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Friday, 28 October 2011

John Peel - Turn That Racket Down!

The other day was John Peel Day and I should have posted this one. A great wee documentary from 1999 and first shown on BBC2.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

The Alarm - The Gathering 2011

Mike Peters - Guitar, Harmonica and Lead Vocals

Part One: Blaze of Glory/Absolute Reality/Unsafe Building

Craig Adams - Bass Guitar and Vocals

Mark Taylor - Keyboards and Vocals

Part Two: Direct Action/Deeside/Majority

Part Three: Majority/21st Century/Shout to the Devil

James Stevenson - Gutar and Vocals

Part Four: Or Freedom/One Step Closer to Home/Strength

Smiley - Drums

Part Five: Spirit of 76/Rescue Me/Spirit of 76

Part 6: Where Were You Hiding/68 Guns

Mike Peters and The Alarm Acoustic: The Gathering 2011 Friday Night

Mike Peters kicked off his Acoustic Tour last night in Wrexham and I just found this set of videos on You Tube from The Gathering earlier this year. This is from Friday night before Mike joined Big Country on stage and rocked the place!.

Part One: Intro by Gaz Top/Breathe/Father to Son

Part Two: Only the Thunder/Walk Forever By My Side

Part Three: Sold Me Down The River

Part Four: Unbreak the Promise/Love Hope and Strength

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

John Peel Day 2011 - Studio Sessions pt01

Over the years John Peel had some excellent studio sessions. It is well worth picking up the book 'The Peel Sessions'

That book gives a great history of the sessions and details dates recorded and broadcasted as well as details of the Festive 50's etc. A good investment I think.

Pickin' the Blues - John Peel Theme

The Slits - Love and Romance

New Order - Transmission (to celebrate Peel's 40th Anniversary I think?)

The Damned - Fan Club

The Cure - Grinding Halt

The Specials - Stereotypes

Stiff Little Fingers - Law and Order/Barbed Wire Love/Suspect Device Feb 12th 1980

The Wedding Present - Happy Birthday

The Beat - Ranking Full Stop

The Sundays - My Finest Hour

Sonic Youth - My New House (The Fall cover)

Jimi Hendrix - Daytripper

John Peel Day 2011

A Minute's Noise For John

by Mitch Benn and the Distractions

Let's have a minute's noise from all the girls and boys
Who understand that they lost a friend the other day 'cos
To have a minute's silence somehow would be wrong,
Let's have a minute's noise for John.

Let's have a minute's row from everyone remembering how
He soundtracked all our misspent youths
From Teenage Kicks right to Home Truths.
To stand in wordless contemplation's just not on,
Let's have a minute's noise for John.

So DJs rip up your playlists, remember better stuff exists
Now that he has left us how'll we save the world from Simon bloody Cowell?
Let's have a minute's racket, though he isn't coming coming back it
Seems we understand the need to play something loud and at the wrong speed.
Cos a minute's silence wouldn't show him how we feel,
Let's have a minute's noise for Peel

It's hard to believe that today marks the 7th anniversary of the passing of one of the legends of radio, John Peel. I am hard pressed to think of another Disc Jockey that through his show was able to impact musical culture for a good number of decades. Whether it was Punk, Reggae, Ska, Indie, Electronic, House Music, Hip Hop, Speed Metal, African music, and a whole host of other Musical Genres, John Peel had his finger on the pulse. Without his commitment to play everything from the totally obscure to introducing the world to Wham (yep we have Uncle John to thank for that!)he left a great legacy behind.

This little blog today will have a few posts dedicated to some of the music that John introduced to the world.

To begin with though I thought I'd post the links to the This Is Your Life show in which Michael Aspel presented John Peel with the big red book.

This Is Your Life John Peel - Part 1

This Is Your Life John Peel Part 2

This Is Your Life John Peel Part 3

Friday, 14 October 2011

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Automatic Deluxe Edition


The third album by The Jesus and Mary Chain, Automatic, when released in September 1989 did not meet with a lot of acclaim. The album was criticized for it's use of synths in place of the bass guitar and a drum machine. The album reached #11 in the UK charts and was well outside the Top 100 in the USA. Two singles were released from the album - 'Blues from a Gun' and 'Head On' (later covered by The Pixies) and both failed to break into the top 30. Included on this Deluxe Version is the brilliant 'Sidewalking' single. The Extended Mix lasting 7 minutes and 51 seconds is the definitive version according to the band and was often the set closer.

I have to totally disgree with Victoria Segal from Q Magazine regarding her comments on the album in the latest issue of the monthly music mag. She said that the album is "unconvincing" and is where "the Reids' love of Americana turned septic. UV Ray and Blues From A Gun sound like The Stooges produced by Bon Jovi and while Head On, later covered by The Pixies, is tremendous - as is the drum-machine bounce of  the Sidewalking single - Automatic is lesscrash and burn, more rattle and hum." (Q304 p144). I don't find the album "unconvincing" at all and after not listening to it for at least 10 years playing it again confirmed to me afresh that I actually loved this album a little bit more than 'Darklands'. I was blown away agin by some of the classic b-sides, 'Subway' in particular and their lovely version of 'My Girl' from the John Peel Session of 31st May 1988, is another great cover to add to the list.

