Now this is definitely a new venue for the band, and presumably a first ever gig in Stowmarket, if not Suffolk. With HMHB one of the first major acts to play at the new centre, and no prizes for guessing why they were asked, the occasion promised to be a memorable one. Was it? Over to you for your comments and reviews.
Pre gig note….I’ve waited since 1985 for tonight, a long time coming I know. Ta
3 July 2013
Have you set the SkyPlus for Corrie?
3 July 2013
Chris The Siteowner
Enjoyed that. Small but just about decently atmospheric enough new venue, I wish it well. Apparently Sheila (Mrs John Peel) wants it to showcase up and coming talent, which is going to be a real challenge in a town like Stowmarket. She’d earlier hosted the band at Peel Acres.
Nothing particularly remarkable in the set list, apart from a new cover version, but lots of faves. ACP and 24HGP continue to be absent though. Nigel on good form, claiming that they were staying in Great Wilbraham that night and suggesting that he set up a fight between the village and Little Wilbraham next door. I gather they were actually staying at the Travelodge near Stowmarket. Locals loved the reference to the Woolpit Bygones Museum (it really exists!).
Got to have a good chat with Geoff Davies, and even found myself manning the merchandise stall for a few moments. Geoff said the pile of “Dickie Davies Eyes” 7in vinyl singles for sale actually dated back to the original release date; they’d had thousands pressed when the band decided to jack it in, and with no gigs to sell them at, they found themselves with a ridiculous number, which they still haven’t got rid of over 25 years later. Now available for 50p each folks.
4 July 2013
A brief snippet of “Legend in my time” was a highlight and a fitting tribute.
Cracking little venue, hopefully it will continue to promote new music and prove successful.
4 July 2013
Really enjoyed the night, good to meet up with a few of the twitterati too. Despite a couple of on stage sound issues thought the band sounded spot on. Nice little venue, which I hope serves it purpose for bringing through new bands. All in all a top night.
4 July 2013
Chris The Siteowner
A Legend In My Time
Irk The Purists
Time Flies By…
4 July 2013
EMERGING FROM GORSE
Anyone care to share the set list from last night when they get a moment?
4 July 2013
Gutted I couldn’t make it – how did jd meatyard’s set go?
4 July 2013
Here’s a photo of the setlist.
I also recorded the show and hope to share it soon (with the band’s permission). I liked JD Meatyard, especially the last couple of tracks.
4 July 2013
The set-list was almost exactly as per Nigel’s scribbled missive in Stuart’s post.
However, in the encores, Trad Arr Tune was substituted by Fred Titmus. Word from the inside is that this was a last minute decision by Nigel, prompted by the hirsute gentleman in the audience who gave a shout for Fred; at the same time that Nigel was beginning to really struggle with his voice. Fred is much less stressful on the vocal chords in comparison to TAT.
5 July 2013
More LIKE KEN BARLOW
Sat in at the back of the Kings Arms before Wednesdays gig in Stowmarket I was asked ‘are you the Tangerine Wizard?’ Only at an HMHB gig could that happen. Anyway, they found him and gave him his ticket. Loved the gig and the venue and managed to get Neil’s set list at the end. Pressie for my little brother who couldn’t make it. This ended up being a 900+ mile round trip for me so I hope they come back to Cardiff soon!
5 July 2013
I went to both gigs (Cambridge & Stowmarket) I thought they played a better set in Cambridge although I prefer the venue at Stowmarket also I thought Nigels voice sounded clearer in Cambridge.
My Auntie is best friends with Shelia & she helps in the background at the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts & I have been banging on at her to get hmhb there it looks like it worked.
I hope they return soon , there are not to many bands you can watch on consecutive nights & get 2 very different set lists
5 July 2013
NOT ROGER GREEN
(Originally published on Gez’s hmhb.co.uk site)
Of course I could go on and on and on and on about John Peel. In fact, I think I will. I started listening to his shows in 1978 and tuned in regularly right up to the untimely end in 2004, with the only breaks coming when Radio One defied common sense and put him on at seriously anti-social hours. My first session of bootlegging off the radio was the Top Ten of the 1978 Festive Fifty. I still know it off by heart. 10 Teenage Kicks. 9 Public Image. 8 What Do I Get? 7 White Man In Hammersmith Palais. 6 Pretty Vacant. 5 Shot By Both Sides. 4 Suspect Device. 3 God Save The Queen. 2 Complete Control. 1 Anarchy In The UK. Apart from a handful of tribute shows which followed Peely’s death, I have not listened to that station since.
I still miss the shows. Six Music comes close at times, but never quite hits the spot. I suppose a song like Irk The Purists sums it up. You never really knew what was coming next. Melt Banana followed by Family, perhaps. At the risk of getting over-sentimental, I can even still remember where I was when I heard that he had died. Driving home from work through Featherstone, when Jane Garvey announced it very briefly at the end a reading of the Five Live news headlines. There he was. Gone. I had to pull over to make sure that I heard it right.
