Cornershop remember doing their first John Peel session

Cornershop 1st Peel Session, broadcast on Radio 1, 13th February 1993

Tracklisting: 1. Nai Zindigi Nai Jevan (New Way New Life), 2. Summer Fun in a Beat-up Datsun” 3. England’s Dreaming” 4. Trip Easy

In those early days we were under the tutelage of John Robb, & captained by Marcus Parnell. Marcus was in the band The Dandelion Adventure, from Preston, and we had studied there at Lancashire Polytechnic – our drummer was a local record collector and DJ of much repute. Together with my brother Avtar and Anthony a sitar playing fan of trigonometry we were complete to make the biggest of sheer noise. John Robb produced our early records, and knew just about everyone in the industry. His critique and hard work left him with a lot of affection from everyone that we came across.

We were asked to do a Peel Session on the back of John Peel seeing us at the Camden Falcon. At the same gig were Jon Savage, Hanif Kureishi, John Robb and Tom Ravenscroft.

The day before the Session, we played a Rough Trade Shop in-store and got pretty freaked out afterwards by being asked to sign autographs – on the night we played The Square, Harlow for the second time. The first time we played there was when Gary Walker agreed to sign us to the Portobello based ”˜Wiiija’ label. We slept over at Inder Kaur’s flat on the Camden Road, all of us on the same floor, ready for the Session the next day.

Being our first radio session we were rather apprehensive. We were advised that these sessions were recorded, and then you are asked to go out during the mixing stage, while they mixed the tracks in your absence. At that time, I think they called it heavy, heavy manners.

The engineer had complaints about our amps so radical rewiring was set upon by the BBC tech. department. They weren’t too impressed on having to mic up a lawnmower head either. After that, the session seemed to go smoothly.”¨

All of us lived in different cities; Preston, Wolverhampton, Leicester and London, so it was very rare for us to play songs together, unless it was at a gig in which we never heard each other anyway. To play in the same room as many a famous individual and bands had played was a point that we had already started attacking by drinking ourselves through it.

John Robb and Marcus arrived later. We had very little equipment, and for our first two years Benedict always used John’s Fender Telecaster. Mark, in true dynamic management role set about filming the session on his hand held cinecamera, but soon passed out under the grand piano. Towards the end Gary Walker from Wiiija Records joined us.

As it turned out, the BBC staff did not rally us out to do the mixing stage, probably because there would be no guarantee of rallying us back again. We sat in the studio and we mixed it with them until very late in the night. I had come along with a few audio ideas on tape, which after all these years is testimony that we actually took things quite seriously right from the start.

On the subject of recollection, very little could be remembered of the session by all those I got in touch with, to put this piece together. Anthony did remember driving his fucked black 1978 BMW 320 back to Lancashire – it consumed 5 litres of oil, the entire contents of the engine: it had smoke pouring out of it all the way home. The way he got back was to be the same as the group would move forward.

Jallopy.

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5 comments on “Cornershop remember doing their first John Peel session”

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  1. i had no idea of the early Cornershop / John Robb collaboration! Nice one.

  2. I was playing Readers’ Wives at the weekend, first time in “a while”. Great song, still does it for me…

  3. Nice one, Tjinder. I remember seeing Cornershop for the first time supporting Therapy? in Exeter. There was a lengthy sample from Brookside in the intro tape. Then a right bloody racket from you lot. Good times!

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