Tranny memories . . and a new toy to play with.
I remember when I got my first radio. It was a little thing, not unlike the one pictured above, but with a big speaker grille occupying most of the front space (unlike the one pictured, which is designed to be used with headphones, but which is the nearest distant relative I still possess).
It was cheap, plastic, and could be held easily in one hand. The sound from it was a little tinny, but it was mine – finally I could choose my own listening, my own place, time, and station. The controls were simple – one wheel for volume (which also controlled on/off) and another for tuning. The radio being small, and the wheel sticky, tuning in stations, especially on FM, was almost an art form. And with cheap components it whistled and whined on AM, and would frequently de-tune from whatever station you were listening to.
Back in those days, you still referred to these things as a “transistor radio” – hence the nickname “tranny“, which at that time either had not acquired any more adult meanings, or perhaps such things were beyond my innocent world. The “transistor” radio was one of those phases we go through linguistically, where we specifically incorporate the name of some new component into the name of a thing, even though most of the users would have little knowledge of what a transistor actually is, or how it differed from a non transistor radio. These technical names attach themselves to things for a period, and then eventually fade away, the transistor radio just becoming the plain old radio again.
Another good example of that is the “Microcomputer“, which, if you took it’s name as a literal meaning, would have been a computer so tiny that you would need a magnifying glass to find it on your desk. In fact, “Micro” computers were great big hulking beasts, taking up most of your desktop, and took their name from the then relatively new to mass market micro-processor at their heart. For a while in the early 80s, computer stores were always “Bill’s Micros” or “Sutton Micros” or “First Micro” etc, until the name gradually faded away to be replaced by the more prosaic “computer” of the desktop or laptop variety. Though of course, the biggest tech giant, which was born in those early PC days, does still carry the name – Microsoft.
Another example of such nomaculture, which has now almost faded away is the cellphone, which is what most mobile phones were initially called by users in the 80s and early 90s (and still are, to an extent, in the USA). This was again a case where the technical aspect of a product’s operation was included in the name – possibly by the designing engineers – and eventually being lost as generations of users, to whom the product is no longer a novelty, use them without any knowledge of the “transmission cell” technology which enables them to function.
Cellphones became mobiles, and just phones in many cases, and have now gained the title “smartphone” as they have started adding functionality not traditionally found on phones, such as mail, web-browsing, application support, and radio. How long will it be, I wonder, before the “smarts” of the smartphone are so taken for granted by users that they cease to have to be defined as smart, and become again, simply “the phone” ?
The arrival of radio onto mobile phones predated the smartphone era, and saved my bacon on one memorable occasion in 2009 when I was doing an outside broadcast for Phantom, and we suddenly lost the off-air monitor function on the desk. As I was not playing the music locally, but remote-controlling the playout system back at base through a laptop hookup, it was vital that I could hear what was going out on air, and i suddenly found myself adrift. Cue a few moments of panic before I realised that my trusty Nokia mobile could be pressed into service as an off-air monitor, though I’m sure it did our image no good at a very public location for me to be seen wearing, not the usual “big DJ headphones” but a tiny mobile with Walkman type personal earphones.
That was an FM radio facility, but mobile phones have moved on smartly since then, to the point where a variety of apps allow you to listen to online stations, or online feeds of terrestrial stations, from pretty much anywhere in the world, restricted only by occasional copyright issues. Most radio stations have their own app for ease of listening, and those that don’t are usually possible to get via specialised apps such as Tunein or Fstream (pictured above).
So a couple of days ago, I was lying in bed, enjoying what was, for me, a very rare lie-in. And I was listening to an online station through my smartphone. Nothing unusual in that . I use the phone for a lot of online listening: to get Radio 4 in good quality for example, or to listen to stations not available locally. But usually when listening, I am using headphones. In fact, I would virtually never listen to radio, podcast, or music on the phone any other way.
But lying in bed earphones are a drag, and I was feeling too lazy to get out of bed and go fire up the laptop to listen through the speakers. So I did something i rarely do, which was listen to the phone without headphones, through it’s own little speaker. And that’s when it hit me.
There I was, holding in my hand a device that was roughly the same size and shape as my first ever radio, though possibly a bit lighter. And I was listening to the radio on it, with that same slightly tinny sound that you get from small speakers, except that this was probably slightly better in that there was no whistles and de-tuning.
