It’s been a strange post-birthday week or so not least of all because of the gift I received from the guys at the radio station Liffey Sound FM – a primetime slot for a rock show!
The 10:00pm to Midnight slot has come up due to the end of the current show The Glory Train, which always seemed to be an odd choice of programme for that time on a Friday as it’s all about religion. The notion of replacing a religious programme with a rock show is so wicked it’s hard not to laugh out loud at the very thought of it! The Murt & Niall Rock Show is about to move from the realms of pub-talk to a real live actual radio programme…
Now, a week after I was offered the slot and as we face into the last days before the show goes on air, I find myself looking at how best to make the show as good as it can be. Odd questions pop into my head that if I can answer them then we’ll have a cracking show. I guess the most important of these questions is: what kind of radio show would I tune into on a Friday night? This is a tough question as I really limit my radio time to when I’m in the car. So, if I were driving along one evening and an ad came on for a programme to be aired on a Friday night, what would it have to be about to make me listen?
There are four radio shows that I can think of that made me want to listen to them.
1. The Russell Brand Show – the now infamous programme that recently made the career of the self-confessed S&M Willy Wonka. I listened to the shows podcast, which condensed a two hour show into roughly 45 minutes as the music was cut out due to the restrictions on music in podcasts. The show was pure comedy driven by Brand with loads of help from his writing partner Matt Morgan. Regulars on the show included Noel Gallagher of Oasis and a resident poet who summed up the show at the end. The podcast featured celebrity interviews and these along with some smaller features that included mails and texts from listeners made up the bulk of the show. The comedy was driven by Brand discussing what he’d been up to that week.
2. Superman – the BBC Radio 4 drama mini-series from about twenty years ago – brilliant from start to end!
3. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – the BBC Radio 4 drama mini-series from donkeys years ago – brilliant from start to end!
4. The upcoming BBC Radio 5 show about “The Thick of It” featuring interviews with the cast and writers, but I’m only interested in hearing this show as I’m a fan of the TV series.
So, seeing as how this isn’t meant to be a radio drama, is funny the way to go, ala Brand? Loads of Irish radio shows feature humour but not one would make me go out of my way to listen in, and Russell Brand is a comedian, with the time and the talent to write comedy on a regular basis, as well as the experience of performing stand up for years. Maybe, eventually, a show could develop into something like that, but I’ve spent this week trying to find humour in news reports and coming up short, and the prospect of trying to wing it on the first outing isn’t worth contemplating.
There’s not likely to be any middle ground with the show, as one friend of mine put it, it’ll either be brilliant or shite! The absence of a happy medium here is the really scary part as now we have to work hard to ensure it’s not shite. Ironically, the best way to achieve this may be to limit the amount of on-air time we give ourselves at first and let the music just play.
One of the lads at the station offered this advice. Practice it twice and then forget about it; his reasoning for this being the idea that if somethings over-rehearsed then when something goes wrong (and it absolutely will) then there’s no wriggle room to get out of trouble, if you’ve practiced too much then one mistake ruins the whole thing, though at this point, practicing too much is the least of our worries.
Anyway, The Murt & Niall Rock Show commences tomorrow (Friday) night at 10:00pm till Midnight on Liffey Sound 96.4 FM and on line at live.liffeysoundfm.ie , so we’ll find out then how we get on.