Thursday 21 October 2010

Keeping It Peel, Number 5

When a lot of people think of the Peel sessions what initially springs to mind are punk, post punk and indie bands. I know that this is a sweeping generalisation but whenever I mention the Peel sessions to people of my age they mention groups like the Fall, Wedding Present, Napalm Death etc or if younger The White Stripes.

Today, although recorded in 1978 when the Peel Show was full of The Fall, Stiff Little Fingers and The UK Subs we have a very different beast.

Those of you who have read this nonsense over the last month or so will know that I have posted material by John Martyn on a few occasions recently. Martyn recorded 7 sessions over 10 years for Peel and today's track comes from the last session and is probably my favourite track by the artist.

This track/session is an illustration of what made the Peel show so unique. I think that a couple of other DJs on fabulous Radio 1 would probably have played tracks by John Martyn, none I'm guessing would play the 8mins 25secs of Small Hours and follow it up with the likes of 999 or Steel Pulse or something just as diverse.

In the dictionary under eclectic, surely the Peel show should be mentioned.

Session recorded 9th January 1978 and aired 16th January.

Tracks: Small Hours, Big Muff

John Martyn - Small Hours


Mondo said...

Perfect. This is what made Peel special, the anything-goes playlisting. Some of the first records I picked up after hearing on JP were The Ants and Dead Kennedys. The last (in 2004) was an old risqué blues tune Walking Blues. Which shows how inclusive, but outside of broadcasting conventions he could be. If you can, track down the restored copies of his Perfumed Garden shows, or check the Top Gear sessions for an overview of a career packed with crackers and gems that are anything but the typical Peel anthems.

PS I would have hated beardy, dimly-lit John Martyn during my punk days, and even skipped him on the Old Grey DVDs, until he clicked and felt like lost friend. Small Hours is one of his most intuitive and accomplished pieces. Perfect

Dirk said...

Ha! I always loved that picture of Peel, 'cos it looks to me as if he ain't wearing any trousers at all: great stuff!!

swiss adam said...

Top series Drew, keep em coming.

dickvandyke said...

By George - you're on fire this week Drewster.

davyh said...

Absolutely bloody marvellous. And you're right, he'd have followed this with something entirely different, and that is why we loved him. I've just finished reading the Ken Garner book (johnny come lately as ever), so I'm feeling all Peeled up at the mo.

Dubrobots said...

Absolutely fucking beautiful. I'll never ever get tired of hearing this track, and somehow the peel version has passed me by until now, diolch yn fawr iawn!