The Delgados (Getty Images)

The Delgados - Underrated and overlooked, yet hardly forgotten. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Delgados – Live At John Peel’s Meltdown Festival – 1998 – Past Daily Soundbooth

The Delgados (Getty Images)
The Delgados – Underrated and overlooked, yet hardly forgotten. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Delgados – live at John Peel’s Meltdown Festival – Royal Festival Hall – July 1, 1998 – BBC Radio 1 –

The Delgados to start the week. Recorded during John Peel’s notorious Meltdown Festival, on July 1, 1998 at Royal Festival Hall. Not the complete concert (yet), but a 15 minute excerpt which should whet more than a few appetites.

The Delgados were composed of Alun Woodward (vocals, guitar), Emma Pollock (vocals, guitar), Stewart Henderson (bass), and Paul Savage (drums). The band was formed after friends Woodward, Henderson and Savage were ejected from the band Bubblegum. Joined by Savage’s then-girlfriend Pollock, the band named themselves after Tour de France winning cyclist, Pedro Delgado.

Their first commercial release came with the inclusion of their track “Liquidation Girl” on the compilation album Skookum Chief Powered Teenage Zit Rock Angst from Nardwuar the Human Serviette. Instead of signing to a record label, the band started their own, Chemikal Underground, on which they released their own records and also some from other local bands, among them Mogwai and Arab Strap. Chemikal Underground’s first release was the Delgados first single “Monica Webster / Brand New Car”. The single caught the attention of BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, and the band quickly became one of his favorites, going on to record seven sessions for his show and this appearance at the Meltdown Festival.

The band released their second album in 1998. Peloton – also a cycling reference. The single “Pull the Wires From the Wall” gave the Delgados their first hit single in the UK Singles Chart, reaching number 69. The band’s close relationship with Peel continued, with “Pull the Wires From the Wall” voted to number one in the Festive Fifty (it would also make the all time chart made in 2000).

Their fourth album, Hate, was released on Mantra rather than the band’s own label. The song “The Light Before We Land” was used as the opening theme for the anime Gunslinger Girl, while the song “Woke From Dreaming” is played at the beginning of episode 7.

The band announced they were splitting up in April 2005 due to the departure of Henderson who found it difficult “to pour so much of my energy and time into something that never quite seemed to get the attention or respect [he] felt it deserved.” The four will continue to run Chemikal Underground together. Songwriters Pollock and Woodward are pursuing individual projects, while Savage will continue production duties at the band’s Chem19 in a new studio.

For a reminder, or an introduction – here is an extended excerpt from their appearance at the 1998 Meltdown Festival as broadcast over BBC Radio in 1998.

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