Radio can be a lonely place to work sometimes, especially when you present a specialist show as I do, closeted away in a studio at the back end of the weekend, late in the night. That’s not a complaint as, in truth, you are not as alone as you might think. If anything, being on air at that time pushes you to try to connect more with your listener. And, you do. It may not be apparent there and then but it comes back to you in conversations with bands or people in the industry or indeed the listener.
By definition, presenting a specialist show means that the people listening want to listen as you are playing the kind of music they want to hear, as opposed to the kind of music they have to listen to in ‘normal’ circumstances. In others words they choose, I would hope, to tune in. Besides, we (presenters) got into the industry (for the most part) not to make a fortune (as if!). Rather it’s for the love and passion of the music (or sport etc) and the desire to share that passion . At least it was in my case. I won’t speak for others though many of my contemporaries would agree
One of the greatest joys I get is when a listener gets in touch to say thanks for introducing them to an Irish song/Irish band that they never heard of before. They are often very surprised to find that the band are Irish !! Equally as nice is when a band comes back to you and thanks you for supporting them. Not that you are in the business for the pats on the back but it’s nevertheless pleasing when you’re appreciated. It also pleasing when a listener will get in touch to put you, the presenter, onto a band you may have missed along the way. I have often found bands in that manner, some pure gems.
I have often been asked why I present a show like the one I do. Simple – I love Irish indie bands. I love the creativity, I love the passion and I love the sheer bloody mindedness of some of the bands to make a living playing music. I get a huge kick out of seeing bands that have come into studio with me at the start of a career and then gone on to better things. I know that in my own small way, I helped them along that rocky road. I’ve yet to find ‘another U2″ but hope springs eternal.
This radio show is everything to me……..a little self indulgent at times but always with an ear open to what the listener is saying. I love the buzz when a band do well in their careers and I also get a great kick having a band/act in studio. There have been some great musical moments down the years, many of which I have recordings of. As a result, I have met some great people and been privilage to some great backstage moments.
There have been times when I wished I was closer to Dublin, closer to the industry but in truth, being on local radio allows you to be a little more detached, which allows me to observe from a distance and not get too involved in the politics of it all. Music, for me is to be enjoyed and shared, either as a radio presenter or as a musician or just a lover of music.
Irish bands are among the very best in the world, let alone Ireland. They deserve and need support from as many as possible and as long as I can or am allowed to present the Irish Music Show, I will continue to do so. It’s my passion and I refuse to make apologies for it.