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"Well, he’s the kind of bloke who does things at his own pace, for which I admire him enormously. And they were with Warner Brothers previously and there was real conflict between the two of them because they wanted him to conform to an idea that they had of what he should be and of course he is not the man for that sort of thing. A bloke I like enormously I must admit … I dread the day when I can no longer have my stumps scattered by a new record - you know, when I can’t really be just bowled over by something - and the new Wah! single is the first one this year that has just left me breathless."
(Peel on Wylie/Wah and 'Come Back', My Top Ten, 1984)
Wah! are a Liverpool band of numerous name variations that have featured a revolving set of musicians alongside singer/guitarist Pete Wylie since emerging from the city's Eric's club scene of the late 1970s. Despite some UK chart success during the 1980s, the band's progress was hampered by record company problems. Wylie went solo and played with musicians including The Farm but was sidelined for a long period after suffering serious injuries in an accident in 1991. He was back by the end of the decade, however, recording his first Peel session for 15 years in 2000.
Links to Peel
As outlined in the Peel-narrated TV documentary Rock Family Trees: The New Merseybeat, Pete Wylie had been in earlier Liverpool bands with Ian McCulloch (later Echo & The Bunnymen), Julian Cope (Teardrop Explodes) and Pete Burns (Dead Or Alive).
Peel was a consistent supporter of Wah! from their earliest days and continued to play the band's records into the 21st century. Despite their contrasting personalities, Peel and Wylie got on well, sharing a love of Liverpool football team. The musician was one of the few to appear as a live studio guest on the Peel show during the 1980s, on 13 August 1984. Wylie would credit Peel as the inspiration for one the band's best-known names, The Mighty Wah!
Introducing the 29 May 1986 edition of Top Of The Pops, Peel caused some controversy when he commented after the Wylie solo single 'Sinful', “If that doesn’t make No.1, I’m going to come round and break wind in your kitchen!”  (It actually got to number 13, and number 28 when reissued in a remake with the Farm in 1991. Recipients of JP's flatulence should contact the Peel Mailing List.) However, he appeared less than impressed with Wylie's solo LP Sinful  and he disappeared from John's playlists for some time.
A tribute to Peel by Wylie, written at the time the Wah! track 'Remember' was included on Uncut magazine's John Peel's Festive 15 CD, can be read here. 'Hope (I Wish You'd Believe Me)' subsequently feaured on the John Peel: Right Time, Wrong Speed 1977-1987 compilation.
Festive Fifty Entries
- 1980 Festive Fifty: Better Scream #65
- 1982 Festive Fifty: The Story Of The Blues #7
- 1982 Festive Fifty: Remember #44
- 1984 Festive Fifty: Come Back #5
- Six sessions, under various names (1./2. Wah! Heat, 3. Shambeko! Say Wah!, 4. Wah!, 5. The Mighty Wah!, 6. Pete Wylie). Session 5 released as The Peel Sessions (12", Strange Fruit, 1987). The first four sessions were all repeated 13 August 1984, with Pete Wylie in the studio as Peel's guest. The band's third session was later chosen as one of the the Best 125 Peel Sessions (the BBC Keep It Peel site includes samples of the tracks).
- Seven Minutes To Midnight / Don't Step On The Cracks / Somesay / Other Boys
- Cut Out / Sleep / The Checkmate Syndrome / Forget The Down
- Papa Crack / Satie’s Faction / You'll Never Walk Alone (straight version) / You’ll Never Walk Alone (silly version) / 8-8.30 Or 10 Tell 12
- Hope (I Wish You'd Believe Me) / Sleep (Lullaby For Josie) / Year Of Decision / Silver And Gold
- Better Scream / Weekends / Basement Blues / Yuh Learn / The Mighty Wah!
6. Recorded: 2000-04-09. First broadcast: 17 May 2000. Repeated: ?
- I Still Love You / Disneyland Forever / Never Loved As A Child / Alone
- 08 April 1980 (recorded live at the last night of Eric's club, Liverpool, 1980-03-14, set details from Fruitier Than Thou)
- Check Mate
- Other Boys
Other Shows Played
(Includes releases under all variations of band name and Pete Wylie. This list was researched only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive and may be incomplete. Please add further information if known.)
