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 Au Pairs were a British post-punk band formed in Birmingham in 1978 and in existence until 1983. They released two studio albums and three singles. Their songs were said to have "contempt for the cliches of contemporary sexual politics" and their music has been compared to the
Gang of Four and the Young Marble Giants. They were led by Lesley Woods, who was once described as "one of the most striking women in British rock". Their first album Playing with a Different Sex is considered a post-punk classic with strong, sarcastic songs like "It's Obvious" and
"We're So Cool" taking a dry look at gender relations. Other songs, such as "Armagh" with its refrain, "we don't torture" criticized the British government's treatment of Irish Republican prisoners in the then ongoing Troubles in Northern Ireland, which caused some controversy at the time. The group performed in 1980 for the concert film Urgh! A Music War. The second album, Sense and Sensuality (1982), showed an even greater influence of jazz, soul, funk and disco on the band's sound, but was less well received. They broke up in 1983, just before they were about to go into
the studio to record an album with producer Steve Lillywhite. Woods formed an all woman band called the Darlings in the late 1980s but then left the music industry. She now works as a lawyer in London. Guitarist Paul Foad remains an active musician, playing with Andy Hamilton and the Blue Notes, a Jamaican jazz band, and teaching guitar in and around Birmingham. He's also published a guitar technique book, co-written with Stuart Ritchie, titled The Caged Guitarist (2000). Bass player Jane Munro works as an alternative therapist (aromatherapy, reflexology and Indian head massage) in Birmingham. Pete Hammond also remains an active musician and teaches percussion in Birmingham. here's the last of four peel sessions, taped on 15/03/1982.
The Chameleons (known as The Chameleons UK in North America) were an English post-punk band formed in Middleton, Greater Manchester in 1981. They originally consisted of singer and bassist Mark Burgess, guitarist Reg Smithies, guitarist Dave Fielding and drummer John Lever (replacing original drummer Brian Schofield). They released four studio albums and one EP before disbanding in 2003. Burgess alone continues to play Chameleons songs live under the name ChameleonsVox. this is the second of three sessions for our hero, put down on 08/06/1983.
Love Sculpture were a Welsh blues rock band of the late 1960s, led by Dave Edmunds plus bassist John Davidles and drummer Rob 'Congo' Jones. They came together in Cardiff in 1966 by former members of The Human Beans. The group disbanded in 1970 although Edmunds went on to enjoy solo success in the 1970s. Love Sculpture mostly performed blues standards, slightly revved-up, but still close to the originals. Their debut album, Blues Helping, included such songs as "Summertime" and "Wang Dang Doodle". They are best known for their 1968 novelty hit in the UK Singles Chart, a high speed cover version of the classical piece "Sabre Dance" by Aram Khachaturian, released on Parlophone, which reached No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart in December 1968. The recording was inspired by Keith Emerson's classical rearrangements. "Sabre Dance" became a hit after receiving airplay by Peel, who was so impressed that he played it twice in one programme. In December 1968 the NME reported that Love Sculpture had signed a US recording contract with London Records, guaranteeing £250,000. The band were also given an invitation to perform "Sabre Dance" live, on the German Beat-Club television programme of Radio Bremen. This was followed by a second album, Forms and Feelings. The US version featured a recording of "Mars" from Gustav Holst's The Planets, but Holst's estate refused to license the tune for the UK version. In 1970 Mickey Gee joined the band as a second guitarist, and Terry Williams replaced Rob Jones on drums. The group split up after a US tour; Edmunds went on to further number
one hit success with a scorching cover of the old chestnut "I Hear You Knocking", and collaborated heavily with ex-Brinsley Schwarz bassist Nick Lowe, eventually forming Rockpile with him. this is the second of three Love Sculpture sessions for peel, put down on 16/09/1968. one track, 'Rebel,' is missing - sorry. If you have it, please send it to me.
I have no information on the Milk Monitors. What did they achieve? Are they still active? If you have any info or a link to a web page which has, please let me know ASAP. here's the first of two sessions for John, immortalised on 10/05/1987.
Plummet Airlines were a British pub rock band of the mid-1970s, formed in Nottingham. Band members later joined The Pogues and Darts. The band was formed by students at Nottingham School of Art (now Nottingham Trent University, School of Art and Design), who needed a band for a film that fellow students were making called 'One More Chance' about a fading rock and roll star. The band were initially called The Brothel Creepers, after the group in the film. Harry Stephenson (vocal/guitar) had previously been in Harrogate band Junkyard Angel, whilst Richard Booth (guitar/vocal), Darryl Hunt (bass) and Simon Bladon (drums)
had played in a jazz-influenced band, Moonlight Drive. Having completed the film they started playing gigs and writing their own songs, mostly written by Stephenson. In 1974 Duncan Kerr (guitar/vocals) joined. They changed their name to Glider and got a residency at The Kensington, Olympia, London; one of the new pub-rock venues. An existing band called Glyder forced them to change their name and they became Plummet Airlines. They played at the Hope and Anchor, Islington, where they met Malcolm Morley (ex Man and Help Yourself) who was living in the pub, and they soon moved in, after Fred Grainger and John Eichler, who ran the place, became their managers. Dave Robinson, who ran the recording studio at The Hope, gave them a one record deal with Stiff Records who issued their first single: "Silver Shirt" / "This is the World" produced by Sean Tyla. Morley started jamming with them and joined them for a Dutch tour in 1976; he recorded a solo album at Foel Studios, using Plummet Airlines as the backing musicians but the master tape was lost until 2002 when it was issued as Lost and Found. Gasper Lawal, who had been in Clancy, joined the band and they supported Van der Graaf Generator, Rockpile and other bands. A second single "It's Hard" / "My Time in a While" was issued on State Records, but Grainger, their manager, could not agree an album deal. They split with him and sued him for mismanagement, as he was being ousted from "The Hope" by a coup d'état. When punk arrived they could not agree what direction to follow. Booth left first, followed by Stephenson, and the band broke up in 1977. After the band split,
Booth compiled a double album of their work, including live and studio recordings. This was issued in 1981 as a double LP, On Stoney Ground, on Armageddon Records. In 2004 there were two reunion concerts in Nottingham and one in London at former manager John Eichler's pub 'The Three Kings', Clerkenwell. In 2006 Kerr appeared in the Richard Booth Band, along with Ken Whaley (ex Man, and Help Yourself), on bass. Booth now fronts his own trio, releasing an album, Spill the Moon, in early 2014. Harry Stephenson continues to write and perform his material with his group The Last Pedestrians, who have played in Nottingham pubs since 2004. Here's the first of two sessions for uncle john, recorded on 31/08/1976.
The Tea Set formed at Watford Art College following the disbanding of The Bears. In the post-punk period between 1978 and 1982 they released a number of singles with various record labels, recorded an album that sat in the vaults for nearly 30 years and supported bands like The Clash, The Skids, The Members and The Stranglers. and beyond that, I'm afraid i know fuck all about them. they recorded one session for the great broadcaster, on 25/03/1980.
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 characterised their music as being heavily indebted to progressive rock. Other groups related include The Sea and Cake, Brokeback, Slint, Isotope 217, Chicago Odense Ensemble and the Chicago Underground Duo. 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.
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.