Gerry Hectic

17:14 16th October 2005
The first ever John Peel Day proved to be a great success with over 500 music related events and gigs featured on Radio 1’s web listing. Whilst tonight's Edge Of The Wedge gig might not have challenged Bloc Party in Birmingham in terms of size of audience, those that did attend were undoubtedly into the spirit of the great man. Openers Maria Szyrtisz and The Pyramid Of Mars (aka John) with a keyboard based one-man band - a set that the great man himself may have enjoyed.
As Red Letter Day are releasing their new album next week, it's an unfortunate time to lose the services of a bass player. So with that in mind, this was to be an acoustic set with Ade (lead vocals) and Chris (guitar and vocals). The DJ “spinning some of John's fave raves” failed to show up which clearly upset Ade as he reminisced of the time the band recorded a Peel session back in the mid-eighties. So, with John joining in on percussion and Diesel sitting in the audience on tambourine, we were treated to an unplugged hearing of the new material. Over the years, there’s been no loss of the spirit of punk, but they’re not dwelling in the past. They have some strong tunes in ‘Insomnia’ and particularly, ‘Butterfly’
There will be ‘proper’ RLD gigs once the bass player auditions have filled the vacancy. One of Ade’s thoughts on John’s death last year is “many would have found some of the stuff he played unbearable, but he gave us the opportunity to form opinions on stuff we never would have heard”.  It’s poignant and hopefully, Portsmouth’s ‘John Peel Day’ event next year will be upgraded to the much larger Wedgewood Rooms next door so we can hear a wider selection of live music. RIP John.

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