Monday, April 23, 2007


Peel Sessions 50

Funk, in general when we think of this kind of music it is the black US artists such as Clinton (George of course) and his different bands or maybe Sly, a style of music that often had so much going on that the sound was maybe at times a little confused but what the hell it got our arses moving which after all it was intended to. My first real meeting with funk was the metal pop hybrid of Wild Cherry's 'Play That Funky Music', a little bit obvious but still a great song, and a direction that would be followed years later by bands such as Extreme. It must be said that during the seventies the nearest we got to funk in the UK was the sterile likes of Level 42 and the UK Jazz Funk, hey slap my bass, movement. One of the fall outs of punk was the currently much in vogue post punk years and their melting pot attitude to music making, certain artists such as The Slits and Public Image Limited, incorporated heavy dub influences into their musical offerings, while other bands such as The Gang Of Four were to delve into funk for their foot tapping influences. Now it goes without saying that a white boy from the industrial north of England did not have the same sense of rhythm as an Afro black from the Bronx the result was that wonderful hybrid often labeled indie funk that was a very clean mechanical cold, yes almost industrial sound.

One of the undisputed leading lights behind this was a band that hailed from Aberdeen, a cold forbidding austere town in the North of Scotland that at this period was best known as being a large fishing port, this was before North Sea oil brought undreamed of wealth to the town, APB was the bands name. I've seen the band described as being the missing link between between The Gang Of Four and early Red Hot Chili Peppers, the only thing that I would add is that they were obviously a big influence on their fellow Scots Franz Ferdinand. Interestingly enough the band were at the end of the day to go down much better in the far off city of New York than they were in their home town. They were invited down to the big smoke by Peelie for two sessions, the first in December 1981:
1. 'My Love'
2. 'Higher The Climb'
3. 'Crooner's Lullaby'
4. 'From You And Back To'
This music here was much more brutal and sparse sounding than that from the follow up session from December the following year where the sound was larger and richer. As with many bands from this period the dream was not to last and despite their US popularity that had led to them to opening for James Brown and playing NYC's famed Ritz club and so by the end of the decade they were no longer a viable concern. Interest in them and this musical period had led to their 'Something To Believe In' album being given the double cd treatment and an excellent disc of their BBC Radio sessions (Peel, Powell & Jensen) being compiled by Young American Recordings. 2006 saw the band getting back together to profit from this renewed interest and have even gone as far as recording their third album 'Three'.

Due to a careless mistake, I double clicked when ordering the Radio sessions, I am now the proud owner of two copies. The reader that can name the most bands from Aberdeen (Scotland) will become the proud owner a factory sealed copy of the cd. Entry's are to be e-mailed to before Friday May, 4, please put APB competition as the title. I do of course expect serious names and not silly made up band monikers, my decision will be final and announced May, 7 along with the posting of the second APB Peel session. Good luck!

I am forwarding this to my musical genious husband to see if he can win your CD for our radio station!

What and where is the radio station?
Ear Candle Radio, an online station out of San Francisco.
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