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The Delgados delg02
The Delgados were a Scottish indie group formed in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire in 1995 after several of the members had been sacked from another local band, Bubblegum. Naming themselves after the cyclist Pedro Delgado, the group recorded a series of singles in widely varying styles for over 10 years, They also put out five studio LPs and one live album that showed their collective strengths as vocalists, instrumentalists and songwriters, with The Great Eastern (2000) being nominated for a Mercury Music Prize (losing out to Badly Drawn Boy). They began their own label, Chemikal Underground, to distribute their work (and that of other Scottish acts such as Arab Strap and Mogwai). However, their prolific output did not translate into commercial success, with none of their singles making the UK top 40 chart, and in 2005 they split after bassist Stewart Henderson left due to their lack of critical attention. The remaining four members continue to run their label and Emma Pollock and Alun Woodward have separate music careers.

Allmusic claims they "were in many respects the true epicenter of the contemporary Scottish pop renaissance." Their songs "rank among the most sublime pop experiences in recent memory, blossoming from the lo-fi simplicity of their earliest work to an increasingly ambitious palette defined by achingly beautiful melodies, soaring string arrangements, and intricate waltztime rhythms." [1] Their collective writing ranged from the all-out punk force of Under Canvas Under Wraps to lyrical mood pieces that recalled the late 60s singer/songwriter era, Pull The Wires From The Wall, and they contributed to music by helping to kickstart several vital careers (even leaving their label almost broke by financing a Bis single). Their website states: "Our aspirations for (Chemikal Underground) when we started out were modest but ambitious all the same. That the label continues to release great music after sixteen years is a real source of pride, even if it is tempered with considerable disbelief." [2]

Links to Peel

John was alerted to the band from their very first release, Monica Webster, which he began to play in January 1995, and from then every new release was guaranteed airplay on his show. They recorded eight sessions (all of which were released on The Complete BBC Sessions in 2006), of which John particularly commended them on the fifth, as all of the songs were cover versions. They had seven live sets aired on the show, and hit the Festive Fifty twelve times during Peel's lifetime (and had a further three entries afterwards). One of their songs, recorded for Peel before its official release (Pull The Wires From The Wall), hit the chart three times: once in its BBC version and twice on record, reaching number 1 in the 1998 Festive Fifty. It was even featured in the Peelenium 1997, meaning that Peel's listeners got to hear it in two different charts in the same programme.

The group quickly became assimilated into the fabric of John's musical universe. They played at Peel Acres in John's garden for Sheila's 50th birthday and the following year took JP to a pub quiz in Motherwell during Sounds Of The Suburbs. Shortly after his death. Alun said:

"John was a great guy. So much of the music that I have heard, I have heard it first on John Peel’s show. He is totally irreplaceable. It’s sad that he died for so many reasons." [3]

Festive Fifty Entries

Post-Peel

Peelenium

Sessions

Eight sessions. All were released on The Complete Peel Sessions (Chemikal Underground, 2006).

1. Recorded: 1995-03-05. First broadcast 13 May 1995. Repeated?

  • Lazar Walker / Blackwell / I've Only Just Started To Breathe / Primary Alternative

2. Recorded: 1996-04-23. First broadcast 12 May 1996. Repeated?

  • Under Canvas Under Wraps / 4th Channel / Teen Elf / Sucrose

3. Recorded 1997-07-01. First broadcast 16 July 1997. Repeated 20 November 1997.

  • Everything Goes Around the Water / The Arcane Model / Pull the Wires from the Wall / Mauron Chanson

4. Recorded: 1998-05-25. First broadcast 17 June 1998. Repeated 07 January 1999.

  • Repeat Failure / Don't Stop / Blackpool / The Weaker Argument Defeats the Stronger

5. Recorded 2000-03-29. First broadcast 16 May 2000. Repeated 12 September 2000.

  • No Danger / Make Your Move / Accused of Stealing / Aye Today

6. Recorded 15-09-02. First broadcast 16 October 2002. Repeated? (A session of cover versions, a concept of which Peel firmly approved: "When these programmes started back in the reign of George IV, one of the ideas behind these sessions was that people should come in and do stuff which they might not normally do, whether it was the numbers that they played during soundchecks and things, or stuff that they were working on, or acoustic versions of tracks from the forthcoming LP. Rather than just coming on and doing fairly accurate covers of things that were going to be on the next record that they put out. So congratulations to and thanks to the Delgados for coming on and doing a whole series of covers for us.")

