FANDOM


Peel 60th birthday

The Cuban Boys with JP at his 60th birthday party

Related article: South Park

"Without any shadow of a doubt, the Cuban Boys exist and continue to exist because of the legendary DJ, John Peel. He was the first person to champion the band, and he remained a loyal supporter before, during and after the Cuban Boys gatecrashed the UK Charts. During the period from 1998 to 2001, any listener of the John Peel Show would be all too aware that the Cuban Boys were a regular feature on the show whether just simply having an email read out, a track played or a session aired. John Peel and the Cuban Boys were so closely connected that John considered the band as an extended part of his own family, often inviting them along to the live shows at BBC Maida Vale." Cuban Boys website.

"As regular listeners will know, our bodies throb in unison in this house at the mere mention of the name of the Cuban Boys, so we certainly love 'em." (19 January 2000)

The Cuban Boys are a group variously described as a 'pop act' (Discogs) and ' production team' (Wikipedia). They rely on fast electronic beats and heavy sampling. Their musical career has not followed a conventional path, with many of their tracks being made available as free mp3 downloads and the majority of it unavailable commercially. Skreen B and Ricardo Autobahn (as John suggested, not the name he was born with) were signed to EMI, but it was a short and unhappy relationship. The poor sales of their debut LP, Eastwood, can be laid squarely at the company's door, since they spent little on marketing it and replaced unauthorised samples with obvious imitations, presumably without the band's consent.

As a result of this, the band recorded a version of the Sex Pistols's EMI and virtually ceased all activity under the Cuban Boys name, although they reformed for The Nation Needs You, and have released two LPs on their own label, House Of Beauty (one a compilation). Pete Townshend featured two of their songs during his John Peel lecture of 2011. The band had reformed under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs since 2002.

Links To Peel

As the band have pointed out above, their career has been linked inextricably with Peel's show: Skreen was a regular contributor to the chat rooms and competitions, and one track, Flossie's Alarming Clock, was named after Florence Ravenscroft, one of Peel's daughters. Their association began when the band sent him a one-off CDr, their first recording, and he began to play it shortly afterward (the first play of Cuban Boys Go Boom! was on 21 July 1998, and the band celebrated this ten years later by posting a tribute on their website: "John was there right at the very beginning, and he was still there supporting us at the end. We still miss him every single day." [1]

The Cuban Boys recorded two Peel sessions, composed entirely of deconstructions of found material and cover versions, and scored seven Festive Fifty entries, including the number one for the 1999 Festive Fifty, Cognoscenti vs. Intelligentsia, which also hit the top five in the UK charts. Peel wrote the sleeve notes for their debut LP Eastwood, in which he stated:

"I don't think they're going away just yet. I hope not anyway. We've enjoyed them a lot in our house. And if they do turn out to be one-hit wonders, so what? I've never had a hit and I don't suppose you have either."

In the year following Peel's demise, the band were active in supporting John Peel Day and made The Nation Needs You, including samples of John's voice, available to download: this subsequently became their last Festive Fifty entry until a remixed version appeared in the 2014 Festive Fifty to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Peel's death.

Festive Fifty Entries

Cuban Boys - Cognoscenti vs Intelligentsia

Cuban Boys - Cognoscenti vs Intelligentsia

The band entered the chart seven times, once after Peel's passing, and garnered a number 1 in 1999 with Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia, which also reached number 4 in the UK charts (and which one listener was quite outraged not to find in the Peelenium 1999). Had it got to number one, John surmised it might have been the most irritating record to do so since Rolf Harris' Two Little Boys in 1969. As their website pointed out, most of the entries came from material that was unavailable in the shops: "That simply explains the relationship the band had with John and his listeners - no great distinction between their an entry which sold over 250,000 copies and one which only existed as a one-off cdr burnt just for John Peel." [2]

Their final entry was with The Nation Needs You, a tribute to Peel which featured the man himself in the mix.

Post-Peel

Sessions

Two sessions. No known commercial release.

1. Recorded 1998-12-06. First broadcast 13 January 1999.

  • Oh My God They Killed Kenny / Stardust Pt. 3 Ariana In Space / Hanging On The Telephone / Let's Get Raunchier

2. Recorded 2000-03-22. First broadcast 10 May 2000.

  • From Out Of Nowhere / The Number One Song In Heaven / Ghosts / The Laughing Gnome

Other Shows Played

(The list below was compiled only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive. Please add more information if known.)

