More Leaps In The Dark

'The artist never entirely knows.  We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.' Agnes De Mille, with thanks to Windows Live blogger Savannah.
'The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.' Agnes De Mille, with thanks to Windows Live blogger Savannah.

It’s bloody hot, I haven’t been anywhere in my five days’ holiday and just spent my time killing cockroaches.

Notwithstanding, and in repsonse to a delightful request from a reader of the last post of this name, here are three more one-shot Peel Sessions for you, this time all from 1998-9, and with grateful thanks to the worthy Andrew at the Yahoo Peel Mailing List for providing the source material.

‘Much better than Alvin & The Chipmunks’ is how Flossie And The Unicorns have been described. No, ‘Hurricane’ is not the Neil Young song, but it is a short, chuntering effusion of indescribable electronica. As is the rest of the session, adding a dark and somewhat unsettling footnote to Lesley Gore’s ‘You Don’t Own Me’ and culminating in the genuinely original and baffling ‘Queen Bee’. They delighted Peel, who loved the thought of people being sent away after his programme thinking, ‘What on earth was that?’ Signed to Hanson Records, the band’s first collection of songs, ‘Cassingle’, was limited to 30 copies (a brilliant marketing ploy). Well, when I say ‘band’. they were actually a group of puppets controlled by ‘Miss Pussycat’, and their names were Stuffy, Snicklefitz and Princess Pandora. Obviously, their move to the more widely known Skin Graft Records enabled them to produce two albums, with meomorable titles like ‘Free Guitar Lessons For Animals, and ‘Chewing Gum From Outer Space’. Unique.

Flossie And The Unicorns, Peel Session 1999-04-18
Hurricane/You Don’t Own Me/Thundercloud/Queen Bee

Motor Life Co.’s initial output appeared as a free 7 inch with Fractal Press magazine, and this contained three of the titles you see here. Far more conventional than Miss Pussycat and her gang, the group make a sound that leaps from the stomping urgency of  ‘A Bleached Flag & A Peace Badge’  to the sub-Pavement soundscape of ‘Long Hours Gone’. One session track is still AWOL, but what remains is well worth listening to. Personnel: Ben Ellis (bass/vocals), Matt Gilfeather (guitar/vocals), Sean Guthrie (guitar/vocals), and Chris Grove (drums).

Motor Life Co.Peel Session 1998-11-15
Angles/Long Hours Gone/A Bleached Flag & A Peace Badge

Finally, 10 5 Neuton give us five titles of  post rock that hold no great surprises, but there’s promise and professionalism aplenty. They even turn in a lovely tribute to the man who gave them airplay, ‘Thanks John’. It appears that despite being signed to the Effortless label, their recording career was anything but, as I cannot find an LP to their name (unless anybody out there knows better). And I suspect Jon Weeks, Andrew Martin and Gaz Donnelly would have made a truly inspiring one.

10 5 Neuton, Peel Session 1999-03-09
Their Signature/Entrance To Exit/Identify The Driver/Opportune/Thanks John

8 thoughts on “More Leaps In The Dark

  1. What can I say? Another gem of a post. You know, I remember these three sessions from the time and although I would have recorded the shows that they were part of, those cassettes kept getting re-used so thanks to you Steve for allowing me (and hopefully many others) to hear them again. This time I’m keeping copies! (Somebody out there should start up a record label and begin officially releasing the Peel Sessions again).

  2. Well, Strange Fruit were the pioneers in this field, but now the baton seems to have passed to Castle Music, who have given us splendid box sets of the Fall, the Wedding Present and Cinerama. However, if you see the comments box to the post on Harvey’s Rabbit (‘Five Bunny Hops’), you’ll see that a member of their clan has been in touch and is hoping to release some previously unavailable stuff by them, including the session (I hope), although I’ll be reloading that one again some time soon. Other bands follow suit please. The problem is that since a great deal of Peel Sessions are by artists who could not expect to make a commercially successful release out of what they did, it’s not a clarion call I expect will have many takers. So it looks like you’ll have to rely on individuals like myself, the Perfumed Garden, and Fruitier Than Thou to spend time finding and preparing these sessions in a listenable format. In any case, thanks for your encouragement, and keep tuning in.

  3. I’m still here for you boy.
    Been busy too. Black bags around the eyes, but keepin on.

    Soon be Christmas kiddo.
    Hope that young lady of yours is tip top.

  4. Hi this is Gez Donnelly from 10 5 Neuton. We broke up after 3 releases, a 7″ One and Two Fifths, 10″ ep Relative To The Observer and 12″ ep Indian Rope Trick, all on Effortless records. I’m now in a band called Trunk Show based in Prague and Berlin as well as working on my own material. Our debut cd is out this month. For more info check out\trunkshow\whatisinyourtrunk. I can be contacted at Gez’Always In Smoke’on My Space

    Unfortunately the old Neuton website no longer exists.



  5. Thanks Dick, I love to hear from you any time with anything you have to say. Yep, soon be Christmas, and I have a couple of surprises in store, along with the usual old rubbish.
    Gez, it was a real pleasure to get your message, I think 10 5 Neuton, as I have said, were excellent, and I will definitely be checking those links out. Anything else is in the email I’ve just sent you!
    Adam, a fellow insect infestation sufferer? Then you know where I’m at, right? Take care, buddy, and come back soon.

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