Bourbonese Qualk Peel Session 1987

March 1, 2012

So after a lengthy campaign of pestering, John Peel finally allowed us to record a session for his show in late 1986 (for the unaware; John Peel’s nightly BBC Radio programme was hugely influential to new music in the UK throughout the seventies and eighties) with the caveat that we weren’t to set foot in the BBC studios. John Walters, Peel’s producer somewhat haughtily claimed that we had such a bad reputation for anarchic trouble making, nicking stuff and smashing things up that we had to use our own equipment…which was a bit rich considering the long list of ruffians who HAD been allowed in.

This was doubly frustrating because I was keen to finally use some decent recording equipment in a proper studio rather than our worn out TEAC 4 Track (originally owned by Throbbing Gristle then SPK who passed it on to the Nocturnal Emissions and then to us…probably worth something now) and other rusty bits and pieces housed at the Ambulance Station – we never did record at a ‘proper studio’. In revenge for this outrageous slur we claimed that there were eight members of the band  (it was just the two of us, Steve Tanza and myself) and collected the MCPS royalties for eight people, which in our impoverished state was quite a windfall – about £600 or something (The session has just been rebroadcast by 6Music so maybe i should rejoin the MCPS and recollect the eight royalties again…)

The session was broadcast on 11 March 1987 and had five tracks from the ‘Bourbonese Qualk’ album era: “Dream Decade”,”Northern Soul”, “Call To Arms”, “Cupid’s Itch” and “Sweat It Out”

We also included a few pranks to liven things up a bit (such as, if my memory serves me well, a spliced voice recording of John Peel re-edited to say “…and that was Bourbonese Qualk and this is the end of tonights show” playing out to the familiar end of show music – the idea being that everyone would switch off after the first track…not sure they broadcasted it). I don’t have any recordings of the session just this one track culled from the recent retransmission:

‘Northern Soul’ Bourbonese Qualk Peel Session 1987

Quite an odd piece and not , I think our greatest work – probably true for the rest of the session – in my view it’s a bit too synthetic and self indulgent…needs a bit more organic texture and irregularity. I’ll try and dig up the other tracks and post them here.

7 Responses to “Bourbonese Qualk Peel Session 1987”

  1. Another post, hurrah!

    Actually, this sounds very nice. You do have enough organic elements in it–pretty guitar bits. Nice melody and lovely drum machine programming. The overall feel of the session does feel nostalgic, part of the charm. We want more!

  2. soundhead said

    Excellent story & track! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I really liked it! The synth is the thing in it! Sweet.

  4. amitsrai said

    Reblogged this on Media Assemblages and commented:
    Simon Crab does some amazing stuff.

  5. Ooh! Bit o’ noice stuff this! Love it!

  6. Steve Scutt said

    Its alright! Any chance to hear unheard BQ trax is always a treat.
    Nice bit of info about the TEAC 4 track…haha.

  7. Mark Williams said

    this sounds pretty much identical to a track I have on a cassette attributed to BQ called “Thick As Thieves.” I emailed you about this cassette well over a decade ago, and you had no recollection of it then. I wonder how many of the tracks on there consisted of this Peel session.

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