TV & Radio Times w/e Jan 13th – Everly Bros, Vangelis, Father Ted

A personal and in no way comprehensive or objective list of some good music-related stuff on the idiot box and the wireless this week.

Huey Morgan – Radio Two, Friday

What a superb show this is. Loads of great old stuff and a smattering of cool new stuff – an hour-long segment taken at random from a recent show went – Tinariwen, Chuck Berry, Derek & The Dominoes, Koukie, Kate Bush, The Chi-Lites, Gabor Szabo, The Who and Smashing Pumpkins.

The moral is, in the post-God’s Jukebox era, the best music shows on Radio Two are to be found at midnight at the weekends.

Sound Of Cinema – BBC4, Friday

In a series celebrating the art of the cinema soundtrack, the heart of a BBC-wide season playing on radio as well as TV, Neil Brand explores the work of the great movie composers, and demonstrates their techniques.

Neil begins by looking at how the classic orchestral film score emerged and why it’s still going strong today, then traces how in the 1930s, European-born composers such as Max Steiner and Erich Wolfgang Korngold brought their Viennese training to play in stirring, romantic scores for Hollywood masterpieces like King Kong and The Adventures of Robin Hood. But it took a home-grown American talent, Bernard Herrmann, to bring a darker, more modern sound to some of cinema’s finest films, with his scores for Citizen Kane, Psycho and Taxi Driver.

Among those interviewed are Martin Scorsese and Hans Zimmer, composer of blockbusters like Gladiator and Inception.

This is Vangelis’s beautiful, haunting theme to “Chariots Of Fire”, the only film ever where I’ve come out of the cinema feeling proud to be British. And that includes Zulu and Escape To Victory btw.

See also Saturday Night At The Movies on Classic FM (below)

The Everly Brothers: Songs Of Innocence & Experience – BBC4, Friday

The Everly Brothers Reunion Concert – BBC4, Friday

Its one of THOSE nights on BBC4. Neil Brand’s superb three-part series on music in cinema followed by the Everly Brothers reunion documentary and concert, both an elegy for a bygone rock’n’roll era as the brothers made up their differences and got back together for a couple of gigs at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Saturday Night At The Movies – Classic FM, Saturday

Odd title for a show that goes out at 5pm but when you look at Classic FM’s demographic – my 87-yo Mum is a devoted listener – I suppose by the time this programme ends at 7pm, much of the audience will in fact be ready for bed. This week’s show carries the geektastic theme of Space, including Star Trek, Armageddon and 2001:A Space Odyssey. The theme to the latter has been described on Youtube as “A less moody version of the Red Dwarf theme tune”. I love Youtube, me.

Jackie Brown – Channel 4, Saturday

Appropriate late-Saturday-night slot for Tarantino’s blaxpoitation homage / ripoff film, which may have dated more than somewhat, but the 70s funk soundtrack never gets old, right from Bobby Womack’s “Across 110th Street” which plays over the credits.

Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour – 6 Music, Sunday

I’m not the world’s greatest Elbow fan but frontman Guy Garvey’s 6 music show is always a joy, last week featuring Laura Veirs, dEUS and Broken Social Scene, among others.

Tell you what, I’d like Elbow a lot more if their music showed a few of those influences.

Guy’s delivery is perfect for late night on a Sunday, though, so I’m still scratching my head as to why the show was moved to Sunday afternoons.

Father Ted – More 4, Sunday

The one where Ted and Dougal enter the Eurovision Song Contest with “My Lovely Horse”.

Play the f***ing note, Dougal !

Sounds Of The 80s, Radio 2 – Friday

Sara Cox has always been one of my fave radio presenters right back from her days on Radio One in the 90s where she added a welcome left-field and slightly disturbing tone to the prevailing lad(ette)-ish radio culture.

On the face of it, a DJ with a track record of playing dance music with the occasional indie track is an odd choice to introduce an 80s show but until such a time as Radio Two reaches “Sounds Of The 90s” (which in any case you can hear most days throughout 6 music’s programming) it’s good to have her in a regular radio slot again.

This week’s guest is the superb and underrated Marc Almond of Soft Cell and subsequent lesser solo hits, who at least hails from the Good Eighties (pre-84).

