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Rolling With Barron

Stuart Bailie | 11:59 UK time, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

You may know him as Peter Barron, Google's head of communications and public affairs for the UK, Ireland and Benelux regions. He's been busy of late commenting on his company's strained relationship with China. Before this, he was Editor of Newsnight and sometime handler of Jeremy Paxman.

Peter_Barron.jpgBut I remember the fella in a different era. Back in late Seventies Belfast, Peter was a sardonic young punk at RBAI who played in a band called Pig Awful. Clever that, getting the slight in before your critics. I don't recall much other than a stumbling version of the Bay City Roller's tune, 'There Goes My Baby'. We had the bootleg tape for a while and we'd laugh like donkeys at the backing vocals, supplied by Markie the guitarist.

Peter's talents as a media contender became apparent when he got a job on the Algarve News in the late eighties, and soon he was making progress at the BBC and Channel 4. But he's still partial to the occasional guitar lick, jamming good with Channel 4's Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Endemol boss Tim Hincks. A youtube search on spizz13 also reveals a series of Barron guitar solos, spanking that plank in the manner of Eric Clapton and Link Wray.

And yes, I did a Google search of Peter Barron and Pig Awful. No results shown. But I wouldn't suppose the Chinese are responsible for this...


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Stuart,

    Good to hear from you. I seem to remember you leading an outfit called Acme with songs such as "Mundies Wine' and the epic 'Beer Hall'.

    By the way - I saw Colin (Colin Glen for the purposes of Pig Awful - a rare Northern Irish bacon-related joke) the other day, now a leading figure at Microsoft.

    A reunion tour - first leg, second leg, hind quarters as we used to say - might be in order. Can you book the Pound?


  • Comment number 2.

    This is impossible to resist....

    I'd forgotten about the BCR cover, and in particular Markie's backing vocals, but then again the Pig Awful set was particularly eclectic (albeit I wouldn't have known what that meant then).

    Alongside the Rollers we had Wire's Lowdown - in some kind of homage to but diametrically opposite to the Defects' seminal verison of 12XU - First Time by the Boys, Steppin' Stone, T Rex's Life's a Gas and the VU's Femme Fatale. The latter two were actually quite decent versions on account of us bucking the trend and using a singer who, shock horror, could actually sing - Ruth Rind. Ruth and Scottie joined the core Pigs as a kind of early porcine collective.

    As Pete said, despite his Google role and mine at Microsoft - the bitterest of enemies - we're managing to maintain a kind of "across the barricades" relationship.

    Lydon flogged butter to fund PiL's reunion tour - I'm sure Danepak would be interested?


  • Comment number 3.

    You're forgetting a fine cover of Over 18, a little known 45 by a long forgotten band called XS Energy. As well of course as some of our own compositions, including a Joy Division-inspired instrumental signature tune: Pig Awful.

    Markie (guitar/backing vocals), Dave Rasher (guitar/vocals), Andy Awful (drums), Ruth Rind (vocals) you must be out there.

    Come aboard!

  • Comment number 4.

    you know the worst thing ---- it wasn't until a couple of years ago I got the offal / awful pun !! --- i just thought it was a comment on poor wee andys drumming --- haha -- and hes a vegatarian still !!! -- wasnt there also a version of buzzcocks sixteen again -- our in our case 46 again.... scotties alive and well and living it up in canada....

  • Comment number 5.

    There was, and also The Young Ones and It's My Party, and this is where the backing vocals came in. "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to (HE'LL CRY IF HE WANTS TO)" and "Just give what you got, (EVEN IF WHAT YOU GOT AIN'T A WHOLE BIG LOT), cos we may not be the young ones very long."

    The name was coined in Jimmy Sunshine's English class one Monday morning after a not very successful Sunday afternoon practice session round mine.

    Colin said: what did you think of the practice? I said: 'Pig Awful', and the legend was born.

    Pete Pig

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Peter & Colin,

    Long time no see. Just reading these comments with interest, as one who heard both you & Acme live. What about a reunion & play-off between the 2 bands ?? I know at least 4 people who would pay money to see that !!

    Hope you are both well.


  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Graeme,

    I think that counts as unstoppable momentum - we just need to put the band back together.

    Andy - where are you?


  • Comment number 8.

    Hey Mr McCausland

    Great to hear from you, hpoe you're well too. So not only is the reunion gig on track, but we have a name for the comeback album (sorry that should be CD)...Unstoppable Momentum.

    I'm tuning my bass this weekend.


  • Comment number 9.

    Keep up the great work, Peter. Lord Belmont is never off Google!

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi fellow Porkers:
    I'm in too....as long as Marky lets me sing "The Wasted Few"(still genius after all these years) and Andy doesn't set his blind dogs on me.

  • Comment number 11.

    BTW: Sadly enough, I still play on occasion........so I'm gonna show the rest of Pig Awful up for the first time ever. I think I know 5 chords now!

    Gonna a play a song on the wireless for me from my very soon-to-be-released-in-Europe CD, Stuart?

  • Comment number 12.

    5 chords scottie !! -- you always were a class act xx -- cant believe you remember my Joy Division stollen Walked in Line Wasted Few !! --- I belive your find it started in A minor with a chorus you struggled on a high octaves -- quality xxxx ---- i see Andy M every few months - hes over getting fundin for those blind dogs ----- i actually bought today an acoustic guitar in a beach in the philpines -- i amased the locals with my rendition of Jolene -- they looked genuinly bewildered !!!!!

  • Comment number 13.

    Hello Boys!!!

    I am ready and waiting in the wings with my make-up bag and crimpers should I receive the call, although I feel I reached the pinnacle of my career as "make-up artist" to Doomed Youth!

    I'd certainly pay good money to see a Pig reunion gig (£1 was worth a lot of money in'79)!

    Wouldn't wish to mention any names, but who was in the "band" with Tim Mehaffey - Beechgrove based, no instruments but used to play Orgasm Addict on tennis racquets in "someone's" front garden???

    Trust you are all well. Great to see all your names on the same page - ahhhhh!!!!

    Ingrid x


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