John Peel remembered


Tomorrow marks seven years since legendary DJ John Peel died.

In my opinion -and many others – the greatest radio DJ who ever lived.

The man who championed so many styles of music, who gave coverage to bands as diverse as Napalm Death, Kelis and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, would have been seventy-two. His attitude was ‘I just want to hear something I haven’t heard before’ -and one I hold myself.

So, while there will be more stuff happening tomorrow, here for tonight are a handful of cover versions recorded as sessions for his Radio 1 show. Enjoy.

Nick Cave -‘I Put A Spell On You (Screaming Jay Hawkins cover, Peel session 1984).’ mp3

Shop Assistants -‘Ace Of Spades (Motorhead cover, Peel session 1986).’ mp3

Cat Power -‘Wonderwall (Oasis cover, Peel session 2000.)’ mp3

Six By Seven -‘Heldon (David Bowie cover sung in German, Peel session 1999)’ mp3

The Sisters Of Mercy -‘Emma (Hot Chocolate cover, Peel session 1984).’ mp3

There will be John Peel-related goodness on Fresh Air tomorrow evening too…

Some covers for Saturday


Last Friday’s covers seeemd to go down well, so I thought I’d post some more.

First up, two from The Breeders. ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ is taken from their debut album Pod, and originally appeared on The Beatles’ The Beatles (AKA The White Album). The second was by the Who, and appeared on the Breeders’ Safari EP. Some people have wondered if this was in reference to the fact that Kim Deal’s then other band The Pixies were about to call it a day.

The Breeders -‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun (The Beatles cover).’ mp3

The Breeders -‘So Sad About Us (The Who cover).’ mp3

Sticking with a 4AD related act, Belly’s cover of ‘Trust In Me’ appeared on the single of ‘Feed The Tree.’ The song originally appeared in The Jungle Book, and Siouxsie and the Banshees also did a version on their cover versions album Through The Looking Glass.

Belly -‘Trust In Me.’ mp3

A final 4AD track for today; both the Jesus and Mary Chain’s Automatic and the Pixies’ Trompe Le Monde are underrated albums in those bands’ respective and highly respectable back catalogues. ‘Head On’ by the Mary Chain was covered by the Pixies on their final (so far) studio album in 1991:

Pixies -‘Head On (Jesus and Mary Chain cover).’ mp3

Speaking of underrated albums…I still have a soft spot for Neil Young’s underrated 1982 synthesizer opus Trans. So do Sonic Youth, it would appear…

Sonic Youth -‘Computer Age (Neil Young cover).’ mp3

The Cardigans covered a number of Black Sabbath songs in their own style. Here they take on an Ozzy Osbourne solo track:

Cardigans -‘Mr. Crowley (live).’ mp3

Speaking of bands covering bands that seem to be polar opposites…

Shop Assistants -‘Ace Of Spades (Motorhead cover, John Peel session).’ mp3

Dinosaur Jr’s take on the Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’ has a very sudden ending; to the extent that for years I was convinced I had only ever heard incomplete versions…Duh!!

Dinosaur Jr -‘Just Like Heaven (The Cure cover).’ mp3

I’ve not posted a lot of Elton John or the Beastie Boys in five years of doing this blog, so why not kill two birds with one stone?

Beastie Boys -‘Benny and the jets (Elton John cover).’ mp3

…and finally, just for good measure:

X-Lion Tamer -‘Starsign (teenage fanclub cover).’ mp3

Keepingitpeel day


John Peel and his wife, Sheila, affectionately known as ‘the Pig.’

OK folks, a veritable pot-pourri for you today, in honour of the great John Peel:

First up, Wire’s 2002 session for the programme

Wire -‘Spent (Peel session).’ mp3

Wire -‘I Don’t Understand (Peel session).’ mp3

Wire -‘First Fast (Peel session).’ mp3

Wire -‘99.9 (Peel session).’ mp3

…and one or two other bits and pieces that turned up in the programme.

