Category Archives: Radio


You’re my Halo, Florence and the Machine

This happened aaaaages ago but, y’know, I can’t possibly write about properly current events as it’s a little passe and anyway, it’s much more fun rehashing stuff ages after it’s happened. (Tomorrow’s post: new technological advancement called “The Internetz” will allow you to look at FREE pictures of cats with funny captions in the privacy of your own home.)

But here’s Florence off of Florence and The Machine doing a cover of Beyon’ce’s (that’s a spelling mistake, but I like it – Ms Knowles should consider using it) Halo from Jo Whiley’s Live Lounge back in June. It took place on the 24th June, in fact – the day before Michael Jackson died. Coincidence? I think not.

Am I alone in thinking this is one of the worst, most painful cover versions…EVER? I don’t deny Florence is talented and that she normally has a good voice when doing her own songs, and that she’s got that whole unusual vocal/slightly different sound/kooky image thing going on that’s refreshing and new if Kate Bush hadn’t have existed.

According to Wikipedia (so who know’s if this is true or not – but having a vague memory of the show and the listener comments that came in that day, I suspect it is):

…host Jo Whiley stated that it was one of the best covers they have ever had in the Live Lounge.

And I think…really? Really? Am I listening to the same thing? Do I have my computer speakers on a “bad singing” setting? Are the foxes playing up in the garden again? Has my hearing gone all wrong? Is everyone mental? Are people being too polite to say anything?

Oh God, it’smy hearing, isn’t it? Oh no…noooooooooo….

You can always depend on Mitch Winehouse

You really can.

Mitch: Hes at the bottom of the stairs, and hes ready to step in
Mitch: He’s at the bottom of the stairs, and he’s ready to step in

Here’s a bit of background to why. The BBC’s local radio station in London is 94.9FM. Its afternoon slot. 3pm to 5pm, is normally hosted by Danny Baker (a comedy writer and TV “personality”, but most of us probably know him as part of the Chris Evans – Gazza – Danny Baker boozing trio in the 90s). He’s on his hols – how nice – so the radio station have hired a bunch of different people to host the show instead.

Today, that job falls to Mitch Winehouse, father of Amy (of course). 94.9FM have billed him as “London’s best known cabbie” which is strange – I mean he may be well-known (or “known”), but certainly not because he’s a cabbie! Does he get people to their destinations 2.76% faster than any other London cabbie? NO! Does he have the lowest fares of all London cabbies? NO! Does he give the best chat and advice on people’s journeys? NO!* We just know him cause he’s Amy’s dad.

*N.B. All of the above could actually be true. I suspect it isn’t.

But it’s great that he’s been so kind as to cover for Danny Baker. Over all, Mitch seems like a helpful kind of guy. Maybe he should setup a new business, Mitch Steps In, where he turns up to stuff that you can’t make.  Can’t make your child’s school play? Mitch will go. Promised your friend you’d go to the Kanye West gig, but have now booked a holiday instead? Mitch will be there. Have a 9am meeting at work but are too hungover to go? Mitch’ll step in!

Yay, Mitch!

Radio 1 Eats Itself

Radio 1

The powers that be at Radio 1 seem to be doing a darn good job of trying to ruin the station.

A year or so ago, they seemed to have settled on a decent enough lineup of DJs. The weekday lineup, for example: Chris Moyles provides the fun in the mornings – like him or loathe him, you can’t deny that he keeps upping listener numbers. (I hope that statement doesn’t prove to be the kiss of death for him.) Scott Mills provides enough random humour for drivetime, as everyone pootles home from work. Jo Whiley seems to have settled into some kind of woman’s coffee-morning type show (sorry Jo, it’s true) which is pleasant enough. Zane Lowe, on at 7pm, is so energetic and infectious you can’t really help but like him. And Edith Bowman…well, if you can’t say anything good about someone, let’s not say anything at all, huh? But I suppose she’s well known, so they gave her a radio show.

My big bug bear is the weekends. Here’s a few reasons why:

Fearne and Reggie They clearly aren’t very good DJs. Yeah, youth TV, whatever, but they’re rubbish on radio. They’re not entertaining. They’re not interesting. Listen to them for 20 minutes, and they’re jabber away about something totally inane, before giggling amongst themselves, and then repeating the same phrase over and over. A few weeks back, Reggie invited listeners to text in their opinions about songs. And some listeners, rather surprisingly, obeyed him. One girl said something vaguely bad about Amy Winehouse. “That’s harsh!” exclaimed Reggie. No it’s not, Reggie, it’s an opinion. 10 minutes later, on another subject: “That’s harsh!” Sigh. If you catch any of the adverts for Fearne and Reggie’s Chart Show, you can easily tell how bad they are. The ad will always be full of them laughing, with one “crazy” comment, and then lots of snippets of them saying stuff like “That’s up 10 places”, “We love this song”, “This song’s still in the charts”. They’ve been doing the chart every week since last autumn, and that’s the best advert Radio 1 jingle makers can create about them?!

Switch This is some sort of TV/radio crossover show, that’s one BBC2 on Saturday afternoons and Radio 1 on Sunday evenings. Presented by Annie Mac, except she’s now covering for Sara Cox who’s on maternity leave. So it’s presented by Grimmy. Grimmy?! GRIMMY?! Are we all 12-year-old boys? What kind of a stupid nickname is that? What’s wrong with the bloke’s real name? (Nick Grimshaw) Or perhaps it’s because the entire audience is 11-year-olds doing their homework on a Sunday night. BORING.

Annie Mac I’m sure she’s great on her Mash Up on Friday nights. But she’s not that great as a mainstream DJ. Especially not as a replacement for Sara Cox, who used to EASILY be the most annoying DJ on the planet, but who has now done a complete about turn and is actually one of Radio 1’s best. With Annie, you’ve got yet more nonsensical chat about…nothing.

All in all, the weekend shows make Radio 1 seem like some kind of amateur station. When I was nine years old, I had a “DJ toy” that consisted of a microphone, a tape player and a sound effects machine. My friends and I made fake radio shows by talking about crap, making weird noises, pressing all the sound effects buttons and playing Bros on loop. Weekends on Radio 1 seems like one step above what I was doing when I was nine. (Without the Bros on loop, obviously.)

Oh, and, putting on some of the night-time DJs on at daytime (today – Easter Monday), is one of the worst decisions ever made. I’ve never heard worse radio. The songs are apalling, the dialogue very strained, and the presenters all seem to have the charisma of an orange.

Even Edith Bowman would have been better.