iPhone 4s Review: An Irishman Talks To Siri

The iPhone 4s has arrived in Ireland from October 28th, bringing the upgraded specs and the new “Intelligent Assistant” Siri to the Republic’s smartphone soaked market.

The improved camera and processor will be welcomed by those trading up, but how does Siri cope with Irish placenames, and an Irish accent? Is it just a gimmick, or a useful interface for the phone?  I put it though its paces with some surprising results, including new weapons technology and a gift for diplomacy.

The iPhone 4 has been reviewed in a million places by people much better than I at judging the smartphone market, so this piece is really focussed on:

  • How it feels for me upgrading from a 3GS
  • Playing with Siri (for fun)
  • Working with Siri (will it do practical stuff for me?)
  • Siri and the local market (Irish accent/placenames)

GETTING STARTED.

If you’re used to the iPhone anyway (and especially if you have already used iOS5 on your older phone) the 4S will be very easy to adapt to – everything is pretty much in the same place, just with extra bells and whistles.

I was moving from a 3GS and found the experience absolutely painless – it takes a while to go through the activation process, but when it is finished, everything has been copied across from your old phone (if that’s what you choose to do) including all your photos, music, apps, favourites etc. The only thing you will need to do is a once-off re-entry of passwords for things such as your Apple ID, email, Google+ etc. (this is a positive – you wouldn’t want someone to be able to access these simply by hooking up to your computer and migrating your data).

In my hands the phone feels much the same, perhaps a little lighter, and certainly more square.  I’m not sure I like the new style of volume buttons, they seem easy to mishandle when simply holding the phone.

Reception seems to me to be identical to my 3GS in difficult places such as my front room, which is in a communications death-zone and only ever gets 1 bar (even right back to my Nokia N95 days).

I have seen today reports of 4S users experiencing battery-life issues, however I’m not in a position to say if this affects my 4S, as I’ve had it on and off the laptop several times during the day doing various tests and copying stuff. I think it is possible that the battery on standby is dropping a little faster than I might expect, but I’ll need another couple of days to confirm that. If some sort of an OS bug is responsible, it should be easily addressed by a patch in any case.

UPDATE: Don’t seem to have the battery issue myself – tested today, 6 hours on standby with 3G, Wifi, Siri and Location Services enabled, dropped 8% in the 6 hours.

The new camera, by the way, is excellent, and the jump in quality from my older 3GS is especially evident. I’ve not had time to try out the video yet.

.

AND SO TO SIRI

Siri is the new voice-activated “intelligent assistant” on the iPhone, and the bar that it has to jump for me is not speech recognition itself (such systems have been around for decades, albeit clunky in some cases) but accuracy and more vitally, practical usefullness. By which I mean, yes, it’s fine to have fun playing with the system by having offball conversations, but does it actually do useful stuff that I would need on an everyday basis?

The answer, surprisingly, is yes. (I say surprisingly because I’ve used voice recognition systems in the past, particularly on the Mac 12 or 13 years ago, and while they were fun, they took a lot of effort for very little useful return).

But Siri is on the way to greatness. Not brilliant, yet, because it has a few minor glitches, but there is without doubt a set of useful functions already, and this is just the beta version.

So what can it do?

Well let me start with one tiny, tiny thing, that just on its own makes it worthwhile for me.

It’s 7.30am, it’s a bitterly cold morning, and I am trudging up the hill to work, with my iPhone buried deep in an inner pocket to protect it from the rain. I have 12,000 tracks currently in my collection, and am buying new albums at the rate of three or four a week, plus receiving many as promos, and there are simply many tracks on my system that I do not know yet. Even if I know I am listening to the new Florence album, it’s my first time hearing it, and I want to know what the current track is called.

No more stopping and fishing out the phone in the rain to see what’s playing – a simple squeeze of my earphone button and Siri asks me what i want, and gives me the info, then goes back to playing the song. Simple as that. (whatever you ask Siri, and its spoken response to you is echoed on the screen too, as above).

