Some Pics from the 8Radio.com Launch Party [27Mar2013]

A great crowd turned out for the 8Radio.com launch party at Whelans of Wexford Street last night.

8Radio.com goes live on FM in Dublin (94.3fm) Cork (106.7fm) and Limerick (105.5fm) from midnight on Friday night 22nd march 2013, broadcasting every weekend for 15 weeks, and ful-ltime online.

All pictures taken by Claude Lamothe.

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Who “eight” all the cake?  8Radio.com founder Simon Maher, that’s who!

Pearl and Steve enjoying the evening.

Presenters Pearl and Steve enjoying the evening.

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Presenters Amber & Steve meet Aisling Maher

Musician turned broadcaster Neil singing for his supper.

Musician turned broadcaster Neil Murray singing for his supper.

A wide range of ages and background on the station, old hands and fresh faces. Steve with Emer.

A wide range of ages and background on the station, old hands and fresh faces. Steve with Emer.

Of those pictured above:

Steve will be on air every Saturday night 11pm to 2am.

Pearl can be heard Sunday mornings 9am-midday.

Neil is Sunday 3-6pm.

Amber is on late Friday night/Saturday morning midnight to 2am.

For details on this new station including full schedule, webstreams, apps, visit 8Radio.com


Live Reading, Dublin, Thursday 14th March 2013 – “Television”

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After a short break from the live scene due to a hectic schedule last year, I am delighted to be returning to public readings as part of a special themed event at The Workmans Club, Wellington Quay, in Dublin City Centre.

Hosted by Seven Towers, this is a short evening event kicking off at 6.30pm, with writers and poets including Orla Martin, Phil Lynch, Eamonn Lynsky and myself exploring the theme of “Television“.

Full details at www.seventowers.ie

Steve


The Day I Realised I Was One Of THEM

I was always on the rebel side.

It was Us versus Them, the forces of rock and roll and musical freedom struggling against the older generation, those in power, the corporate and musical estblishment whose music was of a bygone age. I was always on the side of “Us” and would never change. Or so I thought . .

Of course, my friend and onetime Caroline colleague Christopher England would tell me differently. Chris has many hobby horses, and one of them is a dislike of “oldie music” and a disdain for how quickly the new young thrusting generation become oldies themselves, despising newer music from a younger generation, and believing that theirs was the only true generation of revolution.  Chris talks about this a lot, but it was not Chris who brought me to see the error of my ways, though funnily enough my moment of realisation did come when I was in his company, sitting beside him in a darkened theatre in central London, waiting for a tech launch.

Chris is my tech mentor in life you see. Even though I have been involved in IT for more than 30 years, and have worked either directly or on projects for the biggest names in the business – Microsoft, Apple, Dell, Compaq, HP – Chris has always been at least two steps ahead of me when it comes to living in the future.

My first ever mobile phone? Reccomended and procured for me by Chris (who had earlier got me into that great yuppie trend of the late 80s, the pager).

It was Chris who told me about the Orange network, which had this unique new geeky feature not available on any other network, the facility to send short SMS text messages. My first messages were to and from Chris.

Christopher England, in hiding.

When, at a technology exhibition in Earls Court in 1992 I tried out a very early video-phone on the BT stand, it was Chris who was the blocky, pixellated face at the other end, jerking around at a rate of about 2 or 3 frames per second (or that’s what it seemed like anyway).  Skype was far, far in the future in those days.

It was Chris who first mentioned some weird tech start up called Twitter, long before it was anything other than a curiosity, and at least two years before it became mainstream.

Not all of his playthings went on to success however. I vividly remember a huge, multi-caller, interactive premium-rate phoneline called “The Villa” which he was an administrator of, into which you could dial if you wanted to meet and interact with people. By pressing commands on the phone you could go into different areas of the villa, meet different people in different rooms, play games, chat etc. It was woefully clunky and terribly expensive, but I can’t help thinking back to it when I see some of the interactions on Facebook.

