Last night I opened the programme with these words:
Last year if you’d have asked me what the name Matthew James Cogley makes me think of I’d have said a really nice young bloke who plays in a great band and made a fine solo album too.
He played live in our radio theatre here in Blackburn… I interviewed him and I played his music as a band and as a singer songwriter.
Now it conjures up some very sad thoughts of a young life lost so tragically this week.
All I can do tonight is say how much I feel for his family and his many friends and hope none of them mind me playing this tune to remember the life of Matt.
You will be sorely missed… may you rest in peace…
So Lohan Presencer, the Ministry of Sound CEO has joined the music industry orchestrated Spotify hate-fest and suggested that labels should “seize back the keys to the music kingdom.” He also wanted to “put on hold” current streaming services. Let’s summarise this early on for the easily bored (and you will be.)
One; it’s not his, his company’s or any other label’s bloody kingdom and two; it is the labels that did the streaming deals and it was MoS that “settled” with Spotify over their daft playlist issues. So.. er.. how about you “guys” just quit moaning?
Oh and three: MoS is a compilation album company that feeds off the creativity of others without (I wager) having to spend a huge amount on development of young artists and that is where my interest lies.
Every penny a label spends on their friends and employees is your future earnings!
Rae Morris – Blackpool
Rae Morris is no stranger to BBC Introducing Lancashire and BBC Radio Lancashire too. From around 2009 (my records are sketchy and I can’t get in to my Myspace to check!) she’s been producing songs of a quality not often heard, with a voice that never fails to hit an emotional spot.
We’ve played her music as and when it got recorded on BBC Introducing Lancashire, we recommended her to play at T in the Park on the BBC Introducing stage which she did with aplomb. She’s been on Dermot O’Leary and Zane Lowe’s radio programmes in session and earlier this year played a brilliant and intimate gig at Thornton Little Theatre for BBC Introducing Lancashire.
Radio Victoria is currently the hospital radio for ‘the Vic’ as it’s known locally.
We now have 2 years to get on air. We hope we can do this in 12 months but that means we really need to crack on.
So what do we need?
You! Your creativity, your passion for local events, your ability to fundraise, your love of music, documentaries, news, in fact anyone with positive intent who wants to make a difference to the Fylde Coast.
What we don’t need
People who ONLY want to be “on the radio.” This is community radio and it’s all about making a difference outside of being a great radio station. Yes we will need presenters and good ones of course but my focus as I put together the master plan is on making connections, raising money and demonstrating the power of community radio.
We want to serve the patients at Victoria Hospital with more visits and befriending. We want to serve the Fylde’s harder to reach communities too among younger and older people with events and information. Of course, we want to become a brilliant radio station too!
How can you get involved?
That is easy… just send me an email to radiovictoriablackpool(at)gmail.com and I’ll put you on the newsletter mailing list. I will then soon tell you via email when we are holding the next recruitment meeting which will be next month in Blackpool.
We have a great deal to do in terms of negotiating our primary partnerships, fundraising and connecting with our community in the public, private and third sector so please don’t be offended if we don’t jump at the offer of an hour of Norwegian Nose Flute music just yet.
A huge thank you to those people who’ve supported me in this adventure. More and more of you are seeing that a community radio station for the Fylde Coast is something you’d like to be involved with.
So do join us.
Sean McGinty – Chairman of Radio Victoria CIC
Ten years in the business darling
About ten years ago I pitched John Clayton (the Editor of BBC Radio Lancashire) about doing a new music radio programme and how BBC Local Radio could help young artists get their music be heard. Strange but true, he agreed, so a 30 minute new local music programme began.
Sourcing the tunes back then was an interesting challenge but Myspace had recently launched and it wasn’t that long before I would have access to more local bands and artists than I could ever have dreamt of. I called the programme BRYAN which made little sense then and even less now but there it was.
A while later (events are somewhat blurred) I was allowed to have an hour of radio to play new music as there was so much great new local artists to play and it appeared from the figures that people were listening.
BRYAN becomes BBC Introducing Lancashire
Then BBC Introducing (the new music ‘brand’ from the BBC) was born in 2007 with a very similar brief to BRYAN but with a ton of talented people and a large wedge of cash to do some big things with. BBC Introducing Lancashire moved to a Thursday evening between 8pm and 10pm and began bringing bands and artists in for live sessions in the BBC Radio Theatre. This was with no money and little support but it was felt we should have live music.
The programme was extended from 1 to 2 hours and it was during this time BBC Introducing Lancashire was the most listened to programme on the radio (yes all radio stations) in Lancashire on a Thursday evening. So yes, we beat Zane Lowe, Radio 2, Radio 4, 5 Live et al.
Over a year ago, we had the command from above (it wasn’t a dove) to move all BBC Introducing programmes across the BBC network to a Saturday evening at 8pm. This was another challenge as we had to try and unearth a new Saturday audience on a night not exactly known for breaking RAJAR records. That work continues as we do more outside events and meet more and more people and tell them when we are on!
To be clear though I never did understand the mass move command to a Saturday night. It made little sense for me as our programme was doing great with listening figures and Thursday just seemed a more natural night for the programme.
Aren’t they doing well?
Over the years we have played a lot of great artists on the radio before anyone else had even heard them! Karima Francis, Rae Morris, Bondax, Mike Dignam and The Heartbreaks to name but a few. This is great and I like to keep in touch with them all but we as a programme are on a constant hunt for new music.
Celebrate good times… come on
So ten years in to this journey and I am working on a BIG GIG and a few smaller ones to get some great new artists together on a stage in different places across Lancashire. Also pull together the creative industry in Lancashire for a big chat on the radio.
I’ll let you know here and on BBC Introducing Lancashire what we are doing and when but I’d love to see you there.
The BBC doesn’t spend a lot on BBC Introducing in the regions and my team of helpers is made up of people who volunteer their time. They gain (I hope) good experience and a number over the years have ended up working for the BBC. That is great but this is an area of the BBC that needs more local investment so we can get out there and really connect with artists and audience.
BBC Apprentices – there’s a recruitment campaign afoot to recruit local BBC Apprentices (great idea) but why on earth is BBC Introducing not at the forefront of that? So those skills and talents can be used in an area which has almost no investment from central BBC Introducing or in fact any part of the BBC.
New music by its very definition is about NOW. As I plan out the next 6 months of events and gigs I hope we will put on some artists that (as I write this) I don’t know exist.
Big thanks to my team of helpers over the years and now and especially a big thank you to John Clayton the boss guy at BBC Radio Lancashire for letting me come up with a mad programme idea, letting me do it my way and giving so many local artists over the last ten years the opportunity of their first radio play.
Long may I be blessed to continue working with the brilliant young creative and musical types of Lancashire and thanks for reading, listening and supporting local music.