The first ever John Peel Day proved to be a great success with over 500 music related events and gigs featured on Radio 1â€™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 â€œspinning some of John's fave ravesâ€ 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, thereâ€™s been no loss of the spirit of punk, but theyâ€™re not dwelling in the past. They have some strong tunes in â€˜Insomniaâ€™ and particularly, â€˜Butterflyâ€™.
There will be â€˜properâ€™ RLD gigs once the bass player auditions have filled the vacancy. One of Adeâ€™s thoughts on Johnâ€™s death last year is â€œmany 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 heardâ€. Itâ€™s poignant and hopefully, Portsmouthâ€™s â€˜John Peel Dayâ€™ 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.