of the first recordings in over 30 years with the E.P "Sick Of Lies" They continue to play live concerts. The current line up is Paul Gregory, David Wolfenden, David Whitaker, Gerry Famous and Martin Aylward. their only peel session was immortalised on 25/06/1979.
The Jamaican musician Eek-A-Mouse was one of the first reggae artists to be described as a "singjay." He began his career when he was in college, releasing two roots reggae singles under his own name, which were produced by his mathematics tutor, Mr. Dehaney. These early works were influenced by the music of Pablo Moses. He then went on to work for various sound systems over the next few years and also released a few more singles. He adopted the stage name "Eek-A-Mouse" in 1979, taking the name of a racehorse he always bet on; it was a nickname his friends had used for some time. He began recording for Joe Gibbs in 1979,
having a hit straight away with Once a Virgin, now showing the influence of Ranking Joe, and this was soon followed with Wa-Do-Dem (produced by Douglas Boothe), and Modelling Queen, which began an association with Linval Thompson, who produced his debut Bubble Up Yu Hip album. By the end of 1980 he had linked up with producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes, with whom he had big hits in 1981 with the likes of Virgin Girl and a recut Wa-Do-Dem. In 1981 he was the star of the Reggae Sunsplash Festival, cheering audiences still mourning over the death of Bob Marley. His association with Lawes led to a string of successful singles and albums.
In the second half of the decade his popularity began to wane and he targeted the United States with the Assassinator album in 1985 (his first US release). He also travelled to the United Kingdom to record The King and I the same year, the album targeted at the rock crossover audience to which he had begun to appeal. His 1988 album Eek-A-Nomics saw him begin to establish himself with an international audience, spawning a club hit with The Freak, and he was signed by Island Records in 1989. He returned to prominence with 1991's U-Neek album, which continued the rock-oriented style, including a cover version of Led Zeppelin's D'yer Mak'er. He went through an inactive period before returning in 1996 with the Black Cowboy album. here's the first of two sessions he taped for uncle john, recorded on 10/10/1983.
The Flatbackers were an all girl three-piece from South London. A singer called Steve Elgin was putting together a girl band and Lucy Dray on bass, Lynn Monk on drums, Jeannie Hay on keyboards and julie Usher on guitar answered his advert in the Melody Maker. From 1978 until 1982 they gigged all over the UK in clubs and colleges, playing creatively crafted power pop. They had lots of press, a record deal and released two catchy singles on Red Shadow Records. During this same period they also recorded BBC Radio sessions for Peel, Kid Jensen, Peter Powell and Mike Read. There were a few UK television appearances on programmes such as “Fun Factory” for Granada and “Friday Night, Saturday Morning” for the BBC. They also performed on “In Concert” for the BBC. Red Shadow later decided that the group would have a better chance with a larger company. Having already recorded their third single “Serenade of Love” they signed with Deram (a decca subsidiary) to release it but Deram already had a girl band, The Mo-dettes, so they buried The Flatbackers and the record was never released and, fed up, the group fell apart. their only peel session was taped on 12/08/1980. one track, a version of their fab 45 'pumping iron,' is sadly missing - sorry. Do you have it? if so, please email me and send it to me.
Senseless Things are an English pop punk band, formed in 1986 in London. They were Mark Keds (vocals/guitar), Ben Harding (guitar/vocals), Morgan Nicholls (bass) andCass Browne (drums). The band released four albums and achieved two UK Top 20 hit singles before splitting up in 1995. Senseless Things reformed in 2017 to play several gigs including Shepherd's Bush Empire, as well as to record and release new material. the first of their three sessions for peel was put down on 27/03/1988.
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.