the all too familiar sound emanating from the speakers past the midnight hour after the chimes had ended the days broadcasting on radio 1. the knowledge that it was well past your bedtime, sure what point was there in having anything on at this hour.
20 odd years on and all’s changed. not alone do all the channels broadcast 24/7 but there isn’t too much room left on the dial these days to broadcast from. spinsouthwest have squeezed themselves in between 102-103 and 94.7 fm depending on where you are and began broadcasting this Monday from limerick city. The studios have windows, the city stretched out to your right, the countryside to your left, the listeners in waiting, the signal sounding clear and through, the dream of wanting to broadcast music that’s different. fill the static. friday 12-45, the dream is reality. bring it on.
top radio moments
listening to tapes of the vortex on wired 103 (we couldn’t pick up the signal in abbeyfeale). presentation style, laid back, music oh so good. this was where i heard the pharycde ‘runnin’ at age 12. it could be done.
on a cycle around the ring of kerry a pit stop was made at cloghar beach to listen live to the limerick/kilkenny all-ireland hurling quarter final on my pocket radio. sun, sand, a beautiful light breeze from the atlantic and mícheál ó’muircheartaigh describing the action. perfect radio, shame about the result.
the early days of radio ireland were mighty with john kelly and donal dineen offering five hours of quality music back to back. the stereo deck in the sitting room was paused on record while the door of the study room was left slightly ajar. studying for the junior cert and listening to the radio at the same time. abandoning an arithmetic problem and bolting down the stairs to tape a good track was a common occurrence. i still have the shoebox full of tapes with ‘do not tape on’ written clearly on the side.
the documentary on lyric fm a few years ago about the aurora borealis was amazing. i’ve yet to see the northern lights but hearing the noise that the light makes as it passes through space in the comfort of my bedroom is probably the next best thing.
i had been meaning to photograph john moriarty for a long time. mícheál ó’muircheartaigh had given me his phone number (a story for another day) so it was just a question of getting my act together. it wasn’t to come to pass though with john sadly passing away a little over a month ago (rest in power). shortly after, radio kerry replayed an interview that weeshie fogarty had done with the great man. now, if i was interviewing moriarty i’m not too sure where i’d begin but fogarty cut straight to the chase and began talking about what he knows best, gaelic football. it was beautiful to hear the esteem that john had for such players as maurice fitzgerald and colm cooper and likening the kerry team that lost to armagh in 2002 to the brazil team of 1970. the interview continued in this vain for the best part of an hour. i missed the last 10 minutes of it because i had to go to football training. magic.
UPDATE: Bebo page for the show here