Wckr Spgt - Francis Mitterand

Wckr Spgt - Francis Mitterand

Wckr Spgt are an experimental lo-fi rock band from California, originally formed by the trio of Joel Huschle (vocals), Mark Givens (guitar) and Dave Carpenter (bass) in the early Eighties. Over a lengthy career, the group has seen numerous guest musicians contribute to the ranks. In addition, the founder members have been involved in a dizzying array of solo efforts and side projects.

Having released numerous cassettes of material throughout the Eighties, Wckr Spgt's first vinyl release came in 1991 in the form of the "Four Songs" EP, which included the track for which they are best known to listeners of the John Peel show - "Francis Mitterrand".

As of 2014, the group have been in existence for over thirty years. They continue to release new material.

Links to Peel

"Francis Mitterrand"

"One minute and thirty seconds that has already transformed my understanding of European politics." (26 October 1991)

The group were first played on the Peel show on 26 October 1991. Having received a copy of the new LP from Milk, Peel reveals that it had been his intention to play two tracks from it. But he chose instead to drop one of these and air two tracks from the Wckr Spgt 7", explaining:

"This is a record which I was listening to this morning as I was typing up the running order for the programme and I thought, that's so good I can't leave that for another day."

The short, quirky "Francis Mitterrand" was an instant hit with both the DJ and many listeners, prompting occasional requests over the years for another airing. For example, on the show from 09 July 1994 (BFBS), Peel comments:

"This is Wckr Spgt and one of those oft-requested records which I've not been able to play recently because frankly I'd lost it, but it reappeared when I was looking for something else in the course of the past couple of weeks and it's always well worth hearing, I think."

"Francis Mitterrand" was given another play on 28 April 2004 following a listener request. By a happy coincidence, it was pointed out by another listener that Joel Huschle and Mark Givens of the group had collaborated in the past with that evening's session guest John Darnielle, aka Mountain Goats. The latter indeed wrote the music for "Francis Mitterrand".

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