Like Six By Seven covering Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ – in German, obviously.

Six By Seven -‘Heldon (Peel session).’ mp3

And the Shop Assistants covering Motorhead:

Shop Assistants -‘Ace Of Spades (Peel session).’ mp3

While Blur and Pulp recorded sessions for Peel, and he championed the Bluetones too, and even Suede got an entry (‘The Drowners,’ natch) the biggest stars of Britpop -Oasis, duh -only scored an entry in the hallowed Festive fifty courtesy of Cat Power:

Cat Power -‘Wonderwall (Peel session).’ mp3

Finally, two very long session tracks that I’ve posted before but I think are worth posting again:

Godspeed You Black Emperor -‘Hungover As The Queen in Maida Vale (Peel session).’ mp3

Orb -‘Loving You (Peel session).’ mp3

I would also recommend that you read my friend Steve’s blog, Teenage Kicks, which covers the Festive Fifty in awesome detail, and as well as Football and music who started this ball rolling (thank you!), my friend Jim over at The Vinyl Villain has also been flying the flag for today for some weeks past. Including posting another, earlier Wire session that they recorded for Mr. Peel.

10 from Scotland…aye, tunes!


Edinburgh’s meadows (above)

Having finally managed to sort out the pictures on here (Cheers, Diamond, you know who you are), after a frantic day I thought I’d celebrate with some scottish sounds.

And anyone who thinks it’s just white guys with jangly guitars should listen carefully…

As ever, let me know what you think!

Shamen -‘Jesus loves Amerika.’ mp3

Rustie -‘Mic Of the Year.’ mp3

Shop Assistants -‘Big ‘E’ Power.’ mp3

Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes -‘Grand Hotel.’ mp3

Wake The President -‘Remember Fun?’ mp3

A C Acoustics -‘I Messiah Am Jailer.’ mp3

Long Fin Killie -‘Hands and Lips.’ mp3

Half Cousin -‘The Diary Fire.’ mp3

Malcolm Middleton -‘Red Travellin’ Socks.’ mp3

Mother and the Addicts -‘All In The Mind.’ mp3

More Shop Assistants

The Shop Assistants do seem to generate a lot of interest when I post them here, as indeed they should.

I took a friend round Edinburgh today for record shopping, and he bought both the Shop Assistants 12″ singles I posted at the end of last week (see! Blogs help people buy music, not prevent it). Then I got home to discover that Tom who writes this fantastic Shop Assistants page that is essential if you’re at all into the band had sent me both tracks from the flexi disc that came with the Box Set of the ‘Here It Comes’ single.

Despite my best efforts, I have yet to get my hands on this (that’s a heavy hint to those nice people at a certain record shop in Edinburgh) but I post it here courtesy of Tom. Thank you, kind sir.

Shop Assistants -‘You Trip Me Up.’ mp3 (yes, the Jesus and Mary Chain track)

Shop Assistants -‘The Other One (live).’ mp3 (Not aware of this in any other form).

Oh, does anyone have the song ‘Respectable’ the stones song that they covered? Please?!

Great scottish bands #2: Shop Assistants

Yes, it has been at least a month since I had a Shop Assistants fest here. I’ve long written about my love for this excellent scottish band on 17 Seconds, and for this post I am actually going to focus on the last two singles the band put out.

Having issued four singles between 1983 and 1986, and an album, The Shop Assistants (also known as Will Anything Happen) in 1986. The band then split or went on hiatus when singer Alex Taylor went off to form Motorcycle Boy with members of Meat Whiplash. In 1989 the Shop Assistants reformed/were reactivated and produced two more singles ‘Here It Comes’ and Big ‘E’ Power.’ the line up was now:

Sarah Neale – vocals (previously the bassist), Laura McPhail on bass (previously the drummer), David Keegan (always the guitarist) and Margarita Vasquez-Ponte of Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes on drums. In 1990 David Keegan joined the Pastels full time and the band split for good. The two singles were released on the Avalanche label, set up by Andrew Tully from Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes.

