Funboy Five

The John Peel Session


funboy five

behind the legend

  Recorded in September 1979, the Funboy Five's John Peel session comprised four songs:

'Life After Death', 'Compulsive Eater', 'Haircut Bob Dylan '66', and 'Bleached Roots of Surf'.

The first two songs, in very different form, subsequently became a single. Of the others, 'Haircut Bob Dylan '66' was inspired by a character in Brighton encountered during the group's first tour (and, obviously, by Bob Dylan's 1966 hairstyle) while 'Bleached Roots of Surf' was an instrumental derived from ‘Wide Boy’, a song written by Mick Sinclair for the Anal Surgeons.

The session was produced by Bob Sergeant.

One quirk was the incredibly fast pace of the songs. This was due to Robert the drummer’s apparent nervousness, which led to an inability on his part to play the songs at their usual speed. This made things even more difficult than normal for the rest of the band, who struggled to keep up. This is very evident on the recordings, not least in the breathless vocals.

Bob Brimson, the bass player who had left to join The Bears, temporarily rejoined the Funboy Five to play on the session.

The session was first broadcast on October 1, 1979 and repeated a few months later.


the funboy five in a field in 1979


Only thirty years on, Universal (yes, that Universal) bravely ventured where no other major record label had previously dared by including the Funboy Five, with the single version of 'Life After Death', on a 4-CD boxed set celebrating the work and influence of John Peel, along with about 72 (the actual total changes everytime you try to count them) other artists of similarly high repute and a Peel connection.

There now follows a blatantly commercial banner ad on behalf of Universal, although it does actually lead to an agreeable site about John Peel and the compilation, and there's even a pic of the Funboy Five in there somewhere...






Early Recordings


The Life After Death Single (1980)


Recent singles (2014 to 2016)


The Label


Last Days and 21st Century Revival


Before and After


Buy Stuff


Funboy Five digital downloads at bandcamp


Funboy Five Youtube channel