Radio is not so ga ga

I promised myself that I would write one Blog each week.  This means that something interesting has to happen each week, and if that is not the case, then I need to make it happen.  So I come with news, news of a musical nature.  What I cannot promise is a decent title for my Blogs, but having watched the MTV Europe Music Awards on Sunday night, Queen and Lady GaGa were fresh in my memory.

I attended my first ever Born To Be Wide seminar at Electric Circus in Edinburgh last week.  The seminar examined how Radio Station programming decisions are made, which shows support new talent and how best to approach programmers, producers and DJs.

The Panel consisted of some of the leading lights in the industry in Scotland, included Stuart Barrie, Capital FM Scotland programme controller, BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway, Jim Gellatly from the Bauer Scotland Network, plugger Grant Crain and the producer of Radio Scotland’s Iain Anderson show, Stewart Cruickshank

I was aware that Born To Be Wide had the knack of pulling together some impressive people for their events and the five individuals were very open, honest and enlightening.  I was very impressed with host Olaf Furniss and how he kept the discussions moving along and wasn't afraid to grill the panel.   Stuart Barrie's extensive experience in commercial radio provided an invaluable insight into how the sector works and his opening statement that "we're a Top 40 station" was the perfect opening.  Honest, frank and factual throughout it was interesting to hear the name of Mark Findlay pop up on several occasions.  This really took me back to the days when I was an avid listener of Radio Forth RFM, as it was known then.
I recall listening to many shows on Radio Forth RFM in the early to mid-90s hosted by "The Findlay Brothers" of Mark and Bruce.  Now Head of Music for the Capital FM radio network, Mark is most definitely one of the major tastemakers in the country.  Many of the CDs in my collection are there because of that weekly show the Mark and Bruce hosted, showcasing new and emerging acts from Scotland.  It is interesting to to see that not only are Scotsmen taking over managing in the English Premiership, but also in the music industry as well. 

I remember around that time Forth had a Sunday evening show hosted by Marsha Shandur.  This would be around 1998/99.  Marsha is now responsible for choosing the music for various Tv shows and films, including E4′s The Inbetweeners and Made In Chelsea and Channel 4′s Friday Night Dinner.  I was doing a lot of gigs while managing Stealer around 1999 and one act that I really liked, which Marsha heaped a lot of deserving support on was a young three-piece called Eliot.  Lead singer Joe McAdam went on to front The Cherryfalls but sadly their album was never released.  I remember being given the choice by an Agent of booking one of two promising new bands, one being The Cherryfalls, the other being Editors.  I booked The Cherryfalls, so do me a favour and checkout the video for My Drug above.  Delighted that Joe is still writing as he's a very talented lad, as you can find out here.

So, back to the Radio Seminar.  It's obvious to see that the number of opportunities for new acts to get their music played has grown sharply in the last 10 years.  However, everyone wants to gain the biggest audience and will still chase play on the BBC and the mainstream networks.  From experience, there are many, many fantastic Community and Internet based stations championing the cause of many an new act.  I'm a keen listener to The Justin Wayne Show on Re:Charged Radio every Wednesday night.  There is also great support for new acts from Rob Eden on NCCR Radio's "The Unsigned Community" show and Get Ready To Rock Radio were always great supporters of Rieser

I merely scratch the surface of opportunities for people to get their music heard.  Jim Gellatly does a fantastic job every week on his shows and Podcasts on Radio Magnetic, Amazing Radio and every Sunday night across Scotland on In:Demand Uncut.

Now, if you are looking for innovative ways to get people interested in hearing your new music then look no further than Donna Maciocia and Mike KearneyFor the last 24 hours Donna, Mike and all the guys involved with The Mash Up Session have completed their task. The challenge was this - two artists have 24 hours to record, mix, master and release a brand new track.  It's been great following their progress on Facebook and Twitter over the last 24 hours and I'm delighted to say they've done it!  Here's the finished track "You Can Leave A Light On"......

Now, I best get onto all of my contacts and exercise some innovative techniques.  There is a new single out on 5 December from The Deadly Winters that the world needs to hear.  Practice what you preach and all that!  Have a listen to previews of the three tracks below, including two brand new songs, stripped bare to voice and guitar. The captivating tale of Edinburgh’s most notorious villains, Burke & Hare, and the heart-wrenching tale of traveling entertainers, Troubadours'.......


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