Likewise, if I suddenly get a gra for some Nine Inch Nails while walking up that hill, a quick squeeze to summon Siry, a simple command “Play Nine Inch Nails” or, if I want an actual track “Play Metallica, Nothing Else Matters” and it is straight on.

This works with other content like podcasts too – I tried it with “Play Podcast Feedback” and it had the latest unlistened episode of the Radio 4 show playing instantly.

Likewise texting, or sending emails.

Simply say “Text” and it will ask you for the receipient, then the content, and then read it back to you, and ask if you want it sent, changed or cancelled. (You can also speed it up, for example, by specifying “Text Steve Conway” and it will then only need the content.  This works well for texts, but for emails it tends to only grab what you are saying until the first pause, and then make it the content of the email, which you can only change in its entirity, not add to.

For emails the way round this is to go into email editing mode, and a microphone symbol appears, you can press this and create your email in chunks.  An ability to add to existing content on an email when in fully automatic mode would be good.

The system can read incoming texts out to you, and ask if you want to reply, but this feature is not available for emails – yet.

Likewise, it is easy to set reminders or schedule meetings.

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SIRI IN IRELAND

So how accurate is the speech recognition? How does it cope in Ireland?

The answer is “pretty well” – it seems to have little trouble accepting my commands and emails, and it even copes with Dublin placenames well enough. The few times it flaked out on me were usually in situations where it understood my words, but not what I actually wanted (it will search for such things on the web if you want).

Below is a test I set the phone for an email with a mixture of Irish placenames and surnames.

First is what I dictated:

Hi Steve here’s the plan.

We meet in the city centre at 8pm and then travel out via Stillorgan to Dun laoghaire on the 46A, after that we can try O’Shaugnesseys, take a walk along the pier, and then go back into town for dinner.

If you can’t make it please send me text, regards Steve

Below is what Siri typed – incorrect parts highlighted red.

Hi Steve here’s the plan

We meet in the city centre at 8 PM and then travel out via Stillorgan to Dun Laoghaire under 40 succes after that recanted electroshock missiles take a walk along the pier and then go back to town for dinner

If you can make it please send me text regards Steve

—-

Recanted elctroshock missiles?  . .

Having said that, Irish surnames are probably a trial for any AI software!

So in review, a very useful tool, will certainly be used by me day to day, and will hopefully get better with upgrades.

Now we’ve done the work, let’s have a little fun:

1> Let’s talk about nature . .

2> – One of Siri’s rare failures, I was trying to educate it on how to find the best alternative music in Dublin, but it had Christmas on its mind . .

3> – Now lets ask it the big question.

OK, how about coming down on one or other side of a current politica; / social divide?

So there you have it. It can copy with the irish voice, knows our placenames, but can’t quite get the hang of our pub names yet . .

All in all, a great upgrade from the 3GS, and a genuinely useful voice interface.

Steve


October 2011 JNLR (covering Oct 2010-Sep2011) Radio Audience

Phantom 105.2 – increased reach in latest figures

RTE steady nationally

Good first year for Nova

4fm struggles in Dublin but gains 2% in Cork


The latest JNLR figures reporting Irish radio audiences have been published today, covering the period October 2010 to September 2011.

As always, for the full result tables your should visit the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland website.

Figures produced & published  by JNLR/Ipsos MRBI 2011/3

All changes are compared to 1 year ago.

*** THIS PART OF THE REPORT LOOKS AT “LISTENED YESTERDAY” REACH ***

National stations steady on “Listened Yesterday”

All RTE and Commercial stations held their % reach of “All Adults 15+” in the results, with overall reach down slightly by 1% spread across the total for these stations.