What I held in my hand at that moment was, to all intents and purposes, a “tranny”.
I know many radio purists of the old school who will disagree, and talk about receiving terrestrial signals. But to me that is not the point.
When I was a kid, I had a little box, and I could use it to listen to RTE, or BBC, or some other station I wanted to hear. Now, today, I can hold in my hand a box that allows me to do exactly the same. And more – If I want to, I can just as easily listen to Caroline or Radio Jackie or a station in Australia, all in the same quality, and without having to be in their specific area.
Just like the tranny of old, the battery will run down after a number of hours of listening. But instead of having to buy new ones, I simply plug in and recharge. And the phone allows me to do lots of other stuff too (though that is not the point of this piece).
The problem with internet radio always used to be it’s lack of mobility, as well as the fact that in pre-broadband days it could be clunky and intermittent to listen to. Better connection speeds solved the reliability issue, while the smartphone has essentially liberated online radio from the home, and allowed it to go with you. Wifi is nice, but not essential – as long as there is 3G coverage, most radio station apps will work just fine.
I remember doing online broadcasts 10 years ago, and at times it could be a pretty lonely show. The emails came in, but they could not be described as thick and fast. These days, working with Caroline, my response from online listeners vastly outnumbers satellite ones, and it seems to be almost as easy for people to tune in as it used to be.
It’s funny that I never made the connection between the smartphone and those old, little portable radios before. It took the removal of my headphones, and a sudden reversion to that lower sound quality of yesteryear, for me to make the emotional connection.
Broadcasting is not necessarily about aerials and signals, any more than good radio is about vinyl rather than CD.
Radio is about the content, the connection, the passion.
The old transistor radio was just a tool to deliver that content to me, just as the new age tranny in my shirt pocket does in 2013.
After 11 very happy and eventful years with the Dublin Indie-rock station Phantom, I presented my last show on St. Patricks Day. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Phantom, but increasing time pressures from my other activities mean that I have had to make some choices about what to focus my energies on.
I can still be heard every Saturday 6-8am (repeated 6-8pm) on Radio Seagull(AM in The Netherlands and online) with a show devoted to rock in all its forms and featuring a minimum of 50% newly released material, and each Monday 2-4pm on Radio Caroline (Sky Digital ch.0199 and online ) playing album tracks from the last 50 years, including new releases. And I am currently in the planning stages of a new venture that will give exposure to independent and unsigned Irish bands and artists.
I have very many happy memories from my 11 years with Phantom, and I will post some of them here over the next little while.
For now I’d like to thank everyone from all of the eras of Phantom, pirate to temporary to commercial, for making me so welcome, and to wish the great team charged with taking the station into the future all the success in the world.
I’ll leave you with a little memory from my early days with the station, when we broadcast from a secret base above Whelans of Wexford Street, and an “unexpected splash of colour” on the breakfast show:
Phantom Breakfast – Aug 2001 (click to play – format: mp3)
Those were the days my friend . . .
Over the weekend I had my first chance tobroadcast from Phantom 105.2′s new studios in Digges Lane, and I have to say I was very impressed.
The equipment is top-notch – but that is the least part of it. Space and light is all around you, and its remarkable how such an uncluttered environment frees your creativity to a greater degree.
The facilities outside studio are a step up too, but the best thing about the location is something that cannot be photographed – the buzz and friendliness of the other occupants of the building, the national stations Today FM and Newstalk. Even though I was only there at odd hours of the weekend, I lost count of all of the people from the other stations who made a point of coming up to introduce themselves to me, and the regular weekday staff on Phantom say it’s just the same in primetime.
It’s great also to be back in the vibrant comercial and musical heart of the city we serve. Roll on the rest of 2011.
I’ll be getting to try out Phantom’s snazzy new studios this weekend as I am on covering two shows on 15/16 Jan 2011.
Saturday I’ll be in from midday to 2.30pm, and back in my old stomping ground Sunday 7-9pm hosting Random Access, the all-request show.
It’s also worth mentioning that our Arts show, The Kiosk, hosted by Nadine O’Regan will be giving away P J Harvey’s entire back catalogue on Saturday morning, 11 to midday (i.e. just before me).