And so it was that when Microsoft were launching their huge step forward that was Windows 95, it was Chris that I was sitting beside in a large theatre or other such place somewhere in central London. I can’t remember the exact date, but a look back at the launch schedule for Windows 95 tells me that this must have been sometime around, or just before, August 1995.

As we sat waiting for the show to begin, I was very pleased to hear a Rolling Stones track “Start Me Up” being played. (of course, prior to the launch we would not have known that this was a planned part of the whole Win95 theme, in reference to the “Start” menu).

I remember thinking that, after years of big corporate giants being very conservative and oldies focussed in their music for events like this, that it was great that finally they were moving forward, and recognising the value of “our” generation’s music, being young and rebellious, rather than middle aged. Maybe we were winning our battles after all!

And then it hit me, and that one single moment changed my whole worldview on music. This was not big business recognising the value of youthful rebellious music. This was my generation, and our music having been around for long enough that people of my age were now moving up into positions of corporate and government responsibility. This was my generation’s music, in effect, becoming the new “safe” choice, favoured by people drifting towards middle age. This was the moment that I realised that, without so much as a whisper of warning, time had played the cruellest trick of all, and now “we” were becoming “them”.

And sure enough, the signs were there. A new generation of music bubbling under that was not really listened to by my generation, the fact that our music was now increasingly playlisted on mainstream radio . .

From that day on, I could see the truth in Christopher England’s polemic about how closed people’s minds became to everything new over time, and I resolved to think and act differently myself.  And this was a good time to do it, as around about the same time as Microsoft was launching Windows 95 another giant was rethinking its strategy, as the BBC started a revemp of Radio 1, to howls of protest from established presenters and audience, that would see a new generation of presenters coming on board, bringing with them the new wave of dance, rock and alternative sounds that had been there, but ignored for quite some time.

Later I was to end up at Phantom FM in Dublin, where for 11 years I was constantly fed a diet of new bands and live gigs. That really helped me to stay up to date, and I couldn’t help but smile when, on the station’s message board in the mid noughties, I saw listeners complaining about how the new music it was playing now was not the same as the new music it had been playing five years earlier.

“They are playing crap aimed at 16 year olds” these 21 year olds would complain, “not like when we were 16, the music was much better then”.

Having recently left Phantom to strike out on my own, I’m working harder than ever to keep up to date on new music, and try to feature a minimum of 50% new material on my shows each week on Radio Seagull. I don’t have the dislike of oldies that Chris has, but on the other hand I don’t have the dislike of modern music that so many of my contemporaries seem to have grown into.

And, though it is itself an “oldie” now in computing terms,  that’s as good a reason to be thankful for Windows 95 as any.

Steve


Special Reading & Talk to commemorate 20 Years Since The Goodwins Shipwreck

20 years on from the most terrifying morning of my life . . aground on the Goodwin Sands with hopes of rescue seemingly dashed as the crew of the Ross Revenge shook hands and prepared for the ship to roll over . . .

Shiprocked - Life On The Waves with Radio Caroline

Seven Towers Agency, East Wall for All and The Sean O’Casey Community Centre present:

Radio Caroline, former Phantom FM DJ and Best Selling Author

Steve Conway

Reading from his book

Shiprocked, Life on the Waves With Radio Caroline

Sean O’Casey Community Centre, East Wall, Dublin.

7pm Monday 21 November

free parking, admission free

20 Years ago this November, Dubliner and East Wall resident Steve Conway  survived the shipwreck of the Ross Revenge, the last of the Radio Caroline off-shore Radio Ships.   Reading from his book, Shiprocked he tells of this event and of his life on the famous Pirate Station, Radio Caroline.

Steve will also read a preview excerpt from his new book, due out next year, that covers his career beyond Caroline, including the 10 years spent working for Dublin’s alternative station Phantom FM / Phantom 105.2

This event is free, but an opportunity will be available to give donations and to RNLI and Sean O’Casey Community Centre.



