The White Stripes
I was sad to learn today that The White Stripes have split up.Â One of the best gigs I’ve ever been to was them at The Roadhouse in Manchester in, what I think was probably, the year 2000.Â That gig got me a mention on John Peel‘s show actually.Â Because I was at The White Stripes’ gig I missed the Sun House session John Peel was repeating that night.Â The following day I emailed John asking if there was any way of hearing the Sun House session again online.Â This was the days before BBC iPlayer, so there wasn’t any way I could hear it again, but this disappointment was greatly out-weighed by hearing John Peel talking to me personally live on air.Â It always felt like he was talking personally actually, which was one of the great endearing qualities the man had.Â Anyway, I digress.Â The White Stripes were an amazing band, on record and live.Â You don’t need me to tell you that though.Â They’ve split up, and this is sad.
This is what I played tonight:
There is nothing in broadcasting history quite like the collection of Peel Sessions recorded by the late Vivian Stanshall for John Peel between 1975 and 1990. These stories of Sir Henry Rawlinson and the cast of grotesques that inhabit Rawlinson End, all rendered in Stanshall’s lavish prose with his rich fruity voice have been, like a lot of things, all but forgotten since the deaths of Stanshall in 1991 and Peel in 2004.
Lines like “A pale Sun poked impudent marmalade fingers through the grizzled lattice glass and sent the shadows scurrying, like convent girls menaced by a tramp…”
deserve to be disinterred from the dank, unloved corners of the internet and broadcast across the Aire Valley into the welcoming earholes of our avid audience of 4 people, some of whom I’m actually not related to.
And so they were, or one of them was, from 1977, on When Big Joan Sets Up this week alongside raggedly distorted Roy Orbsion covers, frenzied Dancehall about chickens and a raft of rude words.