Phantom is on 105.2fm in Dublin and surrounding counties.
On UPC cable ch.935 in Irish cities.
Worldwide via the Phantom iPhone app, and at www.phantom.ie
Dublin’s Phantom 105.2 completed its move to new studio facilities in the city centre today, leaving behind the old dockside building that was its home since its launch as a legal station in October 2006.
While I will be sad to leave the view of passing shipping behind, I’m not sorry to be leaving what must be one of the ugliest buildings in Docklands.
Meanwhile the internet is buzzing with various stories about what lies ahead for Phantom in the future, now it has an investment from, and shares facilities with the Communicorp radio group. The fact that Phantom’s future matters to so many, and is discussed with such interest, shows the interest that Dublin’s alternative music station commands.
Will there be changes? Of course there will be – what doesn’t change, dies.
If Phantom had not being willing to make the change from pirate to temporary legal, and again to full-time legal, it would never have survived to today.
The move to Marconi House, situated between Georges and Grafton Streets puts Phantom right in the vibrant heart of the city, and back in the same part of town where its most creative pirate years were spent.
I don’t know what high-level plans are in place for the station – nor would I expect to know – but I can tell you that everyone from the CEO Ger Roe, down to occasional part-timers like myself, is enthused about the future, raring to go to meet the challenges ahead, and happy to work for the coolest station in the city.
It’s now 10 years since, arriving back in Dublin after years living abroad, I discovered a darn good pirate radio station broadcasting rock and indie music on 91.6fm – Phantom FM (as it was known in those days).
Within a few weeks I had approached the station and become involved myself, my two years on the weekday breakfast show kicking off a very happy 10 years involvement with the station through it’s various phases as a full-time pirate (till May 03), temporary licenced station (twice in 2003/4), web only (while waiting for licence and legal results 2004-2006) and the current incarnation as the fully legit commercial station Phantom 105.2 from October 2006 to the current day.
I’ve had the best of times during these 10 years, and even though I finally had to cease doing regular weekly shows earlier this year due to other commitments, I still can’t tear myself away entirely, and crop up from time to time filling in for other presenters who are away.
I’m going to be doing a series of posts over the next few weeks looking back at my fondest memories from the last 10 years.
To start off, here is a look at the music and ads being played on Phantom back in my earliest days on the breakfast show.
I’ve transcribed this from a recording I hold of a complete shoe from 18th December 2000 - 10 years ago today.
News & Weather was written and produced by myself as was travel, in addition to presenting the show itself.
In my first months back in Ireland I did not have a car, and there was no bus which would get me in to Phantom in time for the start of the breakfast show, so I would arrive in as live programmes were ending at 11pm the night before, and spend the night in the studio, sleeping on the floor with a cushion for a pillow, a coat over me for warmth, huddled up against a little heater.When the show ended at 9am, I took a bus across town to a fulltime job in the IT industry, worked till 7pm, got home by 9, and had an hour to relax before getting the bus back in to Phantom for another night on the floor.
Ah, those were the days . .
The show below would be absolutely typical of the music played by me at the time. The tracks with an asterix * are A-List tracks, everything else being my own free choice. For the A-lists there were about 30-35 in the studio, refreshed regularly, split between new Irish and new International.
18 December 2000
(7am – news & weather)
*Marvin – No Good At Maths
Damien Dempsey – Chillin
Turn – Antisocial
Whistler – Faith In The Morning
(link + travel)
(ad – Phantasm)
*The Yo Yos – Home From Home
Offspring – Self Esteem
(7.30 news headlines)
*P J Harvey – Good Fortune
Therapy – Screamager
At The Drive In – Cosmonaut
Limp Biscuit –No Sex
(link + travel)
(ad – Wild Eagle tattoo studio)
(ad – Temple Bar Music Centre)
*The Crocketts – 1939 Returning
The Pixies – Here Comes Your Man
Pedestrienne – Soundwaves
The The – Infected
(ad – Whelans)
(ad – MCD Finlay Quayle & Primal Scream)
(8.02am – news & weather)
*The Walls – Some Kind Of A Girl
Smashing Pumpkins – Rocket
*Green Day – Minority
Bell X1 – Offshore
(link + travel)
(ad – Wild Eagle tattoo studio)
(ad – Temple Bar Music Centre)
(ad – Phantasm)
(link – competition for NPB tickets)
*Amen – The Price Of Reality
(link – winner of tickets to NPB)
Rush – Spirit of Radio
(link + 8.30 news headlines)
The Frames – Rent Day Blues
Liz Phair – Ride
(link + travel)
(ad – Wild Eagle tattoo studio)
(ad – Temple Bar Music Centre)
*Juliet Turner – Dr Fell
Eels – Novocaine For The Soul
Candice – Maybe I
*JJ72 – Snow
Ash – Shining Light
(ad – Whelans)
(ad – MCD Finlay Quayle & Primal Scream)
Monday 12th July sees my return to Radio Caroline after an 11 year break, and so I will now be presenting regular weekly shows for three stations – Radio Seagull (on Saturdays), Phantom 105.2 (Sundays) and Radio Caroline (Mondays).
