With 4,400 Peel Sessions in the roster, it was not always a guarantee of fame and fortune to be offered one: in fact, today’s offering is of three neglected items, all from 1982, that are in many ways typical of their time, but were a dead end for each of the bands concerned. They never made another one, and do not even seem to have been offered recording deals.
Dance Fault trod the same frantic choppy guitar semi-funk path as their contemporaries Haircut 100, but apart from drummer Graham Cusak were composed entirely of females. Perhaps their nemesis lay in the fact that the clipped style very quickly dated and there was little variation in their material. The other members were deep-voiced Jan Smiley, Susan Jones, Debbie Knapp (all vocals), Jade Campbell (bass), and Penny Pooley (guitar).
Christians In Search Of Filth, despite their name, were not 10-second hardcore grebos who went ‘BLEEEEAAAUUURGH!’, but a fusion of sax-driven fast-paced funk and quirky minor-key excursions eschewing sung vocals for chorused hectoring, who obviously had some kind of message latent in their oeuvre. The most interesting track here is the long workout on ‘Super Rich’, but for all that, they sound like a band who would have gone down better live than in the studio. They were: Alex Usborne and Dan Rubinstein (guitars); Simon Lewis (drums); Akinola (percussion); Dave Benady (bass); Reed Pimlot (sax); and Rick Walker (clarinet).
Perhaps the most intriguing of the three sessions here is that by the Crabs, who came from Norwich. Nothing to do with the punk band who produced a memorable session in 1978, this group, who Peel saw and recounts that they were given a lukewarm reception, offered tales of love either unfulfilled or grown cold and boring. Uncomfortably, one of the tracks is called ‘Rape Rap’, and is not at all one would expect, not being given the serious and harrowing treatment as in ‘The Boiler’, for example. However, these Bananarama wannabes had some promising ideas, and allowed Peel to talk them into a version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ (apparently, he encouraged artists in those days to make their own version of the Liverpool terrace favourite in the hopes of releasing an LP, which apparently never materialised). Personnel: Sarah Smith, Jeanette Purcell, Karen King, Phil Emby, David Cuff.
None of the artists here appeared to have gone on to any other ventures, which in its way fits in with the ethos of the whole enterprise. John once said that he liked the idea that bands would produce one single or one session and then split up, having made their statement. Maybe this is what happened in the case of the artists here, maybe not, but the lack of any career information in general seems to say: We did it, and that’s that.
Christians In Search Of Filth, Peel Session 1982-08-11
Fast Food/Work/Gorilla/Super Rich
Crabs, Peel Session 1982-04-21
Love’s Not That Great Really/Please Ask Me Out/Rape Rap/You’ll Never Walk Alone/Stalemate
Dance Fault, Peel Session 1982-08-23
Tell Me It’s Fine/Toys/No Surprise/Stop