I was chatting at a party last weekend to a friend who organises gigs in Northampton. He was reeling off the names of all sorts of interesting artists that I’d never heard of. Like the Kings of the South Seas, whose modern take on sea shanties is right up my street.
It struck how much excellent music there is out there that is just under the radar or known only to those who are into a particular genre. Everything is so very compartmentalised these days. It made me nostalgic for the days of TOTP, the OGWT and the John Peel Show where there was a whole range of different styles and I could surprise myself by liking something that was far from my normal comfort zone.
I’m a died-in-in-the-wool Peelite. The great man taught me that you can have a radio show (or a playlist) where the likes of Can, Laura Cantrell, the Inkspots, HMHB, Fela Kuti, Sandy Denny, Hildegard Von Bingen, Belle & Sebastian, Slayer, Billie Holliday, They Might Be Giants, Tangerine Dream etc etc can happily co-exist.
Where can I find that musical eclecticism today? NPR’s wonderful Tiny Desk concerts perhaps? And here on the AW of course.
So here’s a thread to celebrate all those Under the Radar artists, up and coming or long forgotten, who might have found their way onto a Peel playlist.
Hit me with your eclectic rhythm stick!