Thursday, 1 September 2016

Oliver: John Peel Show - Radio 1 (Sunday 16 February 1992)

A potentially stressful week in the Peel household was heralded with a face saving goalless draw between his beloved Liverpool and a resurgent Ipswich, cheered on by most of the rest of his family, in a 5th round FA Cup tie at Portman Road.  The photograph in Margrave of the Marshes of himself and his son, Tom, wearing Liverpool and Ipswich scarves respectively may have been in anticipation of this match.  I listened to it on the radio, but probably distracted by a final Valentine's Day salvo towards Carly, I didn't raise much of a flicker over a match in which a draw was a fair result - we (Ipswich) hit the post, they (Liverpool) had a goal ruled out for offside.  The draw meant I could face my Liverpool supporting friends with pride intact given that we hadn't lost the home match - and nobody, myself included, gave us much of a chance in the replay... With good reason as we lost 3-2, but we gave them a hell of a fright.

Selections from this show came from a 2 and a half hour recording.  With such a large amount of material to pick from, it's inevitable that some choices haven't surfaced yet. Potential appendices include:

Even As We Speak - Falling Down The Stairs [Peel Session] - I actually tried to upload this track to here myself, but I wasn't successful because I don't have Windows Movie Maker installed on the arthritic work PC that I tried to use for it.  I don't have administrator privileges either, so had to give it up as a bad job.  A shame because, while it's a million miles away from the Bongwater influence strangeness of their Beautiful Day single, it stands as a piece of sun-drenched, glistening Australian pop brilliance smack bang in the territory between Nick Cave on one side and Kylie Minogue on the other - because in 1992 it seemed inconceivable that the twain would ever meet.  It's worth imagining an alternative world where it was Even As We Speak who enjoyed massive international success a year or so on from this date, and Peel's other female fronted, non-English session guests from this programme had remained in the shadows.  I may have been unable to bring you Even As We Speak in session, but a quick trip to their Bandcamp page will allow you to download their Peel sessions, years before I get around to deciding which of their tracks I like enough to include, or fail to include, here.

Nardo Ranks - Dun Dog Hearts - a record which doesn't seem to exist when I looked up Nardo on Discogs.  If anyone knows what Dun Dog Hearts are please let me know.  According to Nardo Ranks they can be found in cities all over the world.  Slightly repetitive stuff, but the bass and the beat, both of which I was sure I'd heard on other reggae records on other Peel shows carried the day.

Freefall - Shine - a band which Peel had seen the previous week in the company of Mark Radcliffe, "We Radio 1 DJs are as thick as thieves".  Massive sound but disappointing vocals - like The Cure fronted by a teenage bingo caller.  But the bigness is what mattered, Robert Smith and co. clearly a big influence.

The Ungungungoloval Brothers - Passé Parleau - I suspect that my spellings might be miles off here.  The effect here is Ladysmith Black Mambazo but with a more intimate, serene feeling.  Simply stunning.

The Soka Band - Linga Linga - Delightful guitar pop from Zimbabwe and the great lost track from this show in my opinion.  Still, Peel wasn't about to rub it in: "Almost impossible to get hold of, but I've got one - so there!"

Sound Systemme - Get Down (Woodentop remix) - from a cassette release no less.  A wonderful fusion  of reggae hip hop and techno clubland diva intensity.  Being 1992, parts of the track sound like they've been sampled from someone's coffee table Nintendo unit.

The K-Creative - Zen Flesh Zen Bones - a fascinating mix of sale slogans, Tibetan chanting, funk
drum beats and guitar. "Bunch of weirdoes if you ask me".

70 Gwen Party - Get Sick On the Beach - more distorted, industrial, experimental dance walking the line between intriguing and irritating, but coming down more as the former, happily.

Several tracks fell from favour over time, including:

MC 900 Ft Jesus - The City Sleeps - Although I was initially taken in by the moody atmosphere that underscores this day in the life of an arsonist, I was ultimately put off by a sense of "plastic soul" about the whole thing.  I've got a horrible feeling that I only engage with white hip hop when it's being funny.  Not only that, but I also felt uncomfortable about talking up a track which glamorises arson as a lifestyle choice - albeit in understated fashion, but I felt it was guilty nevertheless.

PJ Harvey - Hair & Joe - A rare miss from my beloved Peej.  In playing these b-sides back to back, Peel hoped that "the Radio 1 funsters" of the daytime shift were giving Sheela-Na-Gig airtime.  In truth, Hair should have made the cut, as I enjoyed Harvey's take on the Sampson & Delilah story,  but I had another attack of queasiness over the image that the YouTube uploader chose to illustrate the track with, which makes me wonder if they have even listened to the song in the first place.  Joe was OK too, but put me too much in mind of the tracks towards the end of To Bring You My Love when the energy levels start to flag.  Ultimately, a victim of her own high standards.

The Dufflecoats - MotorbikeSong - This track cooks up a good racket, but I couldn't stand those vocals.  They sounded like those wimpy, dippy hippies that Jennifer Saunders used to play in various Comic Strip Presents/Girls on Top episodes, that Dawn French used to dominate.  No wonder Courtney Love was cleaning up.

Peel did quite a lot of shilling in this show: for bands' gigs, for the Peel programme of Radio 3 - Mixing It, and best of all for Spot the Bear, a spoof Pink Floyd magazine with a drawing of drummer, Nick Mason as a lobster, on the cover.  Great value for 80p.

Full tracklisting.

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