The Zones – short-lived Scottish PunkPost/Punk/Power Pop band formerly known as PVC2 and incarnated from the Soft Pop Band Silk. As PVC2 they were fronted by future Ultravox singer Midge Ure. After he left he was replaced by Willie Gardner, cousin of Scottish Rock legend Alex Harvey and re-christened The Zones.
Two years, two albums and six singles later, the band called it quits and went off to greener pastures, leaving behind 2 Peel sessions and the aforementioned catalog.
This session is their first for John Peel. Recorded on May 17, 1978 at BBC Radio 1 – it did much to promote the band to audiences and was the result of the release of their first single, Stuck On You, which was well received and held considerable promise for a future. Unfortunately, that promise was never quite because after Stuck On You, and the initial excitement, neither of their two albums, nor the rest of their singles made much dent in the charts or with audiences. Nice start but that’s all it was; a start.
Can’t tell you how many times this has happened throughout Rock history – a band shows a lot of promise, has a debut single that stirs excitement and anticipation for what lay ahead, and then falls short of expectations. Unfortunately in The Zones case, the disappointment over lackluster sales did much to discourage the band from taking it any further and went off to other pursuits. In Gardner’s case – it was a stint with Skids before landing in Simple Minds.
The band were released in the U.S. on Arista, so it’s possible you may remember who they were, although with the exception of some of the KROQ-themed FM stations at the time, airplay seemed unlikely – and only if you were familiar with your local import bin would you have run across much of their material. Still, worth a listen. Just like this session is.