NATIONAL RESULTS

Listened at all 84% (down 1%)

No change on individual national stations:

Any RTE Radio was listened to by 35%

RTE Radio 1 by 25%

RTE 2FM 11%

RTE Lyric 3%

Today FM 13%

Newstalk 8%

Any Local/Regional/Multi City 58%

DUBLIN – First results give Nova 5% and see Phantom overtake 4fm (in “listened yesterday” reach, though it’s the other way round in % share)

Listened at all 85% (-1%)

Any RTE 37% (no change)

RTE Radio 1 31% (no change)

RTE 2FM 8% (-1%)

RTE Lyric FM 6% (+1%)

Today FM 10% (+1%)

Newstalk 12% (no change)

Any non-national 53% (no change)

4fm 2% (no change)

Radio Nova 5% (first result)

98FM 13% (no change)

FM104 20% (-1%)

Q102 13% (no change)

Sunshine 106.8 3% (-1%)

Spin1038 14% (-1%)

Phantom 105.2 3% (+1%)

MULTI-CITY: 4fm score 3% overall, with an impressive 7% in Cork (up 2%) but is stuck on 2% in the Dublin market.

*** THIS PART OF THE REPORT LOOKS AT SHARE OF TOTAL LISTENING ***

Share of audience listening (% share of all the time listened) shows more movement that the simple reach (how many people listened to you).

NATIONAL SHARE

Any national 46% (+0.6%)

Any RTE 33% (no change)

RTE Radio 1 23.3% (-0.2%)

RTE 2FM 7.4% (+0.1%)

RTE Lyric 1.8% (+0.2%)

Today FM 9.1% (+0.2%)

Newstalk 4.4% (+0.3%)

Any Non National 53.3% (-0.6%)

DUBLIN SHARE

Any National 54.8 % (no change)

Any Non-National 45.2% (no change)

Any RTE 40.8% (-1.1%)

RTE Radio 1 31.4% (-1.2%)

RTE 2FM 5.8% (no change)

RTE Lyric 3.4% (+0.2%)

Today FM 6.8% (+0.6%)

Newstalk 7.1% (+0.3%)

4fm 1.1% (+0.3%)

Radio Nova 3.3% (first result)

98FM 9.5% (+0.5%)

FM104 11.4% (-1.0%)

Q102 10.3% (-0.4%)

Sunshine 106.8 2.3% (-0.1%)

Spin 1038 5.9% (no change)

Phantom 105.2 0.8% (no change)

As always, for the full result tables your should visit the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland website.

Figures produced & published  by JNLR/Ipsos MRBI 2011/3


What Lies Beneath – Why Dundrum Town Centre Flooded

Steve digs out his photos of the construction of South Dublin’s fashionable (and flooded) mall, and remembers what it was they built on top of . .

From the front page of Irish Times 25th October 2011 – © Irish Times

The dramatic scenes of water bursting into the upmarket Dundrum Town Centre mall were some of the defining images of the Dublin floods of October 2011, and the front page picture from todays Irish Times shows how badly the centre has been affected. Since its opening six years ago it has been my favourite of the Dublin suburban shopping centres, but its devastation by floods does not surprise me as a local with intimate knowledge of the grography that it replaced.

It could be, in fact, a perfect example of of the boom years building frenzy taken to its logical consequences, as the building of hundreds of apartments close by in the following years helped seal its fate.

The village of Dundrum has always perched on a slope at the bottom end of a narrow valley, with a good-sized stream (or small river) running through it. Various complexes lined the high ground on one side of the valley – the old PYE Television factory, later industrial estate, the 1970s original Dundrum Shopping Centre, and the old H Williams store at the southern end (which became Super Crazy Prices, and then Tesco). But the bottom of the valley and the river was always left pretty much wild, and I used to roam along its length in my childhood years, fancying myself as a fearless explorer as I waded upstream and forced my way through undergrowth.

In more recent years, as I made my way to work on a sluggish 48A in 2000 and 2001, the glimpse of the stream surrounded by green land as we crossed over the valley on the Ballinteer Road bridge just before the crossroads always gave a little glimpse of forgotten rural idyll. Until the day the bulldozers moved in, and they started building.

Dundrum bypass and Dundrum Town Centre under construction

Here is a shot I took sometime during 2001 or 2002 which shows both Dundrum Town Centre and the Dundrum Bypass under construction.  The picture is taken from a temporary pedestrian bridge over the valley errected during the period when Ballinteer Road was closed to traffic as a new, wider road bridge was built complete with car-park ramp downwards into the centre.

