Friday, 24 April 2015

Oliver: John Peel Show - Radio 1 (Saturday 7 December 1991)

9 selections from a 90 minute recording, heavy on the rock side of things.  My initial list of selections included another 7 tracks, five of which I couldn't share:

The Seaside Band - Mkadzi Nwango
New Mind - Body Politic
Krispy 3 contributed three tracks as part of an outstanding Peel session which doesn't seem to be available anywhere and which, unless they gave them new titles, were not re-recorded anywhere else.  The tracks were titled:
Where We Going?
Too Damn Ignorant
Hard Times

There were two tracks which fell from favour between initial hearing and re-hearing:
Tar - Goethe
Ilo Pablo and Zaiko Langa Langa Family - Kenya Safari  This became the first soukous selection to be rejected after initially capturing my attention, perhaps because of the poor quality of the clip.

Full tracklisting

The weekend of 7/8 December 1991 was a very exciting, nerve wracking and ultimately disappointing one for me.  The events of the 8th are the ones which had the greatest importance for me at that time, as will be revealed soon, but the 7th was an equal case of big build up leading to disappointment.  Long before I knew anything about the Ravenscroft family's support for them, I had been and remain an Ipswich Town fan since the mid 1980s.  A curious choice considering that Falmouth was some 300 miles away from Ipswich and apart from my father doing his naval training in Shotley, Suffolk in the 1950s, we had no connection to the area.  I can date my support for Ipswich back to March 26 1983, the day before my 7th birthday.  My mother and I had gone up on the train from Truro to Paddington to visit relatives in Welwyn Garden City.  My uncle, Dennis and my cousin, Tracey met us and drove us out to stay with my mum's sister.  In the car, the conversation got on to football, which I liked, but when Tracy asked me which team I supported, I realised that I didn't have one and resolved to choose one that day.
When we got to my Auntie Mary's house, I asked to put the telly on and tuned it to World of Sport which I watched most Saturdays from 4pm so I could see the wrestling.  However, I was now using it to run my eye over prospective teams to support.  All the kids, and a number of adults I knew, supported either Liverpool (Peel's team) or Manchester United.  Being a contrary child, I didn't want to follow the herd on this.  I wanted a team that was mine - unique.  Typically, I took no notice of the likes of Arsenal or Tottenham, clubs who've won things since 1983, but my eyes alighted on Ipswich who were playing Manchester City at Maine Road.  I had a vague recent memory of Ipswich being a good side (they had been First Division Runner's Up in the previous 2 seasons, but had lost their manager, Bobby Robson, to the England job just before the start of the 1982-83 season).  Also there was something about the name, Ipswich, that appealed to me.  Something on a gut level about those 2 syllables.  It was goalless at half time but I decided that if they won the game, they would be my team.  I watched the wrestling and waited for full time.  The score duly came up, solemnly intoned by Bob Colston:  Manchester City 0 Ipswich 1.  That was my team sorted.
How did your team do?

I promptly ignored Ipswich for the next two seasons while telling anyone who asked that they were my team.  It wasn't until the 1985-86 season that I started following their results fanatically, and the stupid berks rewarded me by getting relegated!  In the pre-saturation days of football coverage, to be following a Second Division side when you lived 300 miles away from them seemed to make as much sense as following a side from Liechtenstein.  Nevertheless, I stuck with them, attempting to
see some kind of exoticism in the fact that my team were now playing sides like Grimsby and
Shrewsbury, something which those Man Utd and Liverpool fans would never get to experience.  The sting of relegation was slightly softened by the fact that we were joining the Second Division at the same time that Plymouth Argyle were being promoted into it.  They were the nearest football league club to Falmouth, a mere 65 miles away and it meant that I could at least see my team play in the flesh, something else that would be denied to those Liverpool and Man Utd fans who had to make do with seeing their teams dominate the TV schedules in the way that they did in those cruddy "Big Five" days of the late 80s.  Those who think the Premier League has a stranglehold nowadays should think back to the days when ITV decided that what all fans really wanted to be watching was any combination of Liverpool/Man Utd/Arsenal/Everton/Tottenham season after season.  I remember that forced lack of variety whenever I hear someone complain that SKY's Sunday 4pm game is Stoke vs Sunderland or what's the point of showing Football League games to an empty pub.  For all its venality, hype and ubiquity, I wouldn't trade the level of coverage we have now for what we had then.

Ipswich and Plymouth were division mates for six seasons.  I went to half of the games they played against each other and was rewarded on each occasion by a defeat in which we failed to score.  I did get the autograph of Town midfielder, Nigel Gleghorn, on the first trip.  Or rather my mother did as I stood there, too awed to move as the Town players got off their coach.  In the three games I didn't go to, I missed a 1-0 win and two goalless draws.  We never played well at Home Park and this day was no exception.  Despite the fact that we were 4th in the table after thrashing Tranmere the weekend before, a match which Peel attended, we conceded an early goal to a side who were in the relegation places at start of play, and despite having an hour to recover, we never looked like doing so.  In fact we didn't start playing until we had Steve Whitton sent off for a deliberate elbow.  John Wark, now in his third spell at Ipswich, had a header cleared off the line in the last minute.  I began to wonder if I would ever see an Ipswich victory....

But as later posts will show, I walked away from the game, which was the last one Town would play at Home Park in Peel's lifetime, prepared to suck up the defeat if it meant that I won a greater
personal victory the next day.  I was officially poised to ask a girl out!

Plymouth 1 Ipswich 0

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