Tag Archives: peel sessions

Diamond Geezer: John Peel’s 75th Birthday

30 Aug



Today, 30th August 2014, would have been broadcaster extraordinaire and patron saint of music lovers John Peel’s 75th birthday.

Those wanting further information about the great man would be well advised to seek out other posts on this blog or to go to the outstanding Keeping It Peel website, the official John Peel Archive or the exhaustive John Peel Wiki.

But let’s remember the most influential DJ on British radio by recalling his 40th and 50th birthday celebrations on the radio, the latter of which consisted largely of a surprise concert laid on by friends and family featuring a number of his favourite bands. while remembering his dry sense of humour where he laid bare his comedic influences in a radio programme in 1981.

Happy 75th John, wherever you are.

* John Peel’s 40th Birthday programme

* John Peel’s 50th Birthday programme

* John Peel on “It Makes Me Laugh” (1981)



Sheffield Peel II: a Peel Session selection

26 Oct

Many of the celebrated Sheffield bands from then and now have visited the BBC Studios at Maida Vale to record a session for John Peel, and – without further ado – here is a choice selection of them.

The Human League, in their pre-chart-topping lineup of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh alongside Phil “Philip” Oakey, recorded a Peel Session in the August of 1978 – mere months after their live debut at what was then Psalter Lane Art College (and now part of Sheffield Hallam University) that June.

A formative “Being Boiled” and a novel take on “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” are accompanied by “No Time” and the 12-minute-plus epic “Blind Youth”.

You can take it away HERE

Warp-certified bleepsters and Speak-and-Spell owners LFO recorded a Peel Session in 1990.

Take Control, To the Limit, Rob’s Nightmare and Lost World were the tracks featured.

Take it away HERE

John was a bit partial to Cabaret Voltaire, who recorded the above session in 1984, which kicks off with a superior version of Sleepwalking.

Other tracks are Big Funk and The Operative.

The Comsat Angels are often talked about in reverential tones by later Sheffield indie bands, and above these words you can find the first of what seems to be a grand total of four Peel Sessions (although it could be just two, played twice), from 1980.

Tracks were: Real StoryMonkey PilotWaiting For A Miracle and Home Is The Range.

Artery were fondly remembered by Jarvis Cocker in his recent radio reminisces on his formative years in his native Sheffield, recently aired by BBC 6Music in their recent “Sheffield Sunday” tribute to the (ahem) one-time steeltown. If I remember rightly, he even mentioned that the drummer went out with his (Jarvis’) sister! Never really broke through to cult status outside Sheffield, but they still managed to attract the ears of Mr Ravenscroft who got them in to record the above session in 1982.

Tracks were: The Ghost Of A Small Tour Boat Captain,  Louise (no relation to the Human League song of the same name years later), The Slide and The Sailor Situation.

If any of this has awoken your curiosity about Sheffield bands (I couldn’t find the ABC Peel Session anywhere, and Heaven 17 never did a Peel Session despite – I believe – making the Festive Fifty) your first port of call should be the Sheffield Vision website. Their “The Beat Is The Law” film looks good too.

And I didn’t mention Arctic Monkeys once.


Will you be Keeping it Peel? New music alert forthcoming!

5 Oct

Will YOU be Keeping it Peel this 25th of October?

As is common practice we at We Love All That Towers certainly will, with a special treat lined up for the day itself, looking back at something or other that appeared on the late, great man’s Radio One show.

But to get you in the mood this month, we’ll also be posting some new music by new bands / musicians who sadly will now never get the chance to record a Peel Session or get their stuff played on his show.

Because although we love to reminisce about the vast panoply of music and musicians Peel helped break through to mainstream success, “inky” music paper kudos or just a small cult following, a lot of his raison d’etre (as his beloved Belgians may well have said, well…  the Walloon variety anyway) was to give an airing to those new artists he felt didn’t have a place on daytime radio – from The Faces, The Pink Floyd and the Pistols to Half Man Half Biscuit, Misty In Roots and happy hardcore.

Peel didn’t live to see what M.E.S. may have called “dubstep’s dream debased“, but he was playing that now-oh-so-ubiquitous genre in its infancy before his untimely death in 2004. Artists that may now be 6Music staples or commercial radio classics who were once considered too “weird” or “different” for airplay. Even Public Enemy who just scored a top five UK hit with a five-year old song were given a first UK airing on Peel’s programme (and Peel got a back cover credit on their album as a thank you).

Madonna once sang that “music makes the people come together” while going on to emote (in a faux-patois) that “music mix the bourgeoisie and the rebel“. Peel played music that made the spotty indie kid, the spliffed-out raggamuffin, the wide-eyed raver, the lank-haired deathcore aficionado and lovers of all genres sit up and open their ears, not just to reflections of their own musical preferences but to a wider sonic “church” (and a fair few sonic cathedrals, but let’s not go there now).

Obviously, We Love All That is no John Peel, but this October – allowing for the usual distractions – we will try and post some new music from people you probably haven’t heard before, partially as a hat-tip to the man upstairs.

So, as I said around this time last year… keep ’em Peeled!