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
Alternative TV (sometimes known as ATV) were an English post-punk band formed in London in 1976. They pioneered reggae rhythms in punk and then moved on to redefine the musical rules.
They were formed by Mark Perry, the founding editor of Sniffin' Glue punk fanzine, with Alex Fergusson. Early rehearsals took place at Throbbing Gristle's Industrial Records studio with Genesis P-Orridge on drums (recordings from this period appeared, long afterwards, on the Industrial Sessions CD). The band's first live appearance was in Nottingham supporting The Adverts. The debut on record was "Love Lies Limp", a free flexi disc
issued with the final edition of Perry's fanzine. For their first two singles Perry and Fergusson were accompanied by drummer John Towe (ex-Generation X) and Tyrone Thomas on bass; Towe later left to join The Rage and was replaced by Chris Bennett. This line-up was the most straightforwardly "punk" version of ATV, although they combined short, fast songs with extended pieces such as "Alternatives to NATO", in which Perry read an anarchist political text and envisaged the possibility of a Soviet invasion of Britain. Shortly afterwards they released the "How Much Longer"/"You Bastard" 7" in December 1977. The A-side was a pointed critique of punk style:
"How much longer will people wear/Nazi armbands and dye their hair?" At the end of 1977 Perry sacked his chief collaborator and co-writer Fergusson. The latter went on to form the short-lived Cash Pussies and, a few years later, Psychic TV along with Genesis P-Orridge. Tyrone Thomas switched to guitar, later replaced by Kim Turner, while Dennis Burns joined on bass. A dub-influenced single, "Life After Life", was released, followed by the band's debut album,
The Image Has Cracked, both featuring Jools Holland guesting on piano. By the end of 1978 only Perry and Burns remained from the previous line-up, although ATV used additional musicians live and in the studio. The second album, Vibing Up the Senile Man (Part One), saw the band take a more explicitly experimental direction which alienated both the music press and audiences. The group eventually evolved into the avant-garde project The Good Missionaries, releasing a live album, Fire From Heaven, in 1979. Perry reformed ATV in 1985 and went on to release further records over the following decade with varying line-ups, Perry the only constant member. ATV's last studio album, Revolution, was released in 2001, followed in 2003 by the official live bootleg album Viva La Rock'n' Roll. here's their only peel session, taped on 05/12/1977.
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 the NME 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 Fun House). however, mike 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 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.
The Leyton Buzzards were a British rock band active between 1976 and 1980. They took their name from their home town of Leyton, an area of east London, punning upon the name of the Bedfordshire town, Leighton Buzzard. They were initially a Pub rock band but soon adapted to punk rock/New Wave. Their debut single, "19 and Mad", was released in 1977 by Small Wonder Records. They won a high-profile "battle of the bands" competition organized by BBC Radio 1 and gormless uk newspaper The Sun, resulting in a major-label deal with Chrysalis Records. the first fruits of this deal, "Saturday Night (Beneath the Plastic Palm Trees)", reached Number 53 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1979 and led to an appearance on Top of the Pops. They shortened their name to The Buzzards for the 1979 single "We Make a Noise" and the album Jellied Eels to Record Deals, before reverting back to The Leyton Buzzards for their final single, "Can't Get used to Losing You". The band split up in 1980, with the two main songwriters going on to greater chart success with vomit-inducingly bland pop act Modern Romance. peel liked the buzzards quite a bit, giving them four sessions! here's the last, recorded on 14/01/1980.
Roy Hill is an under-rated English singer songwriter. In 1977 he won a Melody Maker music contest and gave up his day job to give the rock lifestyle his best shot. Roy was living in the sleepy Spa town of Cheltenham at the time, having moved from Ledbury where he'd learnt to play the guitar from scratch and gigged in local pubs, clubs and dances with friends in bands called The Upways and The Crestas. Eventually he sent some demos round the major labels and got a deal with arista records. In 1978 the debut album, rather unimaginatively titled Roy Hill, was released. Despite its ten tracks (all penned by Roy) receiving positive praise in the music press, some felt was a lightweight and syrupy debut offering. Legendary producer Gus Dudgeon, best known for his collaborations with Elton John, was hired to make it a hit Lp - a controversial choice of producer during the time of punk. The album went well over budget, sank without trace and Roy Hill never made another. Dudgeon was also behind Roy's second single release, "George's Bar", the second track lifted from the album. Both singles failed to make the chart. Two appearances on the UK television music show Revolver in July and August 1978 didn't seem to improve the record sales, sadly. A naff "handsome hunk" photo of Roy on the front of the LP sleeve didn't sit well in record racks next to covers adorned with scowling, emaciated punks with safety pins through their noses. In 1980, Dave Cousins left the strawbs and Roy was recruited as the replacement lead vocalist. Five years later he teamed up with Strawbs' bassist Chas Cronk to form a new outfit, Cry No More. They released three albums. A couple of compilations of outtakes and other stuff by the Roy Hill Band were issued later, also in the eighties. The two sessions they taped for Peel are frankly marvellous; melodic, well-arranged songs with intriguing wordplay and powerful guitars. this is the second, immortalised on 02/04/1979. "TV Detective" is, in my humble opinion, one of the best tracks I've heard on any Peel session.
The Skids were a Scottish punk and new wave band, formed in Dunfermline, Fife in 1977 by Stuart Adamson (guitar, keyboards, percussion and backing vocals), William Simpson (bass guitar and backing vocals), Thomas Kellichan (drums) and Richard Jobson (vocals, guitar and keyboards). Their biggest success was with the 1979 single "Into the Valley". four studio albums and eleven singles were issued between 1978 and 1981. Soon after the release and live concert tour of The Absolute Game two members left the band - one of these was Stuart Adamson, who went on to launch his new band, Big Country. This left Richard Jobson and Russell Webb (ex-Zones) to write and record the fourth and final album Joy, which Russell Webb also produced. The pair played multiple instruments on the album, and also invited a collection of musical friends to perform on various tracks with them. the Skids dissolved in 1982, with the compilation Fanfare posthumously issued by Virgin. It was a mixture of most of the singles and some B-sides, though omitted any tracks from the Joy period. Jobson and Webb went on to form The Armoury Show. The group recorded just one album, Waiting for the Floods in 1985 before splitting up. Jobson went on to pursue a solo career as a poet, songwriter, television presenter and most recently as a film director. He released albums on the Belgian record label Les Disques du Crepuscule and the UK's own Parlophone Records. Webb proposed a solo career and, according to Armoury Show fan page, later joined Public Image Ltd in 1992 (but played only on their last tour), and is now a video game designer. here's the second of five skidssessions for john, taped on 29/08/1978.
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 for all Foetus works and as such is the only member of the band. Other artists may occasionally collaborate with Thirlwell on his stuff but are not considered members. he also has many side-projects, in which he frequently goes by the name Clint Ruin. One such grouping is Wiseblood with former Swans member Roli Mosimann. The material tends toward the realm of the darkest and most sexual Foetus songs, with Mosimann's Swans lineage showing in the slow, crushing pacing of many tracks. Thematically, Wiseblood's lyrics center around the misanthropic exertion of power, typically via murder, sex or assault. Wiseblood existed on-and-off from the mid-1980s through to the early 1990s. there's just the one foetus peel session, broadcast on 04/01/1983. the recording date is unknown. and here it is, for you! 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.