I would guess that about ninety per cent of my music collection is by acts that I first heard on those programmes. Bogshed, Herman Dune, The Wedding Present, The Fall, Serious Drinking et al. And Half Man Half Biscuit, of course. So here we were, nine years on at The John Peel Centre For Creative Arts. I was pleased to see they have booked The Nightingales to play there. Could be worth another visit, although I’m not sure I would stop at the out of town Travelodge with the associated hike.
A variety of trains had got me to Stowmarket, with changes at Peterborough, Ely and Cambridge. It was all fairly straightforward, although I was distracted at Cambridge by a dead ringer for Michael Gove. Was it? Wasn’t it? I circled him a couple of times for a better look. But I decided that the cool shoes meant that it couldn’t possibly be him. If you’re reading this, mate, you need to make a few changes. Grow a beard or something. And it appears that Ely is no longer basking in the glow on Jeux Sans Frontieres glory. Although I didn’t get a proper look from the station.
The lady on the desk at the Travelodge assured me and Tony that it was a “half-hour walk” into town. Yeah, right. Depends how fast you walk, of course, but neither of us are Olympic standard. Eventually we staggered into Norman’s Chip Shop on Bury Street. They are open six days a week. Fortunately one of those days is a Wednesday. And even better than that, they had a sit-down section, so we were able to rest our weary limbs while we topped up with carbs.
It was on to the Centre from there. We were just about the first there, and gravitated to the front. We caught up with Nigel/Charles who had been checking out Peel Acres and John’s grave. Later on Howie, Gomez and Daz turned up, although they left to tick off another pub in town. That may have meant missing most of the set by JD Meatyard, the latest band featuring John, formerly of Calvin Party. I think this was as good as I’ve seen him. I’m sure to have got the titles wrong, but Sad Song Of A Singer Songwriter, Ten Miles Low, Never Seen A Kid Born Bad, St Peter Won’t Let Me In were all fine stuff. His CD “Northern Songs” is on the top of my To Listen To list, having picked up a copy at Geoff’s stall.
After that, HMHB were priveleged to receive a proper introduction, and walked on to a Johnny And The Hurricanes number. Nigel said the band had called at Woolpit Bygones Museum, and advised us to “take a flask”. They had got lost on the way to Stowmarket, as Nigel had brought an A to Z of Peterhead. Joy In Leeuwarden is about the situation where burglary victims get to meet up with the perpetrators for a coffee, “but the coffee is shit.” Bottleneck At Capel Curig is a traffic report from the A5. On introducing CORGI Registered Friends, Nigel pointed in Neil’s direction. Nice whistling by Neil during the Alpine bit in that song. Bob Wilson Anchorman is about mistakenly reversing into a space at a car boot sale, and subsequently selling your engine by mistake. Nigel said that the band was going to call in at Great Wilbraham on their way to the Cambridge gig, just to see what was so Great about it. Nigel was sure that there is a scientific term for Restless Leg Syndrome, and he was expecting to suffer more from it as the weather gets warmer. Fix It So She Thinks Of Me is about forcing yourself to like walnuts because you’ve read that they are good for your heart. While telling us that Tending The Wrong Grave is a true story, Nigel pointed at Ken. During the Meadow Of Consolation part, Nigel remarked “I didn’t expect to hear a pod of dolphins.” Nigel said he had been to see a sarcastic psychiatrist. “I told him I feel like a worm. He told me I have delusions of grandeur.” He also shared an observation about seeing an increasing number of parked cars with people in them. The people in Paintball’s Coming Home want to see Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. And they bought mountain bikes with full Sky gear. “They’ll be on EBay next year.” I must read up on my gardening hardware. The line about “God bless the Ransome lawnmower” was beyond me. Irk The Purists was “for po-faced music obsessives.” During Carl’s drum solo in that song, Nigel started to look at his watch. Thanks to Tony for the info about the snippet that preceded Time Flies By. It was I’d Be A Legend In My Time, written and recorded by Don Gibson, and covered by Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. Tony informs me that HMHB recorded this for Peel’s birthday. Must have missed that one. When the band returned for the encore, Nigel lifted up his caravan guitar and declared “Without John Peel, I wouldn’t have been able to buy this.” And there was another seventies classic in the encore. Abba this time.
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
When The Evening Sun Goes Down
Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes
Joy In Leeuwarden
Bottleneck At Capil Curig
CORGI Registered Friends
Bob Wilson Anchorman
Fix It So She Thinks Of Me
Tending The Wrong Grave
Totnes Bickering Fair
Look Dad No Tunes
For What Is Chatteris?
National Shite Day
Paintball’s Coming Home
Left Lyrics In Practice Room
All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
Irk The Purists
Legend In My Time
Time Flies By When You’re The Driver Of A Train
A Lilac Harry Quinn
Joy Division Oven Gloves
And the encore was
Fuckin’ ‘Ell It’s Fred Titmus
Afterwards Tony and I had a chat with Sheila. Nice to meet her, and we wished her and everyone good luck with the project at the Centre. And on the way out we were able to cadge a lift from Graham back to the Travelodge. I don’t think we were up to walking back. As usual, this was a great show, but the band themselves seemed to be struggling with sound. Hardened professionals, you see. They just kept battling on.
