Friday, 1 June 2012

Butthole Surfers - Peel Session 1987



The complete session recorded live in concert by the Butthole Surfers at an unknown location on an unknown date for the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1, first broadcast on 12 August 1987 and repeated on 8 September 1987. The titles in brackets are those supplied to John Peel by the band, presumably to confuse him.

Tracklist:

1. Concubine/100 Million People Dead (Graveyard) (0:07)
2. To Parter (Florida) (5:15)
3. Suicide (Cherub) (9:19)
4. Gary Floyd (Shotgun) (10:38)

The sound recording featured on this upload has been rendered from the pre-broadcast flac files. These are higher quality than the Peel broadcast. I have also checked them against a recording of the whole broadcast to confirm that they are the same tracks. The incorrect titles given to Peel, with the exception of 'Shotgun' (which seems to be a genuine variant title), are all from songs which are also likely to have been performed at the same concert. It is said that this recording is actually taken from their first UK tour in 1985. The tracks (as well as the actual songs given in the incorrect titles) would be consistent with a 1985 performance. All of the songs featured in the session featured in the setlists from the 1985 UK tour, whereas Concubine doesn't seem to have been played on the 1987 tour, at least not in the UK. The BBC website states that the session was recorded in Texas on an unknown date, but I believe that this is wrong. A week or so prior to the original broadcast Peel had seen the Buttholes play at the Clarendon Ballroom, and it seems that this inspired him to dig out and broadcast the session which had seemingly sat in the vaults for a year or so. The track Concubine was one of the tracks less frequently played live. The only UK gig in 1985 that I know of which featured Concubine was at the Stowhill Labour Club in Newport. A Soundboard recording of this gig exists although Concubine is given as the final track in the setlist and does not run into 100 Million Dead, unlike the pre-FM flac and BBC broadcast version, so it is doubtful that it was taken from the Newport gig. It seems from a close listen to the flac file that this is not an edit, and that the two songs were actually performed in that order. I've gone through every known setlist, worldwide, from the beginning of 1985 up to the date of first broadcast (there are many) and can find no performances at all where Concubine is followed by 100 Million Dead. So I guess that the location for the recording must, for now, remain a mystery. Personally, I always suspected that it was recorded at the Ambulance Station on Old Kent Road on 9 October 1985. Concubine doesn't feature in the setlist from the bootleg of that gig, although 100 Million Dead is the first track on that recording and it's possible that Concubine was indeed the opening track and that the bootlegger didn't manage to catch it, whereas (if this be true) the soundboard obviously did.

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