Up Next: Book 2 Preview

Exciting news: a publication date for my second book will be announced shortly, and it looks like it will be towards the end of this year.

If you’d like a preview of my new writing, as well as a taste of my recent short stories as well as something from my first book Shiprocked, I’ll be giving a special reading in Dublin on Saturday 16th July.

3pm downstairs at The Twisted Pepper, Abbey Street.

Steve

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Going Offshore with Seagull in June

LV Jenni Baynton, showing light tower and radio mast.

That time of year has come around again – the annual excursion by the Dutch broadcaster Radio Seagull when it puts out to sea for a month on the former lightship which acts as a studio and transmission base for both Seagull and its sister station Radio Waddenzee.

The Jenni Baynton will be anchored 8 miles offshore from the coastal town of Harlingen and transmitting on 1602Khz AM, with the usual internet feeds.

I will be living on board from June 2nd to 13th, a longer period than last year, and I’m really looking forward to getting the chance to indulge in my love of all things maritime, and rubbing shoulders and exchanging musical ideas with the other Seagull and Waddenzee staff, which will hopefully result in some fine programmes. The ship itself will be offshore until the end of the month, including some time spent located at the island of Terschelling for a local festival.

For the duration of my stay on the ship, I will be on air nightly at 7-10pm local time (6-9pm Irish/UK time), every day except Friday 3rd.

I’ll blog regularly from the ship when mobile reception permits, and I’m also hoping the peaceful atmosphere on board will lend itself to some quality writing time also, as I’m way behind on my second book.

Further details next week.

www.radioseagull.com

Steve


All Aboard for Caroline at Easter

The Ross Revenge at Tilbury Docks in 2010

 

This Easter Radio Caroline calebrates its 47th birthday with an 11-day long live broadcast from the Ross Revenge, the pirate ship that was my home for so many action-packed years offshore in the 1980s.

Starting at 7am on Good Friday and running right though until midnight on May Day Bank Holiday Monday all shows will be coming live from the ship, which is currently berthed in the secure shipping terminal at Tilbury, Essex. . You’ll be able to tune in as usual via SKY 0199 and our web streams (and via UPC cable in Ireland). However we will also be broadcasting to south Essex and north Kent for the duration on 531 kHz AM.

All crew will live onboard for the duration, and I’m thrilled to be involved in this event, although due to other work commitments I can only stay on board for a week as opposed to the full 11 days. But there will be plenty to listen to for the whole broadcast, including special features in addition to the station’s unique album format.

The Birthday Bash will also include the annual Radio Caroline Support Group Membership Drive. There’ll be free gifts for those who join or make a minimum donation, one of which is an exclusive T Shirt only available for the duration of the broadcast.

A couple of the highlights of the broadcast are 60s Caroline DJ Tom Lodge‘s Favourite Intro Guitar Riffs and a special classic albums of the 60’s & 70’s show which will be hosted by myself.

I will be live on Caroline every night for the week, starting with a 9pm-midnight show on Good Friday.

My show times as below:

Good Friday April 22nd – 9pm to midnight

Saturday April 23rd – 10pm to midnight

Easter Sunday April 24th – midnight to 3am (i.e. early hours Monday morning)

Easter Monday April 25th – 4pm to 7pm (on AM only, not Satelitte/cable)

Tuesday April 26th – 9pm to midnight with special 60s and 70s album show (listeners best albums)

Wednesday April 27th – 9pm to midnight

Thursday April 28th – 9pm to midnight

The original Caroline studio (Studio 1) on the Ross Revenge

It’ll be my first time living on board the Ross in more than a decade, and I’m looking forward to the intensity of creative juices that this unusual environment engenders, along with the company of good companions. I have never yet stepped off that ship after a stint on board without being changed in some way, and long may it continue.

Steve