There have now been 12 weekly episodes of Where The Action Is posted at its new home at Mixcloud. While I still enjoy putting these radio shows together and the positive feedback it generates I’m finding that the work involved in putting the shows together is taking up vital family time and there comes a time when you have to look at what’s important. On that basis, I’m taking a break from the show over the summer and when the show returns in August it’ll be a more compact one-hour show. Sadly some of the old features will be lost – Death Disco, one of the Connect 3s, Two of a Kind – but when needs must the devil drives.
There will be a couple of two-hour specials coming up. Around about 26 July I’m going to do an Olympic-themed show, which will be two hours, and at a date to be decided I’m going to a show of songs featuring hand claps. This will also be a two-hour special. I recently did a multi-decade version of the show on Adam Smith College Radio, in association with K-Town FM, and it was well received. That version was done under my Planet Pop title but this time it’ll be a 60s only version for Where The Action Is.
While Where The Action Is is taking a break I’m doing three live versions of my other show, Planet Pop, on K-Town FM, which is a community station based in Kinglassie. Like previous editions of Planet Pop it will be a themed show. What happens is that I take one song from the previous week’s themed show, play it again and build a brand new theme around it. For example, the very first edition of Planet Pop, which was broadcast on the launch day of Adam Smith College Radio back on 30 January, had a theme of Planets. During that show I played “Hello From Mars” by F.L.Y., the Latvian Eurovision entry from 2003. I took that song from the Planets show and played it in the next show and did a show of Eurovision tracks. Then I played Alexander Rybak’s “Fairytale” and used that for a Literature-themed show. The full list of themes used so far is Planets, Eurovision, Literature, Long songs (over 6 minutes), 80s Electronica, Countries, Transport and the most recent one, songs containing hand claps. I’ve already planned the next three so tune in to find out what they are.
I’ll be on K-Town FM on Thursday 5 July, 12 July and 26 July between 2 and 4 pm. Sadly there’s no Listen Again facility.
Finally, while Mixcloud, with its unlimited storage, hosts the longer Where The Action Is shows I’ve put some of my shorter works from my HNC Radio course up on Soundcloud, which offers limited space.
There are currently six pieces of work up on Soundcloud:
1. Local Heroes – My Creative Project from Semester 1. This was a 25-minute feature on different levels of fame within Dunfermline and features interviews with Michaela Tabb (international snooker and pool referee), Big Country guitarist Bruce Watson and Gillian Lee-Ireland, who won £11,000 on Deal or No Deal. Looking back I may have edited it a bit differently or indeed replaced one of the interviews with an interview I did with Dunfermline Athletic FC footballer John Potter but it was good enough to be shortlisted for the Creative Loop Radio Awards so I’m not going to be too critical on myself.
2. Doll By Doll – A Good Yarn- My Feature from Semester 2. We had to make a radio feature of up to 15 minutes in length and I decided to utilise what was around me so I interviewed my wife on knitting, specifically a number of dolls she’s made over the past 12 months! I also interviewed a number of ladies from the knitting group she attends but time constraints meant I went with a shortened feature. I intend to make a longer version of this piece including those extras interviews. A Director’s Cut, if you will! I can’t imagine there are many features out there that feature Horrible Histories, Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe and the singing of Bill Oddie.
3. 76 with a Bullet – The Rebirth of the Record Shop – My Graded Unit from Semester 2. Of all the work I did in the HNC year this is the piece of work I’m most proud of. It went through a number of changes in the process of making but ultimately I’m very happy with how it ended up. A big thanks to those who gave their time to be interviewed in the studio, on the phone or in person – Ally Gourlay, Ron Doo Ron (The Spooks), John Cavanagh, Graham Jones (Last Shop Standing), Duglas T Stewart (BMX Bandits) and Kevin Buckle (Avalanche Records). For the record, I got an A for it.
4. Advert for www.edinburgh247.com (20 seconds) – One of those pieces of work I was just happy to get a ‘pass’ on. Adverts aren’t my strong point and I decided on a very simple idea. Thanks for Darren Moore at Edinburgh 247 for agreeing to be my client.
5. Advert for www.edinburgh247.com (40 seconds) – The vox pops for both adverts were provided by fellow students and I got some children from my daughter’s Kids’ Club to help out at the end. Unfortunately their best take was done as I still preparing the Zoom to record! Still, their enthusiasm and contribution was greatly appreciated.
6. Planet Pop – John Carter special – This show was put together especially for the Creative Loop awards. While it was put forward by the College it didn’t make the final three. It showcases the work of singer-songwriter-producer John Carter who probably isn’t as well-known as he should be. As well as songs he wrote, performed and produced the show features a number of famous jingles he wrote and sang for products such as Rowntrees Tots, Vauxhall Chevette, British Caledonian and Birds Dream Topping.
Onwards and upwards to the HND year beginning in August.