John Peel’s Record Archive goes live

If you’ve not already spotted, the first albums from John Peel’s amazing record collection has gone live at The Space. It’s obviously goiung to take a long time to get all of the all of the 26,000 LP’s, 40,000 singles and many thousands of CDs digitised and uploaded to the site, but the process has started, and we think that’s fantastic.

Head over to checkout some of the goodies already uploaded. I’ll be spending the day there whilst I’m working. See if you can see me!

John Peel’s Record Archive goes live2018-04-20T12:45:43+00:00

Video Appeal on behalf of the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts

I’m blasting all my podcasts today with this video appeal for the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts.  Please make time to watch and then head over to and work out how you can contribute a small (or large!) sum to this project before Christmas to help them secure £500,000 of lottery funding.  I care passionately about John’s legacy. I hope you will too.

Video Appeal on behalf of the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts2016-10-14T09:27:30+00:00

BBC 6Music John Peel Lecture: A lesson in disappointment

Having just listened to Pete Townsend give BBC 6 Music’s inaugural John Peel Lecture, I’m moved (as are several of my podcasting buddies) to respond.

I’m not sure what the BBC had hoped involving Townsend. If they hoped that the 66 year old guitarist would prove to be as eclectic and enlightened as the late John Peel (pbuh) who sadly died at the age of 65, then they were clearly wrong.  Townsend delivered an incoherent ramble explaining why it was impossible to find good music on the internet, why Apple was a “Digital Vampire” and how the internet was “destroying copyright as we know it”.  These are not the cogent and coherent arguments of an experienced musician delivering a lecture fitting of the late John Peel, these are just the public house ramblings of an surfing novice.

Agreed, if you just search for “music” online, you’ll be bombarded with sponsored links to iTunes, Spotify and other sites, which don’t offer the best returns to professional musicians.  But if that’s what Townsend believes the internet user is doing then he’s more of an “old fart” than even I expected.

For example: If I wanted to buy the latest surround sound, hi-fi system, would I just wander into a large electrical outlet and ask them to sell me what they recommend. Well, maybe a man who likes to be parted from his money easily would, but I’m looking for more insight.  I want to know what each button is supposed to do, and why I need it. In other words: I need to do some research.  So, I pop down to my local specialist, spend an hour or several in the soundproofed room and chose a system that the local specialist knows will give me pleasure for years to come.

The same is true with all things, music included. If you want to truly enjoy your music, then seek out a good guide. This is what John Peel was. So the real question is: who are today’s guides?  Obviously it’s not Apple, or Spotify. They’re out to shift volume products.  So why is  Townsend expecting them to deliver?  The old record labels are dead: they have no more A&R staff, but we already know this.

The guides have always been: Late Night Radio DJ’s, Record Show Owners and Independent Labels.  These are people you can trust.  You won’t like everything they recommend, but that’s your loss. They have great taste, and you can acquire and influence that taste by joining in.

Add to that, today’s guides include podcasters, along with the music bloggers, netlabels owners, and any independent artist who is brave enough to license their work using creative commons licenses.  We are the modern guides, and there are plenty of people listening to what we say. Some of us have been doing it for 6-7 years.  And where will you find podcasters?  iTunes of course.  It’s not all evil in the iTunes store.

In my view Townsend just didn’t do enough research before he gave this lecture. The BBC didn’t do enough research before appointing Townsend to give the lecture.  Myself, or any one of my podcasting, blogging, netlabel or musican buddies could have done a better job. If you’re reading this post then I believe YOU could have done a better job.  You’ve done your research to find this blog, and John Peel would be proud of you.

Next year’s lecture needs to be so much better.  I won’t get fooled again.

Lecture HERE


Secret Archives report HERE

Dark Compass report HERE

BBC 6Music John Peel Lecture: A lesson in disappointment2018-04-20T12:46:01+00:00

7 years ago today

It was 7 years ago today that we lost the Prophet John Peel (pbuh).  No-one came close to John for his love for a wide array of weird and wonderful music. Sadly, since his passing no one person has replaced him. It’s as if the magic that was John has been spread far and wide, but not settled in one place.  Many people cite him as their influence (myself included) and you can certainly find great internet radio stations and podcasts that attempt to follow his lead.

So, why not take a look at your record collection. Do you have anything by The Fall, Stiff Little Fingers, Joy Division, Bob Marley, Aswad, Kanda Bongo Man, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa or The Undertones (to name but a few) in your collection?  It probably got there because of John.  Take it out and play it loud today!

7 years ago today2018-04-20T12:46:02+00:00
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