KeepingItPeel Podcast – John Peel – Liverpool


John Peel was famous for the seemingly random selections that he played on each show. Even though this latest (two part) pod has a theme, the music is still very very eclectic. Liverpool (& Merseyside) has produced some world famous acts and many of them famous because of John Peel…

In the late 70’s/early 80’s I had the privilege of living in Liverpool. And what a time to be there. The spirit of the place, of the people even through the dark days of Thatcher. It was the music that carried and kept everybody going. My heart is still in Liverpool.

As it was for John Peel. He was born in Heswall, on the Wirral and as a child he regularly visited the city. He loved the people, the music and he especially loved Liverpool FC.

As mentioned above I have randomly chosen audio clips featuring Liverpool – and Merseyside band, as well as some comments John made about the city, the people and of course… the football team.

But because there was so much to choose from sadly there were a few acts which still didn’t make the cut, even with it being a two part pod. Apologies to some of the Liverpool acts that John played, such as China Crisis, The Icicle Works, The Beatles, Billy J. Kramer, Wild Swans… the list goes on. I was unable to include them here. Maybe in another pod.

Here for you then is:

Keeping It Peel Podcast – Liverpool 1


  1. (2nd April 1979) “Well good evening to you, in case it sounds as though I’m having a little difficulty speaking this evening it’s because my mouth is still hanging open after Kenny Dalglish’s goal last Saturday…”
  2. Beginning of the show from 28th March 2000 – The Mighty Wah! – Heart As Big As Liverpool
  3. (5th Sept 1979) Teenage Filmstars – (There’s A) Cloud Over Liverpool
    (The band weren’t actually from Liverpool but the song spooked John somehow)
  4. (29th Aug 1992) Mr Ray’s Wig World – Synapse / Sharon Loves Charlie (session)
  5. (9th Aug 1979) Big In Japan – Match Of The Day “…a couple of days before the Charity Shield when if you go along to Wembley you’ll have the opportunity to see who was the footballer of the year last year and he was Scottish, I’ll tell you that.”
    (Liverpool v Sunderland), Liverpool won 3-1 with Dalglish scoring the 3rd goal.
  6. (20th Feb 1980) OMD – Messages John intros the song as: “Some messages from Orchestral Manoeuvres..” then after: “…and that’s from Orchestral Manoeuvres formerly in the Dark…”
  7. (10th July 1982 – Peel’s Pleasures) Gerry & The Pacemakers – Ferry Cross The Mersey (session)
  8. (29th Aug 1992) Half Man Half Biscuit – Goodnight Irene (session)
    (John ponders afterwards about how well they are reacting to having Pat Nevin, recently signed by Tranmere Rovers, in their midst.)
  9. (11th May 1996) Liverpool FC & The Boot Room Boyz – Pass And Move (It’s The Liverpool Groove)
    “…and here’s the record of they year, I wish I had this a week or so ago…” (The FA Cup Final between Liverpool & Man Utd was this day. Liverpool lost 1-nil. This was when the Liverpool players wore that white suit.)
  10. (24th June 1985) Pale Fountains – From Across The Kitchen Table
  11. (2nd Dec 1982) Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Krisco Kisses (session)
  12. (5th Feb 1981) Modern Eon – High Noon
  13. (30th Nov 1982) A Flock Of Seagulls – Talking
    “…saw them playing in a pub outside Leeds somewhere and now of course they play football stadiums in America…” (The band supported The Police on their U.S. stadium tour and then headlined Madison Square Garden themselves.)
  14. (9th Nov 2002 – BBC World Service) Cranebuilders – You’re Song
  15. (17th March 1983) Craig Charles – Music Scene / Party Night
  16. (26th Sept 1990) Where’s The Beach – Mega Armagedron Death / Yankamantra (session)
  17. (18th Dec 1992) Boo Radleys – Lazarus
  18. Sign off from show 27th April 1982

Keeping It Peel podcast – Liverpool 1:

» Download (58.28MB – 1hr 3mins 27secs)