  • Mr Blue Sky / California Uber Alles / Matthew And Son / Last Rose Of Summer

7. Recorded in artist's own studio, date unknown. First broadcast 23 January 2003 (Burns Night Special).

  • Parcel of Rogues

8. Recorded 2004-09-02. First broadcast 23 September 2004.

  • I Fought The Angels / Ballad of Accounting / Is This All That I Came For? / Everybody Come Down

Live

  • 21 October 1995: Live at King Tut's Wah-Wah Hut, Glasgow. Recorded 1995-10-20.
  1. Brand New Car
  2. Under Canvas Under Wraps
  3. Cracks And Corners
  4. We Only Just Started To Breathe
  5. Blackwell
  6. Cinecenter
  7. Monika Webster
  1. 4th Channel
  2. Sucrose
  3. Monica Webster
  1. Monica Webster
  2. 4th Channel
  3. Under Canvas Under Wraps
  4. Falling And Landing
  5. Strathcona Slung
  6. Friendly Conventions
  7. Thirteen Gliding Principles
  8. Big Business In Europe
  9. Akumulator
  1. Unknown
  2. Sucrose
  3. Unknown
  4. Unknown
  5. Your Honorary Friend
  6. Unknown
  1. Clarinet
  2. Pull The Wires From The Wall
  3. Blackpool
  4. The Arcane Model
  5. 13 Guiding Principles
  6. The Weaker Argument Defeats The Stronger
  1. The Actress
  2. Party Girl
  3. Everything Goes Around The Water
  4. Beside
  5. Pull The Wires From The Wall
  6. Don't Stop
  7. Russian Orthodox
  8. Aye Today
  9. The Weaker Argument Details The Stronger
  10. 13 Guiding Principles
  • 14 March 2000. Live set from Chemikal Underground 5th birthday party. Recorded: 2000-03-12.
  1. Thirteen Gliding Principles
  2. Pull the Wires from the Wall
  3. American Trilogy
  1. Knowing When
  2. Everything Goes Around The Water
  3. Reasons For Silence
  4. No Danger
  5. Don't Stop
  6. Witness
  7. American Trilogy
  8. Accused Of Stealing
  9. Make Your Move
  10. Aye Today
  11. Pull The Wires From The Wall
  12. 13 Gliding Principles

Other Shows Played

(The list below was compiled only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive. Please add more information if known.)

1995
1996
1997
1998
  • 04 February 1998: Pull The Wires From The Wall (album sampler CD) Chemikal Underground
  • 05 February 1998: Pull The Wires From The Wall (album sampler CD) Chemikal Underground (JP: “Almost unbearably pretty, that, and it will get a lot of play at Peel Acres over the weekend and in these programmes again next week. But I've just noticed it actually comes from a sampler for the forthcoming LP which I think is as-yet untitled... and it says release date June 1998. So perhaps I shouldn't be playing it at all. But it is so great.”)
  • 10 February 1998: Everything Goes Around The Water (EP) Chemikal Underground
  • 11 February 1998: The Drowned & The Saved (EP - Everything Goes Around The Water) Chemikal Underground
  • 12 February 1998: And So The Talking Stopped (album sampler CD) Chemikal Underground
  • 17 February 1998: Pull The Wires From The Wall (album sampler CD) Chemikal Underground
  • 18 February 1998: Untitled (album sampler CD) Chemikal Underground
  • 20 February 1998 (BBC World Service): Everything Goes Around The Water (7") Chemikal Underground
  • 24 February 1998: Everything Goes Around The Water (EP) Chemikal Underground
  • 10 March 1998: Everything Goes Around The Water (EP) Chemikal Underground
  • 17 March 1998: And So The Talking Stopped (album sampler CD) Chemikal Underground
  • 02 April 1998: Pull The Wires From The Wall (CD single) Chemikal Underground
  • 23 April 1998: Pull The Wires From The Wall (CD single) Chemikal Underground
  • 14 May 1998: The Actress (CD – Peloton) Chemikal Underground
  • 19 May 1998: The Arcane Model (CD – Peloton) Chemikal Underground
  • 20 May 1998: Clarinet (CD – Peloton) Chemikal Underground
  • 27 May 1998: Clarinet (CD – Peloton) Chemikal Underground
  • May 1998 (BBC World Service): Clarinet (LP - Peloton) Chemikal Underground
  • 04 June 1998: Repeat Failure (CD – Pelaton) Chemikal Underground
  • 26 August 1998: The Weaker Argument Defeats The Stronger (single) Chemikal Underground
  • 15 September 1998: A Very Cellular Song (single - The Weaker Argument Defeats The Stronger) Chemikal Underground
  • 01 November 1998 (BFBS): (John regrets that, due to having to be at Sound City in Newcastle, he will miss Sheila's birthday, so holds an impromptu wine tasting in tandem with recording the programme. Another compensatory factor is that the Delgados will be playing in his garden during the party the following weekend.) Smaller Mammals (CD-Domestiques) Chemikal Underground
  • 22 December 1998: The Actress (CD - Peloton) Chemikal Underground FF#38
  • 29 December 1998: (JP: “At number 9, a band that played in our garden for Sheila's 50th birthday party in October. We were honoured.”) Everything Goes Around The Water (CD single) Chemikal Underground FF#9 (JP: “We love 'em in our house, even my brother Francis, who doesn't like anything.”)
     
