Elastica were signed by Steve Lamacq to Deceptive Records in 1993, before he joined Radio One as co-presenter of the Evening Session. Elastica managed 7 sessions for Radio One during their career up to 1999, of which four were for John Peel's programme. The first of these was in August 1993, prior to the release of their first single, Stutter (which they never recorded in a BBC session), and is included in full (although a bit of laughter and chat at the end of Annie, when Justine discovers that their bass guitarist, Annie Holland, had been stuck with a cigarette in her mouth throughout the take, has sadly been excised) and captures the spontaneity and sense of fun that the band exuded.
By the time they returned to Maida Vale in March 1994 for Steve Lamacq's show, they had been in the Top Twenty with Line-Up. Two tracks are included, the unreleased but fabulous In The City and the definitive version of Waking Up (2:1 and Connection are omitted). Another unreleased song (except in Japan), Ba Ba Ba, turns up at their next John Peel session in June along with songs that would turn up on their debut album, Four Wheeling (aka Car Song) and Hold Me Now (Never Here is left out of this release), and they came back to do a special Christmas session which included the traditional All For Gloria and I Wanna Be A King Of Orient Aah. As this version of Gloria has appeared on an official release before, I would have preferred to see Father Christmas here, or Donna Matthews' non-Xmas Blue, which was also included in the broadcast session.
Mark Radcliffe got the band in to his House Of Earthly Delights BBC studio in Manchester in March 1995 and they performed 4 songs from the just-released album. Rockunroll and 2:1 are chosen for this CD (Gloria and Car Song are not), both fine versions broadcast live to air.
During their long hiatus, a dark night of the soul for them, the band made their second appearance on the Evening Session in July 1996, previewing material from the second album (still four years away, unbeknownst to all). The session version of A Love Like Yours appeared on Volume 17 so is slightly wasted here. I Want You and The Other Side never saw the light of day on an official release, but Only Human was included on The Menace (as Human). Sadly, The Other Side does not appear on this collection either.
By the time the band, in a somewhat changed line-up, recorded their next and final session, for John Peel in September 1999, a 6-track EP of demos and alternative takes from the still-forthcoming album was in the shops, and from it they played KB and Generator, also previewing their cover of Trio's Da Da Da (the initials of Justine's ex-partner Damon Albarn) and Your Arse My Place, both to appear on the album (Mad Dog from this session is excluded here).
The collection plays well and shows the effectiveness of their tight minimal arrangements, with nothing so vulgar as a guitar or organ solo ever allowed, and leaves one keen for more. Perhaps this is a good thing but with a playing time of under 53 minutes, all the omitted session tracks would have fitted onto the CD, which would have pleased completists and put a line under one aspect of the Elastica story