Keeping It Peel Podcast – Liverpool 2


  1. Intro from 3rd Jan 1990
  2. (19th April 2001) Show begins with audio of Kenny Dalglish scoring a goal in the 1978 European Cup (against Club Brugge) and then Peel says; “It could happen again…” bravecaptain – Better Living Through Reckless Experimentation
    (That night – April 19th – Liverpool played (and beat) Barcelona 1-0 in the 2001 Uefa Cup Semi-Final. They went on to play (and beat) Alavés in the final.)
  3. (21st June 1979) Dalek I – Freedom Fighters
    (I actually wanted to feature another song of theirs, the self-titled song when they were called Dalek I Love You. But the audio for the show that Peel played that record is not available.)
  4. (12th July 1967 – Perfumed Garden) Roger McGough – Mother There’s A Strange Man Waiting At the Door
    (This is from when he was on the pirate station Radio London. He took the name of the show with him when he moved to Radio 1)
  5. (18th Feb 1980) Wah! Heat – Better Scream
  6. (Audio clip of Pete Wylie talking about John Peel, taken from the John Peel’s Record Box documentary
  7. (3rd Jan 1990) Kit – How To Break This (session)
  8. (5th Sept 1979) Kenny Dalglish and Sandy Jardine – Each Saturday
    (Peel had been endlessly searching for this record until somebody sent him a copy.) After he plays the song: “Tell you what Kenny, three against Coventry on Saturday and I’ll never play the record again.”
  9. Half Man Half Biscuit – Mars Ultras, You’ll Never Make The Station (session)
    (I’ve featured this one on a previous pod but I love this version so much.)
  10. (23rd Dec 1997 – Festive 31) No.9: Clinic – IPC Subeditors Dictate Our Youth
    (There wasn’t enough time to do a Festive Fifty that year so a shorter one was compiled from the emails received. Peel is speaking in Punjabi when he introduces number “nauṃ”)
  11. (23rd May 1997 – BFBS) Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Ferry Cross The Mersey
    (John mentions the The Hillsborough Justice Concert which he compared the week before. After the song Peel talks about after the concert when they were stuck in the car park with a flat battery and how people there were so friendly and helpful. They stayed there with him until the AA arrived.)
  12. (23rd Sept 2004) Billy Fury – Break Up
    “…And young people stop me in the street and say; ‘Well John – Was there ever such a thing as a credible UK rocker ?’ And I say – Come into this pub and let me buy you a drink and I’ll tell you all about Billy Fury…”
  13. (17th June 1988 – BFBS) Shack – Emergency
  14. (25th Nov 2003) The Farm – Stepping Stone
    (John talks about how much he likes the band and used to go to the pub with them when he was in Liverpool, but then comments about how the media turned on the band after they became famous. Also has a pop at the major record labels.)
  15. (22nd July 1991 – Radio Bremen) Apollo 440 – Destiny
  16. (18th Sept 1980) Echo & The Bunnymen – Villiers Terrace
  17. (2nd April 1979) Pink Military Stand Alone (Dead Lady Of) Clown Town
  18. (10th December 2003) Amsterdam – Does This Train Stop On Merseyside
    “This is a record I played about three or four months ago and apparently you the consumers are very keen on it. I’ve listened to it a few times since then and it’s reached the point which it makes me cry every time I hear it…”
  19. I contacted Ian Prowse, the composer and singer of Amsterdam to ask him about the song and his memories of John:

    Just before John went to Peru he called me and we spent a precious hour yapping about on the blower about music, life and my song ‘Does This Train Stop On Merseyside’. We were going to meet up when he got back and do a session for him.

    If it wasn’t for John perhaps I’d never of gotten another record deal and ‘Pele’ would of been my only band of any note. His championing of the song and the extreme emotional reaction he had live on air sent the song on it’s journey. There’s literally 100’s of covers of it now, thanks in the main to Christy Moore’s version, but it was Peelie who got onto it first.

    Ian Prowse/ Liverpool July 2016.

  20. (18th Aug 1978) End of the show, John plays: Kop Choir – You’ll Never Walk Alone

Keeping It Peel podcast – Liverpool 2:

» Download (62.2 MB – 1hr 7mins 50secs)

Thank you to @weloveallthat, @contra_flow and @philipneeky for their contributions.

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