Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Keeping It Peel Day 2011
Today is Keeping It Peel Day, a day to honour the memory of the great man himself who tragically died 7 years ago today. Keeping It Peel has been organised by Webbie from the wonderful Football And Music blog and as I started Spools Paradise after Peel Day last year I thought that I would join in this year.
Like many fellow bloggers a large part of my musical tastes and knowledge came from Peel's weekday ten 'til midnight slot on BBC Radio 1. At one point I must have been helping to keep TDK in business with the amount of C90's I was buying to capture the latest weird and wonderful sounds that Peel shared with us. Sometimes I would throw caution to the wind and splash out on some C120's, record the whole show, primed for the Walkman on the way to school. I was a big fan of Kid Jensen and Janice Long's shows but it was the sheer diversity of what was on offer on Peel's show that made it the essential show on radio. That and the dry, sardonic humour between tunes.
I gave some thought as to what tracks to post today and couldn't decide whether to post bands that I had heard for the first time on his show or whether to post some obscure session tracks or simply just to post a few tracks that sum up what Peel's radio shows were all about to me. In the end I opted for three tracks that in their own way encompass all that made John Peel the single most important DJ that these isles have produced.
It was through Peel that I developed a lifelong love of Reggae and, for me, the session version of "Lion Rock" is the ultimate version of Culture's finest moment and one of my favourite session tracks ever recorded for Peel.
The "Gedge" must have done something right to have recorded 22 sessions for Peel over the years. I first saw The Wedding Present live at Glasgow Tech some time round about this session and it was also the first Peel session that I bought on Strange Fruit so track two is from 1986's Maida Vale masterpiece.
And my final choice was the Festive 50 winner in 2000. I went to see Neko Case in concert on the back of this track and was quite simply blown away by her live. Dramatic, gutsy, mysterious, powerful, Neko's voice is quite simply a force of nature. 2000 was the last year that I listened to the Festive 50 in it's entirety and seems like the right place to finish off my small contribution to Keeping It Peel 2011.
Culture - Lion Rock (Peel Session)
The Wedding Present - This Boy Can Wait (Peel Session)
Neko Case and Her Boyfriends - Twist The Knife