- 18 February 1980: Better Scream (single) Inevitable
- (JP: “Further proof that Liverpool is the cultural center of the globe certainly. And that said as a man who only goes there about 15 times a year, and that’s just for football.”)
- 21 February 1980: Better Scream (7") Inevitable
- 12 March 1980: Better Scream (single) Inevitable
- 19 March 1980: Better Scream (single) Inevitable (Wah and Teardrop Explodes singles played in the wake of the closure of Eric’s club in Liverpool.)
- 25 March 1980: Better Scream (Single) Inevitable
- 03 April 1980: Hey Disco Joe
- 10 April 1980: Hey Disco Joe (7") Inevitable
- 01 May 1980: Hey Disco Joe (LP – Hicks From The Sticks) Rockburgh
- 30 June 1980: Better Scream (7") Inevitable
- 20 October 1980: Seven Minutes To Midnight...(To Be Continued) (7") Inevitable INEV 004
- 19 January 1981: Don't Step On The Cracks (7" - Seven Minutes To Midnight) Inevitable INEV 004
- 02 March 1981: 7,000 Names Of Wah (v/a cassette - NME / Rough Trade C81) New Musical Express / Rough Tapes COPY 001
- 01 June 1981: Forget The Down! (7") Eternal
- 02 June 1981: The Checkmate Syndrome (7" b-side Forget The Down!) Eternal
- 14 July 1981: Otherboys (album - Nah=Poo - The Art Of Bluff) Eternal
- 14 September 1981: Seven Minutes To Midnight (7") Inevitable
- 26 April 1982: A Crack Is A Crack ('Remember' single b-side)
- 29 April 1982: Remember (7") Eternal
- 22 July 1982: Seven Minutes To Midnight (7") Inevitable
- 24 August 1982: Hey Disco Joe (LP – Hicks From The Sticks) Rockburgh
- 28 October 1982: Story Of The Blues (7 inch) Eternal
- 02 November 1982: Seven Minutes To Midnight (Liveish) (12" - The Story Of The Blues) Eternal JF1 T
- 09 November 1982: Shambeko (album - The Maverick Years 80-81) The Wonderful World Of... WW1
- 15 November 1982: The Story Of The Blues Part One (7") Eternal JF 1
- 17 November 1982: The Checkmate Syndrome (album - The Maverick Years 80-81) The Wonderful World Of... WW1
- 01 December 1982: The Story Of The Blues (7 inch) Eternal
- 14 December 1982: Better Scream
- 14 December 1982: Seven Minutes To Midnight
- 14 December 1982: Forget The Down
- 14 December 1982: Some Say
- 14 December 1982: Remember
- 16 December 1982: Remember (7 inch) Eternal FF#44
- 29 December 1982: The Story Of The Blues (7 inch) Eternal FF#5
- 17 March 1983: Seven Minutes To Midnight (7") Inevitable
- 17 March 1983: Hope (I Wish You'd Believe Me) (7") Eternal
- 26 December 1983: Remember (single) Eternal ZAZU 1(T)
- 17 May 1984: Body And Soul (album - A Word To The Wise Guy) Beggars Banquet BEGA 54
- 30 May 1984: Come Back (Played after Liverpool won the European Cup)
- 18 June 1984: Come Back (7") Beggars Banquet
- 25 July 1984: Yuh Learn 2 (LP - A Word To The Wise Guy) Beggars Banquet
- 06 August 1984: What's Happening Here (LP - A Word To The Wise Guy) Beggars Banquet
- 03 September 1984: Weekends (single) Beggars Banquet
- 26 November 1984: Remember
- 27 November 1984: The Seven Thousand Names Of Wah!
- 05 December 1984: Other Boys
- 01 January 1985: Come Back (7 inch) Beggars Banquet FF#5
- (JP: "My personal favourite of the year...should have been higher, boys and girls.")
