Oh no. Not again. And this time it’s really f*****g annoying.


I have been writing 17 Seconds since July 2006. It’s a labour of love. I don’t get paid in monetary terms (though the freebies that get passed my way are much appreciated). I knew this when I started it.

So it is nothing short of anger making when mp3s are taken down without contacting me. On one memorable occasion, I was sent an mp3 by the UK PR representative, posted it with their permission and came back to find a complaint from the US and it had been taken down. It transpired that the US end of it didn’t know that permission had been gven and sent in the heavy artillery.

This evening, it transpires that the entirety of my files have been deleted from my account at Mediafire. Every single one. Including a number of files that were on there because they were there for promotional purposes for 17 Seconds Records. I have made it abundantly clear that I should be contacted if people are unhappy about me posting stuff.

It is ironic -considering that I get about thirty submissions a day, from newly formed bands to acts that have been going for years – that there are sections of the music industry that see blogs as a threat. I have never ever intended any music I post to be here as an alternative to buying music.

There are those blogs which post entire albums. This blog has only posted a handful of albums in six years that were entire- and these were albums long out of print. In one case it was Orange Juice’s classic You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever. JC at the Vinyl Villain was inspired to use it as an example to sell CD-Rs of the band’s music for charity -and this was with the backing of Edwyn Collins himself.

There are people who use the internet to distribute material that is harmful, that abuses, that seeks to demonise and put back the cause of humanity. This is simply a blog written by a thirty-something who is passionate about music and wants to share that.

Go after the real criminals. Be very wary of those organisations that seek to protect copyright ‘for a fee.’

Now: I don’t own the rights to these songs. I never claimed to. If you like them, go and supprot the artists involved. If you support draconian internet piracy laws, you are a waste of space. I post them simply to illustrate the point.

New Pornographers -‘The Laws Have Changed.’ mp3

Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield -‘What Have I Done To Deserve This?’ mp3

Chumbawumba with Credit To The Nation -‘Enough Is Enough.’ mp3

Keeping it Peel

Looking thorugh the John Peel-related posts on the BBC’s website, particularly relating to the Festive Fifties, it’s kinda interesting to see what gets thrown up, in terms of the bands you rediscover, never heard, or are surprised to see in there. It’s good to see stuff that comes round again…or should. Today’s post is actually quite heavy on 1993, a time when I listened to John Peel’s show pretty regularly, taping it (no podcasts then!) and trying to stay awake until 2AM on Friday and Saturday nights, something that I didn’t manage very often. It’s also interesting to note just how much good stuff there was, and looking back, thanks to John Peel, the NME and Melody Maker, the local library and Radio 1 finally moving forward, just how much aware I was of quite a few of these at the time.

What was it about his show? Oh heck…his enthusiasm for music, the sheer diversity of the music, the fact that he knew so much about music, you felt he was teaching you just as much as your own teachers were. He was cool to me, not in a silly way, but just managing to have his finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist. Or something. When John Peel died in 2004, my mother and another friend were very quick to ring up and see how I was. It’s fair to say no other DJ could make people act this way.

Anyway, on with the music…

Laura Cantrell was a favourite of John Peel and no fewer than three songs from her album Not The Tremblin’ Kind made the Festive Fifty in 2000. These definitely tend towards ‘Country’ rather than ‘Americana.’ This is my favourite of those three:

Laura Cantrell -Two Seconds.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.27)

Of course, there were some very angry Americans on there too, perhaps typified by the Dead Kennedys twenty years previous to Laura Cantrell;

Dead Kennedys -‘Holiday In Cambodia.’ mp3 (1980 Festive Fifty no.6, 1981 Festive Fifty no.9, 1982 all-time chart no.14, Millennium all-time chart no.14 )

And it wasn’t all singing either:

Pigbag -‘Pap’s got a Brand New Pigbag.’ mp3 (1981 Festive Fifty no.39,)

I wish I could claim that the first time I ever heard Billy Bragg was on John Peel’s show, as a very clued-up, cool ten year old. That would be a lie, however. I actually first heard this on Now That’s What I Call Music Volume 8 (also featuring the Pet Shop Boys, Run DMC, Cameo…and Nick Berry). Oh well.

Billy Bragg -‘Greetings To The New Brunette.’ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.41)

The first time I ever heard PJ Harvey was thanks to a free cassette (this was 1992, free CDs started appearing a year or so later in the UK),on which was her Peel session version of Water, on a compilation free with a magazine called VOX (a nineties magazine largely written by NME writers), called Radio Daze. A year later Peel played the corrosive and scary 50FT Queenie (including when he hosted a lunchtime show for a couple of weeks), and then one night in early 1995 ‘Down By The Water.’

PJ Harvey -‘Sheela-Na-Gig.’ mp3 (1992 Festive Fifty no. 2)

PJ wasn’t quite a riot grrl (sic) per se but pre-Britpop, there was a lot of angry, politicised music, and no lack of things to get worked up about, and there were a lot of bands leading the way. I remember scrawling Cornershop on my school-bag, much to the complete disdain of my school mates. Bet they all brought ‘Brimful Of Asha’ especially for that line about bosoms. Hmm. Anyway, five great tracks from the 1993 Festive Fifty:

Chumbawumba and Credit To the Nation-‘Enough Is Enough.’ mp3 (1993 Festive Fifty no.1)

Madder Rose – ‘Swim.’ mp3 (1993 Festive Fifty no.2)

Voodoo Queens -‘Supermodel Superficial.’ mp3 (1993 Festive Fifty no.6)

Senser – ‘Eject.’ mp3 (1993 Festive Fifty no.21)

Credit To the Nation -‘Call It What You Want.’ mp3 (Festive Fifty no.24)