In today's programme/post, I'm featuring three bands that all made the 1983 Festive Fifty: I was unable to get CDs of the songs, and so all recordings are taken directly from a recording of the original programme (but encoded at 320kbps because I love you all so much :-)).
Sophie and Peter Johnston are an electronic brother and sister duo from Newcastle of whom JP said 'wonderful...excellent...hearing them means as much to me as hearing Little Richard for the first time'. It has to be said that John was given to hyperbole about his favourite bands (but then again, aren't we all?), and even their website admits that 'whether through bad luck, ill judgement or a combination of both, they failed to set the pop charts alight'. Notwithstanding, they seem to be in the process of making a new album, and are to be applauded for failing to give up, at least. Their site carries lots of samples and free downloads, including the studio version of 'Television/Satellite' (FF #37): the version I present is from their Peel session ('you've got to like this': JP).
The Luddites were one of the 'four best bands from Hull', the others being Everything But The Girl, the Housemartins and the Red Guitars, allegedly. They released the 'Strength Of Your Cry' E.P., made #36 in the Festive Fifty, and then vanished (although drummer Dave Stead defected to the Beautiful South).
The song is moody, and unusually takes nearly two minutes to get the vocals going (a la Joy Division), but makes a great noise in the process. However, it makes one regret that they never progressed in their career. View this Hull Special from The Tube and feel nostalgic for something else that is no more:
Finally, Tools You Can Trust were from Manchester, and seemed to worship Spear And Jackson in more than just the group name...there's all sorts of industrial clanging and banging and what sounds like fire extinguishers going off, making the vocals somewhat of secondary importance. One LP surfaced (Again Again Again), furthering their Throbbing Gristle/Cabaret Voltaire style, and then....nothing. However, enjoy the song's busy bassline and brave attempt at something new (FF #34). (P.S. On the original broadcast, the song is followed by John amusingly begging for more copies of it to send abroad!)