Thursday, 19 January 2017

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

Selections from this show came from a full 3 hour recording.  Happily, most of those I wanted to include were available, apart from...

Abana Ba Nasery - Abakambi - Kenya's best known acoustic act with a track from their !Nursery Boys Go Ahead! album.  Peel suggested seeking advice from a doctor if you didn't like the track.  For   a long time, I was ambivalent about it, but ultimately, came round to his way of thinking.

Ivor Cutler - Birdswing - a typical piece of Cutler surrealism from the Virgin reissue of Velvet Donkey from 1975, in which he attempts to give A&R advice to a thrush which has designs on taking its song into the Top 40.

Sly and Danny - Agony Dub - this may have missed out ultimately as it was a rather blandly catchy synth-led piece of dubstep.  Beige dubstep, if you can imagine such a concept.

Lonnie Mack - I've Had It - Peel had spent the last week listening, "in something of a fever" to a new Lonnie Mack compilation called Lonnie on the Move.  He declared it, "for students only. I mean there's nothing on there that's going to dramatically change your life".  Playing this track, I take his point.  Although Mack was undoubtedly, "a guitar playing son of a gun", he was no vocalist.  He sounds here like someone laying down a guide vocal because the booked vocalist couldn't make it and the session will be cancelled, leaving everyone out of pocket, otherwise.  Despite that, the half-arsedness of it all comes off as charming instead of crap.  It remains to be seen whether Peel returns to this album, and changes my life, but in the main, I think I'll stick to Buddy Guy.

Jad Fair - Peel didn't back announce the track, and I had a question mark next to it, but I rather liked the Daniel Johnston with attitude feel of the piece.  Certainly on the evidence of this, he shares many of Johnston's problems.  Track was about a schizophrenic murderer, who kills people when his bad side takes over, leaving his good side to protest innocence and try and shift the blame.

BKS - Living in Ecstasy (Truly Large mix) - Plenty of versions of this can be heard but not this mix. Contains all the tropes you might expect: big voiced women, Balearic piano stabs, horny (as in brass) synths and er...Jah Whoosh toasting over the top of it all.

Falling from favour after the first listen were:

Green Day - Private Ale - After the initial burst of "OMG!  Peel played Green Day!!!" I added a note to say that I needed to check on whether I actually liked the song rather than the weirdness of hearing them on the Peel show.  They would have been just another band in 1992 after all.  Well, I can confirm that this track proves what I've always felt about Green Day - I like the tunes, but I don't need any of them for posterity.  There's a riff which gets recycled in American Idiot, but to me Green Day were never more exciting than they were I first saw them perform Basket Case on Top of the Pops and drummer Tre Cool ended the performance by throwing his sticks in the air and immediately walking off the stage.  Me and my mate, Ashley Spear thought that was the coolest (no pun intended) thing we had ever seen.

The Fall - Immortality - Sorry to be prissy, but I couldn't put up with Mark E.Smith's vocal performance and this is generally an album on which I think he sounds great.  But he tried my patience here.

Scrawl - Reuters - when I first heard this cover of the Wire tune I was quite taken by the ritardando ending, but I always found Wire something of an acquired taste and when others are trying to do that tendon tight schtick, they just sound stodgy as a result.  Wire pulled it off, Scrawl didn't quite manage  it for me.

Another record which missed out was Mothra by Godflesh.  Brummie metallers trying to sound Japanese but only reaching a kind of funky tedium. Nevertheless the origins of Mothra gave Peel a chance to educate his audience.  I knew of it from Godzilla; indeed Godzilla vs Mothra was released into cinemas in 1992. In his researching of Mothra, Peel discovered that it could eat, breathe, defecate/urinate and fuck through the same orifice. "I was very tempted to have a competition, but I think, frankly, the answer's a bit too easy for you to suggest which Radio 1 DJ most resembles Mothra."  The track overran and after a short pause, Peel came back with, "Sorry, I popped out for a quick Mothra myself".  He also played a trailer for Radio 1's new Sunday evening line-up, the bewilderingly eclectic mix of Pete Tong, Annie Nightingale and Gary Davies.  The news featured Lawrence Eagleburger assuring everyone that Saddam Hussein was no longer a factor in the Middle East, which must have pleased the neo-cons tasked with paying off the dry cleaning bills after George H.W. Bush's last visit to Japan.

Enough about what didn't survive.  You can see it all below, and make your own choices too.

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