On Board With Radio Cabin

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You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I was a guest on Herne Bay’s Radio Cabin. I was in the studio to talk about my latest book ‘More Eighties’ on the Thursday evening Fishy & Chippy Show. When we came off air, it was suggested that I host a weekly 80’s show for the NoI-fIM5_400x400station, and I am delighted to announce that from Thursday 8th June I will be doing exactly that.

Following hot on the heels of my DJ pals Fishy & Chippy, the My 80s Radio Show will go out every Thursday from 9pm to 11pm. Those in the Herne Bay area can tune in old school style on 94.6 FM, whereas those further afield can listen online via the Radio Cabin website.

I am currently working on the playlist for the first show, and requests can be sent to me in a number of ways. Contact me via the station’s email: studio@radiocabin.co.uk, Facebook and Twitter pages or through my own Twitter account: @MyEighties using the hashtag #My80s. I have also set up a Facebook page for the show @My80sRadioShow, so come and give us a ‘like’ and a track request.

There are no request rules other than songs must be from the Eighties but, even then, if it can be tenuously linked to the decade, a particularly good tune could still get on the show. Yes, that may well be my way of ensuring some of my favourite releases from The Jam and The Specials get played!

Without giving too much away, the show will include a couple of special request features, and there are also interviews planned with some lovely 80’s artists who have agreed to have a chat with me. During the show, I will be on social media so listen in, let me know what you think and let’s have some proper 80’s fun. Roll on 8th June!

 

 

The Week That Was

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It has been quite a week, with the publication of More 20170516_122253Eighties on Tuesday, a radio interview on Thursday, a gig on Friday, and throughout all of that trying to learn the art of vlogging – no mean feat for a Luddite whose technical prowess peaked at the vertically split black and white TV screen, when adjusting the tracking on our Betamax video recorder!

As I mentioned in my last post, I marked the new book’s launch with a celebratory lunch with some fabulous friends. While we were in Dover, I visited Banksy’s latest offering and could not resist a little step up the ladder. I also recorded one of my vlogs there, which you can see below, along with the one I recorded at the gig featuring Jona Lewie and The Blockheads. All my vlog posts are available via my  YouTube channel or my website, which also includes the link to the recording of my radio interview. Enjoy …

 

A Site For Sore Eyes

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Following a re-design of my website, its address has changed to my-eighties.com. I would love to know what your thoughts are on the new site, so have a browse and let me know what you think. On the News & Events page, the eagle-eyed amongst you will be able to spot me in Jo Monck’s photograph, taken on stage during From The Jam’s performance at last year’s Jack Up The 80s festival. Continuing in an 80s- style ‘Where’s Wally?’ theme, Forgotten 80s types might also recognise a member of the Twitterati mingling with Jona Lewie and Department S,  if they scroll down the Bio page. I look forward to receiving your feedback.

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World Poetry Day

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In my corner of the world today, the sun is shining, fourthe sky is blue, and daffodils are blooming in abundance throughout the village. A glorious backdrop for World Poetry Day, one which evokes images of Wordsworth’s wandering cloud, and perfectly sums up the hope which Spring always brings me. Hope is one of the themes underlying a poem I wrote, which Peter Coyle has used as the lyrics for his beautiful single The Year After You. Here is the poem as I originally wrote it.

 

The Year After You

 

You left on a Sunday, a day reserved for best.

That’s what was stolen from me as you took your last rest.

Wailing and sobbing, but feeling oh so numb,

Repeatedly asking how it had come to this meaningless, empty life without you.

No longer caring if I made it through

To the next day or even the next hour.

Sweetness and light turned sullen and sour.

 

I was smashed and broken when your birthday came and went,

Searching for a sign, something you had sent

To let me know you were still around.

There was nothing.

An overwhelming void where you should have been.

It wasn’t fair.  How could this have happened? What did it all mean?

 

No answers came, only platitudes empty of sense.

If time’s a good healer, the wait would be immense.

 

Cut to the core, my wound is soul deep.

Waking only to fill the gaps between sleep,

When I’m with you again, seeing you smile,

Hearing your voice for just a little while.

But those times become fewer and despite what they seem,

Reality hits: You can’t cuddle a dream.

 

Shutting out the world (It’s a scary place without you)

Or wanting to punch everyone in it.

There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to have you back for only a minute.

