Radio Radio

I listen to about 30 plus hours of radio a week. It’s a great medium. “Skull Cinema” is what a colleague at work called it the other day.

One of my favourites shows on the radio is the Robert Elms Show on BBC London 94.9 – the current unwieldy name for GLR. GLR, founded in 1988, burned brightly for just a few years like a flare in the night, lighting up the faces of Chris Evans, Chris Morris and Danny Baker; Mark Lamarr, Gideon Coe, Phill Jupitus and Gary Crowley; lightening the hearts of 20somethings across the capital, feeding telly for years to come. By 2000 it was no more – except in those hearts.

Robert Elms is into much of the same stuff as me – London, music, architecture, trivia, history and music. You said music twice…

Hedley Lamarr: Qualifications?
Applicant Outlaw: Rape, murder, arson, and rape.
Hedley Lamarr: You said rape twice.
Applicant Outlaw: I like rape.

He shares a birthday with my Other Half. That must mean something.

Anyway, this weekend I got a real kick getting a mention on the show. Robert asked for ideas for Christmas tunes to play over the next couple of weeks. I sent in these two.

This is the latest Christmas record in our household, acquired this time last year. Robert said he’d played it a couple of days ago. Good, we’re on the same wavelength. It’s got that Rockabilly heartbeat.

This one is our core Christmas record. It goes on first thing on the big day and means it’s finally here – the pressie-opening, the turkey, the film, the family, the fun&games. Robert said he hadn’t come across this one and would follow it up (he says he takes these suggestions from listeners very seriously – I believe him).

So I whack off a quick email upstairs and by the time I get down to the kitchen I hear my two proposals coming out of the old Roberts, a veritable honour.

The best show of the year is one he does on New Year’s Eve day where he collects the best of his live music sessions of the year from the small Radio London studio with the dodgy Joanna. Always a total treat. Last year I remember finding Cecile McLorin Salvant and Laura Mvula through it.

13 comments so far

  1. catalanbrian on

    Three great songs. And yes I love Nick Lowe’s song. Although I am sure that you know it Nina Simone did a fab version and you can find it here. Enjoy!

  2. ArkAngel on

    Thanks, CatalanBrian, didn’t know that version. It’s good but doesn’t have the dynamism of Nick Lowe’s with it’s Rockabilly sensibility. Perhaps you, me and Doug should start compiling a Christmas playlist with class?

    • catalanbrian on

      Now that sounds like a very good idea. My head is now starting to consider candidates.

      • theluckhabit on

        Unfortunately I cannot think of a single Christmas song I like.

      • catalanbrian on

        Now that sounds rather grumpy. I have to say that i am not over enamoured with most offerings in the genre. However I will shortly be putting up a Christmas playlist that lists the best (in my view of course) of a bad selection.

  3. ArkAngel on

    TLH loves doing his Scrooge thing – I’ll get the ball rolling on SP4 later tonight…

    • catalanbrian on

      I will let you show the way before I put my list up.

  4. theluckhabit on

    Well the Nick Lowe was completely lost on me. How is it different from 35 million other rockabilly-style records? Actually there is a Christmas album I love. It is actually one of the best albums ever made, regardless of Christmas. I completely forgot it when I made my throwaway remark. Can you guess what it is?

  5. ArkAngel on

    I’m struggling – Brian, help!

    • catalanbrian on

      I think that TLH is being deliberately obtuse and that he should be challenged to show his hand. Perhaps he is thinking of Abba’s Christmas album or something similar!

  6. […] Habit earlier this week in the wake of my moment on The Robert Elms show last weekend – see Radio Radio. In the good ol’ US of A of course it’s a genre in its own right, as reflected in the […]

  7. ArkAngel on

    Brian & Doug, a bit later than planned but here’s the promised kick-off list from these quarters to which I’ve added Brian’s Christmas cracker of a list

  8. theluckhabit on

    Phil Spector’s Christmas album of course. It is a classic regardless of Christmas, with perfect production, two of the greatest vocal groups ever at their best and lots of ‘cheese’ and innocence. The spirit of Christmas captured perfectly.

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