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Flaming Stars - John Peel Sessions 17.10.96 and 19.02.02

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 4 / 5 / 2024

Flaming Stars - John Peel Sessions 17.10.96 and 19.02.02
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A


Dave Goodwin reviews a pair of delightful John Peel sessions from The Flaming Stars , beautifully packaged by Precious Recordings of London in this vinyl release.

The Flaming Stars were formed in Camden, London, in 1994 by lead singer and former Gallon Drunk drummer Max Décharné, guitarists Johnny Johnson and Mark Hosking, bassist Paul Dempsey, and drummer Joe Whitney. The two ten-inchers I have in front of me are taken from the tail of the band’s John Peel sessions, in fact the latter from 2002 being the very last one. It features the sparkling 'Cash 22' which in many fans’ eyes should have been released as a single, and the darker 'Killer In The Rain'. The other 10 inch record is from six years earlier and sports three unreleased tracks from that time. One of those (“Bury My Heart At Pier 13”) went on to be another Flaming Stars single and the last track on this one came from the debut album. Max admits they played the sessions pretty much as they would have done a gig: have a few beers, crank the sound up and see what happens. What did happen was two delightful sessions that have now been caught on disc and transformed into the Precious Recordings releases you see here. As with all the wonderful Precious 10 inch records they come with postcards of photos, and both are limited editions of 350 copies having sleeve essays by Max Décharné and cover collage designed by Joe Whitney. They were originally signed to the London-based but Japanese owned Vinyl Japan UK Ltd. After releasing their first EP, 'Hospital, Heaven or Hell', they received considerable praise from John Peel and Steve Lamacq and on the back that they recorded eight John Peel Sessions – six of which were released throughout the 1990s – and a double album a decade later. The band released a couple of albums in quick succession in the mid-1990s, the debut being 'Songs From the Bar Room Floor', followed by 'Sell Your Soul to the Flaming Stars' the following year. The next ('A Walk on the Wired Side') appeared just after the millennium and strayed away from the 1960s garage rock vibe into their own unique sound, and it gained them a minor hit with 'Some Things You Don't Forget'. Their fifth studio album, 'Sunset & Void', dropped a year later in 2002. “Named and Shamed” was released two years later marking their 10th anniversary but four years after this Vinyl Japan went pear shaped so the band instead signed to Big Beat Records and released a 42-track compilation album called 'London After Midnight: Singles, Rarities and Bar Room Floor-Fillers 1995-2005'. Their seventh studio album, 'Born Under A Bad Neon Sign' came a short while afterwards.

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Flaming Stars - John Peel Sessions 17.10.96 and 19.02.02

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Interview (2024)
Flaming Stars - Interview
UK garage punk band the Flaming Stars have two of their old John Peel sessions out on vinyl for the first time. Frontman Max Décharné talks about the importance of John Peel for the band, its high output career, and the impact of early MP3s on small bands and labels.

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