I know it can’t happen, but the notion beats reality.

A coping mechanism, saving me from insanity.

 

Then, slowly, like a new-born lamb finding its feet,

Shakily, unsteady, I venture from my retreat.

 

Life’s ride is still running, a gift there for the taking,

Even if the effort seems hardly worth making.

I vowed to keep good memories. How could I forget?

I promised you I’d be happy. That hasn’t happened yet,

But I’m starting to think one day it might.

The future bodes less daunting, less dismal, if not quite bright.

 

So, I sit listening to the songs we once shared together.

Moments of bliss, they will last in my heart, today, tomorrow, forever.

You will be with me always, that much I know to be true,

As I stumble along in the year after you.

More Eighties

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Few authors will confess to having a favourite amongst their own books. It’s almost an unspoken rule that such an admission is akin to admitting to having a favourite child. (On the off-chance either of my kids are reading this, I love you both the same!) However, with the forthcoming publication of my next book, I can show no such impartiality in my work, as this has been the most interesting, rewarding and fun to research and write.

The final book in my trilogy on Eighties’ popular culture, More Eighties will be published by Fabrian Books on 16th May, 2017. Featuring interviews with Eighties’ artists including Dave Ball, Martyn Ware, Pauline Black, Dave Wakeling, Eddi ReadCoverer, Suzi Quatro, Rusty Egan, Jona Lewie, Junior Giscombe and Nathan Moore, the book explores how the decade provided a backdrop against which creativity and individuality flourished.  The role and influence of the record companies is also examined, along with a look at why music from the era has not only endured but grown in popularity.

In addition to contributing his insights, anecdotes and recollections of the Eighties, former Lotus Eaters lead singer Peter Coyle has written the foreword for More Eighties, perfectly capturing the core of the book’s objective. Another reason this book is top of my list.

I will keep you posted about details such as when it becomes available for pre-order and outlets, but I am happy to be able to reveal the cover for More Eighties today. Look out for it coming your way soon.

 

 

Listen Back To Simply 80s

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On Valentine’s Day, Hebden Radio broadcast an interview I did fohebden-radior Dean Wilkinson’s Simply 80s show. In it, we discuss growing up in the Eighties, the music of the decade and The 80’s Annual, all of which is followed by my favourite Eighties’ track The Kane Gang’s ‘Closest Thing To Heaven’.

The interview is currently available on Listen Back so if you’ve got a spare ten minutes, why not have a listen? The interview starts approximately 32 minutes in.

 

A Heavenly Exclusive!

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Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Martyn Ware. With an extensive and impressive career in music, from his early work in The Human League to creating soundscapes via Illustrious, a company he formed with Vince Clarke in 2001, Martyn knows a thing or two about what makes good music. Now, while you will have to wait until April, when More Eighties is published, to discover what it was like for him working with Tina Turner and why he is now warming to Stock, Aitken and Waterman’s output in the Eighties (yep, you really did just read that!), I can reveal a little ‘exclusive’ which came up during our chat.

I had asked the BEF founder member about his inspiration for pushing musical boundaries and continuing to innovate. He told me “We’ve created a new track with Heaven 17, which nobody’s heard yet, which will be coming out soon, called ‘Clouds Or Mountains’. Where we’ve been experimenting with Heaven 17, it sounds amazing. With Glenn Gregory’s voice, it sounds like Scott Walker. That’s an exclusive.” h17

I ask if that have a release date yet.

“No, we’ve got to discuss it. We’ve got a special deal going with Bowers & Wilkins. They’ve got this thing called Society of Sound, where they release high definition audio. They’ve got this subscription thing where you subscribe and every month they send you an album digitally, in the highest possible format. It’s downloadable for a month and then that’s it, it’s gone. This is going to be their February one. It’s like a work in progress version of the new album, so it includes all the existing singles. It’ll be on their service for a month and then it’s gone, until we release the album.”

The concept of providing a limited availability teaser for fans is one which appeals to Martyn, as a remedy to the constant influx of music which now prevails.

“There’s no wait nowadays. You can stream everything everywhere. I read today that Prince’s entire output is going to be available on all the streaming services from February 16th. That’s like about a hundred hours of stuff. It’s just ridiculous.”

However, there’s nothing ridiculous about wanting to hear the latest Heaven 17 material. Society of Sound, here I come!