Here It Comes 12″ EP:

Shop Assistants – ‘Here It Comes.’ mp3

Shop Assistants – ‘Too Much Adrenalin.’ mp3 (really, only one E. No gags intended).

Shop Assistants – ‘I’d Rather Be With You.’ mp3

Shop Assistants – ‘Look Out.’ mp3

Big E Power 12″ EP

Shop Assistants – ‘Big E Power.’ mp3

Shop Assistants – ‘She said.’ mp3 (A cover of the Beatles song from Revolver)

Shop Assistants – ‘One More Time.’ mp3

Shop Assistants – ‘Big E Power (live in Manchester).’ mp3 (the label bears the credit ‘Vinnie Drums, Big Flares mix.’ No ideas -any help out there?!)

I have said it before, I’ll say it again: read Tom’s pages on the Shop Assistants here. There is also due to be a compilation of Shop Assistants’ stuff released later this year.

This link will take you to Avalanche records’ ebay site where you can buy many of the records mentioned here.

A veritable Peel-related Pot Pourri!

Tonight’s selection is a variety of Peel-related music:

First up, this was not a Festive Fifty entry, but it was a request earlier in the week, so cheers to Tom at Indie mp3 for this:

Shop Assistants -Ace Of Spades (Peel Session).’ mp3

Another band that seem impossible to track down, so cheers for these…

Mighty Mighty -‘Is There Anybody Out There?’ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.44)

Public Enemy -‘You’re Gonna Get Yours (Terminator X Getaway version).’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.38)

The Fall -‘Lucifer Over Lancashire.’ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.37) (apparently the ‘Theology mix’ is a joke. I knew that.)

Some lost Smiths classics, including one of my favourite tracks of theirs ever, Sheila Take a Bow:

Smiths -‘Sweet And Tender Hooligan.’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.23)

Smiths -‘Sheila Take a Bow.’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.34)

Jesus and Mary Chain did pretty well in the Festive Fifty between 1984 and 1988, though they cropped up again in the nineties, too:

Jesus and Mary Chain -‘Kill Surf City.’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.39)

Jesus and Mary Chain -‘Nine Million Rainy Days.’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.41)

Madder Rose did well in ’93 and managed a brace of entries in 1994 too:

Madder Rose -‘Car Song.’ mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.19)

Madder Rose -‘Panic On.’ mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.35)

Thanks to everyone who has helped me locate tracks. You rock.

You know what I’m going to ask now, don’t you?

*weary groans*

That’s right! I’m on the scrounge for stuff I still cannot find…

From 1994:

That Dog -‘One summer Night.’

Orbital -‘Are We Here.’

Salt Tank -‘Charged Up.’

R.O.C. -‘Girl with A Crooked Eye.’

Much-sought after Peel and other stuff…

This post is dedicated to all the 17 Seconds readers who have helped me track down hard to come-by tracks that made the John Peel Festive Fifty. Thank you all muchly…

Antihero -‘Rolling Stones T-shirt.’ mp3 (2002 Festive fifty no.5)

Antihero – ‘Who’s looking out For Number 1?’ mp3 (2001 Festive Fifty no.38)

Antihero -‘You Got Nothing (session).’ mp3 (2002 Festive Fifty no.37)

Primal Scream -‘It Happens.’ mp3
(1985 Festive Fifty no.44, b-side of All Fall Down, whihc was not in itself a Festive Fifty entry)

Buba and the Shop assistants -‘Dreaming Backwards.’ mp3 (b-side of ‘Something to do’ 7″ -not a festive fifty entry)

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy -‘Little Boy Blue.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.46)

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy -‘Little Boy Blue ii.’ mp3

There will be more requests no doubt, but for now, either Steve at Teenage Kicks or I would welcome Burning Love Jumpsuit ‘Cheerleader’ if anyone can let us have it (the full version, not the two minute bit that got played on the radio!)

