Saturday, August 22, 2009


In 2005 a few short months after John Peel sadly passed away the Colchester Arts Centre held a free tribute show to celebrate his existence featuring a fine lineup of local acts that had recorded Peel Sessions and generally been treated thoroughly decently by the man before his untimely death.

The day before the gig when I went to pick up my tickets for the event Staff the promoter if I could do a little DJing inbetween bands. I was truly thrilled and terrified by the request. In addition to my usual set of discs I pulled together these two discs choc full of the best The Fall songs with view to giving any kind of set a true Peel feel.

The event was a true success. The Arts Centre was full to the rafters and the idea of playing songs to so many people terrified me. In the end for the majority of the evening a documentary about John Peel was played behind the stage in between bands before Steve Lamacq turned up and did a genuinely touching tribute speech to the man before launching into a set opening with the same Mudhoney track I had burned/ripped from the Sub Pop Peel Sessions CD too.

Towards the end of the night Staff came up to me asking me if I had “Teenage Kicks” by The Undertones on my discs and I had to concede I didn’t because I find it a truly awful and cheesy song despite the late Mr Peel’s obsession with it.

After Steve Harley finished his set I got the opportunity to close out the night after Lamacq had packed up. I managed a two song set. I opened with “I Want You” by the Inspiral Carpets with Mark E. Smith on vocals. Off the back of this a punter came stomping up to me happily disbelieving that I was playing the song. Together we celebrated. Afterwards I think (and I might be wrong) I put on The Fall version of “A Day In The Life”, which may have been a selection more inspired than my actions that evening.

I believe sadly that this was the last time I had the opportunity to DJ at the Colchester Arts Centre (work commitments etc).

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