(Picture Guido van Nispen)
Dutch indie rockers Eton Crop owe a debt of gratitude to John Peel. He plugged their songs like hell and invited them to play 5 John Peel Sessions. Last year they reformed to play the Peel Regenerated festival in Stockton. This year they come back to play the John Peel Centre (Stowmarket, oct 22), the Peel Regenerated festival (Middlesborough, oct 24) and the Un-Peeled festival in Preston (oct 25).
The post punk band from Amsterdam, Netherlands, released their first single in 1980 but started to build a following in England in the mid eighties. They did that by releasing records on the Norwich Grunt Grunt A Go Go label (It’s My Dog Maestro) and Ediesta (Yes Please, Bob) and by playing a lot in the UK with musical soulmates The Fall, The Three Johns and The Nightingales. The NME and Melody Maker picked the band up and they were regulars on The John Peel Show ending up in 5 Peel Sessions, one of them being released on John’s Strange Fruit label.
Eton Crop frontman Erwin Blom wrote a large piece on Louder Than War to describe what John Peel ment to him. “John Peel changed my life. By opening my eyes and ears. And introducing me to punk. But he introduced me to a lot more than just loud guitars. Through his show I learned that punk was a lot more than music. Punk was an attitude. Punk was Do It Yourself, start your own club, start your own fanzine, start your own label, start your own band. And that’s exactly what we did. Inspired by The Undertones, The Fall, The Mekons and so many more, we started a band: Eton Crop. And we started a club (Shiva Uithoorn), we started a fanzine (Everybody's Happy Nowadays), we started a label (Bigger Bank Balance Records) and we started a studio (Nickelodeon Studios). All those years later, the Do It Yourself attitude is still a part of my life. Thank you punk, thank you John Peel!”
Eton Crop is honoured to be back in the UK. Is proud to be able to play on events that remember the importance of John Peel, but more so, to keep his open spirit alive. Erwin Blom: “John Peel taught me openness. Talking about punk these days seems limited to talking about 4 to the floor guitars. And there's nothing wrong with that of course. Love it. But thinking back to the days of punk, thanks to Peelie I’m reminded of the weird funk of The Pop Group, the uplifting ska of The Specials, the dark electro of Cabaret Voltaire and the fucked up poetry of John Cooper Clarke. The musical diversity and freedom of punk and what came after, combined with the search for the new and the fresh, influenced me big time. John Peel combined the old with the new. He also introduced me to the music of the fifties as well as to new hip hop and house. He extended my world of music with sounds from all over - from England to Germany, from America to Africa.”
Erwin Blom on John Peel on Louder Than War