So why three stations, and how can I justify each of them as being “the best” to their listeners?
To answer that, I have to track back in time quite a bit, a quarter of a century, to my first steps into the world of radio. This month marks 25 years since I did my first ever radio show, on South East Sound, a small landbased pirate in South London, which was campaigning for a rock music licence for the capital city which had just 2 commercial stations at that time.
Now, 25 years on, we live in a world where there is vastly more choice available, in no small part due to the efforts of the people behind stations such as South East Sound, Caroline and Phantom over the years and I’m delighted to be regularly broadcasting on three unique and strong independent operations in European radio.
Dublin’s Phantom 105.2 is at the centre of music culture in one of the most vibrant and creative cities in these islands, and I feel very privileged to be still going strong after 10 years with the station. I learn something new, discover something fresh and exciting every time I walk into the Phantom studios, and I love that.
Joining the crew at Radio Seagull has allowed me to be really creative in mixing classic and prog rock of 5 decades with new material in an environment where nothing is off limits, and it’s great to be able to bring some of the new Irish rock bands to an audience in The Netherlands and further afield.
And Radio Caroline, still a proud independent voice after all these years, gives me access to a huge potential audience in the UK via the Sky Digital system, and lets me indulge in my taste for a wide range of musical genres. Caroline has always been about real people sharing their passion for music in a down to earth style, and so many of the people I admire as real radio broadcasters have passed through it’s studios – or never left!
Back in 1985 when I joined South East Sound in London we were campaigning for more radio serving more interests, and I think it’s great that we have so much more choice in 2010, and that I can now be involved in three stations which though all different in content and coverage, are all keeping the flag flying for independent, alternative music and diverse voices on the airwaves.
Radio Seagull 1800-2000 (UK/Irish time) every Saturday
Phantom 105.2 1200-1500 on Sundays
Radio Caroline 1400-1600 on Mondays.
After a few weeks away for a minor medical procedure, I’m back on the radio this weekend with my regular Sunday show on Dublin’s Phantom 105.2fm, plus I’m covering an extra slot on Saturday too.
Sat 26th 1200-1430
Sun 27th 1200-1500
It’ll be nice to catch up with all the latest music – I never walk out of Phantom Towers without having picked up at least one new band or release that I want to buy.
You can catch me on Phantom via 105.2fm in Dublin and surrounding counties, on UPC Digital Cable Ch 935 around Ireland, and worldwide via Phantom.ie or the Phantom iPhone app
Watch this space for forthcoming details of new regular shows on a station elsewhere in Europe . .
Great to see Phantom 105.2 doing well in the latest JNLR Listening figures for Irish Radio, managing to increase market share in a very crowded market.
JNLR details below supplied by Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI)
JNLR FIGURES FOR APRIL 2009 – MARCH 2010 RELEASED
Results from the JNLR/Ipsos MRBI survey for the period April 2009 – March 2010 were released today (Thursday 13th May). The survey results indicate that 86% (-1) of the adult population was listening daily to a mix of national, regional multi-city and local radio throughout the country.
For the purposes of comparison, figures for this survey period are compared with the January – December 2009 figures. The main changes and highlights are as follows:
National Reach and Market Share
Listenership to any multi-city/regional/local radio service remained the same at 58%.
