For those of you who are gearing up for the FA Cup Final this weekend, two football-related tracks that featured in the Festive 50. #17 in FF 1987 was Sharp As A Needle by Barmy Army: John says on the mp3, ‘If I’d have voted myself, I might very easily have made this number 1′. Crowds sing Abide With Me against a beatbox backdrop, leading John to speculate that maybe Adrian Sherwood, who produced the Barmy Army track as a tribute to Kenny Dalglish, was preparing a similar track about John Barnes (I think New Order’s World In Motion covered that one). For many years, Peel compered the Reading and Glastonbury Festivals but he developed a fear of crowds after being at the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985.
Introducing a session track entitled ‘He’s An Angry Bastard But I Like Him’ by Norwich band Serious Drinking, circa ’84, Peel preceded it with an inane Radio One jingle featuring the voice of Peebles. As it ended he enthused, in his most mischievous voice, “That’s Andy Peebles. He’s an angry BASTARD but I like him!!” The band themselves (top right) were true FF one-hit wonders (FF 1982 #38) with this ditty about meeting a girl called Sharon at the footie. Eugene and Martin on vocals, Jem on bass, Pete Saunders on keyboards, Simon Charterton on drums, and Terry Edwards on guitar, Serious Drinking were one of the first bands to produce a mixture of ska and punk.
Along with discovering the Higsons and the Farmer’s Boys, it has been claimed that Peel single-handedly created the Norwich music scene (the person who said that has obviously never heard of the Singing Postman ;-)), although I doubt if John himself would have acknowledged the accolade.