Radio Radio #2

Here’s a few suggestions for your listening pleasure for the wee ending Friday January 17th 2014.

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

You could easily have listened to the first episode of this epic 52-part series from 1994 and decide it’s too messy and unfocussed.

It’s a sprawling work for sure, some editions hit home while some leave you scratching your head – (did they REALLY shoehorn “Long Live Rock” by The Who into a show about the rock’n’roll star system in Part 4?)

But then .. ah, but then there’s the times they get it right.

Chief among these this week was Episode 2 “It Came From Africa”, an excellent, all-points-covered sixty minute trip through the black roots of white pop music, necessarily only scratching the surface, but the names are all there if you want to dig further.

And of course these days we CAN dig further thanks to the Interweb, further and in as many different directions as you like, so if you want to find,say, Nigerian music of the late fifties, it’s all there for you.

“The Story Of Pop” at its best provides an excellent starting point. Each episode is themed rather than being done year-on-year, so you can dip in and out – it’s not an encyclopaedia in partwork form to be read from start to finish, unless you’re doing a school or college project on pop music history – and if you are, then more power to your elbow. I can think of few things more worth doing!

For the rest of you, I’d recommend the following episodes meself. Still available on the BBC iPlayer but be quick are …

Episode 2 Р It Began In Africa
Episode 3 – Blacks, Whites And Blues – Blacks, Whites And Blues
Episode 6 – Goin’ Up Country Goin’ Up Country

And to come this week …
Sunday – Episode 9 Big Surf – the Californian surf sound
Tuesday – Episode 11 – When We Was Fab – The Beatles & The “British Invasion”
Wednesday – Episode 12 – England Swings – The myths and legends of Swinging London
Thursday – Episode 13 – Hitsville UK – The first ten years of the Motown label

Dave Rowntree of Blur (XFM,Thursday s)

Blur’s Dave Rowntree continues his regular weekly show at 9pm.

Dave’s an engaging bloke and – yeah I know this is an unusual criticism of a music dj but first impressions are that I’d like to hear him talk a bit more.

Oh, and ditch the sidekick, Researcher George. He seems a nice enough chap but when you have The Drummer From Blur, one of THE marquee XFM bands on the payroll, what we the listeners want is to hear his stories about his time at the epicentre of the Britpop scene in the mid-nineties,as we’ve been promised in the advance publicity.

Hopefully that will come in time. I’ll definitely be listening to the next edition.

Last week’s music choice included The Magnetic North, Alt-J. Beck. John and Paul separately. Kaiser Chiefs. Wall Of Voodoo – Mexican Radio. Polyphonic Spree and Wall Of Voodoo from 1982, who really should have been more popular.

Prezedent on Colourful Radio

It can be difficult to find he black music/chat digital station Colourful Radio outside of the London area, but you can pick it up online at and it’s an absolute goldmine for black music.

As far as I’m aware you can’t pick it up on the Sky dish, which I think’s a bit of an oversight on the part of all concerned.

This is a station that provides news and discussion of things that affect Britain’s black communities, AND whether you reckon this directly affects you or not, the music is effing awesome.
Prezident’s reggae show is particularly fine. Going out at 10pm on a Friday evening, he features reggae ” starting from the dancehall then working our way all the way back to the beginning”. A lot less frenetic than the night dance music featured on pretty much ALL stations at that time on a Friday. Like this one from Don Campbell.

Along with the rest of Colourful’s output, the show is also available to “listen again” from Colourful’s site here.


Check it out.

As the man himself says, it’s all about da goodah Reggae Music mate!!!

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

There are some superb live concerts in the BBC vaults and this is no exception. The psychedelic space cadets at their trippiest, noisiest, wall of soundiest peak featuring songs like this, their big hit.

Whatever happend to the long-haired chap with the tash doing the singing?

Hope you enjoy at least a couple of these shows. There’s never been more choice and variety on the radio if you know where to look, and this just scratches the surface.

More next week , and every Friday, and don’t forget to check out This Week’s Gig Guide

And every week you can download a new music  featuring an hour plus of great sounds from all types of music. Latest one here.

Beat City Podcast #11

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