Love ya Sara, and I can hear the desolation in your voice when you have to say “Starting off the show there with Journey”.

To be fair, the show mixes and matches and provides as acceptable a mix as you can manage from the decade that music forgot.

One day soon, Sara, the 90s will be retro and you can play stuff you like again. As the hair-metal stadium rockers so rightly put it, Don’t Stop Believin’.

Danny Baker’s Rocking Decades, BBC4, Monday

Danny Baker takes an hour-long look at the Seventies in music, which some would say was about nineteen hours too short a time to do justice to the decade in which we moved from bubblegum to electro and New Romanticism via acid folk, punk, funk, prog, reggae, 2 Tone and stadium rock.

The suspicion that this show may be weighted towards the latter part of the decade is strengthened by the panel of Joy Division bassist Peter Hook, Slits guitarist Viv Albertine and Loyd “I was in a punk band you know” Grossman, the latter a top bloke but a very odd choice indeed.

Still, it’s Danny’s show and the man is always worth watching – and since he spent the 70s first as a a teenager, then a record shop assistant and finally the funniest and best journo ever to write for the NME, his is a voice worth listening to.

There’s Danny’s selection of archive clips at 10.30 too, in which the links will undoubtedly be even better than the music (which will be great, obviously). Continues on Tuesday and Wednesday with the Eighties and Nineties.

The Life Of Rock with Brian Pern, BBC4, Monday

Splitting the two sections of the Baker seventies retrospective, and redressing the balance a little in favour of the early seventies, prog legend Brian Pern – unfairly neglected by most scholars of music in this era – presents this alternative take on the history of rock.

Brian has done it all in a long career, and this documentary series looks unmissable.

Monday – Lauren Laverne, 6 Music

Temples have been getting a lot of positive attention in the run up to their debut album, which comes out this week. They play a live sesh with Lady La-La which despite being on at a time when wage slaves are all toiling away at t’mill, will be available on Listen Again.

I will take any excuse going to play Temples. This was their debut single.

Tuesday – I’ve Played In Every Toilet, Radio 4

The excellent John Harris mourns the decline of the UK’s toilet circuit – a network of crappy, cheap and cheerful venues where up and coming bands learn their trade and spread the word. Inluding, I’m pleased to note, the Forum in that legendary rock and roll hotbed of Tunbridge Wells, which is an actual converted toilet 8=)

From where I’m standing, I’d say venues are still surviving well if not actually thriving – a good example being Joiners in Southampton which has gigs on most nights. This is a nice clip of local boy Frank Turner returning to play one of the places that helped him on the way up.

Thursday – Johnnie Walker’s Long Players, Radio 2

David Hepworth and Johnnie Walker discuss a couple of classic albums. The format is a good ‘un, but it does pretty much live and die on whether you like the records they pick each week. This week’s is a cracker, featuring Blondie’s “Parallel Lines” and Elvis Costello’s first LP with the Attractions, “This Year’s Model”.

Should be something there for most tastes. Haven’t mentioned regulars like the Charlie Sloth show on 1Xtra and Marc Riley on 6 Music, both excellent all the time. This is a clip of Charlie’s visit to an old peoples’ home to perform a rap (as MC Gravedigga)

I Got 99 Problems But Me Gran Ain’t One


1Xtra does Jamaica – Radio highlights

1xtra In Jamaica – Sunday, 1Xtra

This should be a bit special.

David Rodigan’s regular show is a great mix of reggae music down the ages, past and present.

His perspective on reggae’s legacy and knowledge of the current scene make him the John Peel of reggae radio.

This show sees Rodigan decamp to Jamaica along with Robbo Ranx and Toddla T, including session tracks from Chronixx, Busy Signal and Tarrus Riley!


