Radio Wales: After Dark: An Open Letter!
I’ve sat at home and in the car listening to Radio Wales daytime/evening output and it’s time to both reflect and look forward! Janice Long has been brought on board like a breath of fresh air & does a fantastic job, as does Mr Walton. Time to look at some ‘Resolutions’ or perhaps ‘Revolutions’ BBC ‘Music Day’ which in truth is a great idea, but please BBC don’t hide behind that old chestnut.. One day out of 365 when Radio Wales is ‘losing’ 65 to another ‘service‘ is just not good enough any more… Nothing Has Changed! Something Has To Change…
Turn on Radio Wales at Midnight… The ‘Graveyard‘ shift.. What you will find is the ‘World Service’ that’s right, a station that has it’s OWN FM Frequency, It’s OWN website & Social Media, It’s OWN channel on the SkyTV Radio selection! so why is it here on MY National Station during darkness hours? And why are we losing more than a FULL DAY’S airtime per week to it???? ** Even worse is that Radio Cymru (The WELSH LANGUAGE station) changes over to Five Live! Full English Anyone! Unbelievable!
Mon-Fri: 4.5 hours. 1am-5:30am = 22.5 Hours. Weekend: Sat: 4hours 1am-5am // Sun: 4hours 1am-5am = 8 hours. Total: 30.5 Hours Per Week! (Over 1 full day) / 122 Hours Per Month (Over 5 Days) That’s a massive 1464 hours (65 days) per year… over TWO months of airtime…
In these ‘After Dark’ hours you should find emerging on-air talent taking their broadcasting skills to new levels before being ‘given a shot’ during the daylight hours? You should find album tracks played by some of the biggest Welsh acts on the planet (Alarm, Manics, Phonics) alongside the Next ‘Furry Animals’ Also you should hear all that amazing Swn/Focus talent & exclusive sessions, interviews and guides to making it in the business, that will help to break Wales into the worldwide market outside from within.
So I want the big wigs, the bosses, the suits, whoever makes ‘The’ decisions at Radio Wales to turn over the overnight to us, let us play hot new Welsh Talent, let us play amazing old Welsh Talent, let us talk about how exciting it is to hear fabulous new acts for the first time at Focus Wales, how it feels to download their tune, watch their clip on you tube, buy their limited edition t-shirt at their incindary live show and be buzzing about the ‘next big thing’ and let us remind everyone how it felt when the Jones boy sang with Elvis, seeing ’68 Guns’ on Top Of The Pops, grabbing the ‘Holy Bible’ in Woolworths, standing in the rain waiting for the ‘Local Boy In The Photograph’
So Why? Money! That’s a cop out!!! Many presenters at Community, College or Internet level would jump at the chance to ‘play out’ at a BBC station for minimum pay to enhance their career, especially if it led to a mainline paid slot later on, and let’s face it, the BBC isn’t short on cash! Maybe it’s the royalties? perhaps they don’t wan’t to pay money to the artists for playing their music when the light fades! Thanks! So not just content with Screwing us one one way! So c’mon suits and ties give us a three month trial, if the listening figures and feedback is crap, fair play… But you and I know it won’t be and by next summer you will need shades on because of how bright the darkness will shine…
Listen I do my weekly four hour show https://circlekj.wordpress.com/radio-radio/ and it’s on FM and it’s Online and you can even listen again and i’m not saying i’m any better than anyone on air I heard today on Radio Wales.. BUT i’m certainly no worse than a big percentage of it. I’m not saying my music choice is the best in the world, but it’s certainly better than hours of the World Service that I can tune to… Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! **
May 2017 100+ artists descended upon Focus Wales 2017 http://www.focuswales.com/
How many of them did I hear on Radio Wales? How many times will I hear this exciting event being mentioned? How much of a ‘buzz’ is there at the ‘National’ station for Wales… I don’t need to tell you as the answer you already know…
There were around 180 artists performing at Swn Festival (http://swnfest.com/lineup/) Both these festivals not only bring in some amazing International talent (I include Scotland, Ireland & England) but also recognised Welsh talent alongside a raft of ‘Un-Discovered’ homeland artists who are no longer ‘Un-Signed’ as many of them are putting music out on their own label or direct to fan platforms. Some of these are former ‘signed‘ artists that now go it alone due to the fact it’s possible. The ‘Cottage Industry’ is alive and kicking here in Wales for sure. The major and ‘arena’ artists (Manics, Phonics! The Usual Suspects) don’t ‘need’ Radio Wales,in fact they get ‘Lip Service’ because if you don’t chase them, they certainly have no need to chase you! Any artist that does ‘need’ some promotion best not complain too loudly about the current situation or they won’t even get ‘Spot‘ played, and let’s be honest it’s a vicious circle! So they can’t ‘bite the hand that feeds’
Meanwhile: There are Six community radio stations all around Wales with some great on air talent that have been buzzing about events, College & Uni stations the same, Net radio is awash with excitement also, Hell even Swn had it’s own online Radio Station last year.. At Focus Wales 2014 Many convention attendees and even some ‘named’ panellists thought it was a ‘Great Idea’
This overnight takeover also happens at Radio Merseyside! Which means in a 50 Mile radius of where I sit New Producers, Presenters and Artists are being ‘Sold Down The River’ by the corporation WE (You & Me) PAY FOR!!!
Meanwhile.. No More WMF! Horizons/Gorwelion is a music scheme by
@BBCWales in partnership with @Arts_Wales_ to develop new independent contemporary music in Wales: bbc.co.uk/horizons
Last word to The Ramones: ‘We Want The Airwaves’ http://youtu.be/p5PQnngPX00
Jj: St David’s Day 2017