Long before fame crossed The Beloved‘s path, they recorded two sessions for the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1. Both were recorded in 1985, before debut single A Hundred Words appeared the following year, and long before debut compilation album Where it Is (1987).
The sound on both sessions will be familiar to those who have heard any of The Beloved‘s early material – raw, indie, and owing a lot to some very heavy influences. Intriguingly, most of the tracks were never formally released though – Josephine opens, and then Up a Tree and So Seldom Solemn follow, none of which ever saw the light of day.
Honestly it’s difficult to believe many people will enjoy this session enormously – it’s all entirely pleasant, but there isn’t a lot that stands out. In fact, In Trouble and Shame is probably the only one that has anything special to say for itself, and so it should come as little surprise that it subsequently appeared as the b-side to the debut single and also found a place on the first album.
On this session, cut short at only six and a half minutes, In Trouble and Shame is still a pretty worthy piece to finish the recording. It owes a lot to Atmosphere, and is almost certainly aware of the fact, but it’s a worthy tribute and a great track in its own right.
It would take another four years of lineup changes and experimentation before The Beloved finally hit the charts with The Sun Rising, and while there’s little of that sound to be found here, it’s still a great moment for the archives.