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Date: 29/02/16

Spiritualized - "Feel So Sad" (Peel Session) (1992)

Lest I should go an entire month without posting anything new in this section (but then, given that February has been quite the shittiest month I've experienced in some little time, that should hardly be boggled at), I thought I'd force another worm down your sweet little ears. You'll thank me for it one day, you know.

This is one more courtesy of the giant that was John Peel. One of the crucial features of his Radio 1 shows for nearly the whole of the 37 years he was doing them was the Peel Session, whereby up-and-coming and established artists alike got twenty minutes or so's recording time in a BBC studio to showcase themselves or just to do something that wouldn't necessarily be expected of them. As a result, so many of those hundreds of sessions contain tracks or versions of tracks which are unique in some way.

This is one such.

Formed out of the remnants of his previous outfit Spacemen 3, Spiritualized was led by Jason Pierce, and their music was part of the tendency around that time to build songs around washes of drones and guitar tremolo.

On this session (recorded in January 1992 and first broadcast in March of that year), Feel So Sad was the second track (although Peel - unusually - seguéd it straight out of the first one, Angel Sigh, rather than space the tracks out over the course of the show as would usually be the case. The third track, Smiles, was played on its own later on) and - like the other two - has the five-piece band augmented by top sessions players The Kick Horns. This gives Feel So Sad in particular a special extra element. The first section is a slow, atmospheric song typical of the band's sound at that time, but at just after the four-minute mark we get an instrumental coda which seems entirely at odds with both the style and the lyrics of the first part, providing instead a Kick-Horns/kick-ass march which is joyous and life-affirming (and sounds slightly Christmassy to me; but maybe they were still celebrating in the first week of January).


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