Friday, September 25, 2009

Kats Karavan being readied

The nature of John Peel's programmes makes any attempt to recreate a Peel show on record likely to wind up with a strange and beautiful compilation album; it's hard to picture any other concept for a compilation winding up with this sort of collection:

Small Faces, Thin Lizzy, Aswad, The Damned, Medicine Head, The Jam, The Slits, Funboy Five, The Cure, Linton Kwesi Johnson, That Petrol Emotion, Extreme Noise Terror, Ivor Cutler, Mercury Rev, Milo, Bloc Party and many, many more.

This is what is going into a four disc set Kat's Karavan, which also promises:
some clips of John’s own links appear from time to time

Turns out that there's not more of this because the BBC hasn't got any of Peel's stuff in the archive. (None at all? Presumably they must have saved the last programmes for the World Service at the very least?)


Justin Fun said...

No copies of Peel's shows?

There must be C90s all over the country (indeed, the world) brimming with material. Would the BBC want them?

In fact, if the BBC ventured to certain torrent sites, they might find almost every single festive fifty show available to download (I expect).

simon h b said...

... and many whole shows from the 80s and the 90s. I'd imagine.

It's strange - the BBC has welcomed stuff from the 60s and 70s, but doesn't seem to be bothered too much about gathering this sort of thing...

Robin Carmody said...

A decent number of Peel shows were listed on Infax, suggesting the BBC had copies - certainly more so than most daytime Radio 1 shows. But I'm sure I've got *many* Peel shows in this room - almost all digitised, as well - which the BBC didn't keep.

Partially because of generational changes within the BBC and partially because it became easier and cheaper to save more material in less space, the amount of archived Radio 1 material on Infax increased greatly in recent years. The various chart shows from Fluff onwards have also survived in great numbers but almost entirely unofficially, but they're hardly interesting *in themselves* in the same way because they're mostly playing familiar, easily-obtainable songs.

Robin Carmody said...

Actually, that may have come over wrong: the interesting aspects of archive chart shows are mostly in the presentation (Tom Browne's RP tones, etc.) rather than the generally over-familiar music. The interesting aspects of Peel shows are much more in the music itself, obviously.

Darren H said...

I have actually heard of far too many of the bands listed here to make it an authentic Peel experience.

I could probably even tell if they are being played at the wrong speed for a start!

Francis said...

According to the BBC, they didn't start keeping recordings of the shows until the very late 1990's

There is an on-going (non-BBC) project to collate and digitise as many private recordings of Peel Shows as possible, kick-started by the discovery of several large collections of complete and near complete shows dating from 1977 to 2004.

Once this project is complete then the intention is to hand the digital archive to the BBC & the Ravenscroft family for permanent safe-keeping.

If anyone has any tapes for consideration then they should get in touch. Full shows are particularly in demand, as the majority of people seemed to tape just the sessions or individual tracks - mainly due to the cost of C120 cassettes!

simon h b said...

Not the cost of C120s, but their tendency to break.

Did anyone else just do what I did - record the whole show, then dub across the bits I wanted to keep onto a 'proper' tape?

Matt said...

If you'd like to find out more about Kats Karavan you can hear sample tracks and view a digital copy of the 64 page booklet included with the collection at

maria ozawa said...

Thank you, your article is very good

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