The Story Of Pop (daily on 6 Music and also on the BBC iPlayer)

Couple of cracking episodes in particular this week as the 1994 Story Of Pop re-run covers the story of 60s folk music over the weekend

Saturday 04:00 – Episode 20 Hobos To Hippies – the folk protest movement from 1960 to 1965
Sunday 04:00 – Episode 21 Turning Rebellion Into Money (great title if era-inappropriate!) – covers the mid-60s
Monday 04:00 – Listen to Me Me ME – 1967 to 1972
Tuesday 01:00 – Weird Scenes Inside The Goldmine – the 1960s underground scene

Not quite sure why the BBC are only leaving these on for a week but I expect there’s some legal reason for it. Grab ’em while you can.

John Kennedy’s Xposure – XFM (Monday to Thursday) 10pm – 1am

If John Kennedy worked for the BBC it’s fair to say a lot more people would have heard of him. As it is, if you’re interested in new music, he’s pretty much the nearest thing we’ve got to a modern John Peel . XPosure has always been and continues to be a minor miracle for a station that does sometimes lean towards landfill indie.

Monday evenings are a particularly good time to listen to John’s show as he tends to play quite a few new releases. The guests are always well-chosen and have something interesting to say, and are drawn out well by JK’s hype- and cynicism-free interview technique. Dude’s not concerned with trying to appear cool unlike certain DJs I could mention.

If you don’t have time for the whole show the podcasts give you a good flavour, each one focussing on a particular artist, which is a smart move. Yeah, I know it’s iTunes but after finally giving up and subscribing ‘cos it was the only way to watch those rediscovered Dr Who episodes immediately, what the hell?

I’m an Apple Tart now. Apple Tarts are cool.

XPosure Podcasts To Download From iTunes


Radio Radio #1

w/c Saturday 5th January 2013

First in a regular weekly blog in which I’ll be recommending some music radio highlights for the forthcoming week.

Saturday – The Story Of Pop (04:00 6 Music, continues daily)

Alan Freeman’s epic, FIFTY-TWO PART look at the history of pop music was first broadcast in 1994, so you could argue that there’s ample room for a sequel or an updated version.

I’ve never heard this but I’m a sucker for epic aural journeys so I’m going to tune in. It’s on every day, at 04:00 at weekends and 01:00 on weekdays, but you can listen again through the iPlayer.

One criticism is that without some means of recording these, it’s going to be difficult to keep up with absolutely every episode. Gonna see how it goes and report back next Friday.

Saturday – Hawkwind Live In London 1972 (02:00 6 Music)

The psychedelic space cadets at their trippiest, noisiest, wall of soundiest peak featuring songs like this, their
big hit. Not being familiar with the band, we all thought Lemmy was their lead singer, on account of he was apparently the only member of the band with the precise vocal range to sing the song. This happy accident did the old bugger no harm at all career-wise.

Sunday – Mary Anne Hobbs (07:00 6 Music, also Saturday)

Mary Anne seems pretty happy about returning to the BBC, and her Saturday and Sunday morning shows are an excellent, ecletic mix if you love music. The presence of Anna Calvi and Eddie Argos of Art Brut who will be sharing tips on singing, elevates Sunday’s show to “unmissable”.

Sunday – John Cooper Clarke (16:00 6 Music)

The Bard Of Salford ™ has been a highlight every time he’s done a stint as a DJ and I’m really looking forward to these shows, running for a few weeks on Sunday afternoons. He probably won’t get to play this though.

Monday – Thursday – John Kennedy’s XPosure (XFM) (10:00 – 01:00)

The Observer described John Kennedy as “the doyen of underground alternative music” which proves they sometimes DO get it right. He’s been around seemingly forever, a reliable source of sounds that make you go “WOW! WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT!” on a regular basis. The line-ups for the XPosure gigs are always well chosen, too.

XFM’s output can get a little bit “landfill indie” at times, but not on JK’s shift. He remains the only DJ I have ever heard giving airtime to one of the great unsung bands of the Noughties, They Came From The Stars I Saw Them :

Thursday – Dancehall with Robbo Ranx (1Xtra) (22:00 – 02:00)

Four – count ’em, four! – hours of the finest modern dancehall reggae sounds. Deffo a bit of an eye-opener for those who tend to stick to reggae records made before 1980 … have to admit to a bit of the old school prejudice myself but this makes a refreshing change

There’s plenty more good listening out there, obviously, and I’ll be pointing you in the direction of a lot of it every Friday. Enjoy!