My local pirate radio station hates modern music

Some while ago I penned a piece about how radio station’s should almost be for life (here). They should ‘capture’ the youth of the day and just grow old with them.

Within the article I said, “Merseyland Alternative Radio started in the 1980s. Now in the 2010s it is still playing exactly the same records, and dominated by exactly the same presenters. And, as you might expect, has listeners that have always listened and have grown old with it. Confusingly, despite every show actually playing old records, they even have special ‘oldies shows’ playing, erm, old records. These appear to be old records that they believe are in some way different to the old records the rest of their shows are playing. But nobody cares, because everybody wants to keep pretending it’s the 1980s all over again week after week. Presenters and the remaining yet declining listeners are happy growing old together.

Everything I write here gets automagically copied over to Facebork.  It was on Facebork that a response from those involved in Merseyland Alternative Radio turned into a conversation which I have copied to here so that it will reach a far wider audience.  Hopefully, I illustrated my point in my replies…

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  1. Hm,
    Don't really know what you were trying to achieve there Chris, it is a subject you have touched on before i.e. should a radio station keep reinventing itself or grow old with its audience.
    The other thing I have noted is that the smaller the radio station is, the bigger the ego's are. I have been asked to comment on the output of my local community station and I had to tell them that I have never heard anything so stunningly awful in my life. If it was switched off tomorrow, as with M.A.R, few people would even notice and yet they take it all so seriously.
    I have told you privately, that if I hear Smoke On The Water, or Hit Me With Your Rythm Stick, one more time on the station that I am mostly involved with, I may be moved to violence.
    But presenters and the audience will in most cases veer toward what they know, even if you have a library of tens of thousands of titles.
    The only answer is to remove personal choice, or take away the obvious tracks. You may say that it is still ' old 'music, but at least it would be unusual,interesting old music.
    It is an unwinnable argument Chris, like berating someone who keeps eating fish and chips, when you think they should be eating pasta, rice, lentils etc.
    They, as with MAR, may say ' bugger off, we like fish and chips '.
    It may be pointless to be a pirate, but to play the same music as the legit stations, but you may as well leave them to do what they enjoy.
    Audience driven stations are not such a good idea, if we applied this to Radio Caroline a small percentage of the listeners would dominate and our rotation would be :

    Caroline by The Fortunes,
    Peace by Peter,
    Loving Awareness Band,
    We Love The Pirate Stations.
    Lady In Red.

    A few people would be in ecstasy and the rest would turn it off.

    Peter Moore.


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