‘In The Evening’ … Rock on the Radio

“Roc, Roc, Roc ar y Radio” went the old air-punching anthem from Welsh language New Wave of British Heavy Metal-era band Ceffyl Pren. (The bands name means ‘Wooden Horse’ in English; I don’t imagine I need to translate the song title!)

Those were the days of Tiger Bay Rock with Steve Tupper (Cardiff Broadcasting Company), Al Dupree’s rock show (when CBC became Red Dragon Radio) and the BBC Radio Wales show Rockpile with Richard Rees. It was Steve Tupper, in fact, who turned me on to David Coverdale’s post-Purple solo work and bands like Shiva, V8, Persian Risk and Stormqueen – with a great mix of ‘metal’ chart and local rock action! And it was Richard Rees who got me listening to Metallica when the heavier thrash bands started to emerge. I also won a ‘mystery voice’ competition after listening to a Rock Goddess interview on Al Dupree’s show. The voice belonged to bass player Dee O’Malley, and I knew it was her because I’d heard the original interview just a few weeks before (and remembered Jody Turner coughing in the background). The station expected the competition to run and run, and were amazed that someone recognised Dee’s voice within a day or so.

Since then, I’ve always had a secret ambition to somehow get on Welsh Radio to talk about and play some rock music. Well, just recently that ambition was realised, courtesy of Alan Thompson and The Evening Show on BBC Radio Wales. It’s a great show, with an excellent mix of chat, old music and live sessions. It’s always entertaining … though Alan doesn’t, truth be told, play a great deal of rock music. I was absolutely delighted, therefore, to be asked not only to talk about my book (Words and Music) but to choose some tracks to go with the interview.

I went in through the in door at the appointed time, and left through the out door an hour or so later having throughly enjoyed the experience. I  chatted to Alan about all manner of things rock (the influence of Snowdonia on the songwriting of Plant and Page, the Welsh liking for heavy rock, the dangers of meeting your hero, and lots more besides) and got to witter on about some of my favourite bands and artists including Deep Purple, Marillion, Bob Dylan, the Doors, Twelfth Night and Geoff Mann. I was even able to give a bit of plug for the High Voltage Festival and some new(er) bands like The Treatment, the Von Hertzen Brothers, The Reasoning, Rival Sons and Bigelf.  (As for the music: ‘Tangerine’, ‘When A Blind Man Cries’, ‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go’, ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’, ‘The Honeymoon Is Over’ … not bad eh?)

The show was broadcast on Friday 22 June 2012. You can see the full show playlist, with links to information about the artists, here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jvh2j

As rock fans we often complain that our music is neglected and even ridiculed by the mainstream media. This interview, however, went out at 8:30pm on a Friday night on what is BBC Radio Wales’ flagship evening show. So thanks to Alan and producer Llinos for taking a punt on me, and all kudos to the Welsh Beeb!

Meanwhile, the prospect of a further radio slot has emerged, this time for a Valleys rock show. More ambition fulfilment … and a request for a 10-12 track playlist that has got me positively salivating. This time it’s a full-on ROCK show, so regular listeners will expect to have their heads filled with heavy metal thunder. I’d hate to disappoint them!

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1 Comment

  1. Tim Brosnan

     /  June 29, 2012

    Hi Michael – Wonderful blog!! Thanks for visiting my Patti Smith post at The Eclectic Ear. Hope to see you again.


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