The Un-Peeled events, which we wrote about last month while offering a competition to win tickets to it, cover a total of 7 gigs and 35 bands which include The Primitives, Inca Babies, Nic Jones, Poltergeist, The Lovely Eggs, The Monochrome Set and The March Violets. We talk to one of the promoters. 

Rico, of Lancashire promoters Tuff Life Boogie (TLB) is enthusiastic about the upcoming Un-Peeled events this month.

“John (Peel) took the time to find out about the music. He wasn’t just interested in the music, he respected and acknowledged the fans and wanted to be involved.”

TLB, together with Preston venues New Continental and the Mad Ferret are hosting an incredible seven John Peel events between them.

For the third consecutive year TLB has been instrumental in organizing the performers, almost all of which having recorded on Peel’s legendary Radio 1 ‘Sessions’.

Rico cut his teeth working at the Rumble Club, a splinter project from the ashes of the established, former Twang Club on Kent Street, in his native city. This respectable weekly affair was run by Dave Hindmarsh (Rico recalls) which quickly gained an auspicious reputation in the mid 1980s – with a nominal £1 entrance fee.

“The premise was to feature acts that appeared on the BBC Radio 1 show the previous week.” he explains and continue:

“The June Brides, Wedding Present and Age of Chance all performed there”.

Around this time, Rico sent a letter to John regarding the events in his home town and was amazed when he answered a telephone call from the DJ at his home shortly afterwards and subsequently received recognition on the mid-week show.

During a discussion, Rico provides plenty of anecdotes, vis-à-vis band connections, as only a true music devotee could. There’s no pretence with this man, he is full of praise of the people he works alongside and generous to a fault. He has a mutual respect for other promoters across the UK, which he then surprisingly lists from Brighton to Scotland. There’s an exceptionally low price tag to all his music nights, including the other non-Peel related gigs he promotes throughout the rest of the year.

“I was more interested in making them (the events) good and didn’t want to make the price prohibitive. I always budget to break even, which is generally unheard of”.

Two years ago, an all-day event was staged at the 180 capacity New Continental which featured the Nightingales, Vincent Black Lightning and Baboon. Twelve months later, in late October, 24 artists performed from midday until late, in 2 venues in the Northern Quarter, Manchester. It was an excellent event, expertly arranged to allow the audience to select their preferences, amongst which were the Blue Orchids, the Groundhogs and Emma Pollock. Unfortunately for Rico, he also had to work the door for a few hours due to unforeseen circumstances.

“Booking the Nightingales pre-John Peel events was obviously a big boost” he continues “I wanted to capitalise on having 2 venues (In Manchester). I also wanted the public to be able to fit everything in. We tried staggering the acts. One guy said he managed to see all 24 performances”.

Throughout the conversation various seamless memories are drawn, connecting Yeah Yeah Noh, Bent Moustache, Bogshed, the Loft, Lianne Hall, the Incredible String Band, Lovecraft, Stuart Moxham, Sisters of Transistors, Graham Massey, Monochrome Set and Great Leap Forward. This guy knows his stuff!

For several venues up and down the country October is fast becoming John Peel month. Whether featuring a session from a much loved band or simply mentioning a back-street gig that a listener was involved in, ‘Peely’ influenced thousands. Amongst the legions of John’s fans are passionate music devotees, dedicating their time carrying out the same good work as their champion did.

So what’s coming up?

  • Saturday 12th Psych Peel (feat: Clinic, Poltergeist (ex Bunnymen members), Blue Orchids)
  • Sunday 13th Boogie Peel (feat: Endless Boogie, Ten Benson, Mugstar)
  • Saturday 19th Garage Peel (feat: Downliners Sect, Carbon Manual, Pink peg Slax)
  • Sunday 20th Folk Peel (feat: Nic Jones, Mick Heron, Emma Pollock)
  • Tuesday 22nd Posh Peel (feat: Monochrome Set, Would-Be-Goods, Rapid Pig)
  • Saturday 26th Twang Club Peel (feat: Primitives, Lovely Eggs, Yeah, Yeah, Noh)
  • Sunday 27th Dark Peel (feat: March Violets, Flesh for Lulu, Inca Babies)

TLB hope to attract the Wedding Present or Age of Chance to play next year if initial ideas go ahead, although no deals have been discussed as yet. Perhaps one day they’ll manage to entice the Fall too, one of Rico’s favorites. What is the greatest feedback?

“Praise from my fellow Prestonians” he smiled.

Something for all Peel fan’s, I urge you to attend at least one of these events.

All word by Neal Wright.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Nice one. I’ve known Mr La Rocca ((En)Rico) for a number of years and he’s an excellent fella. Fully committed to the music and punters alike. If there’s 2 things that are guaranteed at TuffLifeBoogieo’s events, they are: They will be of high quality and you will LOVE them. A pleasant learning curve :-)

    I’m pleased he has received deserved recognition. It’s about time. Excellent read. Cheers

  2. Top stuff, Outstanding promoter. I’m always blown away every year when I find out what he’s got line up.

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