Peel, John – Margrave of The Marshes

aka Grr! It’s only August and &^*$% X-Factor has started again…

Words alone cannot express just how much I despise this show. Anyway, enough about that, I should have realised that it was about to start again sometime soon. I don’t think it’s entirely coincidental that I have just finished reading John Peel’s auto-biography / biography. In common with other luminaries of the ‘new music’ scene such as Radcliffe & Maconie, I am pretty sure that he would be absolutely horrified at the thought of it.

On one level, I suppose it is the sort of show that is a) an ITV staple and b) probably very good television, but as far as bringing new musical talent to the nation, well it’s a complete and utter turn off. Good singers though the winners undoubtedly are, in the main, they and the others who have made it to the final three months of programmes do represent the safest of safe choices. Of course the odd act is different, Diana Vickers springs to mind, but some of them are truly teeth curlingly bad, &^%$ing Jedward and that awful brother and sister combo from a few years back being the worst examples. Oh yes, and Chico.

Anyway, enough of this, I was trying to write about John Peel’s book. I found it hard not to cry as a I read it. It’s so obvious, especially reading the second half which his wife finished, that he was loved and admired pretty much by all and sundry for the work he did in giving people a chance. Would we have had The Smiths or The Undertones for example without him. Possibly, probably even, but that’s not the point. He deliberately, certainly in the early days of Radio 1 went against policy and played new stuff by band and artists who wouldn’t have made it to the playlist without him.

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