This weekend, and the week that follows is going to be one of the high points of my year, as I go back offshore and broadcast from a ship again, surrounded by fellow crewmembers from the offshore stations of years gone by.
“Radio Seagull” is a rock music station which broadcasts the overnight service on the Dutch station Radio Waddenzee, which is based on a former lightship, the Jenni Baynton, normally moored safely alongside the pier in the town of Harlingen.
But for the month of May the Jenni Baynton is putting out to sea again, and will be anchored some 8 miles off the Dutch coast, bringing radio back to the North Sea and providing a great opportunity for former pirates to relive the old days while bringing quality rock music, old and new, to an audience on AM and online.
I’m thrilled to have been invited to spend some time out at sea onboard the Jenni Baynton, and I will be on air each night on Radio Seagull from 10pm-1am CET (9pm-midnight BST) from Sunday 2nd to Thursday 6th May.
Over the month of May a whole host of people from the former Dutch and British offshore stations will be joining Seagull, and indeed I will be on board with my brother, Chris Kennedy, just as we were on Caroline back in the eighties.
Depending on mobile reception, I may be able to share pictures and update this blog while on board, if not, I will certainly do so on my return.
So watch this space, and tune in to Radio Seagull each night for some great classic and progressive rock from the last several decades.
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.
Another highlight of my trip to the UK last weekend was the chance to set foot on the Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge again, my first visit in more than 6 years!
I’ve taken lots of photos, and will put them into a large article showing the ship’s many different corners after the weekend.
In the meantime, the pics below show her in her secure location at Tilbury, and myself back in the old 558 studio*.
(*Someone at one of the readings hearing one excerpt from Shiprocked – Life On The Waves with Radio Caroline asked me “what is a 558 studio?”. Well, it is the main Caroline studio, used for most transmissions in English from 1983 to 1989 (until the raid that is) and because the bulk of that time we were on 558Khz medium wave, it was often referred to as the “558 studio” as at certain times there would be multiple versions of Caroline transmitting, with a rock orientated service on a second frequency from a different studio).
A wonderful visit, and thanks to Peter Moore for arranging it for me.