– The Telescopes – in session for John Peel – May 16, 1989 – BBC Radio 1 –
The Telescopes to end the week. One of those bands who heralded the coming state of the 90s and the whole re-evaluation of what music was coming from and where it was heading.
The 80s, if you’ll remember were sliding out of the propulsion set in motion by Punk in the late 70s. By the new decade we had post-Punk, Funk, New Wave, electronica, Dance, Indie, Hair-metal and MTV. It was a fertile field of styles and genres, and things were also evolving under the radar. By the late 80s we had the beginnings of Madchester, grunge was putting Seattle on the map and Pop Music was at something of a crossroads. Electronica was in danger of turning everything into over-production. MTV was in danger of turning Pop Culture into an image machine, rather than a medium to discover new music. And a lot of artists were taking it underground, crafting sounds and points of view that were not readily absorbed by the mainstream, but nonetheless creating an atmosphere where possibilities could still exist.
The Telescopes were one of those bands who went head-first into new territory by scoping out old territory and reclaiming it. Taking the essence of noise-rock, tossing in aspects of Grunge, Shoegaze and revisiting Psychedelia with the point of view and technical advances of the 80s, it made for some adventuresome and highly influential music.
This session, their first for John Peel from May 16, 1989, comes around the time of their debut singles. They had issued a flexi-disc which was given away by Sowing Seeds fanzine in 1988, but the singles “Kick The Wall” and “7th Disaster” were the first to be issued by the Indie label Cheree Records.
The Telescopes have changed personnel and directions many times in the 34 years they’ve been together. But the essence of who they are and what they are about hasn’t changed. With six albums to their credit, and no hint of stopping, if you haven’t discovered them yet, start here and work your way forward.
Play loud – they recorded it loud. It’s the least you can do.
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