The state of British radio is, more often than not, pretty bleak for those of us who like to delve an inch or two under the swathe of mass-produced crap that tends to dominate the charts – and other than a few notable DJs playing some genuinely great stuff, that actually does get the success it deserves – one can often be forgiven for dismissing most popular/local radio for a CD, or grinding your face into a wall perhaps?
Not so if you live in Stockport! For every Tuesday night between 8 and 10pm, Martin and Jackie (AKA Sunshine Underground) pump out classic tunes on 107.8 FM. You like Hot Club de Paris, Mates of State, Family Machine, goFASTER>> or Rival Schools – well tune in, and if you aint local – JUST GO TO WWW.PURERADIO.ORG.UK AND CLICK ON ‘LISTEN LIVE’ at the same time tonight, and every week beyond… Oh yes!
And as they are bringing great music to the masses, it’s only fair that Alcopop shows its appreciation, by making Martin Johnston from ‘Sunshine Underground’ – ‘Excellent Popper part 3’!
We ask him gentle questions – he responds thusly…
1.) Who would be your red hot picks of this year’s best breed of musical talent rampaging through the ranks of also-rans?
Nice alliteration. There’s your band name if anyone’s looking for one.
In the UK, I think the Liverpool scene is pretty vibrant at the moment. I’ve always loved Hot Club de Paris and I think Voo and Married to the Sea are brilliant too. Across the pond there’s a band called The Envy Corps we’ve played a lot and I really like Fleet Foxes for their country-rock harmonies. Annuals are fantastic too, they write amazing and intricate songs which really grow on you. There are some great moments on The Mae Shi album and I’m delighted to see Rival Schools back. Jackie has asked me to point out that she thinks The Wedding Present are quite good too.
2.) In 50 words or less, what does your radio show offer to fans of new music?
We play music that deserves to be heard more. We’re very lucky because we can play what we like so we respect that and only play things we like but crucially things we think other people would like too.
3.) You have a feature in the show asking which year was best for rock – what is your very favourite year?
It’s a feature on the station, (our actual show features are much better) we just plug it a bit on the show but for me it would have to be 1978. That was the year I bought my first single, with my own money. I’d had cassettes before. I used to record my uncles Beatles LPs with a microphone next to a speaker. But the first record I ever bought was Jilted John by Jilted John. Superb. We played it a few weeks ago. Still sounds fresh as a daisy.
So go and listen to Martin tonight, 8-10pm, see the MySpace here, and blog there – and pop back to our blog tomorrow for part 2 – woop!