This is something that has been playing on my mind for a while. I used to listen to a lot of Radio – I did so much driving in the past, and generally my car was locked on to Radio 1. Now though, I’m constantly floating from station to station trying to find a ‘home’ and I fear, I don’t have one.
I’m aware I’m getting older, and my musical tastes might be changing – however, they aren’t really. I love new music from pretty much every genre going. I’m falling out with Rap in my older years for sure, but I’ll happily listen to some cheesy ass Pop, or the latest dance anthem. I think, my issue isn’t so much with the music on Radio 1. It’s the presenters. Now they seem keen to boot out anyone on the wrong side of 30, I just don’t ‘connect’ with most of their current line-up. Sure, it’s great Scott Mills is around, however it feels like he’s desperately trying to stay there, throwing in all the correct corporate buzz-words to appease Radio 1 management. I love Matt Edmondson, Greg James and Alice Levine, they are REALLY good presenters – funny, engaging and interesting. However Radio 1 seem to have a policy of teaming up presenters now which, frankly is fucking annoying.
Radio personalities have often had ‘sidekicks’ to bounce off, and chatter with – however a presenting ‘team’ just feels too much for Radio. I would understand if the presenters were bobbins, and were struggling to make a show work a little backup in the form of a co-presenter would be great. However, the people they seem to pair up can handle a show with ease and aplomb, they don’t need two people there. It just feels like Radio 1 have been to a focus group where someone has said ‘I like my Radio to have a Male and Female presenter together at all times’ and they’ve run with it.
I have found myself delving into the world of commercial radio. I’m a massive Chris Moyles fan, and am thankful he’s back on Radio X – he is a world class DJ – without a doubt. However whilst Radio X is okay, the playlist, despite having a myriad of guitar based music to choose from always feels like it’s playing the same stuff. When Moyles breaks into the Platinum hour every Friday, you can get a taste of just how good music can be if DJs are let off the ‘playlist’. I really enjoy what Dave Berry (and sidekick Matt Dyson) do too on Absolute Radio. I don’t really like straying on to commercial Radio, the adverts are really, really annoying – however Moyles and Berry are worth tolerating them for.. Just!
My natural home now, should perhaps be Radio 2. However, whilst some of the output chimes nicely with me it still feels a little ‘old man’ for me. The jingles sound stuck in a permanent time-warp, and whilst the presenters are probably nearer my age range – I just can’t get on board with them. One of the best presenters they have (Sara Cox) is pushed into a late slot, and she should be prime-time, without question. Whilst the some of the music is excellent, I just don’t get my fix of brand new music with Radio 2. If Radio 2 was a person it would be wearing some nice corduroy slacks and a sensible cardigan.
Radio 1 back in the day seemed to tick boxes for all age ranges, the hosts were all ages too – being over 40 wasn’t a death knell for your Radio 1 career. I remember listening to it when I was little, and they had a real broad scope of presenters, and music – my Mum and Dad loved it, and so did me and my sister. It just worked. Perhaps now there is too much focus on filling a demographic, and NEED to appeal to certain age ranges. It’s less about playing music that people might want to hear – it’s going through a regimented playlist that has been given the nod by a panel of people. Radio is having to change, people consume the music they want on Spotify, Google Music, even YouTube. You can have whatever song you like at the click of a button, or the tap of a screen. However, is it coming at a cost of stations really needing to narrow down their demographics? Is Radio 1 only relevant if you’re under 30? Do I have to suck it up and accept at the ripe old age of 37, I have to admit defeat and accept Radio 2 is my future?
Sure, I could just consume podcasts, and edited highlights of Radio, but – I love Radio so much – the talk, the music, the interaction.. I don’t want it slimmed down into bite-sized chunks.. Where do I go from here?