6 July 2013
My photos from Stowmarket 2013 – the John Peel tour.
10 October 2013
It’s Peel Night, and here’s my tribute:
Now here’s the news, a story of the blues :
We have lost this charming man !
The story of a red, who wept for the dead,
Whose home truths helped me understand.
In radio’s fat, controlled new order,
The man they couldn’t ever hang
Said ‘fight the play-list, stuff yer A-list
We don’t need this fascist groove thang’.
I remember lying in bed, cover over my head
Radio playing so no-one could see.
Peel changed things fast, or made things last,
Made things not all sound the same to me.
He played the Damned, he played the banned,
Spiral scratched transmissions from Uncle John.
Festive fifty, party Forty, The Fall at thirty,
Anarchy or Amosphere number one
To angry punk boys who wanted to clash & riot
He gave us a Trumpton riot of our own.
He added reggae and dub to our musical diet
Brought African music into my home.
From the 3 Johns to the 3 Mustaphas 3
From the Cuban Boys to the Bhundu Boys
In wide celebration of Peely’s memory
Let’s have a spontaneous Minute’s Noise !
From Top of the Pops to Roadshow bops
It’s a long way down rock and roll.
He did loads of voice-overs and BFBS
But never sold his doggone soul
Tricky, Kenickie .. John was picky;
He liked miserable sods like David Gedge;
Like Wedding Present and Cinerama,
It had to have a cutting edge.
Nip out for a butty, talk about footy,
Some songs ended before he got back.
A bit of dead air ? So what ? We don’t care !
Give us the wrong speed or the wrong track.
Sheila take a bow! How soon is now ?
He promoted what deserved to be promoted.
William your dad was really something-
Devoted to what a man should be devoted.
For the common people, his public image
Belied posh upbringing and boarding school.
He was urban, yet warm, like a Suffolk village
Shine on you diamond voice of cool.
When I met you tramping in Glastonbury dirt
Football was all I dared to talk about.
In your wellies and your Shankly shirt
There was & is a light that never goes out
Always so eclectic – a friend electric
From Oh Superman to Yellowman ;
The Cult & integrity not the cult of celebrity;
A real sense of goodwill for his fellow man.
From that whistling bloke to Killing Joke
I never met anyone who liked every track.
The pig’s 78, just eccentric or great ?
Dunno, but it stood out from the pack
I’ve never felt more like Pickin’ the Blues
But you’ll abide with us, we’ll never walk alone
We’ll get teenage kicks forever, and never lose
The voice of youth & truth for every home.
(c) Exxo 2005
and if you can be arsed turning a tribute into a ‘quiz’….
Q1. Name as many as you can of the (at least) 20 musical artistes which are referred to but not actually named in the poem (if the artistes themselves are not in capitals they count as not named)
Q2. The poem refers to 5 different tracks by one of Peel’s favourite bands. Which band?
Q3. The poem mentions 4 songs played at Peel’s funeral. Name them.
25 October 2013
OK, let’s have a go:
Story of the Blues Wah!
The Man They Couldn’t Hang Fairport Convention (or The Men They Couldn’t Hang)
We Don’t Need This Fascist Groove Thang Heaven 17
Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio The Ramones
Spiral Scratch Buzzcocoks
Transmission Joy Division
Anarchy in the UK Sex Pistols
Atmosphere Joy Division
White Riot The Clash
Trumpton Riots HMHB
Minute’s Noise Mitch Benn
Top of the Pops The Rezillos
All The Way From Memphis Mott the Hoople
Shake, Rattle and Roll Elvis Presley
Common People Pulp
Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pink Floyd
Tramp The Dirt Down Elvis Costello
Are Friends Electric? Gary Numan
Oh Superman Laurie Anderson
‘Whistling bloke’ Stellakis Perpiniadis
(Also references to The British Forces Broadcasting Service, ‘Home Truths’ on Radio 4, and compilation albums ‘Right Time, Wrong Speed’ and ‘The Pig’s Big 78s’.)
This Charming Man
Sheila Take A Bow
How Soon Is Now?
William, It Was Really Nothing
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
(+ Frankly, Mr Shankly?) all by The Smiths.
Pickin’ The Blues Grinderswitch
Abide With Me
You’ll Never Walk Alone The Kop
Teenage Kicks The Undertones
26 October 2013
Vendor Of Quack Nostrums
Chapeau Exxo, chapeau DD.
But is it Billy Bragg, Waiting for the great leap forward rather than The Hoople?
Talking of whom, you can catch them on tour next month.
I’ve only been waiting 38 years.
26 October 2013
For Peel day I might as well ‘bump’ my own tribute as well (comment 15 in this thread).
25 October 2014