Stackridge

The Radio 1 Sessions

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It comes as no surprise to discover that Stackridge were a favorite of BBC DJ John Peel. Irreverent and light-hearted, but capable of unleashing some cripplingly powerful emotions, the band made no less than 13 session appearances for the BBC with Peel overseeing seven of them. Not bad for a band that was all but written off by the BBC audition panel that scrutinized their first-ever session, for Stuart Henry in June 1971. Granting Stackridge a mere borderline pass, the panel declared them an "amateur group with limited musical knowledge." They were "just about adequate." This collection initially appears to offer little of the Stackridge archive, a stingy six songs drawn from two sessions in October 1971 ("Three Legged Table" and "Slark," recorded for Peel) and March 1973 -- a four-song escapade for the Bob Harris show. Ah, but what treasures they are -- especially the 1971 set, which first serves up one of Stackridge's most delightful compositions, and then follows through with one of their most dramatic. "Slark" consumes 14 minutes of your time, and the band has rarely sounded better. The 1973 session, sad to say, is not among the band's better outings -- indeed, one is surprised that it was even considered for release, when compared with the 1971-1972 material. But "The Lyder Loo" is quintessential Stackridge regardless, and "God Speed the Plough" has always been a band favorite, and fans will not want to miss this release regardless. "Slark" will see to that.

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