Weekday reach figures for RTÉ 2FM and RTÉ Lyric FM are unchanged at 15% and 3% respectively. Slight reductions were recorded for RTÉ Radio 1 at 25% (-1), Today FM at 14% (-1) and Newstalk at 7% (-1).
With regard to market share, an increased figure of 51.9% (+1.3) was recorded for any multi-city/regional/local station in the 7a.m.-7p.m. period.
RTÉ Lyric FM retained its market share of 1.6%. Small decreases in market share were recorded for the remaining national stations: RTÉ Radio 1 at 22.9% (-0.5), RTÉ 2FM at 9.7% (-0.4), Today FM at 9.6% (-0.3) and Newstalk at 3.9% (-0.1).
National (excluding Dublin and Cork)-local stations
Changes in both reach and market share were recorded for almost all local stations in the current survey period.
The top five local radio stations for the survey period were as follows:
Local Station Listenership (Reach) Local Station Market Share
|1.||Highland Radio 69% (+1)||1.||Highland Radio 64.1% (-1.4)|
|2||Limerick’s Live 95FM 53% (same)||2.||Tipp FM 55.3% (+1.8)|
|3.||Mid West Radio 52%(+2)||3.||Radio Kerry 53.6% (-1.1)|
|4.||Tipp FM 50% (same)
WLR FM 50% (-1)
|4.||Mid West Radio 51.5% (+0.6)|
|4.||5.||Shannonside/Northern Sound 46.2% (-0.7)|
|5.||Radio Kerry 47% (same)
Shannonside Northern Sound 47% (-3)
Multi-City and Regional stations
Beat 102-103FM, serving the south-east, achieved a weekday reach figure of 19% (-1.0) and recorded a market share figure of 12.1% (-0.1).
In the north-west region, i102-104 increased both reach and share figures to 19% (+2.0) and 11.9% (+0.9) respectively.
Spin South West maintained its 18% reach figure, and obtained a market share figure of 9.8% (same).
Figures for the north-east/midlands regional service i105-107FM demonstrated an increase in daily listenership to 6% (+3) and market share of 3.6% (+1.6).
4FM, the multi-city service, achieved a weekday reach of 2% (same) and achieved a market share of 1.5% (+0.1).
FM104 continues to have the highest weekday reach of local Dublin stations at 19% (-1) Weekday reach figures for the majority of remaining local Dublin stations remained the same when compared to the previous survey period: Dublin’s 98FM at 15%; Spin 1038FM at 13%; Country Mix 106.8 at 4%; and Phantom 105.2 at 3%. Q102 recorded a reach figure of 12% (-1.0) for the current survey period.
98FM recorded the highest market share figure of the local Dublin stations in the April 09-March 10 survey period at 11.6%(+1.2). Other increases in market share were recorded for Dublin’s Q102 at 9.4% (+0.8); Spin 1038 at 6% (+0.2) and Phantom 105.2 at 1.5% (+0.1). County Mix 106.8 retained its market share of 3% while FM104 achieved a market share of 10.5% (-0.2).
The combined figures for Cork’s 96FM/C103 showed reductions in both reach and share, at 48% (-2.0) and 43.6% (-1.4) respectively. Separate figures for both services are detailed in the tables provided.
Cork’s Red FM recorded increases in their reach and market share, achieving figures of 21% (+1.0) and 10.3% (+0.5) respectively.
Full details of the reach and market share figures together with the weekly reach figures for all stations are available at the BAI website.
It’s funny how places grow on you. For a long time after Phantom went legal, I missed the cosy intimacy of our pirate-era studios in Wexford Street, the classic pirate-type location up flights of stairs in an old building. Looking out the old studio window you could see the bustling street below, a giant neon sign flashed “Eat!” “Eat!” “Eat!” all night long, and the studio was just the right size, with everything within easy reach.
Our current day mansion on North Wall Quay seemed soulless by comparison, although it offered the luxury of space and all mod cons. Not the prettiest building in Docklands, it stood on a section of quayside that could be pretty bleak in winter.
But the river . . and the ships. They won me over.
Not since my Caroline days had i been able to to glance out the studio window and see cargo ships passing by, tugs and navy vessels, or watch the ever-changing moods of light and water.
I’ve fallen in love with the building now every bit as much as the old one, and am totally at home in my (almost) floating studio.