(JP: “While that was going on [the FF#3], the studio filled with merrymakers, people playing pool and opening bottles of champagne, including one that was given to us by the Delgados.”)
  • 29 December 1998: (JP: "To the number one record in this year's Festive Fifty. You probably won't be too surprised to discover what it is. Twice as many votes plus as the Mogwai record...this, quite rightly, I think, at number one.") Pull The Wires From The Wall (LP-Peloton) Chemikal Underground FF#1
1999
  • 19 January 1999: The Weaker Argument Defeats The Stronger (LP - Peloton) Chemikal Underground
  • 31 August 1999: Pull The Wires From The Wall (Peel 60th birthday special)
  • 02 November 1999: Thirteen Gliding Principles (CD-BBCsessions) Strange Fruit
2000
  • 13 January 2000: Pull The Wires From The Wall' (Peel Session) Peelenium 1997
  • 13 January 2000: Pull The Wires From The Wall (CD single) Chemikal Underground) ATFF#26 (JP: "Has this been the first time that the same song by the same band in two different versions has been featured in one programme? There will be people who know, but I'm not one of them.")
  • February 2000 (FSK): American Trilogy (CD - The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 16 February 2000: American Trilogy (LP - The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 17 February 2000: Thirteen Gliding Principles (LP - The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 23 February 2000: Accused of Stealing (LP - The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 25 February 2000 (BBC World Service): American Trilogy (album - The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 26 February 2000 (BFBS): Witness (CD-The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • March 2000 (FSK): Knowing When To Run (CD - The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 07 March 2000: Knowing When To Run (CD single sampler from forthcoming album - The Great Eastern) Chemical Underground
  • 16 March 2000: American Trilogy (LP – The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 23 March 2000 (Radio Eins): Witness (CD - The Great Eastern) Chemical Underground
  • 30 March 2000: Make Your Move (CD - The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 02 April 2000 (BFBS): No Danger (CD-The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 05 April 2000: Witness (LP - The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 06 April 2000 (Radio Eins): Reasons For Silence (Ed's Song) (LP - The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 09 April 2000 (BFBS): Witness (CD-The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 12 April 2000: American Trilogy (LP – The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground
  • 27 July 2000: No Danger (Single) white label
  • 09 August 2000: No Danger (Single) Chemikal Underground
  • 07 November 2000: The Choices You've Made (Chemikal Underground)
  • 23 November 2000: Don't Sleep (EP - No Danger) Chemikal Underground
  • 23 November 2000 (Radio Eins): Don't Sleep (EP - No Danger) Chemikal Underground
  • 26 December 2000: Witness (CD-The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground FF#38 (JP: 'Will we hear from them again in this year's Festive Fifty? I obviously know the answer to that, said he rather smugly. You'll have to listen tomorrow night and Thursday night to find out...)
  • 28 December 2000: Accused Of Stealing (CD-The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground #14
  • 28 December 2000: American Trilogy CD-The Great Eastern) Chemikal Underground FF#10
  • 28 December 2000: No Danger (Kid's Choir) (7 inch) Chemikal Underground FF#9
2001
  • 12 September 2001: The Weaker Argument Defeats The Stronger (CD-Peloton) Chemikal Underground
2002
2003
2004
Post-Peel

See Also

External Links

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