On the left is where Dundrum Town Centre now stands, and you can see the spot where the underground car-parks and delivery section join the bypass.

The valley floor has been leveled, and the stream boxed in, ready to be buried underneath the new development in a culvert.

When this photo was taken, it had been dry for a good period, and the stream was low, however it often ran much higher in wet periods. Nevertheless, the culvert once roofed would seem more than proof against even a four or fivefold increase in flow during very rainy periods.

However, in the years following the completion of the centre, hundreds if not thousands of apartments in dozens of new developments were built upstream, with much of the run-off from all these acres of new concrete flowing into the stream or the local drainage system. The huge flow of water from the Ticknock Hill development alone can be seen during wet periods cascading down a series of steps beside the M50 junction, and into the watercourse of this stream. Plus, all of the green land that lay undisturbed in this little valley is now built over, no longer able to absorb rainfall and run-off.

In the exceptional rainfall of the last 24 hours, when a months rain fell in a day, once the culvert was at full capacity, where else could the water go?

I’m not saying the planners failed here, this is an exceptional event, but perhaps, when we have building booms in future, we should be looking at things like runoff in the context of what else will be built in the area later, and planning for “once in 80 year” events.

Yes it will cost. But as much as the damage that now needs to be made good?

Steve


So Who Are Radio Seagull?

Radio Seagull, from the lightship Jenni Baynton

The recent test-transmissions on 1395Khz by Radio Seagull have driven quite a few Google search requests to this blog, so I’ve decided to give a quick run-down on the station for any new visitors, as well as for those who follow me for my other content and might be curious.

Please note my disclaimer: I am a Radio Seagull presenter myself (Saturdays 7-9am and pm CET, 6-8am and pm UK/Irish time) so you are reading an insider rather than an outsiders point of view. Having said that, I also have to point out that all views are my own, and not neccessarily endorsed by the station.

Hey, these are just some guys I was close to when I took this picture. Pretty supportive too.

So, what is Radio Seagull?

Radio Seagull is a full-time, permanent, licenced terrestrial, English-language radio station based in The Netherlands, specifically the town of Harlingen, in the northern coastal area. As well as AM coverage emenating from Harlingen, the station can be heard worldwide via its online stream, accessible from the station website – www.radioseagull.com

 

How can I hear Radio Seagull?

In The Netherlands the station shares its AM frequency (1602Khz) with Radio Waddenzee, a regional station servicing the north of The Netherlands in the Dutch language. Waddenzee is heard from 7am-7pm and Seagull from 7pm to 7am on mediumwave, however Seagull is available 24 hours a day online.

(Radio Waddenzee takes its name from The Wadden Zee, a large area of sea on the fringe of the North Sea, but partly protected by a chain of islands 20km or so from the coast.)

As well as terrestrial and online outlets, Radio Seagull is sometimes carried as a sustaining service on other stations around the world. Currently the station is being relayed as the content of a series of test transmissions on 1395Khz on AM, which are being made from the Radio Seagull ship, the Jenni Baynton. These are scheduled to continue until mid-November (but Seagull will continue to be available on its permanent frequency of 1602Khz, at all times).

 

What type of programmes does Radio Seagull have?

Radio Seagull features both modern alternative and classic rock, as well as a wide variety of specialist music shows.  Some presenters specialise in new and alternative music, others present more general shows. Details can be found at the website www.radioseagull.com.

In order to cater for international listeners in different time-zones, the schedule is organised into groups of programmes in 12-hour blocks,  repeated once the same day – so that, for example, a show aired at 3-5pm will also be aired at 3-5am, giving people in different parts of the world the chance to hear each show in their “daytime”.

Seagull presenters (left to right) Steve Conway, Chris Kennedy, Mandy, Dave Foster

How is Radio Seagull different from other stations I can hear on the internet, or local stations on FM?

Radio Seagull’s programming philosophy is to gather together experienced and professional presenters from around the world, people who are passionate about the music they play, or very knowledgeable in their specialist area, and to give them complete creative freedom to produce the best shows that they can.  Unlike larger commercial radio stations, there is no restriction on playlist size, and as a result the music you hear on air is incredibly diverse and wide-ranging.