1998
  • July 1998 (FSK): Cuban Boys Go Boom! (EP - Cuban Boy) CDr
  • 21 July 1998: Cuban Boys Go Boom! (EP - Cuban Boy) CDr
  • 28 July 1998: Cuban Boys Go Boom! (EP - Cuban Boy) CDr
  • 18 August 1998: Foggy Mountain Breakdown (EP - Breakdown At Tiffanys) Unknown
  • 19 August 1998: Let's Get Raunchy (EP - Breakdown At Tiffanys) Unknown
  • 20 August 1998: Oh My God! They Killed Kenny (EP - Breakdown At Tiffany's) Unknown
  • 23 August 1998 (BFBS): Let's Get Raunchy (EP-Breakdown At Tiffany's)' (white label) (JP mentions that he is an admirer of South Park.)
  • 26 August 1998: Oh My God! They Killed Kenny (EP - Breakdown At Tiffany's) white label
  • 03 September 1998: Oh My God! They Killed Kenny (EP - Breakdown At Tiffany's) Unknown
  • 06 September 1998 (BFBS): Oh My God! They Killed Kenny (7") For Us
  • 23 September 1998: Oh My God! They Killed Kenny
  • 21 October 1998: Stardust (Part 1 They Came From Outer Space) (EP - Ariana EP) white label
  • 29 October 1998: Oh My God! They Killed Kenny (remix)
  • 05 November 1998: Stardust (Part 1 They Came From Outer Space) (EP – Ariana) white label
  • 29 December 1998: (JP: “At number 6, a record which has never even been available in the shops! Fantastic, though.”) Oh My God! They Killed Kenny! (7 inch)' (Rough Trade Shops) FF#6
1999
  • 07 April 1999: Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia (EP - Unsigned Band Seek Label - Will Travel) white label
  • 13 April 1999: Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia (EP - Unsigned Band Seek Label - Will Travel) CDr
  • 22 April 1999: Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia (EP - Unsigned Band Seek Label - Will Travel) CDr
  • 23 April 1999 (BBC World Service): Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia (EP - Unsigned Band Seek Label - Will Travel) CDr
  • 27 April 1999: Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia (EP - Unsigned Band Seek Label - Will Travel) Cdr
  • 29 April 1999: Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia (EP - Unsigned Band Seek Label - Will Travel) Cdr
  • May 1999 (FSK): Cognoscenti Vs. Intelligentsia (EP - Unsigned Band Seek Label - Will Travel) Cdr
  • 05 May 1999: Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia (EP - Unsigned Band Seek Label - Will Travel) White label
  • 20 May 1999: Foggy Mountain Breakdown (EP - Blueprint For Modernisation) Org
  • 25 May 1999: Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia (EP - Unsigned Band Seek Label - Will Travel) White label
  • 27 May 1999: Oh My God They Killed Kenny (Helium Hardcore Mix) (EP: Blueprint For Modernisation) Org
  • 08 June 1999: Flossie's Alarming Clock (EP – Faster Than A Speeding Bullet Train) white label
  • 09 June 1999: Stardust (Part 1 They Came From Outer Space) (EP – Blueprint For Modernisation) Org
  • 10 June 1999: Flossie's Alarming Clock (white label) (Running Cuban Boys theme through the evening with assorted members emailing Peel (“signs of boyband style conflict”), as well as plays for a remix by the band and eventually Flossie’s Alarming Clock.)
  • 16 June 1999: Cuban Boys (Cuban Boys Go Boom! Mix) (CD Single - Blueprint For Modernisation EP) Org Records
  • 24 June 1999: Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia (Glastonbury Mix)
  • June 1999 (FSK): Flossie's Alarming Clock
  • 08 July 1999: Flossie's Alarming Clock
  • 21 July 1999: Flossie's Alarming Clock (white label)
  • 12 August 1999: Flossie's Alarming Clock (demo)
  • 16 September 1999: Team Jordan (CDR) white label (track is from the band’s birthday present to Peel)
  • 29 September 1999: (An email from Skreen of the Cuban Boys mentions the upcoming single release of Cognoscenti Vs. Intelligentsia.)
  • 02 November 1999: Cognoscenti Vs. Intelligentsia (promo CDr) EMI
  • 10 November 1999: Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia (promo CDr) EMI ((JP: “Not on the Radio 1 playlist, I'm advised, which is perfectly extraordinary. Apparently, it's assessed as being a kind of novelty record and therefore not worthy of playing.”)
  • 17 November 1999: (Peel rips into Ally McBeal, but as the female staff of the programme and the Cuban Boys leap to its defence finds himself in a minority of one.)
  • 25 November 1999: Flossie's Alarming Clock (unreleased)
  • 30 November 1999: Open The Door, Richard! (EP: In The Footsteps of Emma) EMI
  • 09 December 1999 (Radio Eins): Ten Happy Fingers (demo CD)
  • 13 December 1999 (BFBS): Cognoscenti Vs. Intelligentsia (CDS) EMI (JP: 'Well, they may turn out to be one-hit wonders, but this programme has been with them from the start.' He guesses that the Cuban Boys single, which was being tipped to be the Christmas number one single in the UK that year, may be "the most irritating number 1 single since Two Little Boys" (it got to number 4).)
