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
lene Lovich is an American singer, songwriter and musician of English descent based in England. She first gained attention in 1979 with the release of her hit single "Lucky Number", which peaked at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart and made her the lead figure of the new wave music scene. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Lovich moved to England at the age of 13, where she met the guitarist and songwriter, Les Chappell, who later became her long time music collaborator and life partner. She developed an interest in art and theater, enrolling at the Central School of Art and Design where she took saxophone lessons. In 1975, she joined the band The Diversions and shortly afterwards wrote the lyrics to Cerrone's single "Supernature. After the band broke up, Lovich started looking for another band that would let her join and contacted the radio presenter Charlie Gillett, who got her to record a demo of Tommy James and the Shondells' song "I Think We're Alone Now" and played it to Dave Robinson of Stiff Records, who decided to sign Lovich. The song was released as a single and appeared on her debut studio album Stateless (1978), which produced the single "Lucky Number". She released two more albums, Flex (1979) and No Man's Land (1982), on Stiff Records. In 1989, she independently released the album March, before her 15-year hiatus. She focused more on her family but came back in 2005 with the release of her album Shadows and Dust, which remains her latest release up-to-date. In 2013, she established her own publishing label, Flex Music and released a re-mastered version of all her previous albums in a limited edition box set. this is the first of two sessions for our hero, recorded on 21/11/1978.
Lindisfarne are a British folk rock and progressive rock band from Newcastle upon Tyne established in 1968 (originally called Brethren). The original line-up comprised Alan Hull (vocals, guitar, piano), Ray Jackson (vocals, mandolin, harmonica), Simon Cowe (guitar, mandolin, banjo, keyboards),
Rod Clements (bass guitar, violin) and Ray Laidlaw (drums). They're best known for the albums Nicely Out of Tune (1970), Fog on the Tyne (1971) which became the biggest selling UK album in 1972, Dingly Dell (1972) and Back and Fourth (1978), also for the success of great hit singles such as
"Meet Me on the Corner", "Lady Eleanor", "Run For Home" and "We Can Swing Together". mr obscure's giving you the group's second peel session (of four) this month. it was immortalised on 08/05/1972.
Marc and the Mambas marked the start of Marc Almond's career outside of Soft Cell. In 1983 Almond and Soft Cell were very close to the avant-garde scene around Foetus, Psychic TV and Einstürzende Neubauten. Almond also took part as one of four members of The Immaculate Consumptive, a group initiated by Lydia Lunch;
they never released any album but did a few shows in New York and Washington D.C. at the end of 1983. Further members were Jim Foetus and Nick Cave. Marc and the Mambas very much belonged to that scene, and continued the dark themes explored within Soft Cell, but musically used different instruments and more complex
rhythms. The group's lineup was fluid, with members changing with each recording or performance; the only consistent members were Almond, Annie Hogan and Steve James Sherlock. Further members included Billy McGee and Martin McCarrick,who also later joined Almond when he formed Marc Almond and the Willing Sinners. Almond's Soft Cell partner David Ball was an associated member for the Mambas' first single "Sleaze", and Matt Johnson from The The was a member for the first and second album but did not join for the last concerts in 1983 (put to vinyl and later to CD as Black, Bite & Blues). Jim Foetus was an associated member, and did guest vocals and percussion on "A Million Manias" and "Love Among the Ruined." The Mambas' second Some Bizzare released album, Torment and Toreros, contains a mix of ballads, both with and without dance beats, and is a mix of vaudeville, French chanson, and goth sensibility, using guitar noise, piano, and string sections. Almond later described this recording as an "attempted suicide put on vinyl." the one and only session appearance for mr. ravencroft by the mambas occurred on 01/02/1983. now you can have it, for free!
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.
The Meteors are an English psychobilly band formed in 1980. Originally from London, England, they are often credited with giving the psychobilly subgenre—which fuses punk rock with rockabilly—its distinctive sound and style. Though the origins of psychobilly are debated, they are the first band to self-identify as psychobilly, and are often credited with the distinction of being the only "pure" psychobilly band among fans of the subgenre. The Meteors were started in 1980 by P. Paul Fenech (guitar and vocals), Nigel Lewis (upright bass/electric bass) and vocals), and Mark Robertson (drums). This is considered as the definitive line-up by some fans. Fenech and Lewis had played in rockabilly bands before, but left their former band, Raw Deal, in order to experiment with a new sound that mixed horror and science fiction lyrics with a punk rock / rockabilly crossover (as distinct from the slower, psychedelic rockabilly sound of the Cramps. This is the first of four sessions for the avuncular peel, put down on 16/06/1981.
Orange Juice were a Scottish post-punk band founded in the middle class Glasgow suburb of Bearsden as the Nu-Sonics in 1976. Edwyn Collins formed the Nu-Sonics (named after a cheap brand of guitar) with his school-mate Alan Duncan and was subsequently joined by James Kirk and Steven Daly, who left a band called The Machetes. The group became Orange Juice in 1979. They are best known for the hit "Rip It Up", which reached number 8 on the UK Singles Chart in February 1983, the band's only UK Top 40 hit. They released their first singles during 1981 on the independent Postcard Records label founded by Alan Horne, along with fellow Scottish bands Josef K and Aztec Camera. Shortly afterwards this line-up signed to Polydor Records and recorded their first album, You Can't Hide Your Love Forever. However, internal tensions led to Kirk and Daly leaving in early 1982 (they would go on to form a short-lived band called Memphis), and for the next two album releases the core line-up was: Collins and McClymont with Malcolm Ross on guitar, vocals and keyboards, and Zeke Manyika on drums. By early 1984, Ross and McClymont had left the band leaving a core line-up of Collins and Manyika who recorded Orange Juice's final album, The Orange Juice, with Clare Kenny and Johnny Britten, produced by Dennis Bovell. here's the first of their two sessions for uncle john, recorded on 21/10/1980.
the passions were based in Shepherds Bush, west London. The music was grounded mainly in Barbara Gogan's voice and Clive Timperley's delicate echoplex guitar work. Before forming in 1978, most of the group's members had played in other groups. Timperley was formerly with the 101ers, whilst drummer Richard Williams and singer/guitarist Barbara Gogan were in the punk rock outfit, The Derelicts. The Passions' first single, issued in March 1979, was
"Needles and Pills" which assisted in gaining a recording contract with Fiction Records. Michael and Miranda, the band's debut album was released in 1980. Singles "Hunted" and "the Swimmer" followed, and then their major charting song, "I'm in Love with a German Film Star". The band's second album, 30,000 Feet Over China, was released in August 1981. Clive Timperley left the band in Verona in December 1981, during the Italian leg of their prophetically named "Tour Till We Crack" tour, as a result of "serious political differences". The follow-up single release "African Mine" was recorded with a new line-up. Barbara Gogan explained the situation thus: "It's the same old story. Some bands play together for ten years and it's all very wonderful and imaginative. More often, though, you reach a point where you've done all you can do and you want to change. Whenever we've reached that point someone has always left and brought us a step further on. Any band playing their own songs to the public has a duty to change and keep being imaginative all the time". A third album, Sanctuary, appeared in the autumn of 1982 but the passions eventually dissolved for good in the summer of 1983, after playing their last show at London's Marquee Club on 12 August that year. here's the second of three bbc sessions for our hero, taped on 07/05/1980.
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.