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 Friday


…time it was that Friday usually was cover versions day round these parts.

I never consciously made the decision to stop doing it, but I thought it might be fun to start doing more regular cover versions posts around here.

So…there is no real theme here, just a handful of cover versions I enjoy. I hope you will too!

Jimi Hendrix -‘All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan cover).’ mp3

The Fall -‘Victoria (The Kinks cover).’ mp3

Arab Strap -‘You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC cover).’ mp3

Six By Seven -‘I Want To Destroy You (The Soft Boys cover).’ mp3

Le Tigre -‘I’m So Excited (Pointer Sisters cover).’ mp3

Bauhaus -‘Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie cover).’ mp3

Wedding Present -‘Back for Good (Take That cover).’ mp3

Kathryn Williams -‘All Apologies (Nirvana cover).’ mp3

Cat Power -‘Wonderwall (Oasis cover).’ mp3

Mogwai -‘Sweet Leaf (Black Sabbath cover).’ mp3

Lethal Bizzle -‘Police On My Back (Eddy Grant 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.

Some unusual covers for Wednesday…


Six By Seven were frequently on or near my stereo when I was at university and I bought many of their releases, singles and albums, around the turn of the last decade. I even saw them play on a bill with The Delgados at the Union Chapel in London, a few years before I moved to Scotland.

Anyway…here are three covers that they did:

First up, David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ which Bowie also sang in German, covered in German. Bowi’e German version is heard in both Christiane F and Radio On, if you enjoy cult arthouse films…Six By Seven recorded this for a Peel session.

Six By Seven -‘Helden (David Bowie cover).’ mp3

This cover of the Delgados ‘Pull the Wires From the Wall’ was only ever available (as far as I know) on a Fierce Panda 7″ single, which featured a picture of Jamie Oliver (yes, the chef) which Peel played round about March or April 2001.

Six By Seven -‘Pull the Wires From The Wall (Delgados cover).’ mp3

Finally, the Soft boys’ awesome ‘I Wanna Destroy You’ gets the Six By Seven treatment. This was a b-side (‘I.O.U. Love’ I think).

Six By Seven -‘I Wanna Destroy You (Soft Boys cover).’ mp3

If this has whetted your appetite, start with Six By Seven’s debut The Things We Make.

Six By Seven

OK, a mixture of covers, rarities and Peel-stuff now.

Six By Seven formed in Nottingham in the nineties, and have released at least five albums, my favourite remaining The Things We Make, which lived in my walkman for about six months when it came out in 1998. I only saw them live once, in 1998, when they played a joint headliner at the Union Chapel in Islington, London, with my favourite ever scottish band, The Delgados.

John Peel was a fan, and the band did no fewer than five sessions including this one, a cover of a David Bowie song -in german (as you do), which was their only Festive Fifty entry, no.43 in 1999. If you don’t speak German…well, you’re just going to have to listen and find out which David Bowie song, aren’t you?

Six By Seven -‘Helden (David Bowie cover in German).’ mp3

They made some great singles, and are still active, with the original lineup having come back together, as I understand it. One cover version from about six years ago saw them tackle The Soft boys’ I Wanna Destroy You.’

Six By Seven -‘I Wanna Destroy You (The Soft Boys cover).’ mp3

I mentioned earlier that Six By Seven played with the Delgados. It must have rubbed off, in 1998 Six by Seven recorded a cover of ‘Pull The Wires From The Wall,’ the Delgados song that reached no.27 in the 1997 Festive Fifty (a session version) and no.1 in the 1998 Festive Fifty (the album version from Peloton). The Six By seven version was eventually released in 2001 on a Fierce Panda six track various artists double 7″ EP called Cheffing and Blinding. I heard this on Peel, too…

Six By Seven -‘Pull The Wires From The Wall.’ mp3

(NB The last recording is a little scratchy in places, due to surface noise from the vinyl. Still, as the great man himself said: ‘listen, mate, life has surface noise…’)