Radio Seagull's Martin Smith samples life at sea

Presenters come from all across Europe and further afield to work on Seagull, and many are people who have been involved in radio for a long time.

Radioship Jenni Baynton, home of Radio Seagull

So what’s all this about a ship?

Radio Seagull (and its sister station Radio Waddenzee) are housed on board a former British Lightship (LV8), the Jenni Baynton, which is normally berthed in the harbour at Harlingen. The ship itself is an attraction, bursting full of history, and much restored since its acquisition by Seagull in the early 2000s, and it makes a wonderful base for the radio station – lots of room for studios, engineering facilities, radio mast, and cabins where crew and visiting DJs can be accomodated during special offshore broadcasts. The station also has landbased transmission facilities.

But the ship is more than just a static base.

Once a year, for the last several years, the station has put to sea for periods of about a month each summer, with crew and DJs living on board, a great opportunity for friendships to be rekindled and knowledge to be swapped, as well as recreating some of the excitement of the old offshore radio days (a number of the Seagull presenters, myself included,  are veterans of the former offshore pirate stations such as Radio Caroline).

Sietse Brouwer, founder and owner of Radio Seagull & Waddenzee.

Who is behind Radio Seagull?

Seagull is the brainchild of Sietse Brouwer, a Dutch businessman and radio presenter who also spent some time working with Radio Caroline in the 1990s. Sietse has a passion for good radio, and a great love of ships, and putting the two together in his home town of Harlingen has occupied a great part of his time for the last 10 years.

 

Where can I get more info / how can I listen?

The best place to start for both is the website – www.radioseagull.com

 

You can also see more of my pictures from Radio Seagull’s offshore adventures at the following pages:

https://steveconway.wordpress.com/seagull/the-jenni-baynton-at-sea/

https://steveconway.wordpress.com/seagull/inside-the-jenni-baynton/

https://steveconway.wordpress.com/seagull/jenni-baynton-crew/

https://steveconway.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/dreamy-seagull-pics/

If you are a new visitor, I hope this has answered your questions, and made you curious enough to listen.

I can be heard every Saturday 7-9am and pm CET, (6-8am and pm UK/Irish time).

But don’t just listen to me – the rest of the presenters are superb!

Steve


Farewell, Unreal World

Those few of my friends who know about the personal choice I made at the start of this month don’t really understand it.

Even my friend and neighbour Oran, who is open-minded and welcoming of every possible lifestyle choice to the point of being impossible to shock, has his doubts about what I have done.

I could walk into his house carrying a purple minature elephant and proclaiming a newfound sexual attraction to holly trees and Oran would be thoughtfully accepting, rejoicing in my newfound desires and, possibly, willing to try it too.

But of this choice, while supportive, he is quick to assure me, gravely, that it can be undone at a moments notice, and that I only have to say the word and he will help me to return to normality.

You see, I’ve not only joined the estimated 1-2% of people who have chosen to live without television, but of that tiny minority I am not in either the “ultra religious wanting to protect children from TV sex” or the “I don’t want modern technology in my home” subsets who make up two thirds of the abstainers. Nor am I one of the people who moved into a house without a TV and never got around to buying one.

No, I had a perfectly good TV, and made a conscious decision that I no longer needed it in my life, and I took it down the stairs and out of the house, and waved bye-bye to it as it walked down the road*

(*dramatic licence – it’s actually in the shed waiting to be boot-faired)

So, what am I, some kind of weirdo? Some kind of anti-technology nut?

No, I grew up like everyone else of my era, with TV a big part of my life. Through my twenties as I moved from bedsit to flat to house, the TV was always one of those “must-haves” that had to be there on day 1, like the kettle, the duvet and the fan heater (those bedsits used to be cold drafty places!).

When my marriage came to an end in 2000 and I moved back home to Dublin after decades in the UK, I started afresh with almost zero possessions, but the first thing I brought into the first room I rented, when suddenly back in bedsitland, was a little black and white TV, which I propped up on a chair in the corner of the room.