Tracklist: The Jesus and Mary Chain, Automatic

CD 1
1. “Here Comes Alice”
2. “Coast To Coast”
3. “Blues From A Gun”
4. “Between Planets”
5. “UV Ray”
6. “Her Way Of Praying”
7. “Head On”
8. “Take It”
9. “Halfway To Crazy”
10. “Gimme Hell”
11. “Drop”
12. “Sunray”

Sidewalking Single
13. “Sidewalking” (Extended Version)
14. “Sidewalking”
15. “Sidewalking” (Chilled To The Bone Mix)
16. “Taste Of Cindy” (Live in Detroit)
17. “April Skies” (Live in Detroit)

CD 2

Surfin' USA Promo 12"
1. “Surfin’ USA” (Summer Mix)

2. “Shimmer”
3. “Penetration”
4. “Break Me Down”
5. “Subway”
6. “In The Black”
7. “Terminal Beach”
8. “Deviant Slice”
9. “I’m Glad I Never”
10. “Drop” (Acoustic Remix)

BBC Radio Session
11. “Sidewalking”
12. “Coast To Coast”
13. “Take It”
14. “My Girl”
15. “Far Gone And Out”
16. “Silverblade”
17. “Here Comes Alice”

18. “Coast To Coast” (Alternate – William Vox)
19. “Just Out Of Reach” (88 version)
20. “Radio Ad”
21. “Nine Million Rainy Days” (Live in Detroit)


Promo Videos
1. “Sidewalking”
2. “Just Out Of Reach”
3. “Blues From A Gun”
4. “Head On”
5. “Her Way Of Praying”

TV Appearances
6. “Gimme Hell – SNUB TV”
7. “Take It – SNUB TV”
8. “Interview – Rapido”
9. “Interview – MTV Week In Rock”
10. “Interview – MTV Australia”

Sidewalking Extended Mix

Just Out Of Reach (Promo Video)

Head On (Live)

Blues From A Gun (Promo Video)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Evanescence - Evanescence Out on Monday 10th October

It's been a bit of a long wait but finally Evanescence release their brand new Self-Titled album this Monday.

Having been listening to a promo copy of the album for the past month I'm not sure I'm overly convinced by it. I was a major fan of their debut 'Fallen' and the follow up 'The Open Door' had a few moments worth writing home about but this new album sounds very dated to me.

What You Want (from Rock in Rio 2011)

I watched a few of the live videos recently and I am still not impressed by them as a live act. Amy Lee might sound good on record but live she sounds terrible at times.

The Other Side (Rock in Rio)

Call Me When You're Sober (Rock In Rio)

Bring Me To Life (Rock in Rio)

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Darklands Deluxe Edition

'Darklands' was a very different beast to 'Psychocandy'. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for the JAMC to record 'Psychocandy 2' and the fact that they didn't makes this album a lot more worthwhile. The album reached #5 in the UK charts and spawned their biggest Single Chart hit in 'April Skies' and earned them a place on Top of the Pops (not to be repeated!).

I have to admit that I was not overly impressed by the album when it first came out. I loved the singles ('April Skies' and 'Happy When It Rains') but overall the album seemed a little subdued to me. Listening to it again with fresh ears on this Deluxe Edition I still think the same though I know a number of people who really love the album and think that it is their best release). The inclusion on this package of 'Some Candy Talking' with William on vocals is sweet. It originally came out on an EP given away with the NME in February 1986. I much prefer this version to the later release with Jim on vocals.

Disc: 1
01. Darklands
02. Deep One Perfect Morning
03. Happy When It Rains
04. Down On Me
05. Nine Million Rainy Days
06. April Skies
07. Fall
08. Cherry Came Too
09. On The Wall
10. About You

Some Candy Talking EP
11. Some Candy Talking
12. Taste Of Cindy (acoustic version)
13. Psychocandy
14. Hit

Janice Long Studio Session 23/11/86
15. Darklands
16. Down On Me
17. Deep One Perfect Morning

John Peel Session 25/11/96
18. Fall
19. In The Rain
20. Happy Place

Disc: 2

April Skies Single
01. Kill Surf City -
02. Bo Diddley Is Jesus
03. Who Do You Love

Happy When It Rains Single
04. Everything's Alright When You're Down
05. Shake
06. Happy When It Rains (demo)
07. Happy Place
08. F.Hole

Darklands Single
09. Rider
10. On The Wall(Portastudio demo)
11. Surfin' USA (April outtake)
12. Here It Comes Again

13. Walk And Crawl
14. Some Candy Talking (NME version with William on Vocals)
15. Mushroom
16. The Hardest Walk ('Some Kind of Wonderful' soundtrack version)
17. Don't Ever Change
18. Swing 19. Darklands (with strings. Previously Unreleased)
20. Interview (Janice Long Show 28th April 1987)

Disc: 3 - DVD

Promo Videos
1. Some Candy Talking
2. April Skies
3. Kill Surf City
4. Happy When It Rains
5. Darklands

TV Appearances
6. April Skies - Top Of The Pops
7. April Skies - Villa Tempo
8. Happy When It Rains - The Roxy

Some Candy Talking (Promo Video)

April Skies (Top of the Pops)

Kill Surf City (Promo Video)

Happy When It Rains (from The Roxy)

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