The days of the radio ships are past now, but I’m still spinning music by sparkling salt water, and I love it.
This Sunday I’m on Phantom from midday to 3pm, with a classy selection of alternative rock, old and new.
You can listen in on fm105.2 in Dublin and surrounding counties, or worldwide at www.phantom.ie
I have two shows on Phantom this Easter weekend.
On Sunday you can hear me from 1200-1500.
On Easter Monday I have the morning show, 0900-1200.
As always, I’ll be bringing you a great mixture of alternative rock, old and new, with a good dose of new, upcoming Irish bands.
Hope you can join me, if not, have a Happy Easter.
I’m back after a short Christmas break, and will be on-air on Phantom 105.2 twice this week.
Thur Dec 31st – 0900-1300
Fri Jan 1st 0900-1200
You can get us on 105.2fm in Dublin and surrounding area, or worldwide via www.phantom.ie or via the iPhone app.
Other than that, it’s back to writing again. I’m about 50% complete on my second book (and no, I’m not telling what it’s about yet) and I really need to have a finished first draft by the end of February, so there’s a lot to do.
Whatever you are doing, have a great New Year’s Eve, I’ll be staying in this time!
This Christmas I’ll be on-air on Christmas Day, after missing the last couple of years (I did every Christmas from 2000 to 2005 on Phantom, and Christmas 87 and 88 on Caroline).
If you get the chance to join me, you will be very welcome, I will be live from 0900 to midday on Phantom 105.2.
You can listen on FM in the Greater Dublin Area and adjoining counties, nationwide on UPC cable ch.935, or worldwide via www.phantom.ie or via our iPhone app.
I’m also on air on Dec 31st 0900-1300 and Jan 1st 0900-1200..
Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year.
I’m on Phantom 105.2 this Sunday 6th December 2009 covering my old show Random Access, with all your requests, plus I will be giving away a pair of VIP Oxegen 2010 earlybird tickets!
The Oxegen competition runs from Friday through to Sunday this weekend – listen in for chances to get yourself into the draw from which I will be pulling the winner.
See phantom.ie for details, Random Access the all-request show is Sunday 7-9pm.
Phantom and it’s staff are up for two awards on the Entertainment.ie website: Sexiest Radio Voice (Charlotte Flood) and best breakfast show (Pure Morning).
Here’s the link if you want to give us a helping vote!
Despite being closeted away writing my second book (more on that soon) I’m still associated with Phantom 105.2 in Dublin, and will be popping up on air from time to time, when a window in my schedule coincides with a slot they need filled.
Here are my confirmed air-dates for September:
Saturday 12th 0800-1100 (weekend breakfast)
Saturday 12th 1100-1200 (guest on Kiosk the arts show)
Sunday 13th 1900-2100 Random Access (all request show)
Saturday 19th 0800-1100 (weekend breakfast)
Sunday 20th 1900-2100 Random Access (all request show)
You can hear Phantom on 105.2fm around Dublin, nationwide on UPC Cable Ch.935, and worldwide via www.phantom.ie
Hope you can join me sometime
It’s JNLR (radio audience figures) day here in Ireland, and I’m pleased to see my friends at Phantom 105.2 continuing to do well and grow the station, as per the press release below.
(Note: I stepped down from regular programmes on Phantom earlier in the summer due to other demands on my time, but I remain associated with the station, and fill in on shows from time to time).
Station increases reach by 15% …
20th August 2008 – Phantom 105.2, Dublin’s indie rock is delighted to announce that the latest listenership figures released this afternoon confirm that year-on-year we have increased our daily and weekly reach by 15%*
“Phantom continues to grow in the increasingly competitive Dublin market” said Ger Roe, Phantom’s CEO, “We’ve increased our average quarter hour listenership for Pure Morning, our breakfast show, and are looking forward to further growth in 2009”
Phantom 105.2 plays the best in indie and modern rock and is available in Dublin on 105.2FM, nationwide on Chorus/NTL Digital channel 935 and online at www.phantom.ie
* Source: JNLR-July ’07-June ’08 (Published Aug ’08) V JNLR- July ‘08 to June ’09 (Published Aug ’09). All adults weekly reach and listened yesterday (year on year).
Although for the most part fully occupied on my new book project at the moment, I will still be heard on Phantom 105.2 from time to time.
