Posted by: docdenbow | February 6, 2012

To DJ Or Not DJ That Is The Question

I was toddling around through the city centre the other day in search of provisions and sundry other items, when I espied a few bedraggled and faded posters across the windows of some assorted closed retail outlets. These posters were both torn and peeling from the windows, and it appeared to me that there had been more than one attempt to remove them. Something told me that this wasn’t due to an act of public spiritedness, but that these posters were somehow an object of desire. I stood back a little to look at these posters in their full ”majesty”, and was nearly hit by a passing bus to Onllwyn as I had stepped in error from the pavement. I was most fortuitously saved by a buxom wench who pulled me back to safety. You probably worked out for yourselves that I wasn’t hit by a bus going to Onllwyn, as if that were the case I’d be dead. Being dead is a bit of a drawback if you wish to blog of your experiences of the past, say, 48 hours.

So back to these posters, they all seemed to be advertising appearances by various DJ’s and MC’s across a few of the city’s so called “nightspots.” Some of the older and more stubborn of these posters advised the viewer that DJ’s and MC’s were to be appearing at something called “Escape Into The Park,” this is known in Swansea as “Ish-Kerp.” Now I was wondering why lots of young people would congregate in a public park to:

a) Listen to some disc jockey probably from Radio 1 with a Wave Disc Jockey there to “warm up” the crowd.
b) What the hell would a Master Of Ceremonies be doing at such a gathering. Surely he’d feel a little out of place.I decided to investigate a tad further. You see back in my day the were really fine DJ’s. Bruno Brookes for one. Gary Davies was another broadcaster who surely should have gone on to more weighty things like Radio 4’s “Today” programme. where is he now? Hospital Radio I think. Who could forget that insightful and musically knowledgeable pillock Anne Nightingale? (Being sarcastic here – did you know she asked Paul Simon, Paul bloody Simon, how he was getting along writing songs without Art Garfunkel’s help) Then was that doyen of Radio 1, Simon “Master” Bates with his vomit inducing turgid “Our Tune.” Here we had some listener writing in, usually with some tragic tale of lost love, death and disaster and get our Simon to play “Our Tune,” which was almost without exception some turgid slush fest of banal sentimentality which Simon would describe as “beautiful” because it was devoid of anything, anything at all that would make it a good song. “Our Tune” never had any remotely good songs, well when I say never I mean – never.

To be a little less scathing, there were DJ’s I listened to on the Radio when I was growing up. You had John Peel, Bob Harris, Alan Freeman and his Saturday afternoon Rock Show, Tommy Vance with his Friday Night Rock Show and of course Kenny Everett when he hadn’t been sacked (again). These were the DJ’s that I thought were good. Their purpose was to spread the word of good and sometime eclectic music. The number of lifelong favourites that these chaps introduced me to makes me thankful there was a good national station. Then there was the local stuff. I used to love Robin Valk’s show on BRMB where he would play lots of proggy stuff. Tell you what. Back in the day he played a track from Caravan’s album “Cunning Stunts,” and when he was telling the listeners what album the song came from ol’ Robin got his words mixed up and delivered a wonderful “Spoonerism.” This was in the days before the 4 second delay, I noticed and all my mates at school noticed, bet the execs at BRMB didn’t though.

Of course the first couple of paragraphs here was me taking the piss. In fact most of this post is me taking the piss, but I just don’t get this modern DJ/Rap culture.

De La Soul, Public Enemy = Yes
Just about anything else in the dance/r&b/rap category = No

It’s true that at my age new music has to be cunning to get around my defences. The Musgraves who I saw on Graham Norton’s TV prog seem worthy of further investigation – so you see I’m not a musical bigot. It’s just that this dance/r&b/rap I don’t get. There seems to be no or little redeeming features to the “music” and the lyrical content isn’t very clever, just misogynistic and in a few cases homophobic. Perhaps I’m old, the turn that telly down when Top Of The Pops were on syndrome. If that’s the case I’m just so glad that I can happily ignore crap “music” like that in my dotage. And before you say “if it’s too loud you’re too old,”

I’ll leave you with one thought 

Ciao For Now Simon Bates




  1. I miss John Peel 😦

    Great post btw.

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