John Peel Wiki

"Well, he’s the kind of bloke who does things at his own pace, for which I admire him enormously. And they were with Warner Brothers previously and there was real conflict between the two of them because they wanted him to conform to an idea that they had of what he should be and of course he is not the man for that sort of thing. A bloke I like enormously I must admit … I dread the day when I can no longer have my stumps scattered by a new record - you know, when I can’t really be just bowled over by something - and the new Wah! single is the first one this year that has just left me breathless."
(Peel on Wylie/Wah and 'Come Back', My Top Ten, 1984)


The Mighty Wah - Come Back-1534182699

Come Back. 1984 Festive Fifty #5.

Wah! are a Liverpool band of numerous name variations that have featured a revolving set of musicians alongside singer/guitarist Pete Wylie since emerging from the city's Eric's club scene of the late 1970s. Despite some UK chart success during the 1980s, the band's progress was hampered by record company problems. Wylie went solo and played with musicians including The Farm but was sidelined for a long period after suffering serious injuries in an accident in 1991. He was back by the end of the decade, however, recording his first Peel session for 15 years in 2000.

Links to Peel

As outlined in the Peel-narrated TV documentary Rock Family Trees: The New Merseybeat, Pete Wylie had been in earlier Liverpool bands with Ian McCulloch (later Echo & The Bunnymen), Julian Cope (Teardrop Explodes) and Pete Burns (Dead Or Alive).


Pete Wylie Interview (1982)

JP interviews Wylie, with Pete Fulwell, Liverpool, 1982


Pete Wylie on John Peel

John Peel's Record Box - Pete Wylie

Peel was a consistent supporter of Wah! from their earliest days and continued to play the band's records into the 21st century. Despite their contrasting personalities, Peel and Wylie got on well, sharing a love of Liverpool football team. The musician was one of the few to appear as a live studio guest on the Peel show during the 1980s, on 13 August 1984. Wylie would credit Peel as the inspiration for one the band's best-known names, The Mighty Wah![1]

Introducing the 29 May 1986 edition of Top Of The Pops, Peel caused some controversy when he commented after the Wylie solo single 'Sinful', “If that doesn’t make No.1, I’m going to come round and break wind in your kitchen!” [2] (It actually got to number 13, and number 28 when reissued in a remake with the Farm in 1991. Recipients of JP's flatulence should contact the Peel Mailing List.) However, he appeared less than impressed with Wylie's solo LP Sinful [3] and he disappeared from John's playlists for some time.

A tribute to Peel by Wylie, written at the time the Wah! track 'Remember' was included on Uncut magazine's John Peel's Festive 15 CD, can be read here. 'Hope (I Wish You'd Believe Me)' subsequently feaured on the John Peel: Right Time, Wrong Speed 1977-1987 compilation.

Festive Fifty Entries


  • Six sessions, under various names (1./2. Wah! Heat, 3. Shambeko! Say Wah!, 4. Wah!, 5. The Mighty Wah!, 6. Pete Wylie). Session 5 released as The Peel Sessions (12", Strange Fruit, 1987). The first four sessions were all repeated 13 August 1984, with Pete Wylie in the studio as Peel's guest. The band's third session was later chosen as one of the the Best 125 Peel Sessions (the BBC Keep It Peel site includes samples of the tracks).

1. Recorded: 1980-05-19. First broadcast: 10 June 1980. Repeated: 07 August 1980, 13 August 1984, 19 March 1986

  • Seven Minutes To Midnight / Don't Step On The Cracks / Somesay / Other Boys

2. Recorded: 1981-03-30. First broadcast: 14 April 1981. Repeated: 06 May 1981, 13 August 1984

  • Cut Out / Sleep / The Checkmate Syndrome / Forget The Down

3. Recorded: 1982-05-05. First broadcast: 18 May 1982. Repeated: 09 June 1982, 27 July 1982, 13 August 1984

  • Papa Crack / Satie’s Faction / You'll Never Walk Alone (straight version) / You’ll Never Walk Alone (silly version) / 8-8.30 Or 10 Til 12

4. Recorded: 1983-02-14. First broadcast: 13 April 1983. Repeated: 28 December 1983, 13 August 1984

  • Hope (I Wish You'd Believe Me) / Sleep (Lullaby For Josie) / Year Of Decision / Silver And Gold

5. Recorded: 1984-08-22. First broadcast: 17 September 1984. Repeated: 23 October 1984, 27 May 1985 (Andy Kershaw)

  • Better Scream / Weekends / Basement Blues / Yuh Learn / The Mighty Wah!

6. Recorded: 2000-04-09. First broadcast: 17 May 2000. Repeated: ?

  • I Still Love You / Disneyland Forever / Never Loved As A Child / Alone


  1. Sleep
  2. Check Mate
  3. Other Boys
  1. Silver and Gold
  2. Better Scream
  3. Year of Decision
  4. Sleep (a Lullaby for Josie)
  5. You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory
  6. Hope (I Wish You'd Believe Me)
  7. I Know There Was Something
  8. Don't Step on the Cracks
  9. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)
  10. Story of the Blues
  11. Remember

Other Shows Played

(Includes releases under all variations of band name and Pete Wylie. This list was researched only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive and may be incomplete. Please add further information if known.)

(JP: “Further proof that Liverpool is the cultural center of the globe certainly. And that said as a man who only goes there about 15 times a year, and that’s just for football.”)
(JP: "My personal favourite of the year...should have been higher, boys and girls.")
(JP: "See? If it's cascading guitars you want, Wylie was ahead of the field. What a man!")
(JP: 'Really one of the great records of all time, and old enough for me to have introduced it on Top Of The Pops.')
(JP: "Feeling pretty good about next season.")
  • 06 April 2000 (Radio Eins): Heart As Big As Liverpool (CD single) When! Recordings
  • 18 April 2000: Never Loved As A Child (LP: Songs Of Strength & Heartbreak) When
  • 25 April 2000: Sing All The Saddest Songs (LP: Songs Of Strength & Heartbreak) When
  • 16 May 2000: Sing All The Saddest Songs (LP - Songs Of Strength & Heartbreak) When!
  • 19 December 2000: Come Back (Festive Fifty 25th anniversary special. Apparently Pete Wylie was due to make a live appearance to perform 'Come Back', but was unable to get to the studio due to problems with the trains. The record was played instead.)
(JP: 'His first record in about eighteen months, since Come Back in fact, and a bit of an amalgam of several previous records, but it's nice to hear him again.')

Top Of The Pops

See Also

External Links


  1. [1]. See also Glossary.