This weekend I am filling two slots – 8am to 11am on Saturday 1st August, and 1-5pm on the (Irish) Bank Holiday Monday 3rd August. You can listen locally in the Dublin region on 105.2fm, nationally via UPC cable ch.935, and worldwide at www.phantom.ie
On Sunday 2nd August I will be taking time out to MC a themed open-mic event for Seven Towers – “Both Sides Of The Pond” – featuring American, Canadian and Irish poets. It’s at 2pm, Cassidys of Westmoreland Street, free admission, all welcome.
Readers include Californian poet Lynne Knight, Dublin writer Oran Ryan, New Zealand born Dublin writer, Ross Hattaway, Canadian writer and model Roslyn Fuller, Dublin poet Eamonn Lynskey, Dublin poet Catherine Ann Cullen. Other names will be added to the list as they are confirmed
This weekend looking busy.
On Friday evening (3rd July 2009) I’ve been invited to present the Best Band award at the Balcony TV Music Video Awards.
I’m also on Phantom 105.2 this Sunday, covering the 3-6pm slot.
Publicity and promo work on Shiprocked has continued to occupy me recently with readings and signings in Galway and Dublin. The Galway event, as part of the Volvo Ocean Race celebration, was a particular success, with a large crowd attending the reading at Galway Museum, many of whom were from the yachting and maritime world – they particularly enjoyed hearing the grounding and rescue sequences!
A large number of other readings and events are being planned for later in the summer, through to November, when I will be doing a reading tour in the UK. In addition to this, I have also started work on my second book, which is also non-fiction, and is aimed for publication in the second half of 2010. I’m keeping the topic under wraps for now but will update here as the writing progresses over the months ahead.
With this workload, and my frequent need to be travelling around the country, I’ve had to scale back on my broadcast duties with Phantom 105.2, for the time being. The station management have been remarkably uderstanding about my frequent absences due to writing and promotional commitments, and have given me every help with my various outside projects, but I can’t ask them to do this forever.
Phantom stalwart Sinister Pete takes over the Sunday evening request show Random Access, and the Saturday hours are filled by an extended Phantom Anthems.
Broadcasting is still a passion for me, and I will still be heard on Phantom from time to time, filling in for regular presenters if I am in Dublin at the time.
Life has changed in many exciting ways for me over the past 18 months since I signed up with the Seven Towers Agency, and I have a feeling that in the next year it is going to get more exciting still.
I’ll be presenting an extra show for the bank holiday Monday on Phantom 105.2, from 0900 to 1300.
As well as the normal selection of Dublin’s Indie Rock, listen out for some Phantom Famous Firstplays from 10am, with clips of Phantom artists describing the first album they ever bought, followed by a track from the album. Some really interesting choices from the best indie rock bands, and the feature runs throughout the whole day until 8pm on Phantom 105.2.
Hear us on 105.2FM - Chorus/NTL Channel 935 – Online at www.phantom.ie - Mobile Phone
Publicity continues for SHIPROCKED this week, with a review due to be published in the RTE Guide and a forthcoming interview in Hotpress.
On Tuesday I was on 4fm‘s breakfast show for a second time, with Gareth O’Callaghan, himself a former Caroline presenter. Gareth is very helpful about the book, and his team on the breakfast show are a nice bunch, including former Sunshine newsreader Cathy Creegan. Lovely studios with great views across Dublin too.
This weekend I will be on Phantom 0800-1100 on Saturday, and in my normal Sunday evening slot 1900-2100.
The official Irish launch of SHIPROCKED – Life On The Waves With Radio Caroline took place on April 15th, attended by a good crowd including many from the world of radio in Ireland.
The book is now available in all major bookstores, including Easons, Hughes & Hughes, Chapters, Hodges Figgis, as well as through the major online retailers.
Just two weeks to go now until Shiprocked – Life On The Waves With Radio Caroline hits the shops.
I’ve had so much last-minute stuff to do that I’ve been short on updates here recently, but I will keep this page updated regularly now as we head towards publication week.
Normal stuff continues too – I’m still on Phantom 105.2 every Saturday (1700-1900) and Sunday (1900-2100) and am also doing a special show on Patricks Day march 17th from 2-5pm playing the best of Irish rock.