Looking forward to
the new year already
2013 has been a bit of a rubbish year for me personally. Apart from the rapid growth of this blog from my first tentative posts in spring to the current level of over a thousand hits a day, there hasn’t been a whole lot to celebrate.
My band problems
Early in the year, January in fact, my band Surrogate Suns that I had been trying to build from scratch just fell apart. It wasn’t acrimonious but it just wasn’t working and the six of us went our separate ways. Some of the band formed a new band called Honey Jacks, but in the current year, they rehearsed played their first gig and split up as well.
With the demise of Surrogate Suns I was pleased to be able to build more on my other band which I had not been taking seriously. This was Badly Worn Toy and was focused around local guitar wizard Harvey Hudson, who is brilliant. Unfortunately that too came to an end for me after what I had thought was our best gig at the Landmark.
From August I was bandless and feeling a bit sorry for myself. I am still mates with the BWT guys, but I was really chuffed to be aked to join a new band just forming, with plans to play heavy rock stuff like AC/DC.
The new band is a bit of a secret so I can’t say too much. I think all I can tell you is that we are called “The Buzz“, and we have over 30 paid gigs booked for 2014 already.
The Voice Radio
This summer I began volunteering at The Voice FM, local radio for North Devon. Despite the name the station has been broadcasting on DAB and online only. It was on FM with a temporary licence but couldn’t get a full FM licence before.
Going on to FM permanently
This year, however, they were given the opportunity to bid for a full time regional FM licence and the bid was successful. It took a lot of dundraising to get the community licence paid for and there were a lot of boring legal bits that had to be tied up.
A launch in October was postponed and so was November, due to technical hitches beyond our control; but NOW, we are ready and aiming for early January to go live.
The frequencies will be 106.1 and 107.8
There will be an unprecedented three transmitters, with extra power, due to the topography of our region. This will allow us to reach radios in deep valleys that would otherwise have missed out yet again.
Impact of FM
It is going to have a huge impact on listening figures . Despite take up of DAB increasing in recent years, there are still more than half the population who don’t have access to a DAB radio at all, and even fewer have anything other than FM in their cars. It is likely that listener figures will double at least, and then slowly grow as word spreads about the new frequencies.
More exposure for unsigned bands
This means that my show on Sundays between 3.00 and 6.00 pm will get double the exposure and therefore the unsigned bands I play will enjoy that same benefit.
I will probably replay a lot of the stuff that I have already played before on the show, as well as introducing new bands as I come across them.
Always after local Devon bands but will also give airtime to any bands from anywhere as long as they are good.
Obviously I hope to continue building the blog in the new year as well. I hope to be able to announce that it has, at least doubled in size by December 2014.
You can help with that. Comments; links; suggestions for what bands to review. You can even write your own reviews if you fancy doing a bit of writing. It would have to be out of love for writing and music. I barely cover the cost of hosting with all my websites put together, but more writers would be great if anyone fancies having a go.