- 27 March 1985: Somesay (album - Nah=Poo - The Art Of Bluff) Eternal CLASSIC 1
- 24 June 1985: Come Back (7") Beggars Banquet
- 05 August 1985: Hope (The Remix!) (LP - The Way We Wah!) Eternal
- 14 August 1985: The Seven Thousand Names of Wah! (LP - The Way We Wah!) Eternal
- 24 April 1986 (BFBS) (Peel 033 (BFBS)): 'Sinful! (7")' (MDM) (JP: 'No longer Wah! anything.')
- 29 April 1986: 'Sinful! (7")' (MDM)
- 12 May 1986: Sinful! (7") MDM
- 04 June 1986: Sinful (7") Virgin
- (JP: "See? If it's cascading guitars you want, Wylie was ahead of the field. What a man!")
- 23 October 1987 (BFBS) (Peel 072 (BFBS)): 'Basement Blues / Story Of The Blues (12"-The Peel Sessions)' (Strange Fruit)
- 06 August 1990: Seven Minutes To Midnight (single) Inevitable
- 08 August 1990: Remember (7") Eternal
- 23 March 1991: Sinful (12") Siren
- 06 April 1991 (BFBS): 'Sinful! (Scary Jiggin' With Doctor Love) - Length! (12")' (Siren) with Farm
- 18 April 1991 (Radio Mafia): Sinful (7", Siren records, 1991)
- 26 May 1991: 'Don't Lose Your Dreams (Excerpt From A Teenage Opera Part 154) Seamless (12" Single) Siren
- 08 June 1991: Don't Lose Your Dreams (single)
- 14 June 1991 (BFBS): Don't Lose Your Dreams (Excerpt From A Teenage Opera Part 154) (7") Siren
- 16 June 1991: Don't Lose Your Dreams
- 24 June 1991 (BBC World Service): Don't Lose Your Dreams (single) Siren
- Peel 003 (Radio Bremen): Don't Lose Your Dreams (Excerpt From A Teenage Opera Part 154) (7") Siren
- 07 January 1995: Come Back
- 14 January 1995 (BFBS): Come Back (7") Beggars Banquet
- (JP: 'Really one of the great records of all time, and old enough for me to have introduced it on Top Of The Pops.')
- 19 March 1996: Seven Minutes To Midnight (CD - The Indie Scene 1980: The Story of British Independent Music) Connoisseur Collection
- 01 July 1996: You'll Never Walk Alone (session) (John Peel's Classic Sessions)
- 26 November 1998: Heart As Big As Liverpool (single) Columbia
- 14 December 1999: Come Back Peelenium 1984
- 01 March 2000: Heart As Big As Liverpool' (Single) When!
- 09 March 2000 (Radio Eins): Heart As Big As Liverpool
- 28 March 2000: Heart As Big As Liverpool (CD single) When! Recordings
- (JP: "Feeling pretty good about next season.")
- 06 April 2000 (Radio Eins): Heart As Big As Liverpool (CD single) When! Recordings
- 18 April 2000: Never Loved As A Child (LP: Songs Of Strength & Heartbreak) When
- 25 April 2000: Sing All The Saddest Songs (LP: Songs Of Strength & Heartbreak) When
- 16 May 2000: Sing All The Saddest Songs (LP - Songs Of Strength & Heartbreak) When!
- 19 December 2000: Come Back (Festive Fifty 25th anniversary special. Apparently Pete Wylie was due to make a live appearance to perform 'Come Back', but was unable to get to the studio due to problems with the trains. The record was played instead.)
- 02 March 2004: Seven Minutes To Midnight (7") Inevitable
- 13 July 2004: The Story of the Blues (7") Eternal
- Kid Bryan And The Farmers Boys / Higsons 1982: The Story Of The Blues (7") Eternal 249981-7
- You'll Never Walk Alone(2): The Story Of The Blues (7") Eternal
- Peel Early June 1984: Come Back!
- Peel February 1985]: Seven Minutes To Midnight (album - Nah=Pooh - The Art Of Bluff) Eternal CLASSIC 1
- Peel 007 (BFBS): Other Boys (LP-The Way We Wah!) Eternal
- Peel 033 (BFBS): 'Sinful! (7")' (MDM)
- (JP: 'His first record in about eighteen months, since Come Back in fact, and a bit of an amalgam of several previous records, but it's nice to hear him again.')
- My Top Ten: Mighty Wah: Come Back