And within a year it was replaced by a much better, colour, combi-DVD unit on a proper stand (indeed, I think, the very one pictured above).

But I’m a great man for radio, and I’ve a love of news and current affairs, and they do wonderful  programmes on BBC Radio 4, so the TV was not always on. And as the noughties rolled on, and the X-Factors and their clones swept through TVland, it was on less and less. At first days would go by when it wasn’t switched on, and then, sometimes, weeks.

And I have a stack of unwatched DVDs in the corner that can be viewed on the laptop as easily as the TV, and as broadband improved, there is so much content on the web too.

But the TV was still a “must-have”.  Or so I thought.

Until I began to think.

My first conscious moment (the waking from TV-enthralled slumber?) came, of all places, at Holyhead ferry terminal, at around 8pm on a cold blustery night back in February.

I had driven several hundred miles to catch the 10pm ferry, having spent a long weekend staying with a good friend and her flatmate who were, frankly, the most TV-obsessed people I have ever met in my life. In their home, the TV was on constantly, X-Factor, Dancing On Ice and I know not what else was constantly watched and analysed, every carefully choreographed tiff between presenters believed as true-life drama, no TV cliche or stunt too transparant to be swallowed whole.

While watching live TV their Sky+ box was constantly recording other material to be viewed later, the hard disk was always full, and the arguments over what should be deleted to make way for more of the same heated and bitter. But I could tolerate that, in small doses, for the sake of seeing my hosts.

But now, having driven like the devil and endured peak-hour tailbacks through the Midlands, I was being subjected to ferry company customer service at its finest. Having got through the initial checkpoint, and passed outbound customs, I was among many motorists now corralled in a holding area, where terminal facilities were available “for your comfort and convenience”

Entering the building, it became apparent to myself and many other motorists that the coffee and snack shop was closed.

The door onto the corridor leading to the toilets was locked.

There was not a single member of staff anywhere to help.

Children were crying, people wanted the loo, I wanted a warm drink in me, and everyone was vexed. All we had access to was a large waiting room with hard plastic seats, and a big, booming television.

And then Eastenders came on, and suddenly no one was vexed, everybody settled down and looked at the screen, and the locked toilets and the lack of “comfort and convenience” didn’t matter to anyone any more, as they were comforted by the ultimate complaint handler – a bit of telly.

At that moment, as the dum dum dum of the Eastenders theme crashed around the room, I felt my world spin, and it was as if I could suddenly see what TV does – drains the passion, the thought, the fight, out of a population, and makes them . . content.

I went back outside, and sat in my car. I knew it was not a plot, it was not deliberate, but yet, the effect was a visible fact – treat customers any way you want, as long as you give them a bit of telly, it will all be OK.

That played on my mind for a while, over the summer, and my spells with the TV off became longer, not so much as a conscious decision, but more because I was finding the endless promos and trailers and constant stripping of programmes such as The Simpsons and Friends and all the “real-life” dramas across many channels to be more and more of an irritation.

And I could see my own childhood favourite, Dr. Who, being sucked into this, with more and more flashy guest-stars, and less standalone, thoughtful and quirky episodes.

I thought about life without TV. Not a life without watching programmes or films, but without the actual set itself, sitting there consuming space and asking to be switched on. And the more I thought about it, the more I realised that even the space the TV itself claimed was more use to me than the slim pickings I now got from it. And so the decision was made, the TV would go when my current Sky contract came to an end at the start of October.

A shocked Oran helped my carry it downstairs and out of my life.

It’s not as if I can’t watch things if I want to. I’m not a luddite, and I’m not anti-media. Anything I want is available on the Internet if I really want to get it, but that is more of an active and discerning choice, which I like.

And the very last thing of all that I had told myself I was hanging on to TV for, live news, is now accessible just as easily online as through TV.

Above is a screenshot – don’t try clicking on the links !

RTE have their main news bulletins easily accessible, and the individual stories also, as featured videos (see above). And the BBCs online news video service is even more impressive.

I can still watch episodes of TV if I really want to, I can buy or download, and my stack of DVDs is still in the corner, but, still just as little viewed. But I find I’m not doing that so much.

