Wednesday, 30 March 2011

My DJ-ing career and Melksham Community Radio....

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So over the course of my life, music has inspired me so much that it has led me to many musical activities of my own. From being an indie fanzine writer in the late 90's, to being a punk rock protagonist in Armies Of Anger in the late 2000's, to pumping out dance anthems from 1996 to 1997 at a club in Corsham (and at the age of about 12). As the club closed, apart from a few random stints at a local youth club, I didn't approach nor use a mixer and DJ turntables for a long time, up until 2008. Back then in the late 2000's I was still firmly in the grip of punk rock, and listening to little else. And Radio 1's Punk Show with Mike Davies used to be a fantastic resource for music like that, and inspired by this (and having plenty of time on my hands not having a day job) I launched an internet radio station called SandinistaRadio, playing a mixture of punk, metal, folk-punk, ska, reggae, dub and lot of 'rebel music'. The station was a hit in the punk community and my weekly show 'The Punk Hour' was well-liked, as were my random live broadcasts from my bedroom.

But soon I ran out of spare time to run a streaming radio station AND pre-recording a proper live show every week. Plus after the split of Armies Of Anger the previous year and a time away from creating music, I was looking to make a musical comeback with No Manifesto. So SandinstaRadio stopped in 2009, but in September so did my band. And a massive broadening of musical horizons and a boredom of restricting myself to music only accepted by the punk scene led me to re-discovering many other genres including the classic Britpop I adored in the 90's. And in February 2010 (I think) I began broadcasting 2 hour long shows on Indiecore Radio, an internet station based in America. But a lot of American kid's ideas of 'indie' differs to mine, and perhaps this station's audience wasn't the most suitable for me, even though I did build up a good following of my own listeners.

Soon I moved to the newly launched UKHD Radio, this time with 3 hour shows playing a mix of brand new releases, up and coming bands, rarely heard treasures as well as the weekly 'Vinyl Half Hour'. I loved doing the shows but pre-recording them to my standards took in excess of 6 hours to make, produce and mix down. Plus my show's focus was on a passion for real music, and served as an intended antidote to awful chart music saturating many radio stations. So when UKHD Radio began playing jingles featuring Lady fucking Gaga, I was annoyed. When they filled every 15 minutes with overlong show trailers, one in particular featuring an irritating DJ singing along to some chart 'hit' of the time, I was even more peeved. But when their "scheduling software" would fail, it could sometimes lead to major disasters. Such as some terrible pop nonsense playing during one of the advert breaks during my show. Plus there was the fact that during their poorly made shows, some presenters would run through the show schedule, mentioning every other show and skipping past mine. And when after a long wait they failed to put up a page for my show on their website, I felt a major lack of support on their part. I had to do all my own promotion and attract listeners myself, the loyal ones making up the small audience I did have. In May 2010 I got myself a well paid full time job in retail, which left me with very little spare time to present weekly 3 hour radio shows.

Without having to devote time to the show, finding spare time to hear new (and old) music was easier, and this allowed to discover some great stuff. So in late 2010 I began updating the webpages that comprised my radio show's website and blog, even though I didn't have a radio show anymore. The whole point was spreading the word about great music people may not be aware of, and I began doing this with detailed and honest album reviews. I then turned my radio show blog into a general music blog, but one from a personal angle, containing many stories and anecdotes about my musically-related experiences and memories, as well as reviews, videos, links and features.

By December the blog was scoring 3 times as many hits as it did when it was the radio show blog, and throughout the next couple of months the audience grew rapidly. And now in March 2011, not even a week away from the end of the month and the site has already scored twice as many hits as last month, which in itself was a very successful one in terms of page views. Currently scoring hundreds of hits every day, this blog allows me to broadcast my views and recommendations in a non time consuming medium.

Melksham Community Radio
But recently an interesting development has taken place locally. In my hometown of Melksham, a group of people are planning to launch the town's very own radio station, and one of my old pals from school who I still keep in touch with is on board to front his own dance anthems show on the station, when it eventually launches. Thinking about bringing my radio show back for the folk of Melksham and surrounding areas (as well as on he internet) but in a different and less time consuming form. I am currently in the early stages of my involvement with the station, but it looks like I may be making a return to the airwaves.....

I'll post more updates on Melksham Community Radio when further developments occur, but in the meantime here's their website:

http://www.melkshamradio.co.uk/

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