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Accrington Stanley is a British indie band, formed in Southampton in 1986, the teenage creation of singer/songwriter/guitarist Dan O'Farrell and keyboardist Richard Barrett. Immediately playing gigs in their home town, they became significant players in the vibrant South Coast music scene of the time. Selling short runs of home-produced cassette albums, they typified the have-a-go attitude of the resolutely anti-fashion and anti-showbiz UK post-punk era;  Their self-financed album “Giddyblueperfection” (1988) was, for a quartet of  wet-behind-the-ears school-leavers, a statement of mature songwriting and audacious musical ambition.

Moving to London in 1992, having already hit the capital’s growing indie/club scene, the band courted major label record companies as well as travelling to Japan for the Sumitomo 92 World College festival, a multinational rock festival with repeat TV coverage. On their return, they recorded the celebrated “Lovebound” album.

Continuing the home-grown work ethic with “Half Life” (1996), the band moved from the indie/Britpop club scene into touring the pubs nationwide, eventually moving out of London in 2004 to record “Uplift” and reconnecting with their Southampton roots. This has led to more recent activity as part of the Sofa City Bands Collective.

Links to Peel

In 2012, two LPs by Accrington Stanley were among the first 100 albums by artists beginning with A when initial details of Peel’s record collection were released via TheSpace website. (See Record Collection: A.)

In a subsequent interview with Ged Babey (GB) of The Quietus, Dan O'Farrell discussed the relevance of John Peel for the band: [1]

GB: Knowing John Peel's love of football, calling yourself Accrington Stanley was like a great, big flashing, neon sign saying “Over here Mr Peel!” Wasn't it?

DO: We've never been that calculating, probably to our detriment. I wonder if it caught his eye for that reason though. We chose that name in early 1986 (we were F Yes Bubble before that, so it couldn't get much worse) purely because I had this ace book called The History of Football and there was a picture of a football crowd watching an Accrington Stanley match in the 1930s which Baz and I thought would make a great poster. This was before that damned milk advert, and Accrington Stanley were only ever mentioned as a sad story from going bust in the 60s. It had the ring of the underdog about it. Now, it's a bit of a pain, as it renders us very hard to Google or find on YouTube.

GB: Does John Peel's seal of approval actually mean anything anymore, in 2013? He liked countless bands after all.

DO: On a personal level, it made us feel good. I'd heard a rumour that he'd played us when we sent him Fathom, but I wasn't sure if it was true. It was only a couple of years ago that I found out he'd played stuff off Lovebound too, thanks to the wonders of the internet and people posting playlists on the Peel wiki. It was brilliant to actually find an mp3 of the show where he played 'Trudy' and hear him actually say our name. As for the publicity that we managed to get last year, that was pure luck. If we'd have been called 'Zeppo's Xylophones' we'd have been in the 26th instalment and no one would have noticed. Having two albums in the first 100 put on the web, alongside lots of bands that people had at least heard of, created a little curiosity and a chance to say, "Hey! That's us! We're still going!"

Accrington stanley - dan and baz on south

Programmes like Due South were happy to have us on because just about anyone over 30 working in TV or radio is, I think, inspired by (or perhaps envious of) the freedom and influence that John Peel enjoyed. They were itching to pay tribute to him. It's probably the first stroke of luck we've had since 1992 (when we got chosen to go to Tokyo) and I'm glad that, for once, we were able to jump up and down a bit and wave our arms, politely. I feel a bit like we've been labouring away under a rock for 20 odd years and very occasionally someone lifts the rock up, admires the strange creatures zipping about, then drops the rock down again.

GB: Does BBC Radio 6Music go any way to replacing Peel? Did you hear their listener-voted Top 100 Songs of the past 10 years?

DO: Anyone trying to replace Peel seems to be self-conscious about it. I haven't heard anyone truly replicate his wilful eclecticism. I like 6Music as an idea, but it seems to be increasingly playing it safe a lot of the time. When they do embrace the fringes, it's in a safely constructed hour. What was great about Peel was that you genuinely thought he liked the stuff he played; he wasn't trying to be weird for the sake of it.

Shows Played

  • 05 August 1994: Here Comes Trudy Now (CD – Lovebound ) The Beepsounds Recording Company

See Also

External Links

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