BOB in a Nutshell...
For fans of North London-based BOB life could sometimes be frustrating. Releases were sporadic yet acclaimed. A series of singles and EPs was released during the late 1980s and early 1990s, with four of the last five being NME Single of the Week. When an album was finally recorded, any potential success was undermined by the collapse of the Rough Trade distribution network.
The gaps between releases were sometimes filled by Peel Sessions. Peel chanced upon the band (or was it vice versa?) overhearing their first release - a flexidisc – on the instore hi-fi of a small London independent record shop. In all, BOB recorded three Peel sessions, showcasing tracks that would or would not end up ultimately being committed to vinyl.
Even seeing BOB live could prove to be a challenge. Firstly, fans had to avoid Liverpudlian contemporaries Bob, Bob, Bob and Bob as well as a different London-based band also performing under the ‘Bob’ moniker. This achieved, they then ran the risk of attending one of the gigs that would end up being recounted in the band’s newsletters with a full account of how the PA had broken down and been fixed with the element from an electric kettle. Still, life on the road was not always without glamour for BOB: they did meet major Ron Ferguson – the Duchess of York’s dad – outside a pub once.
Despite the critical acclaim, BOB never really enjoyed the success they deserved. Two singles and a compilation album were released on the Sombrero label (also home to The Siddeleys and Reserve). The rest of BOB’s releases were self-financed affairs on their own House of Teeth label (“More classics than you can shake a stick at”), although Virgin’s publishing arm stumped up the money for a handful of singles. Meanwhile, drummer Dean Leggett’s connection with fellow Jamie Wednesday graduates Jim Bob and Fruitbat earned BOB a support slot with Carter USM at the height of their career.
A newly expanded version of
The original classic album, plus bonus tracks.
All five BBC Radio Sessions, plus bonus tracks.
Click on the album cover for more details from the Cherry Red website.
(NB: the BBC Radio Humberside session has been omitted from this tracklisting, but will be on the CD)
In other news...
An interesting article about rescuing the BOB master tapes, the BOB recording studio and the band's formative years is here.