STOP PRESS: now in possession of the full track. Many thanks to everyone who sent it in. You rule!

Shop Assistants

Back in February, I wrote that I was planning to do a new series on 17 Seconds where I would post stuff that was hard to get hold of. Well, it may not have been an organised (ha!) series, but as one of my readers has provided me with a lot of hard to find stuff that made the Peel Festive Fifties, I said I would post some of the non-Chrysalis Shop Assistants stuff. So here are eleven tracks.

First up, their very first single. Can someone PLEASE send the b-side if they have it and I promise to share it. STOP PRESS: see above!

Bubba and the Shop Assistants -‘Something To Do.’ mp3

From 1985, the Shopping Parade EP

Shop Assistants -‘All That Ever Mattered.’ mp3

Shop Assistants -‘Switzerland.’ mp3

Shop Assistants -‘All Day Long.’ mp3

Shop Assistants -‘It’s Up To You.’ mp3

This was a later cover of a very well-known Jesus and Mary Chain song, from when the band reformed:

Shop Assistants -‘You Trip Me Up.’ mp3

This was the seminal C86 cassette version of the track ‘It’s Up To You.’

Shop Assistants -‘It’s Up To You.’ mp3

And some other stuff that I have picked up from around the net:

I found this track on a compilation called Good Feeling, which I have never seen elsewhere. It lists David, Sarah and Laura, Alex presumably having gone off to do Motorcycle Boy

Shop Assistants -‘Tried To Tell You.’ mp3

The Peel session version of All That Ever Mattered:

Shop Assistants -‘All That Ever Mattered.’ mp3

The demo version of ‘Safety Net’:

Shop Assistants -‘Safety Net.’ mp3

And this is a recording from a gig at what I think is now Moray House College of education in Edinburgh of ‘Safety Net’ and ‘All That Ever Mattered.’

Shop Assistants -Safety Net (link now fixed)

There is a great Shop Assistants fan page here.

Oh, and according to the one-time Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes frontman, there WILL be a compilaton of non-Chrysalis stuff later this year. It presumably will include the final two 12″ singles of ‘Here It Comes’ and ‘Big E Power.’ I will post these soon, but hope you enjoy these for now.

Some indiepop videos

Well, having not posted many videos here for a while (other than the links to the two Benga videos last week, obviously!) I thought I would post some classic 80s eighties indiepop videos here.

First up, Edinburgh’s gone but not forgotten heroes, The Shop Assistants. BTW, if anyone knows where in Edinburgh this video was filmed, or can work it out, let me know. The other day Mrs. 17 Seconds and I were watching it closely to see if we could work it out but without success.

The Shop Assistants -I Don’t Want To Be Friends With You

I will do a post on the Primitives sometime very soon, having just got my hands on an excellent compilation of early stuff called Buzz Buzz Buzz, for the meantime, here is the video to Really Stupid.

The Primitives -Really Stupid

Hmm, might well have to do a post on the Darling Buds as well. Some people derided them as Primitives copyists (blonde girl singer and three blokes in black! Ooh! must be copying them! *withering sarcasm*) but I thought they were pretty great. The first time I saw this video I was eleven years old.

Darling Buds -It’s All Up To You

Does anyone know if Primal Scream did videos for any of their pre-Sonic Flower Groove singles? This is, however, a class song and (nicely) typical of many of the indie videos of the period.

Primal Scream -Gentle Tuesday

A fantastic song, controversial at the time given that the Grand Hotel in question was the one in Brighton where Margaret Thatcher and the conservatives were staying in 1984 when it was bombed. (‘Jesse Garon’ still runs a record shop in Edinburgh and is a thoroughly nice bloke).

Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes -Grand Hotel.

Meanwhile, will try and write up Amplifico and Wake The President interviews…