Saturday, 16 July 2016
Oliver: Terminal Hoedown - Go-Go Juice/Superwoman [Peel Session] (9 February 1992)
That Altern 8 incident, whereby one track is highlighted but a whole session ends up being shared, repeats itself here. The two tracks in the title were the only ones I heard from this band, but I would almost certainly have included the final track, Yeah, which begins at 12:03. The second track, Fear Eats The Soul, from 4:58 would have been a borderline inclusion, but why split hairs given that this session offers one of the few recordings in existence of Terminal Hoedown, who never got round to releasing any records. Session opener, Go-Go Juice offers singer Robert Lloyd a chance, as Peel remarks to give us his Marc Bolan. It made me wonder whether Lloyd had been as delighted by Shooting Air by The Satyrs as I was given their similarities. Superwoman, which starts at 8:34, tickled me because it offered the vision of what Aerosmith would have sounded like if fronted by Ozzy Ozbourne's quieter brother.
Nobody remembers Terminal Hoedown now, but their session is very important when talking about influential and important artists on John Peel's show. Robert Lloyd had been a fixture on Peel's playlists since the mid 1970s. Through The Prefects, especially The Nightingales, his own solo career backed by The New Four Seasons and Terminal Hoedown. - his musical journey, one undertaken with a number of faithful lieutenants like the Apperley brothers offers a perfect aural summation of changing sounds and styles, even when the man at the centre of it all remains true to his calling as a master lyricist. In short order:
The Prefects - scratchy punk guitar, allusions to concentration camps, Peel pimping for a new drummer.
The Nightingales - skinny post punk guitar, social contexts, a Birmingham housing estate of identikit futuristic awfulness.
Robert Lloyd and The New Four Seasons - expanded sound i.e. there's a keyboard player in the band, someone is audibly wearing a linen jacket with the sleeves rolled up, contemporary AIDS reference, basically The Style Council 4 years after the event. (This features my favourite Lloyd composition among a number of potential candidates in the shape of the magnificent The Part of the Anchor.)
Leading us up to Terminal Hoedown and what a fat sound these tracks have. The sound of early middle age spreading into a sound and making it sound genuinely kick-ass. A million miles away from that scratchy Prefects sound, but even through the rawk haze, Peel's words from The Nightingales debut session in October 1980 remain pertinent:
"Try and listen to Robert Lloyd's words cos they're worth catching."
Lloyd eventually reformed The Nightingales in 2004, and doesn't appear to have missed a trick.
Video courtesy of John Peel.