I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

radio darrenf

EDITED AFTER POSTING: holy crap, loads of this is virtually identical to a post I wrote in August! Oops. Ah well, if you did actually read my blog back then, just skip to the bottom where I'm trying to drum up listeners. Ahem.

I think I've always wanted to be a DJ. Not a club DJ, or a between-sets-at-gigs DJ, but a radio/broadcast DJ. Someone who talks between and about the music they play, and has a listenership. This probably stems from growing up listening to the radio a lot. And wanting to be popular, of course.

When my bro' was first given licence to stay at home at weekends (where previously the whole family would up sticks and head to Mytchett), I was given the same licence. So while he was 18 -- or was it 16? -- when our folks gave him keys, I earned it 4.5 years earlier purely 'cos he was there to look after me. What I remember most about those weekends is having Capital Radio on all morning.

GLR/Radio London was on a lot -- Sunday evenings had a dance music show hosted by a fat bloke called Steve, from whom Kevin once won a bunch of vinyl. One of the albums had This Brutal House by Nitro Deluxe on it, still one of my favourite dance tunes. Straight after, or maybe a couple of hours later, there was Krusher's rock show. I remember him having Tom Araya on there once, picking his favourite tunes to play, and being aghast as he chose The Doors and other stuff like that. He claimed he didn't listen to metal: there wasn't much point, since he was in the best metal band around, so it would all be worse than the stuff he played each day. Fair point, Tom.

Another Tom, Tommy Vance, used to do the Friday Night Rock Show on Radio 1. I used to fall asleep with that on after coming back from the local rock club night in Morden, though more often I would set a D90 going to record it and then listen to it on my walkman the next day on the way to working in the Co-Op. Christ, what a lifetime away that was.

Charts. We used to listen to those a lot. The official chart show, or the network chart show -- think we flip-flopped over then the latter was invented, as the show seemed a bit more fun than the somewhat staid Radio 1 presentation of the former. But maybe we just kept swapping? That's just the weekly chart though -- not the best chart of the year, which was the Christmas countdown on Capital Radio. If I recall correctly, they used to play 500 songs as voted for by the listening public as being their favourite songs ever, each day between 0900 and 1700, for about 3 weeks(?) leading up to Christmas Day or Boxing Day or New Year's Eve or summat. In the years I listened to it, the top 10 seemed to have a few stalwarts - Layla, Hey Jude, Me & Mrs Jones, ... - and at least one piece of toss that had been pretty popular in the last year.

Sunday mornings for a while involved listening to Chris Evans, again on Radio London/GLR. He was outrageously funny, the sort of show where you didn't want to get up and out of bed because it most likely meant you had to turn the radio off and miss some of it. Russell Brand was that funny a few years later on 6music; Russell Howard's similar, but just not quite as good (which is probably why he's only progressed to Mock The Week, rather than full-on international stardom, so far).

Damn it. I started writing this just to boast about being a DJ in my own right, finally, thanks to the time-shifting wonders of the internet, audio encoding, podcasting, ubercaster, and specifically mixcloud.com. But instead I've veered into a huge reminiscence about how much radio means to me, and that's taken me by surprise. It still does mean a lot to me as well: I bought a DAB last year and love listening to the BBC World Service (knowing the shit that's going on in the world keeps my feet on the ground, I feel; more recently it's been a handy way to find out what's going on in Islamabad. I'd really rather it wasn't, though). And this in turns makes me sad, because I work for Global Radio right now. This is the company that owns, among others, my childhood friend Capital Radio (sorry - I mean 95.8 Capital FM). I finally work in radio, in music, so having been made redundant is not something I've taken lightly. Oh well.

So, back to boasting. Like I just said, I'm now a DJ! mixcloud.com -- if you can get an invite, as it's in a private beta mode right now -- is a site which lets you publish and/or listen to DJ mixes, shows, etc: anything with 5 or more songs really. It's mostly aimed at the dance crowd for now but I'm attempting to infiltrate that, starting with my debut grindcore/death metal show called PORK. I made one episode last weekend, loved it, and have had universally positive (if somewhat limited) feedback. So I'm going to make another one this weekend.. hopefully.

Will more than about 10 people, most of whom I know personally, ever listen? I'm not sure, but I'm also not sure I care.

1 comment:

Sketch said...

What an excellent post - this is exactly what Mixcloud is about. Enabling anyone to have their own show, not restricted to a particular timeslot on a specialist Internet radio station that only gets 5 listeners, and then lost forever!

We're excited about the vision of one place to find all the best user uploaded radio content in the world, really easy to filter and discover what you want to listen to.

And thanks to you Darren for his great show. As he says there's currently a bit of a dance music bias, but we're very keen to redress this balance, so any readers who'd like to try their hand at being a radio superstar, get involved!