  • 14 December 1999: Ten Happy Fingers (demo CD)
  • 22 December 1999: Fluorescent Dream Beams (CDS-Cognoscenti Vs. Intelligentsia) EMI
  • December 1999 (FSK): Open The Door, Richard
  • 28 December 1999: Flossie's Alarming Clock (exclusive to Peel Show) FF#28
  • 29 December 1999: Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia-Original Mix (CDr promo) EMI FF#1
2000
2001
  • 27 March 2001: Drink (EP: Toasting the Industry) white label
  • 06 April 2000: Inertia Kicks (CD-Eastwood) EMI
  • 10 April 2001: Drink (EP – Toasting the Industry) white label
  • 18 April 2001: Drink (EP – Toasting the Industry) white label
  • 29 April 2001 (BBC World Service): Drink (EP – Toasting the Industry) white label
  • 29 May 2001: EMI (EP: Four New Singles From Damaged Goods) Damaged Goods
  • 07 August 2001: (Skreen from the Cuban Boys gets in touch during the show to announce the current state of play in the poll on their drinkdrinkdrink website, which posed the question, 'who would you most like to go drinking with?'. Peel discovers - "And at number one it's me." This sample was later used on the Cuban Boys' posthumous tribute, 'The Nation Needs You'.)
  • 20 November 2001: Disco Boy (EP - Return To The Valley Of The Cuban Boys) white Label
  • 21 November 2001: title not announced (EP – Return To The Valley Of The Cuban Boys) white label
  • 28 November 2001: Drink Drink Drink (promo CD) Sanctuary
  • 26 December 2001: Drink Drink Drink (Promo CD-Drink) Sanctuary FF#23
2002
  • 18 April 2002: (Email from Skreen of the Cuban Boys, who says he dreamed Peel was serving him in a sweet shop and trying to give him a big bag of chocolates for the same price as a small one. Happily, “no bodily fluids were exchanged.”)
  • 04 September 2002: 'The Buccaneers (EP- Wet Your Whistle)' (Demo) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 05 September 2002: 'The Yodelling Whistler' (Demo) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 16 October 2002: Seaside (LP - A Jolly Good Show) House Of Beauty (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 17 October 2002: 'Diamonds (LP - A Jolly Good Show)' (House of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 23 October 2002: 'In Da mood (LP - A Jolly Good Show)' (House of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 05 November 2002: 'Mf Knees Up (LP - A Jolly Good Show)' (House Of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 07 November 2002: 'Mad Dogs (LP - A Jolly Good Show)' (House Of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 20 November 2002: 'Seaside (LP - A Jolly Good Show)' (White Label) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 28 November 2002: 'Windows 2002 (LP - A Jolly Good Show)' (House Of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • December 2002 (FSK): MF Knees Up (CD - A Jolly Good Show) House Of Beauty (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 04 December 2002: 'Bananas (CD-A Jolly Good Show)' (House Of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 17 December 2002: 'Twelve Days Of XXXmass (LP - A Merry XXXmas)' (House Of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 18 December 2002: Come Landlord (LP - A Merry Xxxmas) White Label (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
2003
  • 26 February 2003: 'The Magic Roundabout' (LP - TV Themes) (House Of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 19 March 2003: 'Roobarb and Custard' (House of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 01 April 2003: 'Skreentest' (LP - TV Themes) (House Of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 09 September 2003: 'Wandering (LP- The Hour Of Enchantment)' (House of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 11 September 2003: 'It's A Long Way' (LP - The Hour Of The Enchanted) (Hour Of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 18 September 2003: 'Fred Astaire' (LP - The Hour Of Enchantment) (House Of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 19 September 2003 (BBC World Service): 'Wandering (LP- The Hour Of Enchantment)' (House of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 24 September 2003: 'It's A Long Way (LP- The Hour Of Enchantment)' (House Of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 08 October 2003: 'Grandma (CDR)' (White Label) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
  • 11 November 2003: 'Fred Astaire' (LP - 'The hour of Enchantment')' (House of Beauty) (Under the name of Beatbox Saboteurs)
2004
  • 16 March 2004: (Disclaimer for Peel show from Skreen of Cuban Boys.)

See Also

External Links