For the first week that the TV was gone, I felt serious pangs. Which was ridiculous, as I had been going weeks at a time without turning it on anyway, but it more the absence of the ability to turn it on, the loss of an object which had been a focal point of every residence I had lived in through my adult life. Another week has gone by, and the pangs are gone.

I listen to radio (mostly speech), I often listen to downloaded podcasts of shows from Radio 4 and the World Service in the evening, I have extra space where the TV used to be, and I feel . . . liberated, awake.

You were good to me once TV, you coloured my childhood with Daleks and Liver Birds and Life On Earth . . but we fell out of love when it became too stale, and I gave you your marching orders.

And now I don’t miss you one little bit.

And when I see you with someone else, I won’t be jealous.

Steve


Another Rebel Gets Old, Disses New Music

It’s a depressingly familiar scenario.

A Musician/Record Producer/Radio DJ (delete as appropriate) makes/signs/plays lots of wonderful new music in his/her youth and early 30s. The world is aflame, it is brilliant, there is so much talent out there . .

Then he/she gets older, mourns the loss of all that wonderful creativity of their era, and decries todays music as “shit”.

See the Phantom 105.2 website for the story of Creation Records founder Alan McGee who laughs at the destruction of the Sony warehouse in London (which wiped out the stock of dozens of indie record labels, and artists as well as DVD stock) because, in his view,  it was full of “shit” new music which “you couldn’t sell”.

Just like the people who decried his music as “rubbish” when he was busy signing the talent of the 90s, Alan has now fallen into the trap of viewing the past through rose-tinted glasses and the future through blinkers.

Never mind. There is a whole  generation of new musicians waiting out there, and these days they don’t even need a record label or the approval of an Alan McGee to get heard.

And I welcome them all. I’m nearly 50, but I haven’t stopped being excited by new bands yet . . and hopefully I never will.

Check out my show on Radio Seagull every Saturday 6-8am and 6-8pm (7-9 CET) for at least 50% brand new music mixed in with recent and older classics.

Steve


Music Variety – Sample Seagull playlist – 1st October 2011

Every Saturday I present on Radio Seagull, from 6-8am UK/Irish time, repeated later the same day 6-8pm. (or 7-9 European time)

If you enjoy indie and alternative music, you’ll get lots of it, with the occasional folk or country and the odd piece of classic rock. I aim each week to have a minimum of 50% of the show made up of brand new material – mostly tracks from forthcoming or just released albums, EPs and the odd single, along with demos and unsigned bands.

Below is my running order from yesterday, to give you a flavour of the kind and variety of music played.

You can pick up Radio Seagull on AM in The Netherlands and eastern UK  (1602khz and currently testing for a limited period on 1395khz) and online everywhere else via www.radioseagull.com

Artist Name
HOUR 1
Von Shakes Happy Song
Chris Rea Never Tie Me Down
Arcade Fire Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Juliana Hatfield Sex and Drugs
Liz Phair Ride
The Retrospective Soundtrack Players Send Me the Hell Back Home [20″ fade]
Ham Sandwich Floors
Grateful Dead Touch Of Grey
Ida Maria 10,000 Lovers
CSS Rhythm to the Rebels
Wolventrix Wanderlust – Single
Joe Bonamassa The Meaning of the Blues
Cheap Girls Cored to Empty (Demo Version)
Rush Red Barchetta
Dinosaur Pile Up Birds & Planes
HOUR 2
The Presidents Of The United States Of America Truckstop Butterfly
Sum 41 Crash
The Waterboys White Birds
Rocket from the Tombs Romeo & Juliet
The Rapture Children
Sleeper Click…Off…Gone
Big Audio Dynamite E=Mc²
*** RS Jingle *** xxsj-DRY-Seagull ID only ACP
Warpaint Undertow
Howling Bells Gold Suns, White Guns
Lanterns On The Lake A Kingdom
Samiam Happy for You
Chris Rea Dance With Me All Night Long
Lace Weeper Parhelion
Michael Schenker Group Armed And Ready