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
UK vocalist and songwriter Roger Chapman was originally the vocalist for Farinas (1964). He moved on to join The Roaring Sixties, later renamed Family in 1966. In 1967 the first single was released, "Scene Through The Eye of a Lens", something of a psychedelic classic. Chapman wrote most of Family's songs with Charlie Whitney and their debut album Music in a Doll's House was released in 1968. Their bluesy, experimental rock music gained them a reputation as a progressive underground band. The release of A Song for Me (1970) and Anyway (1970) established Family as a fast and loud rock band also capable of producing the most intense acoustic music, in the British underground music scene, at that time. Although popular in UK and Europe, success in the US eluded them and in 1973 they broke up. Chapman formed Chapman-Whitney with Whitney, late in 1973. They signed to the Vertigo label and recorded an album Chapman Whitney Streetwalkers (1974), with a line-up including other members of Family and King Crimson, as well as Nicko McBrain, now with Iron Maiden. Chapman and Whitney morphed their band into Streetwalkers, who were a polished album-oriented rock band who used more white soul than Family had. They released Downtown Flyers (1975), moving on to record the groove heavy album Red Card (1976) which was released in the UK in 1976 and remains a much respected album by music fans and the music press.
Two more albums followed before the band broke up in 1977, ending eleven years of the Whitney-Chapman musical partnership. In 1979 Chapman began a solo career and recorded his first solo album Chappo. His backing band became known as The Shortlist at this time and he toured Europe extensively. Mike Oldfield's song "Shadow on the Wall" from the album Crises (1983) featured Chapman on vocals and became a big hit. He appeared as a guest artist on the second Box of Frogs album singing lead vocals on two songs. Chapman went on to record Walking the Cat (1989) and Hybrid and Low Down (1990). Since then Chapman has released eleven albums of new and live recordings. here's the first of four sessions for peel, put down on 27/06/1974.
The Darling Buds were an alternative rock band from Newport, South Wales. The band formed in 1986 and were named after the H. E. Bates novel The Darling Buds of May – a title taken in turn, from the third line of
Shakespeare's Sonnet 18: "Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May". They were considered part of the short lived "Blonde" movement (indie rock band fronted by blonde female singer with all other members being dark-haired males) along with the likes of The Primitives and Transvision Vamp, but also referenced the C86 scene of a few years earlier. They formed in Caerleon near Newport, South Wales, in 1986, by the then 19-year-old Andrea Lewis. Their debut single, "If I Said", was released on February 1987 and was well received. The group re-released the single on an established label, Native Records, receiving radio play on Peel's show. Signing with Sony in 1988, several singles preceded their critically acclaimed 1989 debut LP, Pop Said.... which ultimately reached the Top 30 in the UK Albums Chart. Their second album, Crawdaddy, was not as well received. Their third and final album, Erotica, (issued in 1992) came out a few weeks before Madonna's album of the same name. Despite touring the United States for a year they grew increasingly
frustrated by their lack of commercial success, and disbanded. Andrea Lewis moved on to acting, touring with a Cardiff theatre company. She later moved into presenting, hosting The Slate for BBC Wales and, in 1998 and 1999, she co-hosted a Welsh Saturday morning radio show. She now runs her own theatre school, "CAST" (The Children's Academy of Stage Training) alongside husband Jamie Jarvis, based in Cardiff, Swansea and Caerlaeon. this is the group's third session (they contributed three in all) taped on 07/02/1989.
Fairport Convention are an English folk rock and electric folk group. Formed in 1967, they are widely regarded as the most important group in the English folk rock movement. Their seminal album Liege & Lief is considered to have launched the electric folk or English folk rock movement, which provided a distinctively English identity to rock music and helped awaken much wider interest in traditional music in general. The large number of personnel who have been part of the band are among the most highly regarded and influential musicians of their era and have gone on to participate
in a large number of significant bands, or enjoyed important solo careers. Since 1979, they have hosted the Cropredy Festival, which is the largest such annual event in England. Individually and collectively the members of Fairport Convention have received numerous awards recognizing their contribution to music and culture. They continue to record and tour. peel was clearly a massive fan, because he gave them no less than seven sessions. this is the final one, immortalised on 16/07/1974. one track, John The Gun, is MISSING. Sorry. if YOU have it, send it me, please.
Crossing the Post Punk-New Romantic divide, UK goth minstrels Martian Dance were a relatively short lived band from the early 80’s with a sound that was close to Adam and The Ants. After a few singles and some high profile gigs they disappeared without trace. The group began in the dying days of 1979, eventually landing a support slot on the Ants Invasion tour. They played constantly in London at places like The Lyceum, the Marquee, the Fulham greyhound and the 100 club but didn't very often venture out of London after the tour with the Ants. They signed to EMI but things failed to gel and they split up in 1982. there were two peel sessions. mr. obscure is giving you the second and final one this month, recorded on 06/04/1981.
Patrik Fitzgerald is a singer-songwriter and an originator of folk punk. The son of working-class Irish immigrant parents, he began recording and performing during the punk rock movement in 1977, after working briefly as an actor.
in 1977 he was a regular customer at the Small Wonder record shop in London, and when Small Wonder launched a record label Fitzgeraldwas one of the first to submit a demo - and got a deal, with the new label releasing his first three EPs, the first being Safety-Pin Stuck In My Heart, still his best-known work, and one which he subtitles "a love song for punk music". Patrik became a regular performer at London Punk gigs, and supported The Jam on their national tour. these early recordings attracted interest from Polydor who signed him up to record his first LP, Grubby Stories in 1979, recorded with established punk musicians including Robert Blamire of Penetration and John Maher of the Buzzcocks.The LP contained 17 tracks, 7 of them recorded with these musicians. After being dropped by Polydor, he continued to play solo acoustic concerts, gradually forsaking the ironic, sarcastic mode for a more deeply-etched, darker formulation. here's the first of three sessions he did for peel, recorded on 08/02/1978.
American post-rockers Tortoise formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1990. Their almost entirely instrumental music defies easy categorization, and the group gained significant attention from their early career. The members have roots in Chicago's fertile music scene, playing in various indie rock and punk groups. Tortoise were among the first American indie rock bands to incorporate styles closer to Krautrock, dub, minimalist music, electronica and various jazz styles, rather than the standard rock and roll and punk that had dominated indie rock for years. Some have cited Tortoise as being one of the prime forces behind the development and popularity of the post-rock movement. Others, however, have characterized their music as being heavily indebted to progressive rock. They've issued six studio albums. here's the first of two sessions for the great broadcaster. it was put onto tape on 13/06/1996.
Foetus is the primary musical outlet of J. G. Thirlwell. Until 1995 the 'band' underwent various name changes, all including the word foetus. Monikers adopted at different times include Foetus Under Glass, You've Got Foetus on Your Breath and Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel. After 1995 the name permanently became Foetus, though the related project The Foetus Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1997 and continues. Thirlwell acts as the sole instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter and producer and as such is the only member of the band. Other artists may occasionally collaborate but are not considered members. there's just the one peel session, broadcast on 04/01/1983. the recording date is unknown. and here it is, for you, for christmas! merry christmas! blimey.
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.