Summer has come and gone, the sticky heat and constant sweat of Korea has given way to a cool haze, and TK is always at the back of my mind. I haven’t posted anything for over a month, and it’s time I broke the bad habit. My only excuse is that I have been beavering away on the John Peel Wiki, and am constantly looking for new and exciting things to say about a DJ who’s been away for nearly six years now.
So an excuse has been granted to me by Darren Stuart, the writer of the Football And Music blog, which as we all know are two things JP was obsessed with. His idea is an excellent one. Peel died while on holiday in Peru, October 25 2004, and though it’s not a day I like to remember (I spent most of it being stunned rather than in floods of tears), it’s more than appropriate to remember him in some way at this time. I urge anyone who cares about this to post a session track on that day, as the BBC seem to have by and large lost interest in the Keeping It Peel celebrations they used to organise.
There are several ways our chap suggested we do this. If you are a Facebook user (as I am, though once again I rarely visit), post a YouTube link. If you are on Twitter, post a Tweet using the hashtag #keepingitpeel and add a session song or video clip. And if you are on B******t or WordPress, do what I do: less frequently than usual, but still with fervour.
As a taster, here’s a session that has recently come my way by Huntingdon indie band the Charlottes. Their opener in 1988 was the single ‘Are You Happy Now’ on Molesworth, and they moved labels quite frequently, ending up on Cherry Red, who reissued some of their material in 2006. I’d never heard of them before this, but they remind me of the Primitives without the coyness, mainly due to Petra Roddis’ silvery voice. Graham Gargiulo and David Fletcher mainly contributes a wall of overdriven guitars, and Simon Scott drums away frantically in the background. It’s all been heard before, frankly, and there were a plethora of bands treading the same path around the time, but if you lived through this era, it will bring more than a whiff of nostalgia to the living room, and their cover of ‘Venus’ knocks Bananrama back into their over-coiffured dressing room where they belong. Quite stunning.
Charlottes, Peel Session 1989-09-21
Where You’re Hiding / See Me Feel / Could There Ever Be / Venus