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Daisy Hill Puppy Farm – John Peel, 10 Years On!

This Friday (25th October) will be the tenth anniversary of the death of John Peel. I will be spending a considerable part of that day driving to Center Parcs, 2 kids in tow, no doubt listening to banal radio, making sure to switch over briskly, when the news kicks in, so as not to traumatise their tiny shell like minds with the horror stories of living in modern 21st Century Britain.

Hard to believe nowadays of course, but radio used to be good. Not just good actually… radio used to be brilliant. I spent a considerable part of my formative years listening to  John Peel’s shows and taping them. It’s fair to say that like many, John Peel shaped and broadened my musical life. John Peel and a music paper called Sounds (essential for the Indie Charts). Of course sounds fell away and the closest replacement I could find was the Melody Maker and then the NME… but they never quite filled the void left by Sounds. John Peel of course lumbered on, although his air time reduced and his slot got pushed later into the evening… you could still rely on Peely to introduce you to something new.

Little experiment. Lets have quick snapshot of my record collection… Ah vinyl… we always trusted you. Proper tangible product with pics and sleeve notes and little messages scratched into it… could be quite risky as there’s bound to be some crap in a random snap shot…

OK here goes… that’s The Smiths, Hatful of Hollow, sneaking in stage left, so that’s a good start, actually the next 10 or so, are Smiths 12” singles, then The Housemartins, The Who, Carter USM, Motorhead and a Surf Punk Compilation, (very good by the way), SLF, New Order, and then STUMP… (Peel Session), Wedding Present (including the Peel Session), some Pogues stuff, Eton Crop (Peel Session) Meteors, Redskins (Peel Session) Senseless things, then the Fall… Pink Floyds, The Wall…. (cough… told you.)… Toy Dolls, Half Man Half Biscuit, The Fall, New Order again (Peel Session), CUD, then it starts to repeat itself a bit, more New Order, Fall, Wedding Present, SLF…ooh…Test Tube Babies, not had that out for a while, Neds Atomic Dustbin, Flowered Up, The Darling Buds, Three Johns, Colour Blind James, King Kurt, Shop Assistants, Daisy Hill Puppy Farm… a classic example of a Peel inspired purchase, ordered in ‘special by Volume Records from Holland or somewhere, Prefab Sprout, Benny Profane, interspersed with a bit more Fall…. actually not a bad snap shot. But, and this is the point… the vast majority of which I wouldn’t have discovered had I been sat in my bedroom masturbating like a normal teenage boy and not hovering over the pause button of a C60 like a saddo. Most of those bands I’ve seen live too, and shared the experience with like minded friends.

We even sent our own demo tape to John and even got a letter back!… because that’s what you did! You listened to this stuff, you tracked down the bands, you saw them live, you thought… Hey… let’s start a band… that was what you did… and that I reckon is Johns legacy… who else was gonna play Daisy Hill Puppy Farm on Radio 1?

Anyhoo… if you want a reminder?… check out the Peely stuff on lovely Charles Pates site here.

Still miss you John.

By Dave on October 20, 2014


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