Norwich band Bearsuit ‘honoured’ to be playing John Peel fundraiser gig

A singer believes her Norwich-based band might not still be together without the support of legendary DJ John Peel in their early days.

Bearsuit, formed more than a decade ago, have been picked to support The Fall and The Undertones to raise money for the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts in Stowmarket.

The gig involving three of Mr Peel's favourite bands, along with the up-and-coming Dingus Khan, will take place at Epic Studios in Magdalen Street, Norwich, on Wednesday, October 10.

Bearsuit's Lisa Horton said she was honoured to be on the bill, with a 'real buzz' expected among the crowd.

She said: 'John Peel was a man who genuinely loved music. He listened to every single demo that was sent to him, picked out the gems and actually shaped the direction of music.

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'We may not have ever heard of bands like The White Stripes, David Bowie or The Undertones without him. The punk movement probably wouldn't have gained the weight it did and he was one of the first champions of dubstep –years before it filtered through to the mainstream.

'Transforming the face of music is part of his legacy. The other I think was inspiring so many generations to make music and giving them a platform to take risks with music.'

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The singer and keyboard player, recalling Mr Peel's support for Bearsuit, added: 'We just sent a demo in that we'd recorded ourselves at home. It was really bad, but he played it anyway and invited us in for a session. We couldn't believe our luck – it was a really exciting time.

'He went on to play pretty much everything we sent him and even offered to restart Dandelion Records to put out our album. We probably wouldn't still be together now if we hadn't had that support right at the start. It will always be a badge of honour!'

Mr Peel, who died in 2004, will have a festival named after him at Norwich Sound and Vision, which follows the fundraiser gig between October 11 and 13.

Tickets for The Fall/The Undertones gig are on sale, costing �20 in advance or �22 on the door. They are available from Norwich Arts Centre on 01603 660352 or online via

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