The Student Radio Awards 1999

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate July 2001

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Having just graduated, I have been a member of KARC for three years, holding various positions on the executive committee. Starting as a presenter in my first year, I began hosting a specialist show playing underground alternative music during our February 1998 RSL. I think our programme controller at the time felt this type of show was a bit of a gamble in terms of fitting in with the existing schedule, but judging by the response from listeners, the risk has paid off.

I decided to present a show of this nature for a number of reasons. Firstly, the underground music scene has always been my first musical love from an early age. I got my first Fat Tulips album (still one of favourite bands!) aged 13. Secondly, I felt that while URN broadcasts specialist shows in dance music, there was nothing remotely 'alternative' for anyone else. Additionally, if someone enjoys House or Drum and Bass music, they can always go down to their local club to hear it.

Very few places nation-wide play tunes by such fantastic artists as Half Man Half Biscuit, Topper, Oizone or the Cuban Boys! Personally, I feel that although not many people will recognise the bands I play, the music appeals to a very wide range of listeners, so long as they keep an open mind and even if they don't hear the new record by the Manics or Steps, they won't switch off. Secondly, my experiences suggest that a lot of people, and particularly students, are oblivious to the sheer quality of a lot of music that fails to get daytime radio play locally, nationally or even on student stations. Too many people, in my opinion, believe that anything that fails to make a dent on the charts must be rubbish. Basically, I tried to use my show as a way of broadening the musical horizons of the average student. I find it a real inspiration when people ring up or send e-mails asking questions like "where on earth do you get your records from?", "What was that web-site address you read out" or "can you play that song you played last week?". Questions such as these are asked more frequently than I would ever have imagined prior to the show, and are always a real pleasure to answer.

I try not to bombard the listeners with just a mish-mash of music. One of my main hobbies is going to gigs, and as such always try and get an interview with the band to play on the programme. So far the bands I have interviewed include The Pastels, Idlewild, and Marine Research. Furthermore, bands are always welcome to come in and record a session for broadcast, either live or pre-recorded. Such groups which have done this include The Delgados, Angelica, and Veledrome 2000, something I am very grateful to them for.