Party On!

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This weekend, the My 80s radio show celebrates its first anniversary at Mad Wasp Radio. In the run up to this momentous occasion, I have been back in touch with some of my former Favourite Five guests,  to ask them to choose their favourite 80’s dance floor fillers, which will be played in our special party show this Sunday from 7pm.

The tunes I will be playing are as wonderful and eclectic as the artists who have chosen them, so be sure to listen in as some of the decade’s much-loved musicians takeover the My 80s playlist and introduce their choices. I’ve a few little treats lined up for the listeners too, including our very own ‘Batesy’, Alan Read, returning with another Our Choon.

It’s the perfect way to end the week!

 

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Over To You

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It has been a while since my last blog post as I have been kept busy with the My 80s radio show for Mad Wasp Radio. Following the popularity of the Christmas show’s Favourite Five, which was chosen by a listener, it was recently decided that more listeners should have the opportunity of sharing their choices. Therefore, starting this month, the Favourite Five in the last show of every month will be selected by a listener.

If you would like to share your Favourite Five 80’s tracks, and chat about them on air, just let me know what you think was the worst thing about the Eighties. It can be anything … fashion, music, TV, a world event … you decide, and let me know via Facebook, on Twitter or my website. Each month I will choose a listener to come on My 80s and talk about their Favourite Five and, of course, play the tracks on the show.

The only criteria for the songs you choose is that they must have been released during the Eighties, but they do no have to be Top 40 hits, and they can be album tracks. The rules may be simple but choosing the tracks is another matter. I know this from personal experience because this week I am choosing my Favourite Five.13920203_10209209306741332_983234055485719783_o

This Sunday’s show airs two days before my birthday, so I thought I would treat listeners to my my five all time favourite songs from the decade. I never knew what an agonising, decision-making task it would be! Joining me on this week’s show, and turning the tables on me by interviewing me, is Owen Paul. So, to hear not only my top tunes but Owen Paul in the DJ seat, listen in from 7pm on Sunday.

Speak soon!

 

January Birthday Blues

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This coming Saturday, I will be out with friends celebrating my birthday. As anyone with a January birthday will tell you, it’s not the best time of the year to have been born. The combination of over-indulgence  and over-spending during the festive period, along with the grey gloom  a lot of people associate with January, can make prising friends away from the snug comfort of their sofas an uphill struggle. Then, there is always the possibility of snow to consider.

The first time I can remember the weather having any bearing on my birthday was in 1982, when I turned 11. At the time, we lived in remote countryside where we were at the mercy of snow ploughs, to keep us from being cut off from the rest of the world. Having been ‘snowed in’ for several days before my birthday, there was uncertainty as to whether my birthday party would take place. However, unlike today’s kids who have no obligation to attend school at the first dusting of the white stuff, mine is generation who sat in freezing cold classrooms, wearing layer upon layer of clothing under their parka snorkel coats. It is therefore unsurprising that, despite the snow plough having created 7ft high walls of snow either side of the country lane leading to our house, and the roads being precariously icy, the party went ahead with its full guest list in attendance.

We were living in the Kentish market town of Faversham when the winter weather did threaten to spoil my birthday, in 1987. At the time, my dad worked about 25 miles away in Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, which was joined to the mainland by a vertical-lift bridge.Although there was snow on the ground, and it had been snowing when he left for work at 6am, Dad had driven to work as usual. An hour later, I got up and listened to the radio to see if my school was open. It wasn’t. Although I was disappointed at not seeing my friends on my birthday (and receiving my cards and presents!), I had a great time sledging in the nearby park with my mum and brother. However, by mid-afternoon it had begun to snow heavily, so we headed home.

Back indoors, we watched the snow come down hard and fast, but I was still surprised when Dad ‘phoned to say it was unlikely he would make it home that night. All the vehicles in the car park of the steel mill where he worked were buried in deep snow, and there was no public transport running off the island.

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I was upset at not seeing my dad on my birthday, and spent the rest of the evening fairly subdued. That was until some idiot threw a snowball at our living room window just before the Ten O’Clock News started. I ran to the front door, ready to vent my growing frustration on whoever had just thrown the icy missile, and then got the best surprise when I opened the door – Dad waiting to come in!

Settling down with a cup of tea and a slice of birthday cake, Dad explained how he had decided to set off on foot, hoping that he would be able to find transport home once he was back on the mainland. Having walked three miles in deep snow, he heard an off-road vehicle behind him as he approached the island town of Queenborough. The driver stopped and gave Dad a lift home which, seeing as they passed no other vehicles travelling in Sheppey, was something of a miracle. At least that’s how his company magazine reported it later that month, when they told how one of their employees had managed to “arrive home in time for his little girl’s birthday” despite the treacherous weather conditions. They must have thought I was 6, not 16.

As the years have gone by, the weather has tended to be kinder on my big day and, when it hasn’t, sheer determination to celebrate my birthday has seen me doing so no matter what. Although one year that did see me in an almost empty nightclub partying with a handful of like-minded people, foolish enough to brave the blizzards in pursuit of a few hours on the dancefloor. Nowadays, I’m not quite so foolhardy, and can be almost reticent when it comes to planning my birthday celebrations, lest bad weather stops play. However, with no Arctic weather forecast for this weekend, I am hopeful that this year’s birthday celebrations will go ahead unhindered. If, by some twist if fate, we are hit by a freak snowstorm I shall have to resort to Plan B – an evening in with a bottle of pink Möet, singing along to a certain Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin number!

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To celebrate my birthday weekend, my first book ‘My Eighties’ will be available on Kindle for FREE 15th – 17th January.

Birthday Boy Bowie

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Today sees David Bowie celebrate his 68th birthday. Although the chameleon-like performer has seen a number of character transformations since his 1967 release of “The Laughing Gnome”, the song has remained in my consciousness, thanks to its lyric “then I put him on a train to Eastbourne” (my Dad’s home town). This gimmick track may have been my first exposure to Bowie, but it didn’t deter me from exploring his subsequent releases, and becoming a huge fan in the process.

Although I appreciate the genius of his Ziggy Stardust period, my favourite Bowie music is that released around the time of his 1983 “Serious Moonlight” Tour. Stylish and sophisticated, Bowie’s appearance not only echoed the class of his music, but the time in which it was written. In recognition of the birthday boy’s brilliance, here is my favourite track from that time, “Modern Love”.